Everyone, spread this series of posts from Vindicate MJ. It is essential (should be required) material for all fans! Just as the title says, it does just that, and more!
Here it is:
How To Recognize and Refute the Fallacies Used by Michael Jackson Haters, Part 1 of 5
One thing I’ve learned over the course of almost 2 ½ years of defending Michael Jackson against the false child abuse allegations is that in order to quickly and effectively defeat a Michael Jackson hater, you have to first think like a Michael Jackson hater! Ever since his untimely death, I’ve probably read thousands of negative comments that have posted under articles about MJ, and consistent patterns that I’ve noticed from MJ haters are 1) they are almost always devoid of inculpatory facts, and 2) they rely heavily on intellectual fallacies (instead of incontrovertible evidence) to prove their points. Oftentimes, I would read a comment, and within seconds I would come up with an effective rebuttal to their nonsense, since it was the same drivel over and over again. Unfortunately, most of the MJ fans who would also comment on those articles would do a poor job of defending MJ, despite their good intentions. One of the reasons that they did such a poor job is because, in their defense of MJ, they would use the SAME intellectual fallacies that haters would use!
I can’t tell you how many times over the last few years I’ve been disappointed by MJ’s family, so-called “friends”, and some fans, who have each missed numerous opportunities to set the record straight, once and for all. The last straw for me came a few weeks ago, as I watched “In Session”, a legal program that examines the top legal cases around the country. Our good friend Diane Dimond was allowed to make numerous falsehoods about MJ while participating in a roundtable discussion with two of MJ’s former associates, Mike Garcia (one of three bodyguards who worked from him when he lived in Las Vegas) and Steve Manning (his former publicist), and many of her falsehoods were not refuted by facts; instead, they were met with intellectual fallacies such as “If you knew Mr. Jackson, you knew he didn’t do it!” and “But the Santa Barbara jury found him not guilty!”. Dimond effectively challenged both of them, and if you were someone who was on the fence about MJ’s guilt or innocence, then after watching this program you would probably conclude that MJ was guilty, based on Dimond’s cunning use of half-truths, and the poor performance of Garcia and Manning. Fortunately, I thoroughly fact-checked everything Dimond said, and in less than a month that post is one of the most viewed in the history of the blog!
Here is an example of how bad it was!
Steve Manning: Diane, isn’t it true Diane that the Ryan father who pushed this whole thing, later admitted that his father made him do it?
Diane Dimond: No, that is not true! That was put out on the internet that the first young man recanted, and it absolutely was not true. That came out after his father committed suicide, and people said “Oh look, his father committed suicide! Chandler’s gone, it was all a hoax!” Mr. Chandler committed suicide because he had a degenerative disease that was robbing him of the ability to stand up, to speak, to swallow, or to think.
Steve Manning: Well, I wish you would have went to Neverland, and you’re family. It was something for families; it was a beautiful place……
Diane Dimond: I’m sure it was a beautiful place, but Mike, with all due respect, you (Mike Garcia) started working for him in 2006, he didn’t even live at Neverland! You don’t know what went on at Neverland, and I don’t either! I just know the people I spoke to, not secondhand.
See what I mean? First, Manning confuses Jordan Chandler with (I assume) Ryan White (whose relationship with MJ we examined in a previous post), and then he asks her if Jordan really did “confess” to lying after MJ died, which shows that he hasn’t fully investigated it himself! (If he had, he would have known it was an internet hoax.)
But for him to tell Dimond, the Queen of Tabloid Lies, that he wishes she could have seen what a beautiful place Neverland is, is truly indicative of his inability to cogently defend MJ with facts. There are too many fans that have the mentality of “Why should I take the time to learn the facts backwards and forwards when I already know that MJ is innocent? Why should I spend two hours reading Gavin’s cross-examination when I can watch This Is It for the 500th time?” Those are the types of fans who have every lyric to every song memorized, constantly engage themselves in various forms of “Michael-ing”, wear Michael Jackson paraphernalia, make their Facebook pages a literal shrine to MJ, but are clueless when it comes to the facts of the allegations! (And trust me, I’ve encountered way too many fans who fit in this category!)
