Michael Jackson’s Primetime Interview with Diane Sawyer

PRIMETIME LIVE

June 14, 1995

(see also The Jackson Jive by Maureen Orth)

“The Get”[1]

When Diane Sawyer was lured from 60 Minutes to anchor PrimeTime Live, the new show enjoyed much success, due largely to Sawyer’s reputation. But as the news magazine format began to proliferate, PrimeTime began drowning in a flood of competition. By 1995, the year of the Jackson interview, the show had declined from 18 to 87 in overall ratings.

The timing couldn’t have been worse. Sawyer was in line to become the first solo female network-news anchor in the history of television, and ABC had just renewed her contract to the tune of $7 million. Continue reading

Is Michael Jackson a Pedophile?

March 3, 2005


by Jim Kouri, CPP


Okay. I’m crying uncle. The pressure is just too great. But I’m going to do this once and once only: I’m going to write about the Michael Jackson pedophile case. I’m going to write a column that will hopefully contribute to the discussion by informing the reader of facts not being discussed by the mainstream media.

But first, I have a question for the members of news media: where are the experts on pedophiles and child sex abuse who are paraded out whenever there’s a high-profile case such as the pedophile Catholic priests story? Where are the FBI profilers? The sociology and psychology professors? Where are the detectives who possess an expertise in sex crimes investigation?  I’ll tell you where they are. They’re MIA — missing in action. Where are the experts who are qualified to speak on the subject of themodus operandi of child sex offenders? MIA. It seems obvious that such details are absent from the coverage of the Michael Jackson trial.

As a cop, I investigated several sex crimes with victims who were children. Both pedophile and pederast cases (pedophiles victimize pre-pubescent kids, while pederasts prey on pubescent kids). In fact, one of the biggest cases of my career was in a New York City hospital where a 12-year old female patient was sexually abused by a hospital employee (the suspect got 20 years; I got a commendation). So I kind of speak from experience. My contribution to the discussion of Michael Jackson and the allegations of child molestation will be simple:

Here are the characteristics of child sex offenders from an article I wrote a couple of years back for The Chief of Police Magazine. You judge for yourself whether Michael Jackson fits the MO of a predator.

They:

* Are popular with children, teens and adults.

* Appear to be trustworthy and respectable.

* Have good standing in the community.

* Prefer the company of children and teens.

* Are mainly attracted to pre-pubescent boys and girls and can be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

* “Groom” children with quality time, video games, parties, toys, candy, gifts or money.

* Single out children who appear troubled and in need of attention or affection; children from dysfunctional families.

* Often date or marry women with children or have children who are the age of their preferred victims.

* Rarely force or coerce children into sexual contact; it’s usually done through trust and friendship.

In addition, physical contact is gradual, from touching and holding to sitting the child on the lap and kissing. They derive gratification in a number of ways. For some, looking is enough. For others taking pictures and watching children undress is enough. Still others require physical contact.

They find different ways and places to be alone with children; and are primarily male, better educated and more religious than the average person. Child sex abusers usually choose jobs that provide them with greater access to childen. Even if the pedophile has no children, his home is usually child-friendly with toys, books, video games, computers, bikes, swimming pool, rec room swing sets and other items to attract children into his home and to keep the children coming back. Usually the items reflect the preferred age of his victims.

The pedophile usually has no criminal record and deny they abuse children even after arrested, prosecuted, convicted, incarcerated and ordered into a sex offender therapy program. Pedophiles are often victims of childhood sexual abuse themselves, or they may have grown up in a dysfunctional home environment.

I rest my case.

Jim Kouri


Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s.   He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.  He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others.  He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc.  His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com.

Chat with Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler, the uncle of Jackson’s first accuser, discusses his (then) new book on Court TV, Sept. 17, 2004. We can gain some insight into his motives for writing the book, and debunk some fan myths while we are at it.

 

Court TV Host: Our guest, Raymond Chandler, the uncle of Michael Jackson’s first accuser, is here. As you may know, he was just on Both Sides, and he’s here to answer your questions now. Welcome, thanks for being our guest today.

Raymond Chandler: Thank you very much. Continue reading

Psychiatric Interview with Jordie Chandler

(October 6, 1993)

In October of 1993 Larry Feldman sent Jordie to New York to be interviewed by Dr. Richard Gardner, the nation’s leading authority on false claims of child abuse. More often than not Dr. Gardner appears as an expert witness for the defense.

Gardner put Jordie through a battery of psychological tests, written and oral, including a face to face interview.  What follows is a transcript of that interview.  Information appearing in brackets [ ] was added to aid in following the timeline of the book All That Glitters: The Crime and the Cover-up. Continue reading

Evan Chandler Phone Transcript With David Schwartz

In 1996, when Evan Chandler sued Jackson for breaching the confidentiality terms of their settlement, this transcript came to light. It was phone conversations secretly recorded by Jordan Chandler’s stepfather Dave Schwartz in 1993, at Jackson’s private investigator Anthony Pellicano’s behest. Portions of this conversation, taken out of context, are often used by fans to “prove” Evan Chandler was “extorting” Michael Jackson.

A full read shows rather a father who is concerned about his son, angry that he hasn’t been able to see Jordan for six weeks due to Jackson’t undue influence, and the pain at the loss of the close, co-operative friendship he had with his ex-wife June Chandler.

It’s a long read but well worth it when it comes to understanding Evan Chandler. Nothing has been left out.

Continue reading

Posterchild for the Future: Living with Michael Jackson

Throughout February 2003, the tabloids dug even deeper into their font suitcases to extra extra bold the recurring headline “Wacko Jacko.” After a global screening of the doubly famous and infamous documentary Living with Michael Jackson, which was put together by the Brit Martin Bashir, the unanimous media verdict could not possibly be snappier than the larger-than-life Jacko being cut down to size with the rhyming echo of Wacko. Upright commentators and moral agents of all denominations joined the wailing chorus to secure the King of Pop’s self-inflicted fall from grace, while devoted fans and sympathetic supporters lashed out at the prejudices and lies allegedly edited in and out by the royal dramatist Bashir, who once had a sniveling tête-à-tête with Princess Diana. Some voices even went as far as classifying the 90-minute kitsch fest, done with the full and knowing collaboration of Jackson, an elaborate suicide note from an unaware victim. Perhaps it was only appropriate, then, that legions of experts, in the form of psychologists and voice analysts, were unleashed upon the footage to extract an opinion on the truth. Quite predictably the mental trade labeled him a casebook case for arrested development, and an Australian outfit, using a method akin to a lie detector, revealed the recorded speech patterns to show stress levels indicative of deception in his voice; the meaning of pivotal words was “scientifically” turned around to nail high-pitched frequencies already subject to suspicion. [1] While cable and network programming was humming with that unmistakable freak show buzz, pressure was put on the proper authorities in Santa Barbara County, where Jackson lives, to take penal action against him for televised breaches of propriety. Doubting the criminality of his admissions, however, officials declined the public demand to make a case out of an example, due to a lack of evidence. Meanwhile in Britain, the frothing frenzy made it into the House of Commons, where Labor MP Helen Clark and Tory David Amess made a strong bipartisan stand on what they saw as unsuitable for broadcasting. Airing such views and practices as those of Mr. Jackson was, in their allotted stance of the most honorable proclamation, a dangerous endorsement that certainly merited condemnation from the highest body of public policy. [2] The King of Pop was by now a moral pauper, his rule a disgraced ruin of dubious glory. That Wacko Jacko decided to strike back and turn the postmodern tables with his own documentary on Bashir, flogged to the networks by a gay porn pundit to maintain the tabloid-friendly tenor of terror, will not concern us here. Nor will we dwell on the astounding figures that initially glued 15 million Brits (more than half the entire TV audience) and 27 million Americans to the screens for the first airing, saw millions of dollars change hands in return for rights, and subsequently demanded more than 20 hours of primetimeover a period of two weeks following February 6. [3] This postscript must rather address what exactly prompted this outrage and suspension of belief that preoccupied the global attention and exponentially multiplied search strings in Google almost instantly. Something fundamentally disturbing and collectively stirring was no doubt filtered through the airwaves to reverberate in the public domain.

