Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fighting this uphill battle

Hi Dear Friends and Supporters!

I woke up to a voice today -- and found that I was scared and disoriented. For a moment, I didn't know where I was, or who was talking to me. I could hear a voice coming from the living room, but I was tucked away in my bed and still in my dreams. As I awoke, I went rushing toward the front of the house, and saw my future step son staring at me like I was a zombie. John Michael had entered my home with his own key -- having been directed by his father to get into the house. My fiancé, along with many other people, including my assistant Louis, had been trying to call me for hours. My fiancé was at his wit's end because he thought something horrible might have happened to me. For almost three hours, I was not answering the phones at home, on my cell, or on my Blackberry. For aIl intents and purposes, I was dead to the world.

Then, as soon as I was fully awake, I looked at my future step son, thanked him for checking on me, then saw the clock and freaked. I was in a panic and I said I needed to rush to the phone. Of course, it was too late when I got on the phone to tell Louis that I was so sorry. I knew I was too late -- it was already 4PM (EST) and I had missed the MJ chat event we'd been planning for such a long time. Louis was very gracious and said the Michael Jackson fans were gracious and understanding as well. When we hung up, I wrote a quick e-mail to Louis and asked him to forward it to any MJ fans who were still on the chat. Still, I felt awful. As I think about this crazy "non chat event" -- I realize that it takes more energy for me to write than I ever really like to admit.

As I write this blog, I'm looking down at my hands, only to see that the left hand is covered in blue ink. (Yes, I write on tablets with ink and legal pads quite often.) The writing that I have done to see Michael Jackson Conspiracy through to publication -- especially when no one wanted the book and I had to self publish, self edit, and self-proof the whole thing -- just took it's toll on me. I think the trip to Las Vegas to see JOE JACKSON was a great deal of fun -- but I also went there for the sake of the book, and all the work I continue to do each day in dealing with PR efforts and every promotional attempt under the sun -- takes it's toll on me as well.

It's hard fighting this uphill battle to bring justice for Michael. For starters, I'm tired of being told "NO" by Oprah, Dateline, 20/20, People Magazine, and others including: Montel Williams, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Steve Harvey, Larry Elder, Tavis Smiley, Howard Stern, and the list goes on.

I have asked people to suggest ideas for book events and Louis and I follow up on those ideas, virtually every day. We wanted to have a signing in Union Square, NYC, but that was shot down by executives at iUniverse. It seems that wherever we turn, we run into a road block. Joe Jackson told me he has experienced some of that type of "stonewalling" as well. Still, that does not help in our struggle to get the message of this book out to the public -- to prove to the world that THE MEDIA TWISTS THE TRUTH!

Again, I'm sending everyone my apologies for missing the live chat today -- for sleeping like the dead -- but I guess my body needed it, especially since the trip back from Vegas took 10 hours (don't ask) and landed me in JFK at 2:30 AM.

Peace and love!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Acknowledgement for a new integrity in journalism

Since Aphrodite Jones published her new book, Michael Jackson Conspiracy, I have noticed that many people in the media still have an unreasonable expectation that they enjoy a wide latitude when it comes to easily disseminating "inside information.” In a court of law, evidence that does not meet certain rules (or standards) does not get admitted during trial. Over the internet, I found a brief (and very general) explanation of evidence that cannot be admitted in court:

"The main reason why evidence is ruled inadmissible is because it falls into a category deemed so unreliable that a court should not consider it as part of a deciding a case --for example, hearsay evidence, or an expert's opinion that is not based on facts generally accepted in the field. Evidence will also be declared inadmissible if it suffers from some other defect--for example, as compared to its value, it will take too long to present or risks enflaming the jury, as might be the case with graphic pictures of a homicide victim. In addition, in criminal cases, evidence that is gathered using illegal methods is commonly ruled inadmissible."

See http://www.nolo.com/definition.cfm/term/2AC3DE52-9273-4C49-BD0FC13728A9CA11.

Hearsay (the repeating of "rumors") and people's unqualified opinions (unless a person is an expert in an applicable field, a person’s opinions can be deemed to be just more “rumors”) seem to be what some media figures trade on when they discuss the Michael Jackson trial. “Inside information,” no matter how juicy and titillating and perhaps even scandalous, does not rise to the test of being "evidence" that can be admitted during trial. The kind of “inside information” that is based on rumor and innuendo can never be deemed to be reliable. Had any of this so-called titillating “inside information” ever been considered to be reliable, you had better believe that D.A. Sneddon would have moved to admit it in court. But there is a check on moving to admit unreliable evidence: competent defense counsel and a reasonable judge would follow the rules of criminal procedure, before admitting evidence.

When media figures act like any kind of evidence (regardless of the quality of evidence or in respect of any standards) can be admitted in court, what these media figures are confused about is that they think a court of law is the same as what has evolved to become the court of public opinion. There is a blurring that is taking place inside the media. Reporters, journalists, and commentators are collapsing a real court of law, where there are standards and procedures, with the court of public opinion, where, according to the pattern of the media's pack mentality which is documented in Michael Jackson Conspiracy, almost anything goes. On some televised court programs, I have noticed that some media figures will present almost any kind of “evidence” to the public, whereas if reporters and correspondents had to present the same “evidence” in an actual court, the media would be subject to rules and standards. Why have some in the media come to believe that they are bound by no rules or standards?

When the media spoon feeds the public "sound bites" based on substandard information, it becomes obvious that many in the media, and some correspondents in particular, are not following any rules or standards when it comes to what should be considered “facts” in their journalism. If a reporter’s career has taken her or him all the way to a major news outlet, then that reporter should have already learned this lesson. You could almost say that any media figures, who are still trading on gossipy “inside information,” are acting reckless and with wanton disregard for any rules or standards.

As Michael Jackson Conspiracy becomes widely read and discussed, more people are discovering for themselves the high standards in journalism, to which we must return. In response to commentary by Mark Fuhrman, someone posted the following message on one of Ms. Jones’s YouTube videos: “Since when is crime a matter of opinion? I thought it was a matter of laws.”

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L0BPJq2mno.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Playing slipshod with the 'truth'

The recent statements broadcast on CNN involving the improprieties of the Catholic Church and comparisons to Michael Jackson are indicative of the media bias against Michael Jackson and people of color, in general. There was never any evidence to show that Jackson hurt any child. It borders on racism for CNN to fail to present the other side of the coin and to leave statements about Jackson’s alleged guilt to remain unchallenged. The truth is that Michael Jackson is innocent and was found not guilty. The King of Pop should not be compared to O.J. Simpson or to anyone else for that matter. What everyone should be asking themselves is why does the media focus on tearing down people of color, without referring to the likes of Robert Blake, who was found guilty by a civil jury? Beyond that, people like Mark Fuhrman and Dr. Henry Lee seem to be rewarded for their alleged wrong doings by being given a platform in the media. What's wrong with that picture?"

For more information, please visit the page on CNN's website.