I was so disappointed by their performance that I decided to make a list of all of the scare tactics that haters unknowingly use (since most of them aren’t even aware that they’re relying on fallacies when they argue their points). A fallacy is defined below:
1. Mistaken belief or idea: something that is believed to be true but is erroneous
2. Invalid argument: an argument or reasoning in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises
3. Logical error in argument: a mistake made in a line of reasoning that invalidates it
As you can see, there are several variations to the word, and all of them apply in the situations where haters use this form of attack against MJ. And while we’re on the subject of definitions, let me take a moment to define the word “hater”, and make a clear distinction between a hater and skeptic (for the purposes of this post):
A skeptic is someone who has serious doubts about MJ’s innocence, but is willing to entertain the possibility that he could be innocent. Skeptics are open-minded, and want to be persuaded with facts, and not with plastic surgery, skin bleaching, or any other irrelevant nonsense. Although skeptics may be genuinely disturbed by the allegations, and MJ’s own behavior at times, they do not cling to prejudices, phantom victims, or ridiculous hypothetical scenarios to justify their belief that MJ is guilty, especially when presented with the insurmountable quantity (and quality) of exculpatory evidence. Skeptics are ready to admit that they were wrong about MJ once they are presented with the facts, regardless of what their personal feelings are about MJ. (A perfect example of a former skeptic would be Joan Dowlin, a Huffington Post blogger who wrote a poignant, heartfelt tribute to MJ on July 8th, 2009 titled “Michael, I Apologize”. And here’s an example of someone who is skeptical of MJ’s devotion to children, but readily admits that he thinks he’s innocent.)
A hater is someone who has ALREADY CONVICTED MJ beyond a reasonable doubt, and when they are presented with unimpeachable facts, they cling to prejudice (e.g. “I think he’s guilty because he’s weird!”), phantom victims (e.g. Diane Dimond and Maureen Orth both claiming to have interviewed victims who were too afraid to press charges), ridiculous hypothetical situations (e.g. “MJ paid off his accusers, the police, the two grand juries, and the FBI!”), and many other fallacies that I will address later on in this post, instead of admitting that they were wrong. Haters are very close-minded, and quick to jump to conclusions without having all of the pertinent facts available to them (which is why they thought MJ was guilty in the first place!). Haters usually have a pre-conceived prejudice about a subset of the population that guides their thinking towards MJ (e.g. linking pedophilia to homosexuality; many haters have ridiculed him as being gay because of his voice, and because he wasn’t a womanizer like his brothers.) Lastly, haters love to thumb their noses at MJ fans by posting their garbage at the most inopportune times in order to maximize the hurt that they inflict on the fan community (for example, Andrea Peyser posted her “Freak of the Weak” column during week of the one year anniversary of MJ’s death.)
To put it succinctly, skeptics wanted to see justice, and not a conviction, while haters wanted to see a conviction, and not justice!
It’s very important that fans know how to make the distinction between a skeptic and a hater, because too many times fans have pigeonholed people who were skeptics as haters, and that has turned off many people who were only trying to seek the truth about the allegations. If people feel that by asking serious (and oftentimes justifiable) questions about the allegations that they will be attacked, then they’ll simply give up, assume that MJ was guilty, and avoid any further contact with MJ’s “crazy, rabid fans”. Essentially, many MJ haters are former skeptics who tried to find the truth, but were turned off by fans who were too emotional in their defense of MJ! (And I’ve witnessed this firsthand by reading the comments on Dimond’s facebook page.)
Haters are analogous to pornography; as the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said in a landmark case about what is considered hardcore pornography, “I’ll know it when I see it”. When you’re talking to an MJ hater (like Andrea Peyser), you’ll certainly know it!
Now, let’s looks at some of the major fallacies that haters use to attack MJ, and (unfortunately) some fans use to defend MJ. I was lucky enough to find a comprehensive list of fallacies on this site, called “Master List of Logical Fallacies”. Their definition of fallacy is even better than the definition that I quoted above!
Fallacies are fake or deceptive arguments that prove nothing. Fallacies often seem superficially sound, and far too often have immense persuasive power, even after being clearly exposed as false. Fallacies are not always deliberate, but a good scholar’s purpose is always to identify and unmask fallacies in arguments.
I agree with that definition 100%, except in the last paragraph I would replace “a good scholar’s purpose” with “a good Michael Jackson advocate’s purpose”! In order to be an effective advocate, you must totally and absolutely refute any nonsense that haters spew, and in order to refute them, you must recognize what technique they are utilizing (even if the haters themselves don’t recognize the techniques they’re utilizing!). It’s similar to a game of chess; you watch your opponent’s every move, and you counter it. By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll be able to counter anything and everything that haters throw in your face!
So without further ado, let’s start analyzing these fallacies, one by one! I will copy the definition from the website, and then add in my own commentary and examples.
Ad Hominem Argument: Also, “personal attack,” “poisoning the well.” The fallacy of attempting to refute an argument by attacking the opposition’s personal character or reputation, using a corrupted negative argument from ethos. E.g., “He’s so evil that you can’t believe anything he says.” See also Guilt by Association. Also applies to cases where potential opposing arguments are brushed aside without comment or consideration, as simply not worth arguing about.
This is the #1 fallacy that haters use to smear MJ, by far. How many times have you heard people bring up his plastic surgery, so-called skin bleaching, buying the Elephant man’s bones, sleeping in hyperbaric chambers, taking female hormones, etc.? Its part of their way of saying that “MJ is weird, and therefore he’ guilty.” Here is another definition of ad hominem:
Appealing to emotions: appealing to people’s emotions, biases, and prejudices, instead of their ability to think.