Those not privy to the broadcasts may benefit from a brief TV guide to some of the most scandalous highlights: First of all, there was the wide-eyed admission that Jackson “slept” with children that were not biologically his own. Following the 1993 charge of sexual misconduct by J. Chandler, a case Jackson settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, the criminal investigation into the matter has remained open and, as the permanent-probation saying conjured by the media suggests, subject to new evidence. Hand in hand with one of his child protégés, 12-year-old Gavin, Jackson innocently confessed to sharing his bedroom with guests and tucking sleepovers in with hot milk and cookies. The slumber parties were described as very sweet and not sexual, with the millionaire idol, at age 44, dutifully taking up residence in a sleeping bag on the floor — after reading bedtime stories. Bashir was quite incredulous in his insinuating innuendos.

The interview segments concerning Jackson’s rather striking appearance superficially corroborated such skeptical charges coming from the edited voiceover. When confronted with questions about plastic surgery, he admitted some minor work on the nose (references to reconstructive surgery from an accident were edited out), while changes to the overall bone structure were explained as time taking its toll; the racial shift from black to white, the result of a medical affliction. Again, the words slipping through those finely sculpted lips seemed to insist on a different creation story, which did not quite match the tale put forward. Bashir sought the full disclosure of a middle-aged black man in the face that resembled, if anything, a white, slightly effeminate adolescent.

But instead of getting revelations and bravely halting, single-handedly, the invasion of the body snatchers, Bashir simply sunk further and further into a, for him, alarming fantasy that required a suspension of conviction and a confrontation of prejudice to make much sense. Next up was an explosion of the nuclear family, which at first had little coherence and disintegrated further into that genealogical tumbleweed of contractual marriages and surrogate mothers. After the two-year marriage to Lisa-Marie Presley was dissolved in 1996, Jackson married his nurse Deborah Rowe and had two children with her, both of which he helped deliver and the second of which he apparently rushed from the hospital upon exit from the womb — placenta dripping in his trail. (A beautiful image of nativity to rival any Christmas display.) The marriage ended in 1999, when Jackson assumed sole custody of Prince and Paris, a boy and a girl. Both appear, although masked in public, to be distinctly white in terms of features and pigmentation. During the filming of the documentary another infant, nicknamed “Blanket,” entered the dysfunctional family picture and this offspring was born by a surrogate mother, ostensibly black although the baby appears once more to be white, through artificial insemination of Jackson’s sperm. Bashir now incredulously wonders if his world of black and white has been turned completely upside down into some sort of colorblind meta-matter.

With the navigational bearings thus staked in a very circumspective fashion, the pairing of reason versus imagination set off to enjoy Las Vegas. Although one would think that this change of backdrop befits the Jackson narrative, the repartee takes another surreal turn on a multi-million dollar shopping spree in the Treasure Chamber, a prime piece of super-indulgent consumerism in the Egyptian-themed Luxor Hotel. Specializing in antiquities proper, genuinely not faux, the iconoclastic sales display of the ancient proved an irresistible trove for Jackson, who is seen pacing around and pointing to the shopping list without ever stopping to ponder the zeros ticking over on the tab. Finally at rest before a particularly fetching sarcophagus, filmed in a second segment the day after, he seems utterly perplexed and somewhat embarrassed by the inquiry into his own preferred burial rites, as the King of Pop. Anything like this golden coffin already proven fit for royalty? Further prodding breaks the pregnant pause of time and Jackson proclaims in a pre-pubescent voice that he wants to live forever, presumably in the vessel he is already molding. Bashir responds with the only subversion that may somehow coach Jackson back into the mortal coil — really?

Thus the prolonged interview is persistently like two vectors of time and space passing in the twilight. Bashir never recognizes the self-proclaimed Peter Pan, and Jackson never faces the middle aged black man he mirrors by birth. It is a dialectical battle between the virtual and the real where both quite successfully hold their own ground. Back home on the 2800-acre Neverland Ranch, where an entire amusement park is built in the backyard, the childhood fantasy literally comes alive to invigorate and reincarnate the aging child. These fun-filled acres are, of course and in effect, an enclave molded to the troubled psyche that happily rejoices in merry-go-rounds to orbit its own world and pays very handsomely for development and maintenance costs. There can be no psychological crime of arrested development here, only comparative spending to keep pace with a progress toward eternal immaturity. Neverland is like Jackson himself regressing toward this naive forever, a secret chamber of retreat spread across the fenced grounds. Visitors are therefore mischievously asked to individually sign a contract where they pledge to never ever tell a living soul what they are about to see and hear there. But this silencing, signed for on the dotted line, is of course mute in the exited eyes and ears of those embarking on this thrill ride, ready to scream. Even the most austere legal jargon of the outside world becomes the whispering of adolescent pacts inside the gates of Neverland; I’ll let you see if you promise not to tell. No wonder Jackson went into a tantrum of betrayal when Bashir knocked down the door to his juvenile paradise and let everyone in, with real-world preconceptions: he simply broke the naïve trust children live by. This bittersweet antagonism effectively built, and inexplicably balanced itself, over eight months of one childish star exposing an innocent world of beauty and one seasoned journalist revealing an undercover world of scandal. The outcry that followed those initial 90 minutes of Living with Michael Jackson essentially drove the virtual and real apart into an open conflict. But what was it, really, as Bashir always muttered with a question mark attached through intonation, that we saw and heard from the deepest secrets of Neverland (buried beyond the realm of show and tell) that prompted such an emotional turmoil of everything from sympathetic pity to righteous shock around the globe?

Let us examine the offending creature before us. He is a man that claims to be a child and subsequently adores children, as playmate equals and not subjects of authority. He is a gendered being that denies the sex of his organs and, seemingly, prefers an androgynous innocence to sexual difference — suggestively grabbing his groin only after doing some moon walking to fluently make it part of the same surreal act. He is racially ambiguous after switching from black to white, although there is apparently an uneven skin tone underneath the makeup covering the condition. He effectively denies having altered his appearance and argumentatively returns crude surgical biotech to the time-honored changes of evolution, resisting the visible entropy of both processes. He strongly aspires to be a father, but denies romanticized reproduction its innate role in the formation of the nuclear family and disciplining of the body, preferring instead the copulation of the test tube and the marriage of the legally binding contract. He confuses the idol with the icon and religiously grants himself eternal life, augmenting the argument with a mutant look (a soul searching for a body) and a voice straining terribly with the low vocal chords. He even releases a sycophantic album called HIStory, which breaks apart grand narratives in favor of personal idiosyncrasies, but does not, if truth be told, sell and badly flops into the bargain bin. Such a mantra of characteristics for the King of Pop could easily read like a Top 100. The extended point of its charting is to recognize the pattern developing: the quest for eternal immaturity; the absolutions found in technology; the science of biology as profoundly logical and desirable; the plasticity of identity; the eradication of sexual and racial difference; the flirtation with and seduction of the Other; and the apotheosis of one in many and many in one. This refrain is like a formulaic hit song for the future, with that catchy chorus of cyberspace. We have repeatedly heard it before yet long to hit repeat it again. But when faced with an actual documentary instead of an overproduced and slick music video, usually ahead of its time (Jackson’s trademark), we balk at the sights and sounds and go into global convulsions of outrage and disbelief, as if the world is suddenly poisoned by the grotesquely otherworldly without proper warning. What lie behind the gates of Neverland, however, is our contemporary dreams of the future; Jackson being nothing more or less, on that wobbly vector of infinity, than a cartoon version of cyberpunk, science his pixie dust.

In his book The Information Bomb, Paul Virilio describes modernity as the enamoring of immaturity. The process does ultimately not strive toward human progress. Instead it convincingly animates narratives like Alice in Wonderland, with her telescopic looking glass, and Peter Pan, a child vehemently trying to escape his future in the refuge of Neverland, as lifelike and vibrant, at an intimate remove, in cybernetic networks and technologies. Arrested development, Jackson’s alleged affliction, can thus not really be considered an irrational trespass, but rather the logical law of modern advancement. Drawing on the temporal compressions of speed, Virilio argues that the split-second relay flattens experience to the extent that technology awards instantly what time can only grant gradually, thereby refusing to wake up to the unfolding of life. Modernity is thus purposefully stuck in a refusal to grow up, preferring the illusions of the virtual to the reality of adulthood and death. According to Virilio’s parallel analysis of The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig, the generational gap results in a conflict that fears the process of becoming inhabited by children, bringing discipline and security to the table in order to control and curtail it. While children are, as we have heard so often as a moral prelude, the future, they are also part and parcel of the potential dangers it harbors. They must consequently be properly educated and forced into a state of dependency throughout their adult years. Through the constant rehashing of knowledge in learning institutions, we also have another intersecting layer of potential conflict in the substitution of old values as new values, effectively facilitating a reversal of the historical process. This brings Virilio to proclaim that: “Nietzsche was not a philosopher, nor Hitler a statesman. Both were, rather, the paranoid interpreters of the apocalyptic ultimatum of youth battling with the irreversibility of time…” [4] Nihilism, with its violent tendencies, is thus the infantile voice of youth casting off the ominous shadow of perpetual old age, already prehistoric at birth. To subdue and overturn this forceful urge, it is channeled into the hybridization and leveling of the ages, where every TV dinner, suitable for those unable to feed themselves, has the sugary and fatty flavor of a Happy Meal, and the techno hub of a SONY Playstation posits all players as equal partners. Through such cycles, reproduction inevitably also turns toward pedophilia in erasure of the same limits (with a constantly lowered age of sexual consent and stories of 9-year-old girls getting pregnant), and a multi-billion-dollar pleasure industry arises to assure us that sex is the greatest game of all, our body just another toy. It is in this juvenile ecstasy of the modern that we must locate the progeny of the future and initially ponder why a man, who just wants to be a boy, is apparently powerless to profess his innocence and relinquish his sexuality, despite assurances everywhere that he can and must.

Jackson, in what has become an overstated fact, never had a childhood. He was the shooting star of an entertainment industry that sparkled with every growth burst — and faded into the startling King of Pop to make every parental wish initially poured upon this starstruck trajectory come true. Except, as every celebrity psychologist has insipidly argued, his instinctive desire for infancy, which turned into the adulterated nightmare now playing. Following those beaten clinical paths toward maturity, the standard diagnosis sees Jackson filling in the gaps of development that he has, through the coercion of his homegrown talent, been denied with abhorrently abnormal results: childhood can never seem natural for those that have physically outgrown it. But this astute assessment, with its pathological insights, rather seeks to once more deny the full-grown child its will to inhabit the future, shape its own destiny and break away from the zombie surrogates of the virtual and real that are playfully staging the permanently immature by mirroring the old rules in a new game. Maybe Jackson is simply the prototype of a new juvenile delinquent — unabashedly and irresponsibly laughing in the face of a patent violence — for the prenatal posthuman age? At the close documentary quarters of Neverland, the modern craving for immaturity in the virtual womb is conceivably translated into a clandestine look at things to come, an ultrasonic peek-a-boo at the highly mutable self and its unsettled relations with Others.

Since Stelarc got hooked on the biomech that developed into biotech and morphed into another bio-logic, now with a genetic suffix, we have heard and rather crudely seen, with futuristically glazed eyes, that the body is inadequate and obsolete. It is merely a defunct prosthetic of a superior mind. But the metal arm that wrote EVOLUTION after dictation from its organic counterpart (a defining Stelarc moment) never really made much of an appearance beyond the many theoretical amalgams with a bright alloy shine. Sure, there were goggles and gloves to equip the budding cybernetic organism, but all that waving inside the pixel parade did not quite display the super powers strutted in sexy mixes like those of the comic heroes X-Men. Strapping the game console to the senses never quite made the first cut as far as metal and flesh goes. But then, adversely of course, there were those that immediately broke the test tube and called us cyborgs from the outset, due to our overt reliance on tools and aides made of matter other than tissue. Bad eyesight plus glasses equals a cyborg they argued. This split personality of the cyborg has continued to pivot around the same mortal coils and data stacks.

N. Katherine Hayles, for example, makes a compelling case in How We became Posthuman for how traditional Western notions of human identity have gone from incorporating views of disembodied information, the uploaded brain syndrome, toward reconciling this vision with material embodiments in what then qualifies as human and information symbionts. [5] Recognizing that all information must indeed have a presence to exist, which on second thought (not confused with the heady spinning of a hyperspace hard drive) seems quite logical, she foresees a growing symbiosis between the forms of information and the shape of the body. The futuristic point, in her view, is to argue for the best size and fit.

Someone like Ollivier Dyens, on the other hand (if we are indeed still left with two), appears more inclined to give information the upper hand in a scenario where culture and technology dominate biology with an iron fist to perform a transformation of the body. It leads him to exclaim rather apocalyptically, with inverse positive terms if one so prefers, that: “The cyborg is nothing but a fusion between biology and culture, and, as such, it marks the end of living beings as defined by our current conceptions. The cyborg is a semantic transformation of the body; it is a living being whose identity, history, and presence are formulated by technology and defined by culture. It is a body free of dualities, guilt, sexual repression, and frustration…The cyborg is a sexless living being, man, woman, and machine all at once. The cyborg is the obliteration of the biological.” [6] This legendary being, which is optimistically given the adjective living, breeds an implosion of opposites into a powerful — textual and tactile — nucleus of culture and technology, which bears more than a passing resemblance, in the evolutionary sense of a strictly logical time, to the constantly decomposing yet perennially youthful Jackson countenance. Out of synch with time and dualistic nature, it is a composite that revels in reversals and suppresses the trace of any transformation to erase its haunting twin.

