Debunking News Reports from Unnamed Sources – MB#301 What do you do when you hear a report claiming you were somehow involved in a conversation with an alleged raging Michael Jackson complaining about someone he knows? Well if you are Michael Jackson’s father, you release a statement correcting the record. Joe Jackson released a statement though his spokesperson, Angel Howansky, denying details which were spread in an apparently false report from NY Daily News reporter Michelle Caruso. The apparently erroneous article dated Feb 7 2006 claims that a “family source” says Michael Jackson called his father “in a rage to announce he was leaving Bahrain for good”. This conveniently unnamed alleged “source” also claims that Jackson “apparently had a falling out with Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa” without offering any proof of their claim. The statement from Joe Jackson reads as follows:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/08/06 Contrary to published reports, Mr. Joseph Jackson has not spoken to any reporters, either on or off the record, regarding Prince Abdulla and Michael Jackson and any reports to the contrary are erroneous. Angel Howansky Publicist

What gave the NY Daily News a basis to print this story is unknown. The rumor may have begun earlier than the NY Daily News report and could have been spread with an appearance of tabloid reporter Diane Dimond on a Jan 31 2006 Nancy (dis)Grace show. During that show, Dimond claimed the same thing, telling Grace’s audience the following:

DIMOND: …I think the big news tonight is he and the prince, who have been bankrolling his lifestyle, are not getting along too well, let’ put it that way. Several of my sources — some very close to Michael Jackson`s family – – say that the prince and Michael Jackson have sort of gone their separate ways. (see article)

There should be AT LEAST three important questions one should ask themselves when processing the truthfulness (or lack thereof) of these reports. The red flag should have been Dimond’s statement: “Several of my sources – some very close to Michael Jackson’s family…”. First, is it really believable that any trusted or close person to Jackson, who knows anything about his current or future plans, would be giving information to Dimond of all people? Her name is m-u-d in some circles. Second, why would the superstar call his father to complain about anything between him and Prince Abdullah? What would be the point? Third, is the underlying story – the alleged falling out with Abdullah – even true? It certainly doesn’t take much for some nutjob wanna-be insider with a grandiose notion of importance to pick up a phone and tell a Jackson-crackhead reporter a negative story. And with the necessity to either break or cause another Jackson scandal by some of these alleged reporters, all-things-Jackson are rarely checked out for their authenticity. The story repeated by the Daily News and their alleged “family source” seemed to have spurred Joe Jackson’s need to correct the record. But let’s get real here. The media should have slurped down enough “crow” to choke a whale by now. There have been a spate of erroneous Jackson reports after his full acquittal; everything from him selling both the ATV catalog and Neverland, to him recently being in Italy to sign a contract with the Vatican to sing prayers for the late Pope John Paul II. The latter story was discredited recently by Jackson spokesperson Raymone Bain who released the following:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Raymone K. Bain February 6, 2006 MICHAEL JACKSON NOT IN DISCUSSIONS REGARDING POPE JOHN PAUL II’S PRAYERS Washington, D.C. ….. Contrary to published reports in Italy, and the United States, Michael Jackson has not participated in any discussions with the Vatican, or Edizioni Musicali Terzo Millennio, an Italian music label specializing in religious songs, to record music to Pope John Paul II’s prayers. None of Mr. Jackson’s authorized representatives have contacted either the Vatican, or Edizioni Musicali Terzo Millennio, regarding this proposed project. Michael Jackson is unaware of this project, and news reports stating otherwise are completely erroneous. ### Source: Raymone K Bain

The general media should be tired of being wrong by now. It’s safe to say the public has grown weary of every unsubstantiated Jackson story being pushed as 100% truth by someone or some entity to get higher ratings, higher circulation or higher website traffic, only later to have that story debunked or to have nutjob’s prediction not come to pass. Hey, what was supposed to happen on Dec 20 2005 again? Uh, never mind. Even those who do not care one way or the other concerning the latest Jackson news don’t really believe the general media know what they’re talking about when it comes to Jackson. The comment I overhear most when something Jackson-related pops up on the news is “Leave the man alone” in between annoyed facial expressions and eye rolls. Other comments are more detailed; linking Jackson’s media attention to the hundreds of millions of dollars lost by some of these same entities – possibly in ‘Guilty’ specials with increased ad revenue, documentaries, articles, interviews with the accuser’s family, ETC. — as a result of Jackson being acquitted of all charges in the false molestation allegation trial of 2005. And so when there are a slew of ridiculous reports so eagerly snatched up by a subset of the media hungry for their next Jackson-fix, I can’t help but to roll my eyes as they continue to make a fool out of themselves. -MJEOL

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