Michael Jackson Interview
February 7, 2003 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Michael feels betrayed and I'm kind of with him on this one. I thought I would just check in on the Jackson special for a few minutes, but I stuck around, mainly because I literally could not believe what I was seeing. What I was waiting for never actually happened: some concession that what was being exploited was not so much a celebrity as someone who is mentally ill. The interviewer's questions (often repeated emphatically for shock value) and Barbara Walters' snarky commercial-break comments seemed a bit on the cruel side when discussing someone who has so little grounding in reality. I can understand the concern about children, Jackson's and others; there is clearly a cycle of abuse (though clearly unintended on Jackson's part), and it is something legal authorities should address; however, I would question opening those issues up on television and trying to assign Jackson motives he is clearly not mature enough, sexually or otherwise, to comprehend, not to mention their own exploitation of the children for ratings.
posted by troybob (67 comments total)
Just the snippets I saw in the gym were way beyond cringeworthy. Gagworthy. The only thing we like more than our celebrities is tearing them down.

The desire for fame, like its cousin the desire for political power, lives right next door to mental illness and often stops by for a visit.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:48 AM on February 7, 2003

I don't think this special could have gone through without two factors in particular:

(1) The Anna Nicole Show demonstrated that you could take someone who is mildly mentally retarded and make fun of them on television.

(2) This special would have never been broadcast were it not for the fact that the narrator had a British accent to grant it some legitimacy.
posted by troybob at 8:49 AM on February 7, 2003

His advisors may have thought this is exactly what would happen and therefore, why they granted the interview. Most of the emotion generated by this seems to be sympathetic towards Jackson.
posted by pfuller at 8:53 AM on February 7, 2003

Who cares?
posted by spazzm at 8:53 AM on February 7, 2003

i think you took a wrong turn at the care-don't care toll, spazzm
posted by dabitch at 8:58 AM on February 7, 2003

Is this Michael Jackson someone you need a television to have heard of? Becuase I do not own a television.
posted by xmutex at 8:58 AM on February 7, 2003

Who cares?

Give it a few minutes, and you'll see a lot of people care enough to talk about it.

I purposefully left my TV off, not wanting to surf by it and catch any glimpses. He's a very sad individual and I pity him. I think he really loves those children, and not in a nambla way. He is just a child himself and I believe he means them no harm.
posted by vito90 at 9:00 AM on February 7, 2003

That's getting old, xmutex.
posted by eas98 at 9:02 AM on February 7, 2003

Yeah it's a fascinating thing to watch just for the pure breathtaking lunacy and unusualness of Mr Jackson, and astonishment at what he has made himself into, the titillation of seeing a huge major celebrity being infantile and ludicrous, particularly him because he's been so secretive until now, but relevance to the real world is zero. It's just entertainment, like he's always done, but now he's taken it to another level. Thanks Michael for a really engrossing TV programme.
posted by mokey at 9:02 AM on February 7, 2003

The whole sharing-a-bed-with/living-with/loving children talk creeped the hell out of me.
posted by trillion at 9:02 AM on February 7, 2003

A troubling aspect of the reporting is that Martin Bashir injected himself into the story at several points, calling his motives and journalistic objectivity into question. I'm thinking of such things as that ham-handed shot of Bashir on the beach wistfully looking out to sea, deep in thought, contemplating his final set of questions.
posted by RavinDave at 9:03 AM on February 7, 2003

I saw the special, and while I agree that it was exploitive, I don't think that anybody had to work very hard to portray Michael as a creepier man than we had even imagined. I do feel sympathetic towards him, but I'm incredibly appalled that he's being allowed to raise children

All abuse allegations aside, this is a guy who is paying women to bear his children, hand them over, and then disappear. He's masking these kids, naming them things like "Prince Michael the 2nd" and dragging through paparazi shit-storms. He's obviously not emotionally fit to raise children, and I think that if he's investigated, someone will (perhaps rightfully) find reason to take them away from him.

So maybe this ratings-mongering show will end up having a healing effect on the lives of those poor kids anyway.
posted by Pinwheel at 9:04 AM on February 7, 2003

My world generally functions better when I pretend Michael Jackson does not exist. When I am forced to confront his existence, I fall back on the belief that he has been dead for five years. This documentary, I believe, supports that proposition.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:05 AM on February 7, 2003

Oh, Boo-Hoo.

I didn't bother to watch, but I've gotten the jist around the water cooler. I'm sorry but I can only drege up so much sympathy for the nutjob plastic surgery addicted multi-gazillionaire.

NTM, everybody's got a lotta nerve being "shocked" at the "revelations." I mean, if the guy wore a sign around his neck saying, "I'm frapping bonkers." It might have been less obvious.

I also believe that the kid who sang 'I Want You Back" was actually kidnapped by aliens in 1973 and replaced with the "being" we now refer to as Michael Jackson.
posted by jonmc at 9:05 AM on February 7, 2003

Heh...no harm...read the smoking gun doc.
posted by cyclopz at 9:06 AM on February 7, 2003

say what you will, but i say the brilliance of "off the wall" and "thriller" give him license to molest as many kids as he wants, and i'm not even being sarcastic.

...already printing up my "FREE MICHAEL!" t-shirts and magnets.
posted by afx114 at 9:16 AM on February 7, 2003

I don't know that anyone is particularly shocked by revelations, despite what is said about his sleeping with children (since his motivations don't seem to approach anything sexual in an adult sense).

For me, the shock was seeing someone exploited who is not mentally capable of consenting to be exploited; I don't know that we could really appreciate this about Jackson until this particular interview. It's really a sign (1) that we are stepping backward in recognizing mental illness as a legitimate disorder comparable to physical disorders and (2) that our society will tolerate--even enjoy--the exploitation of the weak. I just don't see that it's a big leap from this to tolerating child porn.
posted by troybob at 9:18 AM on February 7, 2003

Michael Jackson is no more able to participate in any discussion about what was wrong with this documentary than he was to understand why his last album didn't sell. There's no point in even debating his views on anything.

I wonder if he'll ever get any help for his obvious personal problems. Probably not. He's more securely hedged in behind his fame and money than Sleeping Beauty ever was.

The question I do have is - WHO are all these people who are handing their children over to Micheal Jackson for sleepovers and what the fuck is wrong with them?!?!!!
posted by orange swan at 9:19 AM on February 7, 2003

The question I do have is - WHO are all these people who are handing their children over to Micheal Jackson for sleepovers and what the fuck is wrong with them?!?!!!

posted by Durwood at 9:26 AM on February 7, 2003

I just don't see that it's a big leap from this to tolerating child porn

Not that I necessarily disagree, troybob, but putting it that way sounds a little...Godwinian.

Hereinafter, all slippery-slope Cassandras shall delete the phrase(s) "Hitler," "Nazi," "Goebbelsesque," "Riefenstahlian," inter alia, from their screeds and replace them with "child porn/ographers." Thank you for your timely compliance.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:33 AM on February 7, 2003

Brian Wilson's doing a lot better now. Can Michael ever be rehabilitated?

I wonder about the people he employs, and about the nanny for the children. And where there any chaperones there when the 50 children showed up at the neverland ranch for a play date?
posted by armacy at 9:35 AM on February 7, 2003

The documentary was interesting as it had a lot of neat and unique footage of Michael. But it was so ham-fisted and melodramatic that I can't really get worked up about it. Many of the discussions were painful both due to Michael's obvious almost total disconnection with what we like to call reality and Bashir's maneuvering to put the worst possible spin on each and every bit of evidence of this disconnection.

It just came off very sensationalistic and manipulative to me. If he's so bad, why did it seem like the documentary was trying to push my buttons and pull my heartstrings at even the slightest opportunity? Why not just show some footage and unbiased non-leading interview clips and let everyone make up their own mind?
posted by frenetic at 9:40 AM on February 7, 2003

I watched the entire documentary, and I was thoroughly creeped out by it. I feel sorry for Michael Jackson, as he's obviously not all there, but even more so, I feel sorry for his children and the children who come to Neverland.

I hope the authorities do something to get all the children (his biological ones as well as the others) the hell out of that environment.
posted by eilatan at 9:40 AM on February 7, 2003

I watched the special with some friends last night. During chit-chat between commercials and afterwards, we were quite annoyed with the way that the interviewer and Ms. Walters were making totally over-the-top statements about Jackson's behavior. If I'd grown up like he did, I'd be spending my days climbing trees and hanging out with kids too. He didn't get a childhood when he was a child, so he's giving it to himself now. Yeah, he's fucked up, but in a way that makes sense given his background.

But the way the Barbara Walters talked about him was just bullshit hype. It was really disappointing to see people who claim to be journalists being so obviously manipulative.
posted by katieinshoes at 9:42 AM on February 7, 2003

The fact that this thing is allowed to remove a baby from the hospital minutes after a difficult birth, still attached to the placenta, still covered with afterbirth, tells you all you need to know about the cult of celebrity. It also tells you why some parents are willing to abdicate their one overarching responsibility -- ensuring the safety of their children -- by allowing them to sleep unsupervised in its bed.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:44 AM on February 7, 2003

Brian Wilson's doing a lot better now. Can Michael ever be rehabilitated?