Without embarking on the entire anthropological journey of body modifications, it should be clear that the cyborg is not exactly a new ticket to how cultures and beliefs interact with the bodily subject closest at hand and to heart. The plasticity of surgery has been around for decades, and Tinseltown, from which Jackson hails, has been obsessed with keeping up timeless photogenic appearances to booster a sanctified image well into the shrunken golden years. It is equally clear that the practice appeals to the identity politics of an image culture that applauds the flawless and airbrushes away specks and blemishes. One is defined by this projected image of oneself, and through an identification with the body, which perpetually revolves around the divisive symbiosis of the index (the Cartesian split resolved through revolution), the plastic aspects of its appearance become subject to surgery; the incestuous drive to modify and repair takes hold. The goal is to reconcile the informational model and mould with the body and thereby erect the proverbial temple adhered to by those aspiring to be the most healthy and fit, whatever the procedure and cost. [7]

The latest trend here is the less intrusive Botox (a trade name for Botulinum Toxin Type A) treatment. By locally injecting a neurotoxin directly into muscle fibers with a syringe, the nerves are temporarily weakened for a period of up to six months. The result is a mask of deadened tissue that is unable to move, and therefore wrinkle; suspended death has effectively become the chic of a society rejuvenated by toxins. But this evolution of the facial expressions, which would have prompted Charles Darwin to ponder his 1872 treatise Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals with a less happy and sad postscript, is already rather trivially transformed from plastic surgery to cosmetic surgery, poison being just another accessory in the make-up kit. The blurring plasticity of the body is thus furthered and simultaneously halted in an induced state of controlled rigor mortis, installing a matter of fact. This accurately recalls, once more, the semantic transformation of the body in the hands on technology and culture. However, the instrumental desire of plastic surgery has already sought to escape its synthetic, and by inference false, roots in the works of Professor G¸nter von Hagens. Most famed for his Body Worlds exhibit touring the scientific sideshow circuit for the last few years, he uses a process aptly named plastination to drain the body of fluids and fill its porous cavities with polymer resin. [8] Through this robust overkill by compounds, the body literally hardens to plastic and smothers both wrinkles and death in one bloated appearance filled with the tantalizingly lifelike forever.

We are starting to fully see the contours of Jackson’s persona here in light of constructive surgery and his expressed modernistic will to beat the inertia wheel with immature carousels. But he appears to have crossed that fateful border beyond upgrading and fallen into horrifying decline instead. Hence the shock and horror does not address his process but the product, installing a fear that the body will in the end betray the many incisions of the cultural. As is the case with Jackson’s delicate nose, it will cut off the blood supply and cause permanent mortifying damage to the crafted tissue. What we identify in this face is a vanishing threshold of technological progress, where the quest for improvement has turned around and started to falter. Not that his expression, per se, is other than benign, or that it truly resembles a fictional monster of extremes — all his doctors are probably found in the Yellow Pages, not in some Transylvanian castle. His transformative pursuit is rather so close to upper class Botox parties and grimy high street body sculpting cum tattoo parlors that only a price tag sets them apart. Unlike the wealthy New York socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein, for example, who has undergone extensive work (which she, incidentally, denies) to put some feline into the female, Jackson has stayed within the sheltering shadow of the human. Wildenstein has tried to jump columns in the Linnean taxonomy by surgically emulating a cat, both with apparent success and not without a hint of mockery for the upgrade curve of the cyborg. Only inspiration from an ape might possibly have been less flattering for the evolution applied to this look. Someone much closer to Jackson in spiritually, and hence in flesh, would be the French artist Orlan. During the 1990s she underwent several plastic surgeries, billed and choreographed as performances that aimed to profile her face into ideal shapes lifted from cultural norms on beauty. Today she has the forehead of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the chin of Botticelli’s Venus, or rather the flesh painting of these pictorial icons. To finance this costly endeavor, everything from her surplus body parts to less controversial merchandise was made available for sale, turning Orlan into a commodity whose name will, once the process is complete, be substituted with another brand by an advertising agency. Citing and in the same instance offending conservative religious and psychoanalytical views that the body be left alone and the spirit elevated, she does a fine cut and paste job that fuses ideals with technology and embarks on a journey that she herself intends to be nothing but shocking, the goal ultimately unattainable. Two paths obviously collide here with the same iconic objective: Orlan picking features to assemble the ultimate mosaic of beauty, Jackson rearranging his assets to complete the psychic puzzle of identity. Both are equally the celebrated products of the popular imagination and they are both peaking at the demographic pinnacle of the average, as uniquely different in their top-of-the-class, head-of-the-curve pursuits. The horror, the horror that is mirrored, however, reflects the avowed path of progress getting off track and out of control, perhaps speeding too fast, too soon.

The convulsions of this momentum are rekindled in the many other dichotomies taking a fall, in that very biblical sense, with Jackson. Links and boundaries between race and age and sexuality are mingled and mangled beyond puritan recognition, devoid of all common decency according to the righteous gasp of the public. Once we thought eugenics had vanished on the progressive horizon, James Watson, Nobel Laureate and co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, publicly made speculative conjunctures between melanin and sexuality. Melanin is responsible for skin pigmentation, and it was in one study conducted for cancer prevention research found to cause sexual arousal in male patients injected with increased levels. [9] Ergo, Watson argued in his contentious lecture, we have Latin lovers and English patients. As the Human Genome Project progresses amidst fears that cultural and behavioral concerns will be factored into information biology, and just as a surprisingly uniform gene bank is erasing race as a valued category, the assertion grounded in proof that does not meet scientific standards simply served to invoke prejudicial conceptions of the black libido. Recalling the savage attraction and titillation of the nineteenth-century Hottentot Venus, dimly associative bonds were drawn between chemical and genetic make ups and sexually motivated behavior, black then being the predatory color of uncontrollable urges. Imagine, then, the once-upon-a-time of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and the Neverland fairytale. This is the black man camouflaged in a white boy’s body to deviously lure the innocent with simulation. But thanks to the biological thumbprint of data and the graphic traces of a morphing timeline, the anomalous creature is ceremoniously unveiled and identified as a hybrid animal instinctively ready to pounce. All the work done on the transposition of identity, echoed in the hyperbolic talk of aliases in cyberspace, appears to have vanished in the face of a deeper and better informed determinism that accepts nothing at face value, unless it is backed up by data. No matter what his intentions, regardless of his guilt, there is a profile attached to Jackson that looks at the pedophilic assimilation of the Other, by itself a deeply sexual act driven by the immature desire of modernity, couples it with a genetic silhouette steeped in racial prejudice, and passes a sentence of misleading deception on all counts, a betrayal based on appearances we now know to be otherwise. We would be well advised, however, not to confuse this stripped identity with an about-face turning the future on its head, puncturing the virtual with the real and finally exposing an inappropriate thought to its deformed body, metaphysics standing naked before us. It is on the contrary an indication that Jackson has slowly come of age and entered the imperceptible slipstream of time that moves at a pace humans can tolerate without panicking. His face, awfully scarred by modernity, is now the postmodern Cro-Magnon of the networked information society, merely a plastic bronze preceding the interminable data flows.

As the festooned gates to Neverland close behind us, we are also leaving the shock of the future behind as we once found it to be. Modernity has reached another chapter in the evolving fairytale and has, ecstatically incomplete, expanded the horizon of happily ever after. Once upon a time once more belongs to those vast vanishing reaches, as an image and an imagination slowly slide over the curvature of the Earth. What is most striking about this passing appearance is how the blueprint of modernity, from which Jackson is so haphazardly yet candidly constructed, remains attractive and instructive despite its rather obvious entropy. The evident patchwork of destructive effects that caused this public uproar was quickly reduced to an isolated anomaly and normality was restored at the apex of popular culture — chart positions are now slipping, record sales are dwindling, we are told. Subtracting black and adding white, romancing the pedophilic self, and harnessing the power of the Other apparently only mixes the copyrighted soundtrack of let there be light for another, grossly distorted world. Our horror over Jackson stems, and let this be his premature epitaph to keep with the theme of staying ahead of time, from the impractical recognition that he may be the ultimate conformist to our way of life and the foremost balancing act of the heavens today. The moral anger, spewing over from his supposed corruption of values and children, emanates partly from our visit to the furtive Neverland, which turned the modern dream of the future into the twinkling halo of a Disney theme park. Forever may thus have turned out to be the molester’s candy after all.