That definition motivates my philosophy when it comes to defending MJ. I want people to make evaluate the facts and make a rational decision based on intelligent thought, instead of making an emotional, knee-jerk reaction.
The ad hominem fallacy is oftentimes used by people who are woefully misinformed, and want a quick and easy way to rationalize their feelings. Congressman Peter King’s vicious attack on MJ just before his memorial is arguably the most popular example of an ad hominem attack. As you watch this video, you’ll notice that he didn’t present any facts to back up his assertions that MJ was a child molester, yet he sarcastically asked viewers if they would let their child or grandchild be in the same room as MJ. His reason for asking this is to elicit a “No” answer from people (who would likely answer that way based off of an emotional, knee-jerk reaction), and to make people who would answer “Yes” feel ashamed about themselves. And to top it off, he had the temerity to invoke the troops by saying that we need to give credit to the men and women who are dying in Afghanistan! What he’s doing here is intentionally “hiding behind patriotism”, and anyone who disagrees with him is smeared as being unpatriotic!
Also, be sure to pay attention to the specific loaded, emotionally charged words that he used to appeal to the prejudices of the viewers: pervert, lowlife, pedophile, child molester, etc.
Another ad hominem attack that has been hurled at MJ throughout the years is to accuse him of being a homosexual; this rumor grew legs in 1993, when he was falsely accused of molesting young boys; NOT GIRLS, but boys! This technique is so effective because if people think that MJ is gay, then they are more likely to think that he’s guilty! For example, here is junk science from a January 2004 article titled “Michael Jackson: The Psychoanalysis of a Very Queer Man”.
It took a turn for the worse when Ian Halperin published his trash tabloid book “Unmasked”, in which he claimed to have gone “undercover” as one of MJ’s gay lovers! This subject reared its ugly head again in April 2010 when Jason Pfeiffer, an employee of MJ’s longtime dermatologist Arnie Klein, claimed to be MJ’s gay lover, but that story was quickly refuted. (Here is Nikki Allygator’s rebuttal.)
Here is an excerpt from “The King of Pop’s Darkest Hour” (which can be downloaded for free as a PDF from that link), page 105; it shows an example of how the media tried to get MJ’s friends and family to backstab him by accusing him of being gay! Geraldo Rivera conducted a “mock trial” on his show, and here is what MJ’s cousin Tim Whitehead had to say:
The defence witnesses included Tim Whitehead, Michael’s cousin who is very close to Michael, who told the jury he had been offered $100,000 to say that Michael is gay. He refused and said he has never seen any behaviour that could be construed as child abuse.
And of course Tom Sneddon had to play the gay card too during the 1994 Grand Jury proceedings! Here is an article from the LA Times on March 31st, 1994:
Jackson Case Panel Asks About Sexual Orientation : Grand jury: An employee of the singer says he was questioned about the star and about himself. The witness’s lawyer calls the inquiries improper; some experts dispute him.
March 31, 1994|JIM NEWTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER
Prosecutors investigating allegations that Michael Jackson sexually molested a 13-year-old boy asked a witness to tell a grand jury about Jackson’s sexual orientation and to testify about his own sexual orientation as well, according to sources familiar with that witness’s testimony.
The witness, an employee of Jackson who appeared before the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury recently, told his lawyer about the questions, and that attorney fired off an angry letter to the Santa Barbara County and Los Angeles County district attorney’s offices in response.
In his letter, lawyer Richard M. Steingard accused prosecutors of exceeding the proper limits of grand jury questioning. Steingard wrote that grand jury questions must be limited to evidence that would be admissible in court–a contention that legal experts disputed even as some expressed reservations about inquiring into a witness’ sexual orientation.
“One would think that prosecutors of your stature would, at a minimum, know this to be the law and attempt in your questioning of witnesses to comply with this rule,” Steingard wrote. “Based on the above, you apparently believe that the questioning of a witness has no limits or boundaries and that anything, even a witness’ sexual preference, is fair game.”
Steingard’s letter is the latest in a series of criticisms leveled at prosecutors in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara who are investigating the allegations against Jackson.The entertainer’s lawyers have regularly attacked the slow pace of the inquiry, which was launched last summer, while ministers, civil rights activists and other Jackson supporters have added their criticisms as well.
Suzanne Childs, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said officials there could not comment on the allegations raised in Steingard’s letter. Prosecutors are prohibited by law from discussing any matters that are before a grand jury–even to confirm that a grand jury probe is under way.
Legal experts, meanwhile, disputed Steingard’s reading of the law about the limits of grand jury inquiries.
“The grand jury is given powers that we do not give police or prosecutors . . . and it may ask a broad range of questions whose relevancy might not be clear until other evidence is gathered,” said Peter Arenella, a UCLA law professor who has extensively researched issues related to grand juries. “For the most part, the grand jury can ask whatever it wants.”
During grand jury inquiries, prosecutors generally question witnesses, but jurors also can ask questions.
Several experienced lawyers said they considered it highly unusual for prosecutors to inquire about a witness’ sexual orientation. One area of particular concern, they noted, is that state grand jury transcripts become public documents if the subject of the inquiry is indicted. As a result, the information about the witness’ sexual orientation could become public if Jackson were indicted.
Steingard’s letter indicates that his client was asked about three topics he considered objectionable: the sexual orientation of Jackson, the sexual orientation of Jackson associates and the witness’s own sexual orientation.
“The grand jury can ask questions that are relevant to the inquiry,” said Donald M. Re, an experienced criminal defense lawyer. “Given the nature of this case, the first two questions may be proper. . . . The third question, ‘Are you yourself gay?’ gets a lot closer to the line.”
Harland W. Braun, another defense attorney who also is a former prosecutor, agreed, saying he believes the district attorney could explore the topic of Jackson’s sexual orientation.
As to the question about the witness’s orientation, Braun called it “close to the edge.”
Under most circumstances, asking a witness about his or her sexual orientation would almost certainly be irrelevant during a trial, legal experts agreed. But even in that context, a witness’s own statements might make it relevant. For example, if a witness described impressions of Jackson’s conduct or conversations about homosexuality, the witness’s own perspective on that topic might be deemed relevant in court.
Steingard declined to comment Wednesday on the questions that were posed to his client during his grand jury appearance. But Steingard confirmed he had sent the letter to the district attorney’s office and said he stood by the statements in it.
“In general, to ask questions of grand jury witnesses about sexual orientation I think is outrageous,” he said. “I cannot fathom any circumstance in which that would be proper.”
Howard Weitzman, one of Jackson’s lawyers, said prosecutors have “spent considerable time, money and energy to
……..it doesn’t mean that ALL men who wear makeup are gay!! He had to wear makeup due to his vitiligo!
construct a case that does not exist.” Although the lawyer said he did not know whether a witness had been questioned about Jackson’s sexual orientation or his own, Weitzman added: “If what (Steingard) claims in that letter is true and the investigation is now down to that level, it is a real sad commentary on the prosecution in this case.”
The case has been under investigation since last summer, and an array of witnesses, including Jackson’s mother, have been forced to appear before grand juries meeting in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Authorities in the two counties are conducting investigations because Jackson allegedly molested the boy in both jurisdictions.
At a meeting with the courthouse press corps March 15, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti said he expected the Jackson investigation to be concluded within a month or so. Sources familiar with the case now say they expect it to conclude by the end of April.
The “MJ is gay” rumors didn’t start after MJ became a worldwide icon with “Thriller”; it actually started in the 70’s, as the article below clearly shows!
Let’s allow our good friend Diane Dimond to end this “MJ was gay” crap once and for all! Here is her response to Ian Halperin’s book “Unmasked”, which claims that MJ consorted with gay men in sleazy motels!
Diane Dimond On Michael Jackson’s Sexuality
ET special correspondent Diane Dimond, who has been covering Michael Jackson news since 1993, responds to the explosive new allegation that the King of Pop was gay.
In his new book, Ian Halperin, author of Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson, raises questions about Michael’s sexuality. The author claims that whenever Michael would go out to meet one of his alleged gay lovers, he would wear an elaborate disguise.
“He was always dressed as a woman, and very convincingly, to the point no one else would recognize Michael,” Halperin says in an interview with ET. “He was a master at costume — at showbiz. He could’ve been a professional make-up artist he was that good.”
Dimond says her findings do not jibe with those in Unmasked.
“Here’s what I think,” Diane says. “Over all the years that I have been looking into his life, I have found no evidence that Michael Jackson was gay. I have never spoken to any men who have claimed and proven they were Michael’s lovers.”
There, that settles it! If Dimond had a shred of evidence to suggest that MJ was gay, she would have used it years ago!
Finally, read this post by Seven Bowie and Nikki Allygator to see the indisputable evidence that proves that MJ did not take estrogen or other female hormones in order to keep his high pitched voice!
Appeal to Heaven: (also Deus Vult, Gott mit Uns, Manifest Destiny, the Special Covenant). An extremely dangerous fallacy (a deluded argument from ethos) of asserting that God (or a higher power) has ordered, supports or approves one’s own standpoint or actions, so no further justification is required and no serious challenge is possible. (E.g., “God ordered me to kill my children,” or “We need to take away your land, since God [or Destiny, or Fate, or Heaven] has given it to us.”) A private individual who seriously asserts this fallacy risks ending up in a psychiatric ward, but groups or nations who do it are far too often taken seriously. This vicious fallacy has been the cause of endless bloodshed over history.
