[b]DeBorah Pryor, from Eurweb.com, has written a great article Here’s a snip from it:[/b] [quote]Martin Bashir’s documentary Living With Michael Jackson lacked integrity. In the opinion of this writer, it should be remembered as nothing more than an exercise in how to gain someone’s trust, then manipulate it to tell the story you had written before ever meeting the man or setting foot on his property. Apparently, the need for journalistic excellence has left the building; leaving behind in its place only two prerequisites for getting your story picked up: how low can you go and how much are they willing to pay… Jackson has arguably been the only celebrity continuously raked over the proverbial coals. It seems such a shame that all the media chooses to grasp from such an illustrious, long-standing career, is material on plastic surgery and unfounded allegations of child abuse. It is the blatant obsession with and subsequent regurgitation of this type of biased material that encourages dehumanization. It is a behavioral style that is becoming increasingly more acceptable, and celebrities, Jackson in particular, are seen not as people, but as objects. Even so-called “serious” journalists have stooped to new levels…[/quote] :applause You HAVE to read this! Click ‘read more’!! [b]WILL HUMANITY EVER VISIT THE MEDIA?[/b] [i]One Journalist Speaks Out on the Attempts to Castrate Michael Jackson[/i] by DeBorah B. Pryor (Mar. 7, 2003) If the documentary Living With Michael Jackson is any indication of what journalism has become, we’re in trouble. I have to wonder what the bottom line is on the media’s obsession to defile the character of Michael Jackson. For Martin Bashir, it was clearly money and fame. But, for the record, the public should also know that not every journalist shares this view; and if for nothing but balance alone, our stories should be told as well. As journalists, there is something we seem to have forgotten: our “title” should not replace our “species.” We are still human beings, but in our work, do we always act as such? While we may certainly recognize the eccentricities and even the naiveté of someone like Michael Jackson, these traits in themselves are not crimes. We should be careful not to use them as a summation of his character, or as a means to detract from his long-standing career as an entertainer and humanitarian. If journalism were truly unbiased, this would not be the case. Martin Bashir’s documentary Living With Michael Jackson lacked integrity. In the opinion of this writer, it should be remembered as nothing more than an exercise in how to gain someone’s trust, then manipulate it to tell the story you had written before ever meeting the man or setting foot on his property. Apparently, the need for journalistic excellence has left the building; leaving behind in its place only two prerequisites for getting your story picked up: how low can you go and how much are they willing to pay. Clearly, Bashir fulfilled the first requirement; and with several airings of his documentary to their credit, ABC and VH1, the second. By all accounts, I’d say the attempts to castrate Michael Jackson are keeping a lot of people in business. The sad part is that this tabloid-style documentary has become more prevalent over the years. Where in the past they seemed to find safe shelter on programs like Hard Copy, it’s difficult to conceive that 20/20, a news-oriented program once considered “serious,” would put out such a welcome mat. Jackson has arguably been the only celebrity continuously raked over the proverbial coals. It seems such a shame that all the media chooses to grasp from such an illustrious, long-standing career, is material on plastic surgery and unfounded allegations of child abuse. It is the blatant obsession with and subsequent regurgitation of this type of biased material that encourages dehumanization. It is a behavioral style that is becoming increasingly more acceptable, and celebrities, Jackson in particular, are seen not as people, but as objects. Even so-called “serious” journalists have stooped to new levels; asking shameless questions like Diane Sawyer did a few years back in her interview with Jackson and former wife Lisa Marie Presley: “I’ve spent most of my life being a ‘serious’ journalist, but, … do the two of you have sex?” Excuse me? This line of questioning is more than intrusive, it lacks any association with civility! Yet, these ridiculous questions keep resurfacing for Jackson. No other celebrity has had his or her dignity tested in this way. The type of programming reiterated by Bashir’s documentary has contributed to the more discerning public’s perception of the media as a growing joke. If ever there was a sense of trust, it’s flying out of the window fast. There was a time you could turn on the television or pick up a newspaper and clearly distinguish serious news from tabloid. There were network warnings; or they were in different sections of the newspaper. Such distinctions have now become much more difficult. While the private life of Michael Jackson is in no way comparable to our nation’s pending war with Iraq, if we had to spend two hours Living With him, why rehash the same thing? As a journalist with a unique opportunity, couldn’t Bashir have used it better…more intelligently? Perhaps, considering the power of the media, and the country’s current crisis, focus on Jackson’s travels around the world over the past eight months; the meetings he may have had with dignitaries in an effort to initiate peace. Celebrities are doing such important things today in addition to their craft. Just look at U2’s Bono, actor Chris Tucker, and Jermaine Jackson. Couldn’t Bashir have explored how this icon uses the power of his celebrity and wealth as a vehicle to change the state of the world? Now is the time the public needs to hear such things. With the dawning of a new century, and our society’s undeniable state of spiritual awakening, more than ever before, we are learning not to judge. It’s insulting that judgment is the exact tool continually used by the media to perpetuate prejudice; and in this case, via Jackson. Because there is such a lack of balance where he is concerned, it’s that much more noticeable to discerning eyes. Bashir used the word “disturbing” several times with regard to Jackson’s relationship with children. I’d like to flip the script and offer some disturbing perceptions of my own. With regard to his misuse of Jackson’s young friend, Gavin, did he put any forethought into the fact that he had to return to school the next day and face his classmates and friends following his portrayal of the teenagers’ friendship with Jackson in the documentary. As a mother and grandmother, I know that life is hard enough for young boys entering into manhood without having their faces plastered on television and adding insult to injury – as Bashir did – with innuendoes of reference to sexual impropriety. As a friend Gavin’s family, I am very aware of the effect that Jackson’s unrelenting support and compassion has had on them through their lengthy battle with Gavin’s illness. Bashir’s decision to exploit the relationship as anything more than genuine sickens me. I am not on Michael Jackson’s payroll; and as a journalist, I have no fear in choosing not to be a part of the popular vote. My interest, quite frankly, lies solely in the fact that I have seen the drama played over and over again. In media, as in society, we work to create these larger-than-life figures and then seem to revel in the dismantling of our own creation. It’s a very sick cycle. If humanity ever decides to pay a visit to the media, I hope it will consider staying a while. I hope it will pull up a chair and have a sit-down conversation on how we can implement it in our work without the threat of our stories having any less substance. I hope it will show us how to bring respect back to the media; so that we can respect the public enough to trust they will come to their own conclusions, based on the presentation of unbiased material. If humanity ever decides to pay a visit to the media, I hope it has the opportunity to get a two-hour interview… on television… in primetime. END DeBorah B. Pryor [email]Dpryor@almansor.org[/email] is based in Los Angeles, California. Source:[url=http://www.eurweb.com/articles/musicpages/03072003/musicpages908003072003.cfm]http://www.eurweb.com/articles/musicpages/…08003072003.cfm[/url] [i][b]You can read what other people had to say about this article in [url=http://forum.mjeol.com/index.php?act=ST&f=3&t=2573]MJ NEWS forum[/url]![/b][/i]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *