In this post I will show how notorious Michael Jackson detractors Bill O’Reilly and Maureen Orth use numerous fallacies in their arguments, and I will give examples of the types of questions that all fans should know to ask when debating Jackson’s innocence!
Lying with Statistics: Using true figures and numbers to “prove” unrelated claims. (e.g. “When taken as a percentage of the national debt, filling up at your corner gas station is actually far cheaper today than it was in 1965!”). A corrupted argument from logos. (See also Half-truth, Non Sequitur, Red Herring.)
This is very similar to the ad populum argument stated in a previous post in this series. Here’s another example for you: The MJ Facts Info hater’s site recently updated its site, and they added a new section on how to debunk the “myth” that MJ wasn’t a pedophile. They use all of these useless statistics that prove absolutely nothing, and are totally irrelevant to the topic at hand.
And in case you’re wondering, yes, I have already fact checked their site!
Name-Calling: A variety of the “Ad Hominem” argument. The dangerous fallacy that, simply because of who you are, any and all arguments, disagreements or objections against your standpoint or actions are automatically racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, bigoted, discriminatory or hateful. E.g., “My stand on this issue is the only correct one. To disagree with me or even question my judgment in any way would only show what a pig you really are.” Also applies to refuting an argument by simply calling it a fallacy or declaring it invalid, without proving why it is invalid. See also, “Reductionism.”
Think about this: how many times have you seen or heard MJ fans referred to as “rabid”, “fanatical”, “crazy”, “deranged”, “delusional”, “lunatic”, etc.? It’s a way of robbing us of our credibility as we attempt to advocate, defend, and seek justice for MJ, and it’s used by haters to marginalize fans in the eyes of skeptics. For example, look at what conservative commentator Sean Hannity had to say about fans in front of the court house for the Dr. Murray trial (and I’ll give him credit because at least he also attacked the Dr. Murray supporters too!)
Non Sequitur: The fallacy of offering reasons or conclusions that have no logical connection to the argument at hand (e.g. “The reason I flunked your course is because the government is now putting out yellow-tinted ten-dollar bills!”). (See also Red Herring.)
Red Herring: An irrelevant distraction, attempting to mislead an audience by bringing up an unrelated, but usually emotionally loaded issue. E.g., “In regard to my recent indictment for corruption, let’s talk about what’s really important instead–terrorists are out there, and if we don’t stop them we’re all gonna die!”
Snow Job: The fallacy of “proving” a claim by overwhelming an audience with mountains of irrelevant facts, numbers, documents, graphs and statistics that they cannot be expected to understand. This is a corrupted argument from logos. See also, “Lying with Statistics.”
The snow job, red herring, and non sequitur fallacies are also very popular with haters, even though most haters are too dumb to even realize that they’re using these fallacies! We’ve all heard them before: “Michael Jackson is a grown man who’s never been in a real relationship with a woman, he built an amusement park in his backyard, he butchered his face, he bleached his skin, he likes to hang out with animals, he took female hormones, so therefore he’s guilty!”
Another common snow job, red herring, or non sequitur tactic that haters use is when they bring up the MJ’s “bed sharing”, and try to focus EXCLUSIVELY on that non-issue. They like to argue over the propriety of MJ allowing non-related kids to sleep in his bed/bedroom, and insinuate that MJ forced or cajoled children to do it without their parent’s permission, which couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a very emotionally charged issue (and thus could also be labeled an ad hominem attack), and over the years haters (especially those in the media) have used this to insinuate that MJ was a sick predator who couldn’t control his “urges” to be around young boys, and invited them into his room to sleep in his bed in order to satisfy some perverted sexual fetish (and yes, I’ve heard people use this argument before, too).
The reality is that Michael Jackson did what millions of people around the world do when they have company, be it friends or family; he let them sleep in his bedroom! Nothing more, nothing less! As we have discussed in this post, and in this post, there wasn’t anything sinister or abnormal about his bed sharing, and this entire issue is really all about making a mountain out of a molehill to distract people from the facts which clear MJ of the bogus charges.
PHILLIPS: You’re looking good. Now, you and I were talking yesterday, we were talking a little bit this morning. You’re in support of Michael Jackson. Tell me why.
JAMES: Because I love him. I think he’s fantastic. I love his whole family. I’ve been knowing Michael since he was a kid. I’ve know his whole family. I know his mother. I know his father. I know the brothers. I know the sisters. And I have nothing but complete love, and respect and admiration for the whole family.It’s a good thing that Rick James was never accused of child abuse! They would say he’s so “weird” that he must be guilty!
PHILLIPS: So, Rick, why do you think authorities are going after Michael Jackson?
JAMES: Because he’s black, he’s rich and he’s famous, and they got nothing else better to do.
PHILLIPS: Has Michael ever talked openly with you about his relationship with children, or his love for children, or even Neverland?
JAMES: Look, Michael loves children, OK? I mean, to be — I mean, I look at it like this. I mean, all this pedophile crap, you know, why didn’t they go after Elvis Presley? He was the biggest pedophile at all. He had Priscilla when she was 14, 15. Why didn’t they go after Jerry Lee Lewis. He the second biggest pedophile of all. He married his first cousin. She was 13 years old. Why don’t they go after Santa Claus? Why don’t they do psychology references on him? They don’t know who he is. He’s 100,000 different cities and kids sit on his lap, telling him what they want for Christmas.