Another name for this fallacy is “Hiding behind religion”, similar to the above example of Peter King “hiding behind patriotism”. It’s bad enough that you have to hear MJ get trashed by both the mainstream and tabloid media (the two are hardly distinguishable anymore), but imagine going to church and hearing your pastor trash him? That’s an unfortunate reality that some of us have had to face, and this is especially dangerous because, even if the pastor doesn’t explicitly say that his trashing of MJ is “divinely inspired”, it’s implied that it is divinely inspired, because you would expect a religious leader to thoroughly fact check any criticisms that he has about not only MJ, but anyone for that matter!
I am currently working on a post called “Fact Checking Michael Jackson’s Christian Faith”, and I will rebut all of the crap that has been said about MJ from the religious community. My goal is to have it posted on Christmas Day, and it’ll be worth the wait! It will be in the same vein as my other “fact checking” posts, and it will include lots of examples of Christians who were fair and compassionate to MJ, and defended him as well. (I would NEVER, EVER want to give the impression that a few idiots represent an entire religion.)
In the meantime, you can check out my friend Debbie Kunesh’s 3-part series “Debunking the Demonic Deception: The Story of Michael Jackson and the Truth”. She did an excellent job of separating fact from fiction, and there are additional parts on the way!
Appeal to Tradition: (also “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”). The fallacy that a standpoint, situation or action is right, proper and correct simply because it has “always” been that way, because people have “always” thought that way, or because it continues to serve one particular group very well. A corrupted argument from ethos (that of past generations). (E.g., “In America, women have always been paid less, so let’s not mess with long-standing tradition.”). The reverse of this is yet another fallacy, the “Appeal to Innovation,” e.g., “New and [therefore it must be] improved!”
This is one of the lesser known fallacies, but believe it or not it was used by a very high-ranking MJ hater: Ron Zonen, who was Tom Sneddon’s right hand man during the 2005 trial! During his speech at the Frozen in Time seminar last year, Zonen explained why the prosecution chose to have a grand jury hearing instead of a preliminary hearing:
At the search of the property they discovered a number of things that were of interest to that prosecution, including a lot of the pornography that Michael Jackson kept at his residence, and particularly in his bedroom. It was all seized and from that became the largest effort that Santa Barbara has ever had in tracking down and identifying fingerprints on hundreds of magazines, each individual page, each revealing dozens and dozens of fingerprints, but many of those fingerprints ultimately confirmed to be fingerprints of Gavin and Gavin’s brother. Material that they said was shown to them repeatedly was shown to them by Michael Jackson at his house. As well there was Vodka bottle, a number of different bottles of alcoholic beverages that was consistent with what the kids had said had been served to them at Neverland, in particularly at Michael Jackson’s residence. That was the search; the search eventually led a Grand Jury hearing. Why a Grand Jury hearing? Who has participated in a Grand Jury hearing? We have a couple of hands up. We have a tradition in Santa Barbara. I can’t speak to other counties, but we have a tradition for high profile cases. Our little community of Santa Barbara. We don’t go to Santa Barbara because we want to be high profile lawyers. We go to Santa Barbara because we want to golf! Or be on the beach! It’s a beautiful, angelic community, it’s very nice, and none of us were necessarily accustomed to the kind of profile celebrity status that was going to be visited upon us in the course of that trial. We made the decision to go to the Grand Jury because we felt it was appropriate, not just for that case, but all celebrity cases, all high profile cases, it’s just kind of an American tradition that the Grand Jury makes the decision. And in this particular case we also had the advantage of being able to do it in secret, hopefully keeping the transcript confidential and sealed, such that everybody would be protected from the content of that hearing from going public before we actually impaneled the jury. We felt it would be in Mr. Jackson’s benefit. We felt it would be in our benefit. That it would be the right thing to be able to do.
Ok, as soon as you’re finished laughing at Zonen’s comment about the prosecution wanting to have a grand jury hearing because it would “benefit” MJ, let’s begin to analyze his logic! I’m sorry, but that is total BS for him to say that they did it for MJ’s “benefit”, when the reality is that if there had been a preliminary hearing, the case wouldn’t have gone to trial at all! Let’s look at the difference between a preliminary hearing and a grand jury hearing to understand why the former, and not the latter, would have been a benefit to MJ:
When a felony case is initiated in court it must first go through a probable cause determination before the matter can be set for trial. There are two different forms in which this can occur.
The first is called a grand jury; this is where the prosecution presents the case to a group of citizens outside the presence of the defendant and the grand jurors are asked to determine whether probable cause exists based on the evidence presented to them by the prosecution. If the grand jury finds probable cause they return an indictment which then becomes the charging document in that particular case.
Alternatively a felony charge can be initiated through a preliminary hearing, which is conducted in a manner very similar to that of a trial; however, during a preliminary hearing there is no jury, rather a judge is the fact finder and the burden of proof is much lower than that ordinarily required at a criminal trial. At a criminal trial when a person could potentially be imprisoned if convicted our constitution requires that the prosecution provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt before that can occur. During a preliminary hearing however the prosecution is required only to demonstrate that probable cause exists for the case to move forward in the court system. If a preliminary hearing is held and the judge finds probable cause the state is permitted to file a document called an information which would be used as the charging document throughout the remainder of that case.
Because felony cases involving indictments are initiated through the grand jury,where neither the defendant nor the defense attorney are present, the prosecutor has special obligations to present the evidence in a fair and impartial manner and present evidence that is clearly exculpatory, meaning that it tends to show that the person accused is not guilty. If the prosecutor fails to present the evidence to the grand jury in this manner the case could be remanded to the grand jury for a re‑determination of probable cause.
As you can see, if that coward Sneddon had given MJ’s defense attorneys a chance to cross examine the Arvizos and other prosecution witnesses during a preliminary hearing, Judge Melville would surely have stopped that joke of a trial right there in its tracks! (But then again, based on some of the questionable, pro-prosecution rulings that he approved of during the trial, maybe he would have still let the trial move forward.)
Zonen tried to use the “appeal to tradition” fallacy to justify the grand jury hearing, when in reality they used the grand jury hearing so that they could deprive MJ of a chance to rebut their case in front of a judge, and to take advantage of a very gullible grand jury, who were forced to vote based on a biased and one-sided presentation of the facts, most of which were highly distorted and even omitted altogether! For example, Sneddon falsified evidence by having Gavin touch the porn magazines that were confiscated from Neverland WITHOUT wearing any gloves so that he could subsequently have the magazines tested for Gavin’s fingerprints and use that as evidence to corroborate Gavin’s lie of MJ showing them porn. Here is an excerpt from the Grand Jury transcript, from April 2004:
Q Did you ever see that suitcase opened by Mr. Jackson and shown to you, the contents?
Q How many times?
Q Okay. Where was it the first time?
A First time we walked in there he introduced the suitcase to me. He opened it and showed me a girl that was spreading her legs open.
Q Did you go through the rest of the stuff in the suitcase on the first occasion? Did you look at some of the other stuff in there?
A On the first occasion it was pretty much just like opening stuff. He would like look, and then we — then he’d close it up, put it aside again.
Q So you went through everything in there, but he just showed you and closed it up and put it aside?
Q How many things do you figure were in there?
A A lot of stuff.
Q Where were you the second time that he opened the suitcase and showed you stuff?
A We were up in his bed.
Q Who else was there?
A I don’t know. I don’t know if it was just me and him. I don’t know whether my brother was there or not.
Q Now, the second time when you were up in the bedroom and you opened the case, what did you do?
A He was just showing it to me again.
Q Was it the same material, or were there some different things in there?
A It looked kind of — it looked like there was different stuff.
Q Now, I want you to — I broke — we’re going to break the seal on this exhibit, and I’m going to ask you to look very briefly young man, at the stuff that’s in there, all right. Take a look at the stuff.
Now, there’s some magazines, correct?
Q Then there’s some sheets that are individual and not in magazines as if they’ve been torn out, correct?
Q Now, can you tell me whether or not that was the kind of materials that was in the suitcase that was shown you?
A Yes. That was the kind of material.
Q Does that look like some of the stuff that you were shown?
Q With regard to the number of books and items that are in there, does that look like about the amount of things that were in there?
Q And with regard to the things that are depicted, does that look like the kind of depictions that you were shown?
Q Some of the stuff that’s in this suitcase shows male and female individuals in various sexual acts. Were you shown that kind of material by Mr. Jackson?
Additional details about the mishandling of the fingerprint information can be found in this summary from MJ-Upbeat, Days 19 & 20, and from this MJEOL Bullet. Here is a short excerpt of Robert Sanger’s cross-examination of Dr. Antonio Cantu, the chief of forensics for the Secret Service, where he is questioned about a specific technique used to test fingerprints, and he admits that the prosecution’s fingerprint tests were flawed due to the tests being done over a year after the magazines were seized! The testimony is from March 24th, 2005:
9 Q. Okay. And that type of a test can be done
10 quickly, in a matter of minutes, or an hour, or a
11 couple of hours, right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. So it’s not something that takes
14 weeks or months to do?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. All right. Now, in a case — in a case
17 where there is — the case is considered to be an
18 important case, let us say – I suppose all cases are
19 important to the people involved – you would expect
20 that fingerprint evaluation would take place sooner
21 rather than later, right?
22 A. Right.
23 Q. You certainly wouldn’t want to take, for
24 instance, a container with all the materials, and
25 take it to a grand jury and book it into evidence
26 and then take it out months later and do
27 fingerprints, would you?
28 A. Well, let me make a point here, if I may. 3351
1 Q. Before you make the point, is that what you
2 would prefer to do, or not?
3 A. Not necessarily.
4 Q. Okay. You would prefer to do the
5 fingerprint evaluation first, before you go book
6 something into evidence before a body, whether it’s
7 a grand jury, a trial court, or anything else,
9 A. Yeah, you would expect to do the analysis
11 Q. Okay. And were you aware that the
12 fingerprint analysis in this case wasn’t done for
13 over a year after the items were seized?
