[b]D.A.’s P.R. Firm: Planting Lies, Violating the Law? – MJEOL Bullet #44[/b] The new P.R. firm working with the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office may be responsible for planting false stories in the press regarding Michael Jackson. The day charges were expected to be filed against Jackson, two major falsities hit news organizations. Those fake stories were that Jackson had joined the Nation of Islam and Johnnie Cochran would be his new attorney. Those two lies were slapped down by Jackson’s defense attorney, Mark Geragos, as well as by Johnny Cochran and Jermaine Jackson. While some media outlets have tried to claim that Mr. Jackson is injecting race into this case, it looks as if the DA’s PR firm are the ones trying to fan the flames. Jackson’s defense attorney appeared on [url=http://forum.mjeol.com/index.php?showtopic=11987]CNN’s Larry King Live (Dec 18)[/url] along with Jermaine Jackson. When asked if his brother was joining the Nation of Islam, Jermaine Jackson said “No.” Geragos says, “Because that’s another one of the litany—what I call the litany of lies…Somebody writes it because that was the story this morning…” Geragos continues:

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GERAGOS: The fact of the matter is — you want to know where this originates from, this — it’s the P.R. firm that the prosecution hired. And what they did is, they played the race card. They’re trying to inject Johnnie Cochran into this. They’re trying to inject the Nation of Islam as some kind of a buzz word into this.

Geragos has evidently investigated and tracked down where the rumor started. He reports: “I tracked it. I got a couple of—on background from various reporters who admitted that the P.R. flack firm that they [DA’s office] just hired…was the one who’s out there fanning the flames of this.” As a result of this nonsense, cable news shows like MSNBC’s Hardball and Scarborough Country talked about this issue yesterday (Dec 18) as if this so-called “race card” was an actual defense tactic; ridiculing the defense for something they have not done and have no intention of doing. That ridicule is obviously a result of the “litany of lies” coming from those sympathetic to the prosecution. Geragos also made another point about the DA either hiring or accepting work from this P.R. firm:

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…Either way. If it’s volunteered, it may even be worse. I mean, you’re either paying with public moneys, the — this firm, which I think is problematic, and if they’re volunteering, then you’re receiving a gift, which is also a violation of the Fair Political Practices Act. So it doesn’t get any better if it’s volunteered versus hired. A prosecutor’s not supposed to be out there spinning. A prosecutor’s supposed to be out there seeking the truth.

The P.R. firm will be busy attempting to cast aspersions on Jackson’s name and reputation. MSNBC had a star line-up of characters who are sympathetic to the prosecution on the day charges were filed, including but not limited to Jim Thomas (friend of Sneddon and ex-Sheriff of Santa Barbara), the first judge from the 1993 case (who has previously said negative things about the case), and Rabbi Schmuley Boteach (accused of scamming various charities out of money—including one of Jackson’s charities). Thus, we should all be on notice: If something sounds too ridiculous to be true, it probably is. -MJEOL

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