PHILLIPS: I don’t know, Rick, I’ve sat on Santa Claus’ lap, I’ve never had any issues with Santa Claus.
JAMES: But never mind, Santa Claus, what about Elvis? They didn’t do anything to him. He had Priscilla when she was 14, 15 years old. Nobody said a damn thing. Then as soon as you get famous and black, they go after you.
PHILLIPS: Well, let me ask you, let me ask you, you know the documentary that came out, OK, on BBC with Michael Jackson. He talked openly about, hey, I love children, we sleep in the same bed, it’s nothing sexual, I just love them and like to take care of them. Is there anything wrong with that? Do you see anything wrong with that?
JAMES: There ain’t nothing wrong with that. Look, I have a house, 8,000 square feet. I have children come by. I have grandchildren. They come by and they bring their friends. They sleep in my room. I got a great big giant bedroom. They watch TV. They lay on the floor. Sometimes I wake up, kids are laying in my bed because they’re scared or something, whatever. I have candles going. What, what does that make me, a pedophile, because kids follow my bed, fall to sleep, whatever? I love kids. I’m (UNINTELLIGIBLE) pedophile as Larry King. I mean, come on now.
After reading that, would you consider Rick James a child molester? I wonder why Gloria Allred didn’t try to take HIS kids away? Oh, that’s right, he’s not a big enough star for her!
Here is an excerpt from Frank Cascio’s new book “My Friend Michael”, where he puts the bed sharing issue into proper perspective, beginning on page 261:
“In Bashir’s interview, Michael was shown holding Gavin’s hand and telling the world that kids slept in his bed. Anyone who knew Michael would recognize the honesty and innocent candor of what he was trying to communicate. But Bashir was determined to cast it in a different light…
What Michael didn’t bother to explain, and what Bashir didn’t care to ask about, was that Michael’s suite at Neverland, as I’ve said before, was a gathering place, with a family room downstairs and a bedroom upstairs. Michael didn’t explain that people hung out there, and sometimes they wanted to stay over. He didn’t explain that he always offered guests his bed, and for the most part slept on the floor in the family room below. But, perhaps more important, he didn’t explain that the guest were always close friends like us Cascios and his extended family.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Michael, a story that plagued him for years following the Bashir documentary, was that he had an assortment of children sleeping in his room at any given time. The truth was that random children never came to Neverland and stayed in Michael’s room. Just as my brother Eddie and I had done when we were younger, the family and friends who did stay with Michael, did so of their own volition. Michael just allowed it to happen because his friends and family liked to be around him.
What Michael said on Bashir’s video is true. “You can have my bed if you want. Sleep in it. I’ll sleep on the floor. It’s your’s. Always give the best to the company, you know.” Michael had no hesitation about telling the truth because he had nothing to hide. He knew in his heart and mind that his actions were sincere, his motives pure, and his conscience, clear. Michael innocently and honestly said, “Yes, I share my bed, there is nothing wrong with it.” The fact of the matter is, when he was “sharing” his bed, it meant he was offering his bed to whoever wanted to sleep in it. There may have been times when we slept up there as well, but he was usually on the floor next to his bed, or downstairs sleeping on the floor (in the family room that was part of his bedroom suite). Although Bashir, for obvious reasons, kept harping on the bed, if you watch the full, uncut interview, it’s impossible not to understand what Michael was trying to make clear: when he said he shared his bed, he meant he shared his life with the people he saw as family.
The bottom line: Michael’s interest in young boys had absolutely nothing to do with sex. I say this with the unassailable confidence of firsthand experience, the confidence of a young boy who slept in the same room as Michael hundreds of times, and with the absolute conviction of a man who saw Michael interact with thousands of kids. In all the years that I was close to him, I saw nothing that raised any red flags, not as a child and not as an adult. Michael may have been eccentric, but that didn’t make him a criminal.
The problem, though, was that this point of view wasn’t represented in the documentary. Listening to Michael talk, people who didn’t know him were disturbed by what he was saying, not only because his words were taken out of context but also because Bashir, the narrator, was telling them they SHOULD BE disturbed. The journalist repeatedly suggested that Michael’s statements made him very uncomfortable. Michael was quirky enough without the machinations of a mercenary newshound, to be sure, but there’s no doubt that Bashir manipulated viewers for his own ends. His questions were leading, the editing misguided. As I watched the broadcast, it seemed to me that Bashir’s plan all along had been to expose Michael in whatever way he could in order to win the highest ratings he could for his show.
Here is another example of those three fallacies: earlier this year, a very well-known MJ hater intentionally tried to distract us by throwing a red herring in our direction. She accused MJ of being gay (another ad hominem attack), and her “proof” was the fact that the DNA of 3 males were found on MJ’s mattress. Additionally, traces of cocaine were found ON the blood stains (but not IN the blood stains) of a dirty pair of underwear, so the hater naturally accused MJ of being a “drug addict”. That so-called evidence was refuted in this post, among others, but her goal of temporarily throwing us off course by throwing irrelevant junk science in our face was a smashing success! We wasted so much time on that non-issue!
Post Hoc Argument: (also, “post hoc propter hoc” argument, or the “too much of a coincidence” argument): The classic fallacy that because something comes at the same time or just after something else, the first thing is caused by the second. E.g., “AIDS first emerged as a problem during the exact same time that Disco music was becoming popular–that’s too much of a coincidence: It proves that Disco causes AIDS!”
To put it in simpler language, this fallacy states that because Event A precedes Event B, then that unequivocally means that Event A CAUSED Event B! This is used when describing the effect that the strip search had on the decision to have a $15.3 million dollar settlement, and the effect that the settlement had on the Chandlers. In the eyes of most haters, because the “accurate” description given by Jordan Chandler preceded the settlement, and because the settlement preceded the Chandler’s decision to stop cooperating with police, therefore the “accurate” description was the CAUSE of the settlement, and the settlement was the CAUSE of the Chandler’s decision to stop cooperating! (i.e. it was hush money!) That nonsense was thoroughly shot down in this post that analyzes the hypocrisy of the media’s reporting on MJ’s settlements vs. the settlements of other celebrities, who were NEVER accused of paying “hush money” with their respective settlements! Also, this post explains Jordan’s so-called “accurate description”!
Here is an example of the Post Hoc fallacy in action: On January 30th, 2004 FOX News host Bill O’Reilly interviewed Geraldine Hughes about her book “Redemption”, which fully exonerates MJ of the Chandler scandal. He tries to make the connection between the settlement and the collapse of the criminal case:
HUGHES: Well, okay — well, basically, it’s — my contention is that it was an elaborate — elaborate, meaning it was multifaceted. Multifaceted means I can throw you one thing and it’s really not going to matter until you pull it all together. Minus physical evidence, you have to look at the whole picture. You can’t just — one thing is not going to do it for you.
O’REILLY: All right.
HUGHES: But I will say this. I will say this. We have the finest police, law enforcement agency in the nation. There were four police agencies that went looking for evidence to corroborate with the little boy, and they found nothing. That really should be your biggest thing right there.
O’REILLY: Well, here’s what swayed me to disagree with you, and maybe you can put this in perspective for us. During the settlement hearings…
O’REILLY: The father, Dr. Chandler, all right, and your boss presented a scenario whereby the 13-year-old boy would identify marks on Michael Jackson’s body that nobody would have known about unless they had seen his intimate parts.
HUGHES: Right. Yes, okay.
O’REILLY: Now what say you, Madame?
HUGHES: I said did they bring him — did they arrest him based on their findings? Because had he accurately described parts that only someone could have described if they had seen it, that would have been — that was really what they were looking for, the mere fact that they didn’t bring him up on charges after that. And Michael even said the only reason why…
O’REILLY: The boy — after the $20 million changed hands, the boy then wouldn’t testify. And that’s how it went.
Notice how O’Reilly cut Geraldine off before she could finish her sentence? Absolutely typical! We’ll analyze this interview again later on in this post.
Reductionism: (also, Oversimplifying, Sloganeering): The fallacy of deceiving an audience by giving simple answers or slogans in response to complex questions, especially when appealing to less educated or unsophisticated audiences. E.g., “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must vote to acquit.” Often involves appeals to emotion (pathos). E.g., “Moms! If you want to protect your little kids from armed terrorists, vote for Smith!”
Have you ever asked a hater why they think that MJ should have been convicted, and instead of giving a substantive, cogent argument, they instead give you some crap like “Well, OJ Simpson was acquitted too!” That’s probably the best example of a reductionist fallacy. Another example of reductionism is the following quote that Diane Dimond used in her roundtable discussion from a few weeks ago:
But in my book, I outline several years’ worth of interviews that I did, with lots of young boys, and their families, that were too afraid to come forward and press charges, that all told the same story! Of how the child was manipulated to come and see Michael Jackson, manipulated to be alone with Michael Jackson, maybe the adults in their lives were over-protective, or over-reacting, but Michael Jackson made the first charges “go away”, as I outline in the book, by paying $30 million dollars! Who does that? And don’t tell me it’s because he had a lot of money back then, because he wasn’t working at that point!
She took the complex subject of the 1993 settlement, and reduced it to “MJ must have been guilty, because innocent people don’t pay millions of dollars to their accusers!” What Dimond and her ilk are clinging to is the erroneous belief that the settlement was a sign of guilt, instead of the pertinent facts of the case. My suggestion to anyone who is in a debate with someone who uses this fallacy is to ask them to describe the exact timeline of the allegations, beginning in May 1993 and ending on August 17th, 1993, the day the police got involved. By limiting the haters to the timeline of events that took place BEFORE the settlement, they are forced to explain and justify Evan Chandler’s refusal to hand over Jordan to June Chandler, his questioning of Jordan only AFTER his tooth was removed and he was under the influence of drugs, his demand of a $20 million dollar film deal on August 4th, 1993, etc.
This line of questioning usually shuts them up really quick!
Maureen Orth used this same fallacy in her defense of her five Vanity Fair articles by basically saying “Hey! He never sued me for slander or libel, so obviously that means that everything I wrote is true!”
In August 1993, I was on the beach in Nantucket when I was told that Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter was trying to reach me: Michael Jackson had just been accused of child molestation by a 13-year-old boy. Thus began an odyssey of 12 years in which I wrote five lengthy articles for the magazine about the trials and tribulations of this music icon whose fame had literally deformed him. I spoke to hundreds of people who knew Jackson and, in the course of my reporting, found families who had given their sons up to him and paid dearly for it. I found people who had been asked to supply him with drugs. I even found the business manager who told me on-the-record how he had had to wire $150,000 to a voodoo chief in Mali who had 42 cows ritually sacrificed in order to put a curse on David Geffen, Steven Spielberg, and 23 others on Jackson’s enemies list. I sat through two trials and watched his bizarre behavior on the stand when he said he did not recognize his publicist of a decade. One of the reasons I endured this not-fun circus was that, when I began, I was the mother of a boy roughly the same age as the ones Jackson was so interested in spending the night with. His behavior truly troubled me. Understandably, in the wake of his death, there are those who do not want to hear these sad facts. Yet nothing that Vanity Fair printed was ever challenged legally by Jackson or his associates.
A man who made great music and entertained brilliantly has died. I’ve been told that he had endured an eight-hour rehearsal and was in rare form on the stage the night before his death. I’ve also been told that the lawyers swooped in yesterday to retrieve all the videos that had been made of these rehearsals. I believe the aftermath of his death will probably be as messy as his life was. I loved his music. Offstage, he could not escape his tragic flaw.
And notice how in the last paragraph she used what I call the “Trojan horse” fallacy, which is when a hater pretends to be a fan in order to gain your trust (which is analogous to the way the Greeks entered the city of Troy) and fools you into thinking that they’re being objective. They always talk about how they “used” to be fans, and how they still “love his music”!
By the way, it’s funny how Orth said that MJ paid $150k dollars to put a curse on Geffen, Spielberg, and others, yet they are all still alive and doing well. Did MJ ever get a refund on his money? I sure hope he had a money back guarantee written into the contract he made with that voodoo chief!
Finally, if you’re dealing with someone who wants to play the “MJ’s settlement as a sign of guilt” card, you can ask them if they think that corporations who settle lawsuits are also guilty! A few examples of corporate settlements are (of course!) JC Penney’s settlement with the Arvizos, Texaco and Best Buy’s settlements of their respective racial discrimination lawsuits, and Wal-Mart and Microsoft’s settlements of their respective sexual harassment lawsuits, just to name a few. Tell the hater that they should boycott each of those companies to show that they disapprove of racism and sexism!
Shifting the Burden of Proof. (see also Argument from Ignorance) A fallacy that challenges opponents to disprove a claim, rather than asking the person making the claim to defend his/her own argument. E.g., “Space-aliens are everywhere among us, even here on campus, masquerading as true humans! I dare you prove it isn’t so! See? You can’t! That means you have to accept that what I say is true.”
This is something that haters absolutely LOVE to do, and unfortunately this is a fallacy that we as MJ fans and advocates MUST accommodate! It’s not up to us to prove that MJ was innocent; it’s up to THEM to prove that his is guilty! In a perfect world , we could just sit back, rest on our laurels, and demand that haters write books, post blogs, or upload videos to factually prove that MJ was guilty, but they’ll never do that, because that requires research, which is a foreign concept to them! Instead, we as advocates have to be proactive in our defense of MJ by seeking out and destroying any misinformation that can (and has been) used to poison the minds of an impressionable, gullible public who don’t know how to tell fact from fiction. One of the reasons that we must do this is because there is a perception among the general public that because the Arvizo’s allegations made it all the way to criminal court, there must have been some truth to them. Many people believe “If those boys were lying, the cops would have caught them in their lies!” So as a result of Sneddon and his goons enabling the Arvizos in their lies, and exploiting them in order to achieve their devious desires, we must, in fact, prove that MJ was innocent.
The admins of this blog have done an excellent job doing just that. Similar to a school of hungry piranhas, whenever we sniff even the slightest bit of blood in our waters (i.e. rumors and lies about MJ), we refute them with facts, and only facts. If we waited for the day when haters stopped shifting the burden of proof unto fans, and instead took it upon themselves, then those lies would continue to go unchallenged in the media, and on the internet (because that day will never come!). This is why all fans must step up their knowledge of the facts, and learn how to effectively refute the lies and defend MJ. Look no further than the abysmal performance of Steve Manning and Mike Garcia in their roundtable with Diane Dimond to see what happens when you’re not equipped with facts! (And please don’t get me wrong, because I’m not angry with them, just disappointed.)
Here is an example of someone shifting the burden of proof: once again, our good friend Bill O’Reilly rears his ugly head! Here is another excerpt from his interview with Geraldine Hughes:
O’REILLY: In the “Impact” segment tonight, 45-year-old Michael Jackson will be arraigned next week on child molestation charges in California. As you know, the case is the subject of endless speculation, but there is a story you might not have heard. In 1994, Jackson settled child molestation charges with a 13-year-old boy and his family for millions. At the time, a lawyer named Barry Rothman was representing the boy. Joining us now from Los Angeles is Geraldine Hughes, who was Rothman’s legal secretary during that case. She is the author of the upcoming book “Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations.”
All right, I want to walk through this, Ms. Hughes. I want to be very specific. All right, you contend that the boy’s father, Dr. Evan Chandler, was behind this whole thing and that Jackson did not molest the boy. Is that correct?
GERALDINE HUGHES, “REDEMPTION” AUTHOR: That is absolutely correct.
O’REILLY: And you base that on what?
HUGHES: Well, basically, I was on the inside. So I was able to witness behaviors. I was able to witness what was going on the inside. I knew from the very onset of the allegation that Michael Jackson was absolutely innocent and that it wasn’t a case…
O’REILLY: All right, now give me one — your biggest convincer. You’ve got millions of people watching you right now.
O’REILLY: All right? The biggest reason you felt Jackson was innocent was?
HUGHES: I guess, if I were to give one — there were a lot — but I will try and pull one. Basically, it was — I actually recall the letter that went to Chandler, where he was advised about how to report child molestation by using a third party without liability to a parent. And that was like three weeks prior to the actual launching of the allegations.
O’REILLY: All right, now Ms. Hughes, if I am a parent, and my child is molested, all right, I immediately go to my attorney for advice. If my attorney advises me to take a certain course of action, as Dr. Chandler’s did, all right, because you worked for the man…
O’REILLY: …all right, why would that mean that this didn’t happen? Why wouldn’t this be just the methodical, orderly way to place the complaint?
HUGHES: I guess if that was the only thing I had that I could say made me believe that, you would probably be right and I would probably look into it further based on your view. But there’s many occasions…
O’REILLY: All right, but I asked you for the big gun. And the big gun hasn’t convinced me. Give me something else.
Notice how he condescendingly told her that he wanted her to be “very specific” (as if she was going to speak in generalities), and asked her to give him her “biggest convincer” (i.e. the “Smoking Gun”), and when – in his eyes – she failed to do so, he told her to give him “something else”. He then went on to say that Jordie gave an “accurate description”, which Geraldine rightfully refuted by saying that MJ would have been arrested if it had been accurate, and O’Reilly had to cling to the “pay off” myth to make his point. (That part of the interview is presented earlier in this post.) Essentially, because Geraldine didn’t “convince” O’Reilly of MJ’s innocence right then and there, he felt he was able to continue to smear MJ as guilty.
And for O’Reilly to sit there and tell a bold face lie and say that if his son was molested he would “immediately go to his attorney for advice” is absolutely ludicrous! When you consider the many valiant crusades that he has led against child abuse (such as Jessica’s Law), and his attacks against judges who are lenient on convicted child molesters (see the video below), it is utterly laughable to think that he would call an attorney instead of the cops!
Let’s look at a more rational explanation of what someone would do if they suspected their child was molested: here is Joe Tacopina, the attorney who represented MJ’s close confidant and “unindicted co-conspirator” Frank Cascio, describing to Martin Bashir, in his second hit piece “MJ’s Secret World” (which I fact checked here) what he would do if he was in that situation:
Martin Bashir (narrating): The mother says that Neverland had become a nightmare. She says they were threatened by Jackson’s aides, not allowed to leave the property, and that she and her family were being held hostage.
Joe Tacopina : During the period of time that they were allegedly held hostage, we have receipts that will show the mother and her teenage daughter getting manicures and pedicures, shopping at stores. I mean, it’s laughable!
Martin Bashir (narrating): Jackson’s supporters say they are confident that they’ll be able to destroy the credibility of the accuser’s story at trial.
Martin Bashir (speaking to Joe): You’re fundamentally saying that this cancer victim, and his entire family, are liars.
Joe Tacopina : Yes. If you want to attribute a reason, or a motive, I don’t think it’s hard to find one. It’s financial. Michael Jackson has a bulls-eye on his back. He’s a one-man lotto ticket.
Martin Bashir: What evidence do you have that this is a shakedown?
Joe Tacopina : Who do they go to first? A lawyer. Not the police. You see, if my child had been molested, and I believed my child had been sexually abused by someone, I’m not looking for a personal injury lawyer. I’m looking for a police officer. Or a baseball bat!
(Unfortunately, as we’ve learned through recent events, there are some people who witness child abuse, yet turn a blind eye, which is absolutely UNCONCIONABLE!)
Finally, let’s look at how O’Reilly violates one of the fundamental principles of American jurisprudence; that a defendant is innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law! The prosecution must PROVE guilt beyond a reasonable doubt! The defendant doesn’t have to prove anything!
O’REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa. I will cede you one point, Madame. You’re not making your case for me, I have to be quite honest with you. I’m not believing…
HUGHES: That’s fine.
O’REILLY: …you know, I’m not going to get it, Bill.
O’REILLY: Well, look, I mean I’m not — if I’m on the jury and I’m listening to you, he’s not exonerated. But I will tell you this — I do believe that this Dr. Chandler, okay, wanted the money rather than the criminal prosecution. Instead of going to the authorities first and backing into the civil suit, he didn’t. He went for the civil — he wanted the money and then the criminal prosecution be damned. I do believe that. And that’s wrong.
HUGHES: But we live in a state where you can have both. You can have criminal prosecution and the money.
O’REILLY: Now, but not then. Not yet. You could have.
HUGHES: Oh, then you could too.
O’REILLY: Now here’s motivation you may be right about but…
HUGHES: He could have had both. He didn’t have to go just for the one. And you tell me somebody molests your child, you’re going to take money and not go after the prosecution?
O’REILLY: I wouldn’t do it. I know people who would sell their children for $20 million. Ms. Hughes, we thank you very much for appearing.
HUGHES: Thank you.
O’Reilly said that if he’s on a jury listening to Hughes’ explanation, then MJ’s “not exonerated”, thus implying that the burden of proof is on the defense, which is totally and absolutely wrong! This is another scare tactic that people like him like to use against MJ’s fans; it’s similar to a “gotcha” question. They like to ask us to prove MJ’s innocent, and if we don’t, then it’s “Gotcha! MJ’s guilty! I knew you couldn’t prove he was innocent!”
And while we’re on the subject of O’Reilly, he and many other haters have tried to sympathize with Evan Chandler by saying “Well, maybe he didn’t want to deal with the media circus, so that’s why he decided to just stop cooperating after he received the settlement.” And to that I say BULL! Whenever you hear someone try to rationalize Evan’s refusal to go to trial, remember these two important facts:
1. Within two days of the1993 scandal going public, Ray Chandler actually moved in with his brother Evan, and lived there until December 1993. Together, they wrote the book “All That Glitters”, with the hope of releasing it under Ray’s name in order to circumvent the confidentiality agreement of the settlement. They were unable to get a book deal, so Ray just let the book collect dust until the Arvizo allegations became public, and he finally published the book in September 2004. He was subpoenaed to testify in court about the facts stated in the book, but not by Sneddon, but by Mesereau! Ray, being the coward that he is, successfully quashed Mesereau’s subpoena, and he was able to freely promote the book in the media. In July 2009, book publisher Judith Regan confirmed that Ray and Evan tried to publish the book and intentionally violate the confidentiality agreement. (For more info, read this series of posts.)
2. On May 7th, 1996, Evan Chandler filed a $60 million dollar lawsuit against MJ, Lisa-Marie Presley, Diane Sawyer, ABC Television Company, Walt Disney Company (the owners of ABC), Sony, and if that wasn’t enough, unidentified “John Does 1 through 300”. He claimed that MJ violated the terms of their confidentiality agreement by proclaiming his innocence in his July 1995 interview with Diane Sawyer (which is why ABC and its owner Disney were sued), and on his “HIStory” album (which is why Sony was sued). I guess all of those John Does were unindicted co-conspirators, eh? In addition to the outrageous dollar amount requested, Evan also wanted Sony to help him “repair his reputation” by publishing a rebuttal album titled “EVANstory”, which would consist of such songs as “Truth”, “Duck Butter Blues”, and “You Have No Defense For My Love”! This frivolous lawsuit was dismissed in 2000, and (ironically) according to “All That Glitters”, Evan was nearly broke from having to pay for all of his legal fees associated with the lawsuit, and had to depend on an allowance from Jordan for the remaining years of his life. For more information on the lawsuit, and its absurdity, read this post. Also, here is great column written by a journalist in June 1996, who challenges Evan to present the facts in a court of law, instead of trying to get a record deal!
In summary, the notion that Evan didn’t pursue justice because he was afraid of attracting media attention to his family is UTTERLY REFUTED by his own actions! People who want to avoid media attention do not try to publish tell-all books or release albums! And keep this in mind: Evan Chandler filed his frivolous lawsuit in May 1996, almost a full year after MJ’s interview with Diane Sawyer, so that proves that his desire to get an album deal from Sony was premeditated! It wasn’t something that he did on a whim after seeing the interview. He and his lawyer spent many months preparing that lawsuit, and going through who they would sue, and what they would sue for. He knew what he wanted to name the album, and what songs he wanted to record for the album. His desire to have that album recorded and released by Sony was absolute.
Whenever you’re dealing with someone who wants to shift the burden of proof unto you, and force you to prove MJ is innocent, ask them to COGENTLY answer these questions about the allegations:
1. If Michael Jackson was guilty of child molestation in 1993, why was he not arrested and charged with a crime?
2. If Sneddon and Garcetti had so much inculpatory evidence against Jackson, then why were they unable to secure an indictment from two independent grand juries, located in two different counties?
3. If Michael Jackson “paid off” the Chandlers, then why was he not arrested and charged with obstruction of justice?
4. If Michael Jackson was guilty, then why didn’t he capitulate into Evan Chandler’s demand of a $20 million dollar film deal on August 4th, 1993? He could have avoided the entire media circus had he done so!
5. Why did Michael Jackson fight to have the case tried in criminal court first (where Jackson could be sentenced to prison if convicted), while the Chandlers fought to have the case tried in civil court first (where Jackson could be ordered to pay millions if found liable)? Wouldn’t Jackson want to avoid criminal court at all costs? (See question #4.)
6. Why did Jackson’s legal team cite the case of “Pacers, Inc. v. Superior Court” as legal precedent in their motion to get the civil trial delayed until after the pending criminal trial? (Pay attention to the last sentence in the second paragraph of Section IV, beginning with “To allow prosecutors to monitor the civil proceedings…”.)
The questions about the 2005 case are far more complex:
In the Statement of Probable Cause, dated November 17th, 2003, Det. Paul Zelis described an interview he did with Star Arvizo, who claimed the following (on pages 15, 23, & 50):
When asked, Star said Michael Jackson touched him inappropriately. The incident occurred when they were in a golf cart. Star was driving the golf cart and Michael was next to him. Michael then reached over and touched Star’s “testicles and penis” over his clothes with Michael’s left hand. He did not say anything to Michael and continued driving the golf cart.
Yet, Michael Jackson was never charged with molesting Star. Instead, when Tom Sneddon filed his initial felony complaint against Michael Jackson on December 18th, 2003, it consisted of the following allegations by Gavin, which allegedly occurred from February 7th through March 10th, 2003:
- 7 counts of lewd acts upon a child
- 2 counts of administering an intoxicant
However, in the grand jury indictment that was filed on April 21st, 2004, the dates of the alleged offenses shifted to February 20th through March 12th, 2003, and the charges were materially altered as follows:
- 4 counts of lewd acts upon a child
- 1 count of an attempted lewd act upon a child
- 4 counts of administering an intoxicant
- 1 count of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment, and extortion
Based on those facts, here are the questions that you should ask:
1. How do you explain the discrepancy in the alcohol and molestation charges between the initial felony complaint and the grand jury indictment?
2. How do you explain the addition of the conspiracy charge, especially in light of the fact that the Arvizos went on numerous shopping sprees while at Neverland, and constantly asked to be returned to Neverland after leaving?
3. Why wasn’t Michael Jackson charged with conspiracy in the initial complaint? Sneddon investigated Michael Jackson for almost 6 months before raiding Neverland in November 2003. Shouldn’t he have known then about the alleged conspiracy?
4. Why weren’t the 5 unindicted co-conspirators charged, even after they refused immunity for their testimony against Michael Jackson?
5. Why wasn’t Michael Jackson charged with molesting Star, in addition to Gavin? In the statement of probable cause, he claimed to have been molested while riding a golf cart. Wouldn’t Sneddon want to use as many accusers as possible against Jackson?
6. Why did the start date of the alleged crimes suddenly shift by almost 2 weeks, and the end date shift by 2 days?
7. Why would Michael Jackson begin to molest Gavin and Star only AFTER the documentary aired? Why didn’t he molested them between 2000 and 2002?
8. Why would Michael Jackson begin to molest Gavin and Star AFTER he hired Mark Geragos in early February 2003? Why would he hire a lawyer to defend him for a crime that he had not committed yet?
There you go MJ haters! Put up or shut up!
Recently, a reader of this blog told me that it’s very hard to explain and refute the accusations of the 1993 case, due to the fact that it never made it to court, and the Chandler’s were never cross examined under oath. As a response to her question, I came up with a list of 16 talking points that fans should memorize (to the best of their ability) so that they can explain what really happened in 1993. I will discuss these talking points in more detail in an upcoming post tentatively titled “21 Questions For Michael Jackson Haters”:
1. Evan and Jordan’s background as the screenwriters of “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”.
2. Evan’s jealously of Jordan spending more time with MJ than him., and his anger at MJ over being rejected as a 50/50 partner in MJ’s film company.
4. Evan coercing Jordan to admit to being abused right after a dental procedure, when Jordan was still heavily sedated.
5. Evan’s demand for a $20 million dollar for a film deal on August 4th, 1993, and MJ’s refusal to give in.
6. June Chandler obtaining custody of Jordan, and Evan’s decision to bring Jordan to a psychiatrist rather than surrender custody of him. He did not mention his suspicions of child abuse to the courts. Evan did this so that the psychiatrist Mathis Abrams could report the alleged abuse, and Evan couldn’t be charged with filing a false claim.
7. Evan’s firing of Gloria Allred for her refusal to sue MJ before criminally prosecuting him, and his replacement of her with Larry Feldman, who filed a frivolous civil lawsuit in September 1993. MJ countersued for extortion.
8. Feldman’s motion to have the civil trail precede the criminal trial, and Fields’ and Weitzman’s counter-motion to have it delayed until after the criminal trial (which subsequently failed.)
9. The fact that MJ was not arrested immediately upon the completion of his strip search, and Larry Feldman’s request to have MJ strip searched again or bar the original photos from court, which confirms it wasn’t an accurate match. (I would also compare Jordan’s description to MJ’s actual description so viewers can see how disparate they are, as we did in this post.)
10. The settlement money was not offered or paid by MJ, nor did it prevent the Chandlers from testifying in a criminal case. The Chandlers refused to cooperate with authorities, and Garcetti was so desperate that he urged state legislators to amend a law that prohibited him from forcing victims to testify. (Read the “Officials Desperate to Nail Jackson” article in that link.)
11. After the settlement, two different grand juries in two counties refused to indict MJ, and the investigation stopped in September 1994.
12. In May 1996, Evan filed a $60 million lawsuit against MJ, LMP, ABC, and Sony, and he wanted to record and publish a rebuttal album called “EVANstory”. The lawsuit was thrown out in 2000, and Evan’s finances were depleted by the legal fees.
13. In September 2004, Ray Chandler successfully quashed Mesereau’s subpoena for him to testify in court about the validity of his book “All That Glitters” (read this series for more info), which was ghostwritten by Evan Chandler, and was originally intended to be released in Spring 1994. Book publisher Judith Regan confirmed this in July 2009.
14. In August 2005, two months after the trial, Evan tried to murder Jordan by hitting him from behind with a 12.5 pound weight, macing him, and choking him. Jordan obtained a permanent restraining order as a result.
15. In November 2009, Evan committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Nobody attended his wake, and he was subsequently cremated.
16. In December 2009, the FBI released their files on MJ, as a result of requests under the Freedom of Information Act, and they confirm a meeting in September 2004 with Ron Zonen and Jordan Chandler, who threatened legal action if he was subpoenaed to testify because he “had done his part”.
Hopefully, each of these 16 talking points will be incorporated into a possible future biopic on Jackson’s life. I’m fed up with so many MJ documentaries and biographies that omit all of these exculpatory facts! For the complete story of 1993, read this three part series “HIStory vs. EVANstory”, beginning here.
Here’s an example of what can happen when you present the facts to haters who are so stuck in their anti-MJ delusions that they refuse to engage in civil discourse! One of our readers named Ashley left the following comment describing the reaction she received from a friend when discussing MJ’s Vitiligo:
I had an incident the other night on Facebook with someone I know who pretty much laughed at me for saying something about Michael having vitiligo. Her response was “you don’t actually believe that, do you?” Even when I provided her with the fact that it was determined by autopsy that he did in fact have it, she was still set in her tabloid-following mindset. It’s so sad. And of course, when I pointed out other facts to her, she defended herself by insulting me and saying she had a life and didn’t have time to read the facts. I merely responded that people shouldn’t talk about things they don’t know the facts about.
If you think that’s funny, just wait until you read this exchange between Tahlia, one of our dedicated readers, and her mother Sue, as they debate with Chris, Terri, Tash, and Sue over whether or not MJ was a drug addict!
“This is long, and I’ve already edited it to shorten it, but here’s another example of hater fallacies. I know I didn’t do the best job either, if you have any constructive criticism on how I can do this better next time please let me know. I use the same name on Facebook as on here. Sue is my Mother, she’s not used to being in debates.
Chris – I love MJ, but lets not forget that Dr Murray or not, he was a junkie and thats what killed him…
Terri well said chris
Tash So true Chris But….we live in a society that florishes on passing blame!! Heaven forbid mj was actually responsible for his own ultimate demise
Sue Just because the media said it doesn’t mean it’s true. Do your own research. Autopsy report said he was healthier than most men his age. Drug addicts aren’t healthy.
Sue Proof that he was NOT a junkie: (see autopsy report pages 5-10) For toxicology report see here:http://cnninsession.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/toxicologyreport.pdf And: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/09/mj_autopsy.pdf Again I say research the facts instead of blindly believing the crap that the media come out with. Did any of you watch the live trial? Particularly the testimony from the medical experts? I think it’s pretty stupid to believe the media over the experts!
Terri OMG everybody is entitled to their own and opinion and are allowed to believe what they want, your opinion is that he wasn’t a junkie so leave it at that, if you are not happy with what others are saying then don’t comment and stop trying to shove it down our throats, so all in all GET OVER IT.
Tahlia This isn’t about opinions Terry it’s about facts. That’s what the autopsy report link and toxicology link is there for. Nobody is shoving anything down your throat.
Sue Terri we are merely trying to direct people to the truth, that’s what the links are there for. If you want to ignore the truth and believe the lies I think that’s pretty sad. I’m sure you wouldn’t like people believing things about you that weren’t true. I’m not shoving anything down anybody’s throat, I’m simply supplying links to the facts!
Seran Oh please, why is everyone in an uproar about this? He’s dead. Who cares how. It wasn’t like he was doing anything amazing anyway and really. You believe things cast on the internet and call it research, any wording can be changed ever so simply. You’re not that naive surely
Terri Tahlia my name is right above and yet you still spell it wrong and that’s A FACT. Also are you going to believe that everything on the Internet is CORRECT? Now that is sad have you never heard of evidence being changed? And you can think i am sad for believing what I want I really couldn’t care less. And you are shoving it down people throats because you are telling them that their opinions are wrong.
Sue Again I ask, did you watch any of the live court case? I did and it matches with the links.
Terri No sorry i didn’t I have more important things to do like look after my child and do the house work.
Tahlia Tell that to his kids. He was doing rehearsals for his upcoming 50 concerts, which is pretty impressive at his age. By your logic should nobody care if a person dies, say, a stay at home mum because she ‘isn’t doing anything amazing?’ You should look at the evidence before you call it fake. The coroner’s report and toxicology report on the internet is the same that was used in court. You clearly haven’t researched this at all and you call me naive? Interesting. I’ve researched this for 2 years, I’m well aware of what’s fake and what’s not. Believing the media without question is what’s naive. I would also appreciate it if you would drop the attitude, it isn’t necessary. The prescription meds Michael was using were not being abused, and they were for depression, insomnia, and vitiligo. Michael also suffered from Lupus. Again, the coroner stated that Michael was healthier than most men his age. The coroner has much more credibility than any newspaper does.
Seran . No I haven’t researched it… you know why… because I DON’T CARE. I have better things to do in my life than worry about how a dead guy died
Sue Seran, again you believe what the media said. If you don’t care about how or why he died, why do you continue to attack us? Get back under your bridge troll!
Terri that is just plain rude Sue you obviously can’t take other people’s opinions and NEED TO GROW UP
Tahlia Why are you telling other people to grow up when it was you who exploded because you were provided with evidence that was different to your opinion? You are not being attacked, just educated.
Whenever you debate someone about MJ, and they change the subject, or attack you personally, or they stop talking to you altogether, simply because you stated the facts, then you know you were effective and convincing in your defense of MJ. Good job Tahlia and Ashley! You stood your ground, and made them admit the REAL reason they are so uneducated about MJ; they’re TOO LAZY to do any research!
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire (also Hasty Conclusion, Jumping to a Conclusion). The dangerous fallacy of quickly drawing a conclusion and/or taking action without sufficient evidence. E.g., “My neighbor Jaminder Singh wears a long beard and a turban and speaks a funny language. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. This is war, our country is in danger, and that’s all the evidence we need to string him up!’” A variety of the “Just in Case” fallacy.
Do I really need to give examples of this fallacy? It’s something that we’ve ALL heard a gazillion times before; “If all of these people are making allegations, then they must be true!” But once the dust settles, so to speak, all of the smoke quickly dissipates into the air! This blog is living proof of that! Ironically, one of the best researched and most detailed blogs on the net is aptly titled “Smoke Without Fire”.
In the final part in this series, I will give examples of how NOT to defend Michael Jackson…….