14 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Argumentative;
15 beyond the scope.
16 THE COURT: Overruled.
17 THE WITNESS: Very well.
18 First of all –
19 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Were you aware of that, was
20 the question, sir.
21 A. I was not aware that they were a year old.
22 MR. SANGER: Okay. Thank you. No further
For more information on the egregious examples of prosecutorial misconduct, please read Mesereau’s NOTICE OF MOTION TO SET ASIDE THE INDICTMENT! The length of 212 pages is indicative of the amount of misconduct and unprofessionalism that took place, and I fully intend to summarize it soon so that fans can have an accurate idea of what really went on. Also, be sure to check out the aptly titled “Smoke Without Fire” blog, which summarizes the grand jury proceedings. This is by far one of the best MJ vindication blogs out there, and I enthusiastically recommend it!
Here is William Wagener discussing the fingerprint falsification:
Argument from Ignorance: The fallacy that since we don’t know (or can never know, or cannot prove) whether a claim is true or false, it must be false (or that it must be true). Sometimes this also includes “Either-Or Reasoning:” E.g., “The vet can’t find any reasonable explanation for why my dog died. See! See! That proves that my neighbor poisoned him! There’s no other logical explanation!” A corrupted argument from logos. A fallacy commonly found in American judicial and forensic reasoning.
This is absolutely one of the most idiotic fallacies that I’ve ever heard in my life! How many times have you been chastised for defending MJ by someone who said “How do you know he’s innocent? You weren’t in the room with him and those boys!” Of course, the best comeback answer would be “Well, you weren’t there either, so how do you know he’s guilty!” Or how many times have you heard someone say “We’ll never know the truth! MJ claimed to be innocent, but the accusers said he was guilty! It’s impossible to find the truth!”
The number one reason why people say this is because they are literally TOO LAZY to do any sort of substantive research!
For example, let’s look at what Oprah said in September 2009 in an interview with Access Hollywood. (Unfortunately, the Youtube user who originally posted the video had their account suspended, but luckily you can watch it here on Hulu.) In this interview, she was asked if her feelings for MJ changed throughout the years after she did the 1993 interview, and she lied through her teeth by saying “the feelings didn’t change, in terms of my sense of compassion for him, but what I felt was a sense of sadness. I never knew what the truth was, as none of us now will ever know what the truth was.” Here is a quick rundown of 9 examples of the “compassion” that Oprah showed towards MJ over the years! (That link will bring you straight to the comments in that post. Be sure to scroll up to see the article.) What’s truly disappointing is that with the dozens of producers that she employs, she could have easily had them compile all of the facts of both cases, present them to her, and come to the obvious conclusion that MJ was innocent, but instead she chose to look the other way and pretend that she doesn’t know anything, so that she could continue with her façade of ignorance.
Another unfortunate example of someone using the argument from ignorance fallacy is Lisa Marie Presley! In her interview last year with Oprah, it was expected that she would vehemently defend MJ against the allegations, especially in light of the fact that she, as a single mother of two, married him a few months after the Chandler’s frivolous lawsuit was settled out of court. Boy, were we disappointed! She truly dropped the ball, and threw MJ under the bus by pleading ignorance to the facts, beginning at 4:37:
Oprah: You know, I’ve asked you this and I have to ask it again, even though it’s an uncomfortable subject, but whether or not you had ever seen any inappropriate behavior between Michael Jackson and young children?
Lisa Marie: Are you asking me again?
Oprah: I’m asking you again.
Lisa Marie: The answer is absolutely not, in any way. I did not see anything like that.
Oprah: So by 2005 was when he was on trial with the second charge. Your feelings at that time were what? Did he ever talk to you about it?
Lisa Marie: He was calling me about it and I said “Please keep your head together, please. If this goes to trial, please hold it together.” He said, “What are you talking about, what do you mean?” And he said, “You mean drugs?” And I said, “Yes.” Because all I saw was random things coming out, whether it was Martin Bashir and all these interviews, and in those interviews I saw him intoxicated. I didn’t see the Michael that I knew in that Martin Bashir interview. He was high as a kite, from what I saw and from what I knew.
Lisa Marie: He was either too speedy or he was sedated. It wasn’t the Michael that I knew.
Oprah: The shocking things, he said some pretty shocking things in that Martin Bashir interview, particularly about how he felt about how it was okay to sleep with young children.
Lisa Marie: I think he said that stuff sometimes to be defiant, because he got so angry at having been accused. He was such a stubborn little rebel at times and he was like a child and he would just say what he felt everyone didn’t want him to say. I don’t feel like he had a straight head during those things and I think that they were edited in a very, very manipulative nasty way.
Oprah: So you never saw anything and to this day you don’t believe any of those charges were true?
