Open Letter: Tired of Schemes: Michael Jackson Fans Scream For Justice
To the members of the media,
Re: The Sunday People’s Michael Jackson Fabricated Stories
A few days ago, The Sunday People, a well-known British tabloid, published a misleading and titillating report stating that Michael Jackson had paid off dozens of boys to keep quiet about abuse they suffered at his hands. The Sunday People cited the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as their source for these incredulous allegations, and very quickly, media outlets around the world (from People Magazine to Huffington Post) have copied and pasted the fabricated story without first vetting it. Had they read the story before pasting it onto their own sites or papers, many would have noticed the inconsistencies in the Sunday People's story. Roger Friedman pointed this out first, while it took CNN mere days to debunk the original piece.
Following CNN’s lead, several legitimate media have since come out and challenged or dismissed The People Sunday’s fabricated FBI stories. These allegations are categorically false. The ONLY Michael Jackson files, which the FBI published a few months after his death in 2009, DO NOT corroborate the tabloid’s stories.Tom Mesereau, Jackson’s lead defense attorney in the 2005 molestation trial, confirmed this point, as he read Jackson’s released FBI files and none of the claims reported in the Sunday People, were true.
In fact, these very stories date back several decades.They were first published by another tabloid over two decades ago, only to be disproven by a handful of ethical journalists and Jackson’s activist fans. The People Sunday’s faux-FBI files are nothing more than statements made by a Jackson’s disgruntled ex-employee, who admitted on tape to fabricating and selling his stories to the tabloids. In addition, this former employee admitted to embellishing his version of events, based on how much the tabloids were willing to pay. The more outlandish the stories, the more money they would collect. Quite simply, The Sunday People have recycled an already debunked story from decades ago.
The Michael Jackson fan community will no longer turn a blind eye to these blatantlies, and outlandish stories. The lack of journalistic integrity coupled with the need for website hits and fierce competition for ad revenue, have allowed the media to forgo ethics for profit. This “break the news first and vet the story later” attitude is irresponsible, reprehensible and does a great disservice to the public and the profession.
We implore the media to apply due diligence and restore some level of integrity in their news coverage. Allow the public to have some confidence that the stories we are reading from our favorite newspapers, magazines or websites were vetted...not fabricated. If the tabloids continue to knowingly publish false stories about Michael Jackson, his fans will have no other choice than to contact their bottom line; their sponsors, advertisers and ultimately, their profit.
Signed by the following seventy-two (72) Michael Jackson fan organizations
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