Notes

[1] Jacki Quist, “Experts React to Jacko,” http://todaytonight.com.au/stories/487123.html.

[2] BBC News, “MPs Attack Jackson Documentary,” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2748259.stm.

[3] Bill Carter, “Networks Scramble for Anything Jackson,” New York Times, February 14, 2003, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/14/business/media/14JACK.html?ex=1045890000&en=269f7f05bd628722&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE.

[4] Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb (London: Verso, 2000), p. 98.

[5] N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press 1999).

[6] Ollivier Dyens, Metal and Flesh: The Evolution of Man: Technology Takes Over (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001), pp. 82-83.

[7] See also the following essay: Jean Baudrillard, “Plastic Surgery for the Other,” Ctheory, http://www.ctheory.net/text_file.asp?pick=75.

[8] Andy Miah, “Dead Bodies for the Masses: The British Public Autopsy & The Aftermath,” Ctheory, http://www.ctheory.net/text_file.asp?pick=363.

[9] Michelle Locke, “Sex and Sunshine: Nobel Laureate Links Skin Color and Sex Drive,” http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/sunshine001124.html.

Are Flågan engages in a multitude of fields and practices that usually end up passing through a computer. He received an MFA from the University of New Mexico and has contributed to several publications internationally. On April 26, 2003, his curatorial, research and design project entitled Transcodex will open online and onsite at Boston University in conjunction with the biannual Boston Cyberarts Festival.

P.R. Muscle

Dish is a book by Jeannette Walls released in January 2001.

Dish-9781559275774Promotional text for the book reads “Gossip. It’s more than just hearsay. society columns, and supermarket tabloids. It has, like it or not, become a mainstay of American pop culture. In Dish, industry insider Jeannette Walls gives this provocative subject its due, offering a comprehensive, serious exploration of gossip and its social, historical, and political significance. Examining the topic from the inside out, Walls looks at the players; the origins of gossip, from birth of People magazine to the death of Lady Di; and how technology including the Internet will continue to change the face gossip. As compelling and seductive as its subject matter, Dish brilliantly reveals the fascinating inner workings of a phenomenon that is definitely here to stay.”

This chapter – P.R. Muscle – primarily details how Michael Jackson and his advisers  dealt with the 1993 molestation allegations and how Anthony Pellicano spun the story to “extortion”.

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are original footnotes from the book. I have added a few explanatory notes in the format (Note:)

I’ve also added a few links where things might have needed expanding or explaining.


Private Investigator Anthony Pellicano was on the Dangerous tour in Bangkok with Michael Jackson when he got the call: police had raided Neverland, the singer’s 2, 700-acre ranch; they had a search warrant; they brought in a locksmith; they seized videotapes and photographs. This is trouble, Pellicano knew, but then again, trouble was Pellicano’s business.

It was Sunday, August 22, 1993, still before dawn in California, but Pellicano telephoned criminal lawyer Howard Weitzman in Los Angeles anyway. “Wake up,” Pellicano told Weitzman. They had a lot of work to do. Continue reading

Excerpts from Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley

Child_Bride_The_Untold_Story_of_Priscilla_Beaulieu_PresleyBelow are excerpts from Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley by Suzanne Finstad. Suzanne attempts to make the case that Lisa Marie Presley pursued Michael Jackson, rather than the other way around. This is a plausible scenario if you believe other accounts of LMP being the kind of person who feels sorry for “fallen” others and attempts to rehabilitate them.

I’d like to read a lot more before  I make up my mind. Continue reading

Michael Jackson, if you love children so much, where are the girls?

From Miss America by Howard Stern, 1995.

CHAPTER 2

MICHAEL JACKSON, IF YOU LOVE CHILDREN SO MUCH, WHERE ARE THE GIRLS?

And now the story I refused to talk about on the air: my meeting with Michael Jackson.

Why did I keep my lips sealed about this top secret tete-a-tete?

Did I remain in silence because I will never betray the confidences of high-level executives who swear me to secrecy?

Do I have a set of ethics that forbids me from opening my mouth when someone asks me to please keep things confidential? Continue reading

Michael Jackson, Lisa Marie Presley interview with Diane Sawyer Transcript

Diane Sawyer: And with me of course, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Welcome to Prime Time.
Michael: Thank you.
Diane: Glad you’re here. It occurs to me, looking at the two of you, I have got to start by asking how this marriage took place, how it began. Let me guess it wasn’t over miniature golf and a…a hot dog or something. When did it start? What was the dating?
Michael: Well, we first met, she was seven years old and I was seventeen. This was in Las Vegas. She used to come and see my show. We had the only family show on the strip – the Jackson 5. And um, she used to some as a little girl and sit right up front. She came quite often. She came with a lot of bodyguards and…
Diane: Had you stayed in touch with her?
Michael: Sure, sure. And then she’d come backstage and then I’d, you know, talk and say hi and then she’d come again. And I thought she was sweet and loving and I hoped I…I always hoped I’d see her again.
Diane: And who first talked about marriage?
Lisa: We didn’t stay in touch after that.
Michael: We didn’t stay in touch after that, no.
Lisa: He…he…go ahead, you wanna say it. Go ahead.
Michael: No you can. You can. You have a good memory.
Lisa: Well you said you were going to say it.
Diane: Our first argument here, um, this hour. Um, who proposed? I mean how did marriage actually get discussed?
Michael: Well, well at first this is what happened. When she was eighteen I used to tell my lawyer John Branca, do you know Lisa Marie Presley ’cause I think she’s really cute. And he’d laugh every time. He goes, “I’ll try my best”, that’s what he’d say. Then he’d come back and I’d say “well did you find out?” He’d say “no, there’s nothing”. So I would worry him about this all the time. The next thing I noticed, there was a picture on a magazine cover where she’s married, which really tore me to pieces because I felt that was supposed to be me, I really did.
Diane: And what, what was the countdown to your marriage? Tell me, who said the word marriage first?

