Michael Jackson Speaks to Geraldo Rivera about Eminem – MJEOL Bullet #219 Jackson thanks his fans for their support and blasts rapper for wretched video & song In a Fox news exclusive phone interview with Geraldo Rivera today (Nov 11 2004), Michael Jackson talked about the disgusting and childish video ‘Just Lose It’ by Eminem (m&m). Standing outside in Times Square with dozens of fans, Rivera hears from Jackson about the “demeaning and disrespectful” video from m&m. He also says that there is a pattern of conduct in m&m’s behavior which is very demeaning to a number of people as well as the black community. Contrary to a recent Associated Press article on the matter, there were more than “16” fans outside as evidenced by the video taken when Rivera was speaking to Jackson. Jackson also took time out to thank the fan-initiated support that he’s been receiving around the world. In London over 4,000 people attended a fan rally in his support recently. And he showed his appreciation for the fans that decided to rally in New York today (Nov 11 2004). From the interview:

I wanna thank my fans for their strong support over the years. They could’ve been anywhere today, you know, and they chose to be in New York in Times Square. And I wanna thank them from the bottom of my heart. They’ve written thousands and thousands of letters and have made hundreds of calls regarding the Eminem video. And I love them so, so much. (see Your World: MJ Talks to Geraldo via phone Nov 11 2004)

He took time out to thank Rev. Jessie Jackson and Steve Harvey who both have been very vocal about the “case” against him in California and the m&m video issue. He sent his thanks to Bob Johnson of BET as well as Cathy Hughes and Radio One for supporting his position on the “piece of crap video”, as even some Eminem fans have called it. BET yanked the m&m video early on and Radio One owns the Steve Harvey Radio Show. Harvey’s radio show is the #1 radio show in Los Angeles. He also thanked The Source magazine, whose CEO, Benzino, has been very vocal about the m&m video and the history of the tired rapper in relation to other incidences that have occurred. The Source CEO appeared on Court TV’s Catherine Crier Live Oct 22 2004 discussing the issue. He says that Jackson is an icon and has opened the doors to people of color. If you’ll remember, it was Jackson and his label in the 1980’s who had to force MTV to play videos by black artists. Jackson was the first, as discussed to MJEOL Bullet #210: MTV Supports Revolting and Patronizing Video against Jackson Benzino also says that there are a lot of people who love and support Jackson, and that Jackson is fed up with how the industry treats people. As illustrated in the call to Rivera today (Nov 11 2004), Benzino said that Jackson sounded strong, well, and in good spirits. Back to the Rivera interview, Jackson says he decided to call-in himself instead of having someone speak on his behalf about the issue. This is in direct conflict with media reports which have had him everywhere from ‘on drugs’ to ‘being controlled by the Nation of Islam’ within the past year. Jackson did sound strong and commanding. Particularly of the terrible video, Jackson says:

That it’s demeaning and disrespectful. But I also wanna make it clear that it’s not just about ‘Michael Jackson’, but a pattern of disrespect that he has shown to our community. He needs to stop it and he needs to stop it now. (see Your World: MJ Talks to Geraldo via phone Nov 11 2004)

Rivera told Jackson that he supports him on this issue, and the issue of this “case” in Santa Barbara, because he believes Jackson is “getting a raw deal not just by Eminem but by a lot of other aspects of life” that he didn’t elaborate on at that time. __Future Projects__ Jackson has a number of projects lined up, according to what he said during the interview. He says he’s working on “several albums” at the moment and that he’s in the process of making plans to do “wonderful things”:

RIVERA:…But let me go on the positive side for a minute. What do you have coming up? Anything that we can announce to these people—something, give them some optimism? JACKSON: Yes. I’m always working on wonderful music. I’ve been working on several albums right now. I’ve been working on music today. I’m working on something as we speak Geraldo. And I’m in the process of making plants to do some other wonderful things that I’ll be announcing to the fans very, very soon. And I look forward to that Geraldo, you know. (see Your World: MJ Talks to Geraldo via phone Nov 11 2004)

__After-the-interview commentary__ Rivera and the guest host subbing for Neil Cavuto talked about the phone interview after Jackson hung up. Rivera commented that the Constitution of the United States applies to Michael Jackson, too, regardless of how some people try to treat him. And this is why, Rivera says, he’s “picked up the gauntlet” in reporting the other side of these media issues like the “case” and the asinine m&m video. When asked by the host why Jackson decided to come out now and defend his image, Rivera says he didn’t want to speak for him. But he speculated that because of the gag order in the “case”, Jackson may want to fight against anyone who is trying to sway public opinion against him unfairly. Rivera says:

…But the point is fairness applies even to this guy. It doesn’t matter about personal style. It doesn’t matter about the type of music, whatever. You gotta treat people equally. He calls me, I think, because he knows I’m going to give him a fair shake. I’m not gonna hit him with a kidney shot or rank him out. And I really do back him on the Eminem video. I think it’s really a wretched kind of ‘Black Sambo’ comedy that went out of style 30, 40, 50 years ago, thank God, in this country. (see Your World: MJ Talks to Geraldo via phone Nov 11 2004)

Rivera says these kinds of issues poison the jury pool and is very unfair. He also says that if this were anyone other than Michael Jackson, this entire situation may not even be happening:

It really seems to unfair that anyone can say anything they want about him including about his.. whatever, and it’s gonna poison him in a way I think is very malignant and very unfair. I think—it his name was ‘Jackson Michael’ instead of ‘Michael Jackson’, I don’t think a lot of what the DA etc. has been doing would be happening. (see Your World: MJ Talks to Geraldo via phone Nov 11 2004)

Further, he reiterated the point that it is not just about Jackson. m&m has unfairly blasted a number of people and has not been treated equally because of it. Both Hammer and Madonna too have reportedly expressed disgust at the video. And no it’s not just Jackson or just the issue of racism. For example, Reggae artist Beenie Man was raked over the coals for making disparaging comments about the gay community. He even had his video pulled from MTV and was yanked off of an MTV sponsored show. The same has yet to happen to m&m even thou he’s openly called gays very disparaging remarks that even a sorry-ass duet with Elton John can’t erase. The issue is fairness and equitable treatment. So far, MTV has refused to treat their prized “great white hype” in the way that they treat most other artists…who ‘just so happen’ to be black. Stay tuned. Full transcript of the segment: :nav Rivera Interview with Michael Jackson (Nov 11 2004) :camera Video -MJEOL

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