Is a Good Looking Jackson Shocking to the Media? – MJEOL Bullet #323

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Harriette Cole from Ebony Mag talks about Jackson on CNN + video
NOV 8 2007 – (mjeol) After seeing a few reports about Michael Jackson’s upcoming interview for {tag Ebony} magazine’s Dec 2007 issue to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Thriller”, it has become laughably obvious the media never intended to see a good looking Jackson on the cover. Many people who have seen photos from the upcoming Ebony issue have openly commented, sometimes in disbelief, about how "good", or "not crazy" Jackson looks.

Even the insults are, in a counterintuitive way, ridiculous but complimentary to Jackson; some insults say he looks ‘pretty’ by comparing him to some random female actress or whoever.

What’s funny is the admission — even wrapped in a hateful and smart-a$s insult — is that Jackson is pretty. Translation: he looks damn good and not like what we expected. But they can’t simply say that without insulting his manhood in someway.

It is often like pulling teeth to get a compliment about Jackson out of somebody who has made their way up the chain of connections and butt-kissing to actually get on the air. So complimentary commentary about anything Jackson related may be scarce.

As part of my observation about how the media in particular seem to be reacting to Jackson’s latest moves, I saw Ebony Magazine’s {tag Harriette Cole} interviewed by CNN in an interview shown today (Nov 8).

Cole talked about the new special edition of Ebony magazine celebrating the {tag 25th anniversary} of Jackson’s landmark album, {tag Thriller}. Guess what? It’s not all about how much money he has in his pockets or how he looks. It’s about … about… the music! Gasp!
Thriller remains an astoundingly popular piece of artistry which melded smooth R&B to Pop in such a groundbreaking way as to be influential to dang near all of the top stars today. It remains the best selling album of all time and a favorite on the dancefloor at clubs around the world. And don’t even get me started on what happens during Halloween each year!

Cole spoke about Jackson on the set of the photo shoot for the magazine and reveals that his youngest, 5 year old "{tag Blanket}" (Prince Michael II) was also onset with pop.

When asked about what seems to be the collective media’s disbelief that Jackson has supporters in the African-American community, Cole said, "We haven’t gotten word that people have rejected him. You know there certainly were questions. But there’s a lot more love I think than rejection."

I, for example, can concur with Cole’s statements based on the sheer number of people in the community here who are excited about the new issue, and those who don’t particularly care about Jackson’s personal life but are very curious about his music and how he creates it. Not to mention the number of people who simply love Thriller and want to know some behind the scenes info about it’s creation.

The interviewer tried to bring up controversial issues particularly concerning Jackson’s finances, but Cole didn’t bite. She said they didn’t talk about such issues, but did say they spent time around Jackson; particularly when he was with "Blanket".

"[Blanket] was there un-shrouded during the fitting and later during the interview. What was great was to see him with his child," Cole revealed. "He is a dad. He obviously has a good relationship with his son."

Cole also shared that the littlest Jackson was "very comfortable being around adults…"

Download Video to your PC (for subscription members)

After Cole’s interview was shown, there were a few backhanded insults from the two talking heads at CNN. However, their comments were nowhere near the worst I’ve heard thus far of media people who appear to be out of step with much of the public in relation to Jackson’s support.

Some of their media counterparts at other networks also appear not to understand why Jackson doesn’t look like he did on that infamous mug shot, or as my sister so aptly put it, "They want him to look like a bum on the street or a broke-down-pimp so they can laugh at him." This collective "they" can’t get over the fact that Jackson looks as good as he does.

Instead of just owning up to it, for example, one smart-a$s chucklehead over at Star Jones’ Court TV show yesterday (Nov 7) preferred to harp on Jackson’s skin color which is the result of a devastating skin disorder called vitiligo.

Jackson’s former doctors as well as attorney Thomas Mesereau have all publicly confirmed the fact that Jackson does have the disorder.

Mesereau, during a 2005 appearance at Harvard Law School where he spoke about the Jackson trial of 2005, talked about seeing the effects of vitiligo on Jackson’s body during his representation of the King of Pop:

MESEREAU: I never thought this jury would penalize Michael Jackson cause he has long hair; because he has a serious skin condition which I have witnessed. It’s called vitiligo. He has shown me his skin. If you look at the — his back, you will see brown patches and white patches. It’s changing and eating pigment in his skin. He’s very embarrassed with that. He chose to put white makeup on his face rather than have these splotches all over his face. That’s his choice. I don’t think it’s a crime to do that.
(see Mesereau Vid Webcast Part 2 Nov 29 2005)

Those like the tired, glorified chucklehead on Jones’s show –who by the way even stole a snide ‘only in America’ joke from somebody else and used it to insult Jackson –have no concept of what Jackson has had to deal with.

Moreover, isn’t it interesting how guys who don’t look like Shemar Moore, Denzel Washington or Brad Pitt make jokes about Jackson’s looks? Instead of whining and worrying about Jackson’s face, they need to worry about their own.

Still, for some of the bi+chy faux-"fabulous" reporters, every time they open their mouths about Jackson it makes me wonder if they looked into a mirror lately. I’m digressing here ….but not really.

Maybe there is a twinge of jealousy there? Or, dare I ask, is there a subconscious attraction to the ‘ethereally-pretty-despite-everything’ Jackson? Ha! Remember, he’s not supposed to look descent or pulled-together at all. But since he does, they have no choice but to fall back into talking about how he looked in 1982 in comparison to today.

Incredulity towards the idea of a regular Jackson was also expressed even from those who are supposed to have some semblance of journalistic integrity. Co-host of the Today show, Meredith Vieira, interviewed Cole on Nov 7 about the Jackson interview.

According to a write-up of the interview at MSNBC, Vieira, who probably has never spent more than 5 minutes in a room with Jackson, didn’t want to believe some of the observations relayed by Cole of Jackson.

From the article:

“From the time that I spent with him, what I got is that he’s a man,” Cole said. “He’s 49. He’s a grown-up. If you learn from your challenges, then you become stronger. He certainly seemed like that. His voice is a bit lower. He came across really as kind of normal.”

When Vieira expressed incredulity that the word could be used to describe Jackson, Cole replied, “Honestly, Meredith, he was normal.”
(see Magazine editor declares Michael Jackson ‘normal’)

Exactly who to believe? Someone who has actually spent time around Jackson, talked to him, and seen how he is with his kids? Or someone who hasn’t and doesn’t know anything about him?

The bottom line is that Jackson took bitter lemons and made lemonade despite a devastating skin disorder. The heart is still the same. The desire to create is still the same. Only the amount of crap he has to put up with has increased.

The media , spurred by a subsection of the public, need to get over the fact that they can’t dictate a definition of who Michael Jackson is; not even in their one-sided presentations of who he’s supposed to be, how he’s supposed to look now, or who is supposed to be supporting him.

Oh and one last thing: the brotha looks darn GOOD whether you want to admit it or not!


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