Michael: I did.
Lisa: He did.
Diane: When? Where?
Michael: When? Where?
Lisa: On the telephone.
Michael: Oh yeah, oh yeah on the telephone.
Lisa: He first asked me…We were going out four months, um…right? Four months?
Michael: I don’t remember.
Lisa: Yeah, anyway we were spending a lot of time together. I don’t know how it didn’t manage to get in the press, because we weren’t hiding it. I was in Las Vegas, we were in…everywhere.
Michael: We were everywhere.
Lisa: Everywhere.
Michael: We went to bookstores…
Lisa: To bookstores. We were not hiding it.
Diane: And you said yes right away?
Lisa: I was separated for four months and I said…he said what would you do id I asked you to marry me? And I said I would. Um…
Michael: A big I would. You were really enthusiastic! (laughing)
Diane: I have to ask you this, because I can only imagine there a number of lawyers involved in a prenuptual agreement between these two – fortunes. Is there one? A careful one?
Michael: Well we’ve worked out things and we’ve signed things but, of course, that’s very confidential.
Lisa: We agreed…we made agreements prior, yes.
Diane: As you know, the reaction to this marriage – and I know you feel strongly about it – but the reaction to this marriage has been across the spectrum. Everything from astonishment, to delight, to suspicion. That it was somehow too convenient. Lisa did you ask Michael about the charges? Did the two of you think about the impact, of the marriage on the allegations?
Lisa: Absolutely not. He called…I was in touch with him through the whole process of this – charges going on. I was talking to him when he disapeared. I was actually supposed to go to Santa Juan Puerto Rico when he left and disapeared, and I got a call that he wasn’t going to be there and I was actually a part of the whole thing with him, by talking to him on the phone, so…
Diane: Did you say to him, are they true?
Lisa: No I didn’t. No…I actually did not.
Diane: I want to take a minute here, and I’m gonna come back to the marriage…
Lisa: Could I just…sorry. He, he went on and on and on about it, so I didn’t really have to say “Are the allegations true?” It was “Aaaarrrgh!” on the phone, you know, and…
Diane: Over and over.
Lisa: Just constant…yeah.
Diane: (turning towards Michael) Well, because I know that you’ve wanted to express similar sentiments for a long time, I want to ask you a few things about the charges. But first I want to establish for the viewers here that there are no ground rules. You have said to me that you are not afraid of any questions. So, I wanted that to be understood by everyone before we proceed. I think I want to begin by making sure that the terms are clear. You have said that you would never harm a child. I want to be as specific as I can. Did you ever, as this boy said you did, did you ever sexually engage, fondle, have sexual contact with this child, or any other child?
Michael: Never ever. I could never harm a child, or anyone. It’s not in my heart, it’s not who I am, and it’s not what I’m…I’m not even interested in that.
Diane: And what do you think should be done to someone who does that?
Michael: To someone who does that? What I think should be done? Gee…I think they need help…in some kind of way…you know.
Diane: How about the police photographs though? How was there enough information from this boy about those kinds of things?
Michael: The police photographs?
Diane: The police photographs.
Michael: That they took of me?
Diane: Yeah.
Michael: There was nothing that matched me to those charges. There was nothing.
Lisa: There was nothing they could connect to him.
Michael: That’s why I’m sitting here talking to you today. There was not one iota of information that they found, that could connect me…
Diane: So when we heard the charges…
Michael: There was nothing…
Diane: …markings of some kind?
Michael: No markings.
Diane: No markings?
Michael: No.
Diane: Why did you settle the…
Michael: Why am I still here then?
Lisa: You’re not going to ask me about them are you? (laughs) About the markings. (laughs)
Diane: If you volunteered…
Lisa: No, I’m just…The point is, is that when that finally got concluded there was no match-up. It was printed this big, as opposed to how big it was, what the match-up was supposed to be.
Michael: Because it isn’t so!
Diane: Why did you settle the case then?
Michael: The whole thing is a lie.
Diane: Why did you settle the case, and, and it looks to everyone as if you paid a huge amount of money…
Michael: That’s…that’s…most of that’s folklore. I talked to my lawyers and I said, Can you guarantee me that justice will prevail? and they said, Michael we cannot guarantee you that a judge or a jury will do anything. And with that I was like catatonic. I was outraged…
Diane: How much money…
Michael: Totally outraged. So what I said…I have got to do something to get out from uinder this nightmare. All these lies and all these people coming forth to get paid and all these tabloid shows, just lies, lies, lies. So what I did – we got together again with my advisors and they advised me, it was hands down, a unanimous decision – resolve the case. This could be something that could go on for seven years.
Diane:How much money was…
Michael: We said let’s get it behind us.
Diane: Can you say how much?
Michael: It’s not what the tabloids have printed. It’s not all this crazy outlandish money, no, it’s not at all. I mean, the terms of the agreement are very confidential.
Diane: I want to ask…
Lisa: He’s been barred to discuss it. The, the…
Diane: The specific terms?
Lisa: The specific terms.
Diane: Of the agreement.
Lisa: The specific amounts.
Michael: The idea…it just isn’t fair…what they put me through. ‘Cause there wasn’t one piece of information that says I did this. And anyway, they turned my room upside-down, went through all my books, all my videotapes, all my private things and they found nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing that could say Michael Jackson did this. Nothing!
Diane: But let me ask you a couple of questions…
Michael: To this day nothing. Still, nothing…
Diane: Let me ask you…
Michael: …nothing, nothing, nothing!
Diane: Nothing. We got nothing. As you may or may not know, we have called everyone we can call. We have checked everything we can check, we have gone and tried to see if what we heard before is in fact the case…I want to ask you about two things. These reports that we read over and over again, that in your room they found photographs of young boys…
Michael: Not of young boys, of children, all kinds of girls and…everything.
Diane: And that they found photographs…books, of young boys who were undressed.
Michael: No.
Diane: It didn’t happen?
Michael: No, not that I know of – unless people sent me things that I haven’t opened – People send, people know my love for children, so they send me books from all over the world. From South America, from Germany, from Sweden. I…
Diane: So people say that, that they found these things, that there’s an indication…let them come forward…Let them produce them, right?
Michael: Yeah. Because I get all…I get all kinds…you wouldn’t believe the amounts of mail that I get. If you say to somebody, you know, if I let the fans know that I love Charlie Chaplin, I’ll be swarmed in Charlie Chaplin paraphanalia.
Diane: What about…
Michael: …If I say I love children, which I do, they swarm me with everything pertaining to kids.
Diane: Any other settlements in process now or previously with children making these kinds of claims. We have heard that there is one…not, not a case that the prosecutors would bring in court…
Michael: No.
Diane: …but, but once again you’re taling about settling out…
Michael: No. That’s not true. No. It’s not true. I think, I’ve heard everything is fine, and there are no others.
Diane: I guess…let me ask this, and I’m trying to think of how to phrase it though. I can hear out in the counrty…people saying…and you’ve been cleared of all the charges. I want to make that clear. People saying, look, here is a man who is surrounded by things that children love. Here is a man who spends an inodrinate amount of time with these young boys…
Michael: That’s right.
Diane: …What is a thirty-six year old man doing, sleeping, with a twelve year old boy? Or a series of them?
Michael: Right. Okay, when you say “boys”, it’s not just boys and I’ve never invited just “boys” to come in my room. C’mon that’s just ridiculous. And that’s a ridiculous question. But since people want to hear it, you know, the answer…I’ll be happy to answer it. I have never invited anyone into my bed, ever. Children love me, I love them. They follow me, they want to be with me. But…anybody can come in my bed, a child can come in my bed if they want.
Lisa: I can say…I can, I can say…sorry. I’ve seen this. I’ve seen it a lot. I’ve seen kids. I’ve seen him with children in the past year. I’ve seen it enough to where I can see how that can happen. It’s, you know,…I understand.
Diane: Isn’t part of being an adult…and you have a two year old child…a two year old boy…
Michael: (to Lisa) Don’t you want to finish?
Lisa: (to Michael) Huh?
Lisa:Yeah. Lemme just, let me just…sorry.
Diane: Okay.
Lisa: I, I just wanted to say I’ve seen these children. They don’t let him go to the bathroom without running in there with him. And they won’t let him out of their sight. So when he jumps in the bed, I’m even out. You know, they, they jump in the bed with him.
Diane: But isn’t part of being an adult…and loving children, keeping children from ambiguous situations? And agin we’re talking about over an intense period of time here. Would you, let your son when he grows up and is twelve years old do that?
Lisa: You know what, if I…didn’t know Michael…no way. But I happen to know who he is, and what he is. And that makes it, you know, I know that he is not like that and I know he has a thing for children and I…go ahead, sorry.
Diane: I just want to…is it over? Are you gonna make sure it doesn’t happen again? I think, this is really the key thing people want to know.
Michael: Is what over?
Diane: That, that there are not going to be more of these sleepovers in which people have to wonder.
Michael: Nobody wonders when kids sleep over at my house. Nobody wonders.
Diane: But are they over? Are you…are you going to watch out for it now?
Michael: Watch out for what?
Diane: For the sake of the children, and for, everything you’ve been through.
Michael: No, ’cause it’s all…it’s all moral and it’s all pure. I don’t even think that way. It’s not what’s in my heart.
Diane: So you’ll…you’ll do it again?
Michael: I would never ever…Do what again?
Diane: I mean you’ll have a child sleeping over.
Michael: Of course! If they want.
Lisa: He has…
Michael: It’s on the level of purity, love and just innocence. Complete innocence. If you’re talking about sex then that’s a nut. That’s not me. Go to the guy down the street ’cause it’s not Michael Jackson. It’s not what I’m interested in.
Diane: Okay, we’re going to take a break now. When we come back Elizabeth Taylor talked to us a little bit about what she saw when she went over…and talked to you in the middle of this, and helped you get treatment for…
Michael: Oh wow…
Diane: …addiction to painkillers.
Michael: …Elizabeth is on the show.
Diane: When we come back.
(Commercial break)
Diane: As we said Elizabeth Taylor is going to talk a bit about when she came over to see you in the middle of this, what she called agony. And one of the things she was so…I think she was so angry with us, was that she said that people always talk about…one side of a person, they never give them credit for their accomplishments.
Michael: That’s right.
Diane: Particularly what they give to children and the money you give to children…that’s how is starts.
(clip of an interview previously given by Elizabeth Taylor):
Elizabeth: When he’s on tour he goes to hospitals without the press following him. Without anyone knowing. He’ll get up in a disguise and do it. Take his diguise off when he’s there and kids know, “Wow! It’s Michael Jackson.”
Diane: Was there no point at which you said to yourself…reading everything everybody had been reading…”maybe this is true, maybe I completely didn’t understand who he was”.
Elizabeth: No way. Absolutely not.
Diane: Never?
Elizabeth: Never. I know Michael’s heart. I know his mind and his soul. I’m…not that insensitive. Especially to him, or people I love.
Diane: How did you decide to go to Singapore?