Brian eventually realized he had problems. I think Michael is much more insulated.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:44 AM on February 7, 2003

That's getting old, xmutex.

Not really. Myself and a lot of people on MeFi are going TV free. This lowbrow discussion about Jackson is one example of life with TV and we have fun giveing noninteractive broadcast junkies a hard time, it's like hitting on AOL dial-up users.
posted by stbalbach at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2003

I watched the doc when it was first broadcast in the UK. Now a few days have gone by and I feel like I have a bit of perspective on it.

Firstly, the most astonishing thing is that the UK public has swung behind Michael Jackson. His record sales have gone up 1000%; on every TV show I have seen the majority of public callers have said 'leave Jackson alone.'

Second, Jackson claims that he had a gentleman's agreement with Bashir that no shots of his kids would be shown. This puts the entire documentary in a new perspective. If Jackson's claim is true, Bashir deliberately misled his subject in order to portray Jackson's behaviour as more abusive than it is.

Third, there clearly are some questions over Jackson's liking of children, but no proof that he has abused them. We have to ask... where are the parents of these kids? They must support Jackson, or at least hope to profit from their association with him. Michael is clearly naive and puts himself in a weak position by hanging around kids... but he does seem to be more trusting rather than abusive.

Finally, Michael Jackson has made himself into a work of art. He is a living freakshow and certainly the most extreme example of celebrity on the planet. That in itself is fascinating and personally I think the music he has given the world is extraordinary - some of it of the highest calibre in pop bar none. It is sad for him personally and his children that he has turned out the way he has, but the public and the media are getting what they want... entertainment.
posted by skylar at 9:50 AM on February 7, 2003

Didn't Macaulay Caulkin say that the Neverland ranch was the only place he ever felt comfortable-or words to that effect?

That being said, if I had the authority, he would be required to at the very least undergo a 72 hour inpatient evaluation on threat of having his children taken out of the home. I have no doubt he loves kids, but mine would have never been within a mile of him if I had a choice in the matter.
posted by konolia at 9:52 AM on February 7, 2003

At least he's got great taste in beer.
posted by goethean at 9:55 AM on February 7, 2003

cyclopz, I can't imagine that anyone could read this GQ article about the child molestation allegations you link to and believe that Jackson wasn't shanghai'd.

Durwood, orange swan: That's a good question. Either there's an army of parents so celebrity-obsessed and desperate to touch the hem of Jackson's garment that they're willing to endanger their children's psyches, or there are some parents who don't believe Jackson's a child molester. Given that the sleepovers haven't stopped and that there hasn't been a credible allegation since -- and some would say ever -- I've got to believe it's option two. And I'm a parent. Seriously: If Jackson molested someone, there would be no stopping the hell he would catch. It's not like Jackson has a lot of public sympathy such that people might look the other way. He'd be crucified. Sure, some kids would never testify to their abuse, but some would, and the absence of such tilts the odds strongly in Jackson's favor. Not that he's not loopy, but I don't think he's a menace to children, except in the sense that he's perhaps too cloistered to be a father of children who may someday want to interact with the real world. But in terms of overall parenting skills, I'd wager he's no worse (though, to be fair, perhaps no better) than a lot of people whom the courts allow to keep their kids.

That said: pardonyou, the thing about the birth of his second kid is crazy. Really, the relationship with their birth mother is crazy.
posted by blueshammer at 9:57 AM on February 7, 2003

Not to overlooked

The fact that there are thousands of people out there who cherish, nay worship, Michael. Maybe we ought to talk about that ay?

Exhibit One
posted by jeremias at 10:01 AM on February 7, 2003

adam, my statement mentioning child porn was clearly subjective, but the comparison refers to a specific question of scale: To what degree do we as a society accept someone of limited mental capabilities being manipulated or exploited to serve our prurient interests? Child porn is an extreme; but asking a 44-year-old with essentially the mind of a child to discuss details of sexuality (and having him respond, like a child, with a mixture of embarrassment and obedient revelation) is clearly pushing us into new territory.