Lisa Marie: No. I honestly cannot say, the only people who are going to be able to say the truth are him and whoever was in that room at the time it allegedly took place. I was never in the room, it wouldn’t be fair for me to… I can tell you I never saw anything like that.
So, according to both Lisa Marie and Oprah’s logic, because none of us were in the same room as MJ, Jordan Chandler, Jason Francia, and Gavin Arvizo, and because MJ is now deceased and can no longer defend himself, we’ll NEVER know the truth, and MJ’s legacy will forever be sullied. Makes perfect sense, right? Using that same logic, we’ll never know if OJ Simpson really did commit double murder, or if the Duke Lacrosse players really did rape that stripper, or if the employees at the McMartin preschool really did molest those young children, or if Lee Harvey Oswald really did kill JFK, or if Conrad Murray really did kill Michael Jackson, because none of us were there!
And while we’re here, let’s look at another fallacy that Oprah (and many others) has used: the loaded question! Here is both the definition, and an example of, a loaded question:
A loaded question is a question which contains a controversial assumption such as a presumption of guilt.
Such questions are used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to be those that serve the questioner’s agenda. The traditional example is the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife, and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question, and in this case an entrapment, because it narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed.The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question does the argument containing them become fallacious. Hence the same question may be loaded in one context, but not in the other. For example the previous question would not be loaded if it was asked during a trial in which the defendant has already admitted to beating his wife.
Can you guess what the loaded question was that Oprah asked? It’s when she asked Lisa Marie if she had ever seen any behavior between MJ and young children! The reason it’s considered loaded is because, when you look deeply at what is being asked, it is inferred that there WAS inappropriate behavior, but perhaps it just wasn’t seen! Even though Lisa Marie denied seeing anything inappropriate, that doesn’t fully exonerate MJ of the allegation that is inferred by the question, and skeptics (and especially haters) could say “Well, just because she didn’t see it, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen!”
Oprah asked the same loaded question to the Cascio family as well! Although the Cascio children denied any abuse, that doesn’t mean they weren’t abused! Haters could say “Well, maybe they’re just covering it up for MJ in order to protect him!”
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Bad times meaning charges of sexual molestation?
CONNIE CASCIO: Right. We weren’t going to turn our backs on him, and we stood there, and
we said, “We’re with you all the way.” And he appreciated it and we did it.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Well, I have to ask the questions because obviously, there were
bad times. Accused of sexual molestation. You had two young boys, a young daughter. Did you ever ask your children if any improprieties had occurred with them?
DOMINIC CASCIO: As a father, I did.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): As a father, you did.
DOMINIC CASCIO: And they looked at me like, “Are you serious?” But I had to do it.
CONNIE CASCIO: We had to explain it to him, the kids, what was going on. They didn’t
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): At the time.
DOMINIC CASCIO: Right.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): So I have to ask you, Frank, Marie Nicole, were there ever any
improprieties with you and Michael Jackson?
EDDIE CASCIO: Never.
FRANK CASCIO: Never.
MARIE NICOLE CASCIO: Never.
EDDIE CASCIO: Michael couldn’t–he couldn’t harm–he couldn’t harm a fly. I mean, he’s such
a kind and gentle soul.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): So when you heard those charges and heard those charges then
again, and he went on trial for those charges, what did you think?
EDDIE CASCIO: “This is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.”
MARIE NICOLE CASCIO: Terrible.
EDDIE CASCIO: Michael was a target, and unfortunately, he was targeted.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): So at no time did you ever feel, during all of those charges against
him, that your children were not safe with him.
DOMINIC CASCIO: Never.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Never.
CONNIE CASCIO: Never.
DOMINIC CASCIO: Never. Never a doubt.
Also, let’s look at how Oprah insinuated that MJ was a drug addict by asking if they saw signs of addiction (which infers that there were signs of addiction, but perhaps they just weren’t seen!):
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Were you aware–did you all see signs of drug addiction?
DOMINIC CASCIO: We didn’t see the signs. When he was at home, he was a normal person.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Mm-hmm. What would you say, Eddie?
EDDIE CASCIO: He was sharp. It was unfortunate to learn of the so-called problem oraddiction problem that we now know he suffered from. Unfortunately, it got the best of him.
Here’s another example weakness and ineffectiveness of the “I didn’t see any wrongdoing” defense: on the day MJ died, Martin Bashir took to the airwaves and made one of the most pathetic defenses of MJ I’ve ever heard, and that’s IF he really was trying to defend MJ! It could have been a subliminal way of saying he’s guilty for all I know! Notice how he said he “never saw any wrongdoing”, and to add insult to injury, he pointed out that MJ “was never convicted of any crime”. Both of those defenses have more holes than Swiss cheese!
The appropriate way for them to answer loaded questions like these would be to say “I didn’t see any inappropriate behavior because THERE WAS NO INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR TO BE SEEN!” and “I didn’t see any signs of addiction because THERE WEREN’T ANY SIGNS OF ADDICTION TO BE SEEN!”