Elizabeth: He was my friend. He was alone. He was totally alone. And he just…he needed help. Nothing in the world could have hurt him more. If it had been calculated. If they’d planned an assassination, they couldn’t have done it any better. It almost…it almost broke his heart.
Diane: (voice over) She said she recognised a friend turning to painkillers for escape.
Elizabeth: He wasn’t aware of what was happening. He was dulling his pain. But, it really frightened me because I have been there and I know how easy it is to get there when you’re in mental, or physical pain.
Diane: And…he knew right away that he had to…deal with it, to…
Elizabeth: Not right away. Not right away…but he knew.
(end of clip)
Diane: There were some reports during this period, Michael, that it was…such agony for you that you were actually suicidal. Is that true?
Michael: I was never suicidal. I love life too much to ever be suicidal. I’m resiliant. I have rhinocerous skin. Never, ever suicidal.
Diane: Did it leave you, though…
Michael: Heartbroken, but not suicidal.
Diane: Did it leave you changed, completely? I…I’ve talked to you a little bit about where you’re thinking about where you want to live…in the world. Did it change your view about living here? Are you thinking about living someplace else?
Michael: I don’t care to stay in America anymore, no…I, I don’t care…I will always have Neverland, you know, ’cause I love Neverland. I don’t like…I’m very sensitive to the smog. You know. so I can’t have the smog. And uh, I would like to go abroad. Matter of fact I am.
Diane: You are?
Michael: Yes.
Diane: Where?
Michael: Oooh, I haven’t decided the exact place yet. Probably South Africa, maybe.
Diane: To live permanently?
Michael: Maybe, uh, Switzerland.
Diane: Lisa, are you in favour of it?
Lisa: Can we just change…wait, just go into the fact that we don’t live in separate houses for…to start this with…
Michael: Yeah. We don’t live in separate…this is just…
Lisa: …It’s ridiculous. Wherever the camera is. Anyway, um…sorry. (laughs)
Michael: No. Jump in.
Lisa: What? What do I feel about the overseas thing? I think it’s a nice place to visit, yes. I would like to have a…a house over there.
Diane: Mmmm
Lisa: We would be completely and utterly harrassed beyond belief, but…
Michael: (laughs)
Diane: Before we move away from the last two years, we told you, becasue we want to that we are going to show – what is really your…comment of those two years. And uh, is a video you have done with your sister Janet called Scream. And in it you have some words, for middle-aged people who can’t follow these words. Uh, the words you’ll hear will be about confusion, bashing, victimizing. “Stop pressuring me,” he says,” Makes me want to scream.” The last two years
(Scream video)
Diane: We have some wedding video of the two of you. And I’m gonna let you tell us a little bit about what we’re seeing here…if our director Roger Goodman wants to roll it in…we will take you there, a year ago, right?
Lisa: Yes.
Diane: Just about exactly.
(Show clip of wedding video – their voices are talking over it)
Michael: (laughs)
Lisa: I look like an idiot, I can tell you that.
Michael: You don’t look like an idiot. You look more like a…uh, no.
Lisa: (laughs) Do you want me to tell you…
Diane: Yes.
Lisa: …While we’re watching it?
Diane: Tell us. We’re watching here live.
Michael: (to Lisa) I do.
Lisa: (to Michael) What?
Michael: (to Lisa) I do.
Lisa: (to Michael) (laughs)
Lisa: In the middle he asks for his autograph.
Michael: (Comments to Lisa about his stretching in the video but it is inaudible)
Lisa: Right, now we’re out of time.
Michael: (to Lisa) How do I look?
Lisa: (to Michael) Great.
Michael: (to Lisa) You sure?
Lisa: (to Michael) Yeah.
Diane: (clip ends) So…I know that you, Lisa Marie, have wanted to talk about this. There are a lot of doubters about this marriage. I’ve heard it’s a Scientology plan, you are a member of the Church of Scientology, which…is said to influence it’s members greatly and that…the husband you divorced was a Scientologist and he’s still very much in your life and this is all part of a calculation to get Michael, and his money, into the church.
Michael: Ooooh, Gee…
Lisa: It’s crap, I’m sorry…it’s, it’s like ridiculous…
Michael: (laughs)
Lisa: It’s ridiculous. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I’m not…um…first of all you can’t get influenced by anything, um, like that…and, and under the term of a marriage…um, I’m not gonna marry somebody for any reason other than the fact that I’ve fallen in love with them. Period. Period. And they can eat it, if they wanna think any differently.
Michael: (laughs)
Diane: To put it succinctly.
Lisa: Yeah.
Diane: What is it you love the most about him?
Lisa: Oooh, um…what do I love the most about him? Everything! Uh, he’s amazing. I really admire him. I respect him. I’m in love with him. And no, we don’t sleep in separate bedrooms, thank you very much. And um…I love everything about him.
Diane: To finish up on that, though, are you a Scientologist? Are…
Michael: No.
Diane: No. Plan to become one?
Michael: I believe in spirituality and I believe in a higher source, such as God. But I’m not a Scientologist. I read everything. I like to read. I love to study.
Diane: You said you don’t sleep in separate bedrooms and I’m gonna confess, Okay…this is live TV and I’m copping out right here, because I didn’t spend my life…as a serious journalist to ask these kinds of questions. But I’m not oblivious to the fact, that, your fans had one question they most wanted to ask…of you…
Lisa: Do we have sex?
Diane: We have…
Michael: (laughs) Sh…she didn’t ask!
Lisa: (laughs)
Michael: She didn’t ask!
Lisa: Okay, I won’t ask.
Diane: Okay.
Michael: We don’t know what it was gonna be.
Lisa: Is that what you were gonna ask?
Diane: Let’s play just a minute or two.
Lisa: Sorry. (laughs)
Diane: Let’s play one or two.
(start clip):
Person 1: We wanna know, if you’ve done “the thing”?
Person 2: Michael, I know this is an intimate question, but are you having sex, together, with Lisa Marie?
Person 3: Do you guys really love eachother or are you just doing this to satisfy the media?
Person 4: Are you guys intimate?
(end clip)
Diane: Again…
Michael: I can’t believe it!
Lisa: Wooww!
Diane: But this is about…the sucpicion.
Lisa: Yes. Yes! Yes!
Diane: And…we have read in the papers that you are…expecting a child.
Lisa: We will be expecting a child. Now, when….I’m not gonna…
Michael: We’re not gonna say when, or…
Lisa: It’s personal.
Michael: It’s up in the hands of the heavens.
Diane: But not yet?
Lisa: Did we marry out of convenience? That’s really interesting to me.
Michael: It’s ridiculous.
Diane: Why?
Lisa: Well, why wouldn’t we have a lot in common? That’s the question. Why? Why not?
Michael: Like we’re faking this?
Lisa: Like…no…
Michael: The most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
Lisa: But you can’t live with someone day to day. We’re together all the time…first of all. Second thing, how can you fake that 24 hours a day with somebody? Sleeping with somebody, waking up with somebody. Having the…
Michael: It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
Lisa: He’s running around the house, I’m running around the house. You were in our house. We have a normal house. We have a nanny, we have a maid and we walk around and he’s either in the studio or I’m in the kithen. We’re running around like, uh, normal – I know it’s hard to beliece – people.
Diane: You go shopping together…you…
Lisa: We go shopping. We go out to dinner. We argue…sometimes.
Diane: And…
Michael: About what may I say? (laughs)
Lisa: (laughs)
Diane: We also heard a report that you were planning to adopt the children.
Michael: Oh I would love to adopt children. I think that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. But children of all races. Arab children. Jewish children. Black children, it’s all races.
Diane: But Lisa’s children?
Michael: I love Lisa’s children. It’s been a mission…
Diane: But are you going to adopt…or…
Michael: Pardon?
Diane: To adopt them though?
Michael: Oh I love her children, they’re sweet.
Diane: But to adopt? No?
Michael: Of course.
Lisa: But if they have a biological father…and he’s the…he’s their…
Michael: I think they love me very much. I love them.
Lisa: They do.
Michael: We have a lot of fun.
Lisa: But I’ve never heard of that before, personally…someone adopting someone’s children while they’re in a relationship with that person.
Diane: We’re going to take a break for a minute ad come back with more questions.
Lisa: Okay.
(Commercial break)
Diane: We’re going to show you a film now, created by Michael Jackson, and it’s causing a furore in some movie theatres around this country. They say among other things that it’s clearly modelled after Triumph of The Will. I mean Rieffenschtal. A Nazi film with a Nazi meaning to it.
Michael: It’s not true. None of that’s true. None of those things are true.
Diane: Did you watch that film before you did it?
Michael: I watch everything. I love movies. I love documentaries. It had nothing to do with that at all.
Diane: But there are people who keep saying this is…they look at it and say this is…
Michael: Absolutely not.
Diane: You were…
Michael: It has nothing to do with politics, or Communism, or Fascism…
Diane: Well…
Michael: At all.
Diane: Well the critics have said that it’s the most “body vein, glorious, self-deaffecation a pop singer ever undertook with a straight face”.
Michael: Good! That’s what I wanted.
Diane: For the controversy?
Michael: Yeah!
Diane: And they…
Michael: They fell into my trap.
Diane: But the people who say that…
Michael: I wanted everybody’s attention.
Diane: But for the people who say these symbols matter…
Michael: No. The symbols…no.
Diane: The suffering…
Michael: No. The symbol has nothing to do with that. It’s not political. It’s not Fascist. It’s not dogma. It’s not, you know, ideaology and all this stuff. It’s pure, simple love. You don’t see any tanks. You don’t see any cannons. It’s about love. It’s people coming together.
Diane: About love. We’re gonna let everybody watch a bit of it.
Michael: Yeah, but it’s art! It’s art!
Diane: Okay.
Michael: Where a director…we get him to create art.
Diane: The short answer, coming up. Here it comes.
(HIStory trailer shown)
Diane: Well, as we said, we’re gonna clearly agree to disagree maybe on what this means to some people watching it. There’s been another issue raised. In a song you say, “Jew me, sue me”. And some people are saying that that is anti-semetic.
Michael: It’s not anti-semetic because I’m not a racist. I could never be a racist. I love all races of people from Arabs, to Jewish people…like I said before, to blacks. But when I say, “Jew me, sue me, everybody do me, kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me” I’m talking about myself as the victim, you know. My…my accountants and lawyers are Jewish. My three best friends are Jewish…David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Mike Milkin. These are friends of mine. They’re all Jewish. So how does that make sense? I was raised in a Jewish community.
Diane: I wanna ask you both about something ’cause I know it was the second most asked question by people on the street. And I know, I know it’s a sensitive issue for you, and you talked with Oprah about it. But, somehow people still are not…they don’t feel they’ve heard everything about the whiteness of your skin, and that it’s somehow not a choice on your part…along with the make-up, to be…is it to be neither black or white…neither to look completely male – to be in the androgynous zone. I, I think they wanna know…is it a decision on your part someway?…the way you look. Where does it come from?

