Tag Archives: fox news

WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON PLEASE

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. “Write Something About Michael Jackson” was not a blog that I particularly wanted to write, but our readers asked for it, I wrote it,  and as things go it wound up making the downtownster TEN BEST list. 

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I received a text message from one of my sources at 3:00 pm that Michael Jackson, often called the King of Pop, was dead. This was fifteen minutes before the official declaration and by 3:30 pm the calls, text messages, and emails asking me to write something were rolling in. My initial response to all requests was that I had no intention of writing a story about Michael Jackson’s death. My reason being: that everyone was going to have something to say and that I had nothing to add. I have a passion for writing and or talking—I’m a storyteller by nature, but a good storyteller should have something unique to say or at the very least a unique viewpoint.

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Over a three-day period I did follow the story. Requests for my attention to it did not cease, some coming from the most unexpected people. As these days passed my response to requests that I write about Michael Jackson’s death changed. I began to tell readers that I might write on the topic of the inconsistent through line that had become so evident in, not only the nonstop media coverage, but among the general population as well. One of downtownster’s most highly educated and respected readers was particularly intrigued by my introduction of the through line concept—and was seemingly not too sure exactly what a through line was. So let me clarify:

A through line is the spine of a story. The concept, first introduced by Constantin Stanislavski, was a way for actors to think about characterization. The idea being that it is not enough to understand what we are doing or trying to do, but rather we must understand our ultimate objective—thus creating a link from action to action that propels us to our ultimate desired outcome.

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As I watched the first few hours of cable news coverage each channel and commentator had a take and in some cases several. Fox News in particular filled their time with inaccurate information that was astounding. And of course the vile Nancy Grace was already ranting about the children and custody issues. Michael Jackson in a matter of minutes was called a child molester, a music genius, the loneliest man on Earth, an adoring father, a boy trapped in a man’s body, an icon, in debt for 400 million dollars, on the verge of a comeback, worth a billion dollars, and ABC’s Martin Bashir, who did more harm to Michael Jackson’s reputation than anybody, except for Michael Jackson, made a statement that knowing Michael Jackson was one of the greatest honors of his life. This actually caused me to shake my head. I recalled him saying that Michael Jackson’s home Neverland was not safe for children. But the words genuine or honest do not come to mind at the mention of the name Marin Bashir. Continue reading

IS AEG BEHIND MICHAEL JACKSON’S MURDER???

In an explosive report delivered this weekend by Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera…Rivera went well beyond implying that Michael Jackson’s concert promoter, AEG, had an interest in the King of Pop’s Death—he used context and comments by Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, to accuse AEG of having the man killed whose comeback tour they were promoting. At the root of Rivera’s allegation is an insurance policy for seventeen million dollars that he reports AEG wants to collect on. And adding a tanker truckload of fuel to the fire, is a deal between AEG and Sony to turn AEG’s footage of Michael Jackson’s preparations for his concert tour into two feature length motion pictures—GERALDO SAYS AEG IS TO BE PAID SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS FOR THIS FOOTAGE!!!

Of course AEG denies Geraldo’s allegations…And I know for a fact that AEG President Tim Leiweke has said that this story is going away today—I assume he’s pulling some of those power strings AEG has paid for or threatening Fox with legal action; take your pick. But what everyone has to be asking right now is why did this very same person said that AEG had no financial interest in Michael Jackson’s funeral event held at Staple’s Center? This lack of financial interest is how Mr. Leiweke justified sticking the city with a 1.4 million dollar bill for event related city services. Trying to dissuade ticket holders from cashing in 50 million dollars worth of tickets + 17 million in insurance money (according to Geraldo) + 60 million dollar movie deal = 127 million dollars of financial interest, if Rivera is right.

So, I’ve gone after AEG for a number of issues ranging from taking 300 million in tax credits from the public and not giving the community the events in the public space it promised to being a bad corporate citizen to being in the blogging business and not properly disclosing the obvious conflict of interest when making Tammy Billings the director of marketing for LA Live also the LA Live Examiner. But turning an enormous profit on the apparent murder of Michael Jackson? I write a pretty good novel every now and then and even I couldn’t dream this one up. Continue reading