Will Media Get Over Being Wrong about Jackson? – MB#320 Nov 15 2006 – With Michael Jackson tearing through the streets of London and causing total pandemonium, a few “news” agencies have taken it upon themselves to whine about whether the public will accept Jackson’s “comeback”. Let’s get real here: Jackson is currently being honored for his massive achievements by the World Music Awards, and is being recognized for the records he’s set by the Guinness Book of World records. He hasn’t released a new album today, or started a new tour. But already, at least two articles from Reuters, both by the same person, appear to be seeking to preemptively strike with negative comments about what Jackson is capable of achieving in his musical future. In one of the articles, curiously titled “Doubts surround Michael Jackson comeback bid”, dated today (Nov 15), author Mike Collett-White writes, “The media greeted the announcement with some unease, saying the gig could become a freak show” (see article ). First, who the hell cares about the media being at ease? Second, the “gig” is Jackson’s appearance at the World Music Awards. It’s not a concert. For those like Collett-White, who are apparently too slow-witted to get it, let me break it down. Jackson’s appearance at the World Music Awards was not a “comeback performance”. It was never meant to be one either, nor had Jackson ever promised it would be. Twice before the performances began at the World Music Awards, Jackson told reporters asking questions as he was entering the event that he was not performing. In the clip, you can make out Jackson saying “I’m receiving an award. It’s not a performance…”. Thus, anyone jumping on Jackson because of their own misunderstanding is being childish as hell. His appearance was part of his celebration of the achievements he’s made in his long running, and enormously successful career. But you would think it were supposed to be the kick-off a 50 city tour with his entire career riding on it judging by the way some in the media have chosen to dramatically report it. It’s ridiculous to expect something to occur – which was never meant to happen nor promised to happen in the first place – then get disappointed when it doesn’t take place. Its asinine for the media (and a few selfish Jackson bandwagon-fans) to criticize him for not doing something which he never promised to do in the first place. To be blunt, neither I nor the majority of regular people give two craps about the media’s specific opinion on Jackson anymore; especially after the generally atrocious coverage of that travesty of a trial last year. Certainly after Jackson’s total acquittal which followed the total decimation of the prosecution’s allegations in court, many observers felt misled by the media’s coverage. That first Collett-White piece included comments from a local tabloid, The Sun, under the guise citing it as a “top selling daily newspaper”, instead of calling it what it is. Then, there were the sketchy comments from at least one alleged “music expect” cited in Collett-White’s first article. He wrote: “Music expects agree that the man who brought us the moonwalk…will struggle to get anywhere near the heights he delivered in the 1980s”. The problem with the statement is that this isn’t the 1980s. There are light years of difference between the 1980s and the 21st century. Nobody can be as famous as they were in the 1980s…or so I thought before seeing images and video clips of the enormous attention Jackson generated from his latest appearances. Despite the attention, this is a totally different world with different technological advances. Collett-White’s statement was obviously a lame way to try to underestimate or downplay Jackson’s capabilities. It’s a cheap way to try to shore up the opinion journalist’s commentary. In Collett-White’s first article, he quotes the deputy editor of “Q music magazine”. No, I’ve never heard of the magazine either. But anyway, Mr. deputy editor, Gareth Grundy, looked into his crystal ball long enough to suggest that the allegations against Jackson have “stuck”. He says the screaming pandemonium generated by Jackson shouldn’t be confused with a “successful return to the top.” The problem with Grundy’s shallow interpretation is that if it were correct, nobody would bother coming to seem Jackson at all. There wouldn’t be hundreds of people camped outside his hotel hoping to get a glimpse of him. Nobody, including the picture hungry photogs, would give a flying flip about whatever Jackson was doing. More asinine comments from the know-nothing Grundy are as follows:

“I think people will always be fascinated by the freak show, and that’s what’s going on,” he said. “I would categorize him as a celebrity as opposed to an artist.”

Jackson has been called many things by many people. But to claim with a straight face that Jackson isn’t an artist is utterly absurd. The media are the ones who love to throw out the term “freak show” for their own financial benefit when it comes to Jackson. In this respect, they are light years behind the general public. The goal is to create controversy to get people to buy a paper…or to be quoted in a Jackson article to get free publicity for your magazine *cough* Grundy *cough*. __An embarrassed media__ If Collett-White’s previous comments weren’t embarrassing enough, later tonight (Nov 15) he released another article titled, “Michael Jackson’s partial comeback is not thriller” (see article). It makes one believe that he already came up with that title before Jackson stepped foot out on the stage. The second article is full of insults towards Jackson, which shows more about the disposition of the person writing it than it does to actually provide supportable facts that connect with the reader. At one point, Collett-White states dramatically, “The failure by the deposed King of Pop to demonstrate his voice and confidence…” Oh, cue the violins! Please! What is this? Part of a hackneyed drama? It’s not that serious! Again, it simply isn’t as dramatic as all that. Jackson’s intent seemed to have been to have fun and probably to show the world’s media what he’s been accomplishing while they were too obsessed with treating him like $hit, and continuously underestimating his popularity and musical prowess. Do I have any doubts about Jackson’s so-called “comeback bid?” Nope. But the World Music Awards was never meant to be that “comeback bid”. What I do have doubts about is whether the media will ever get over themselves long enough to see the reality staring them in the face. The sheer excitement created by Jackson BECAUSE OF HIS ABILITIES is why people of all ages were squealing with delight in the streets of London without him having to so much as sing a song. I would advise the ones who are forecasting his failure to remember that Jackson has always been underestimated…at least, by the media. Asinine proclamations like the ones from know-nothing “Mr. deputy-editor-Grundy” were said about Jackson before the release of damn near every solo album he’s ever made. I remember a time when nobody thought he was capable of topping the success of Off The Wall. Then came Thriller. Those types of doom forecasts were also said after 1993. Then came HIStory where Jackson became the first artist to debut a single at number one. The album has sold 30 million copies worldwide. I even remember when the media’s general consensus was that Jackson didn’t have any fans under the age of 30! HA! The media should be tired and embarrassed about being wrong concerning Jackson. Wasn’t the outcome of the 2005 false molestation allegation trial enough? The media no longer has control to make or break his career. In all honesty, I feel sort of embarrassed for those like Collett-White. Witnessing the events in London and the fuss being made over Jackson has got to be puzzling for those who can’t wrap their minds around why Jackson is still so popular. No matter how much those like Collett-White peevishly stomp and complain — or insult Jackson under the guise of being a reporter – the superstar’s musical acumen, factual innocence, and ability to draw people to him will always rise above the petty putdowns and shallow forecasts of doom. Jackson is the type of artist who continues to evolve and develop. He wouldn’t be nor should he become a hackneyed version of his 25-year-old self no matter how much the media cries out for it. The media had better get over themselves quickly. And that includes Collett-White or any other cry-baby complainer who finds fault with whatever Jackson does anyway. -MJEOL

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