Michael: I think it creates itself…nature.
Lisa: He’s…he’s an artist. He has…
Michael: I’m an artist.
Lisa: …every right.
Michael: I’m a performer.
Lisa: And he is constantly re-modifying something, or changing it, or reconstructing it or, you know, working on some imperfection he thinks needs to be worked on. If he sees something he doesn’t like he changes it. Period. He re-sculptued himself. He’s an artist.
Michael: I might wanna put a red dot right there one day…(points to his forehead)
Lisa: (laughs)
Diane: But…but…
Michael: An’ two eyes right here. (touches his cheeks)
Diane: Do you wish you were the colour you were, again?
Michael: Do I wish I was the col…
Diane: Black color.
Michael: You have to ask nature that. I loved…I love black. I love black.
Diane: But do you wish you were that way…
Michael: I envy her ’cause she can tan and I can’t.
Diane: One more question I wanna make sure I ask. Are you going to sing together?
Lisa: No.
Diane: The two of you.
Michael: (breaks into song) I would love to sing with you…would you like to sing with me?
Lisa: (shaking head) Mmm, mmm.
Diane: You don’t sing?
Lisa: I don’t sing? I, I did sing. If I wanted it…I mean I’m not gonna marry someone for a recording career, just to clear that up as well. Um…(Michael makes bunny ears behind her head)
Michael: What? (laughs) (Lisa pokes him in the chest) Stop!
Lisa: Um…
Diane: I’m gonna let the two of you dupe this out over here. We’ll take a break and we’ll come back.
Lisa: (to Michael) Grrr!
(Commercial Break)
Diane: As our hour ends I’d like to ask each of you for a one second answer…time’s so short. Where do you want to be in five years?
Michael: Oh boy…uh, I love what I’m doing now, and to do everything I can to help the children. And hello Bobby Sherrit.
Lisa: (laughs) I just want people to know what they’re dealing with, before…and understand that I’m not – that we’re not – the jokes, the degrading comments, all that kind of stuff. It’s really irritating. So, I didn’t get to get in there…this is over already, but…um…
Michael: We want to choke them!
Diane: Alright, so five years you want to…
Lisa: Yeah. We want to choke them.
Michael: Don’t believe the garbage, all the tabloid junk. Don’t read it. Don’t listen to it. It’s junk. It’s stupid.
Diane: And…
Michael: Enough of it!
Diane: And tonight is over.