I think we should also recognize that if Bashir were actually interested in the welfare of the children, he would have taken his footage to child welfare authorities (and rightly so) rather than to television broadcast.
posted by troybob at 10:01 AM on February 7, 2003

What I found most disturbing was how he went on and on about the "purity" and "innocence" of children--that is pure pedophile speak. I wonder if his loving attitude towards his own kids will change once they become teens who may not be so "innocent" anymore...and I wonder how much longer before the kids come to the horrific realization that their "father" is a completely self-centered freak who deprived them of any semblance of normalcy in order to satisfy his own needs for childhood.
posted by mariko at 10:01 AM on February 7, 2003

I was most amazed that ABC turned a 1.5 hour special into a 2 hour one.
posted by boost ventilator at 10:02 AM on February 7, 2003

stbalbach: it's like hitting on AOL dial-up users.

Hehehe.... hehehe. heheheh....
posted by password at 10:05 AM on February 7, 2003

Brian Wilson is much older and much much much much much more ingenious than Jacko.
posted by Satapher at 10:10 AM on February 7, 2003

I didn't watch the show, but I feel I've read enough gallons of news ink about it to recite it beginning-to-end.

What I don't get is the overall tenor of a lot of the comments on this thread: "Give him a break, he was deprived of a normal childhood, he's mentally ill, so he couldn't consent to this kind of thing..."

Look. Either he's crazy like a fox and this gambit was a clever bid to win sympathy and record sales, or he is, as appears, mentally ill. If the latter, immediate investigation into whether any children (including his own) should ever be around him - much less in bed with him - is warranted. I don't see where the gray area is here.

I know it's beyond cliche by now, but I'm gonna say it anyway: This is one case in which we really have to - yes - think of the children.
posted by soyjoy at 10:18 AM on February 7, 2003

A legal question occurs to me--any lawyers?

A contract is not valid if there is knowledge that one party entering the contract is not mentally capable of entering into a contract. If Jackson were not mentally capable (and I'm not saying that he meets the legal definition, just that he might) at the time of the contract, and this was not recognized by Bashir when the contract is signed, if Bashir discovers over the course of working within the contract that Jackson was not mentally capable of entering the contract in the first place, does it render that contract invalid?
posted by troybob at 10:31 AM on February 7, 2003

What I found most disturbing was how he went on and on about the "purity" and "innocence" of children--that is pure pedophile speak.

Yeah, really. Sound like William Blake.
posted by goethean at 10:50 AM on February 7, 2003

Ironic, troybob -- maybe he could sue for damages if he proves he was mentally infit.

His record sales have gone up 1000%

Percentages always look better than raw numbers when the numbers are small.

I was most amazed that ABC turned a 1.5 hour special into a 2 hour one.

Yep. And funny how it managed to run past 10:00 ET so it would cut into ER's ratings (not that I care).
posted by pmurray63 at 10:53 AM on February 7, 2003

I wonder, had he lived long enough, if Howard Hughes would have consented to a TV interview.

It's funny how we tolerate, perhaps even welcome, mental illness in the rich and famous yet treat poor, sick people like so much rubbish.
posted by tommasz at 11:08 AM on February 7, 2003

The question I do have is - WHO are all these people who are handing their children over to Micheal Jackson for sleepovers and what the fuck is wrong with them?!?!!!

Perhaps this will help answer your question...

Jackson was never charged with child molestation. In 1994, Jackson settled the original civil suit filed by the boy. While the terms were confidential, the amount has been estimated between $15 and $50 million.

For that kind of money, I'm sure there are plenty of parents willing to take the chance that Jackson hasn't switched over to active paedophila yet, and even if he has, it will more than pay for a lifetime of therapy for the kid (and a Mercedes or two for the parents).
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:19 AM on February 7, 2003

Who is most out of touch with "reality":
1. Michael Jackson
2. Saddam Hussien
3. Kim Jong Il
4. George Bush
5. Steven Den Beste
posted by Mack Twain at 11:22 AM on February 7, 2003

Was anyone else disturbed by that fan in Germany who collapsed sobbing after getting a hug and kiss from Jackson? I thought that was just plain creepy.
posted by wintereclipse at 11:30 AM on February 7, 2003

What I found most disturbing was how he went on and on about the "purity" and "innocence" of children--that is pure pedophile speak.

I'm honestly not sure if you're joking or not...
posted by mdn at 11:34 AM on February 7, 2003

How is that a joke? It's true that he's hoarding these children because they get him off; if not sexually, then in some other way. he gets off on them not being adults, on them not being grown up yet, filled with some kind of innocent quality that the biggest Disneyesque myth of all time. Michael Jackson doesn't want children, he wants little people who an play in his universe with him, he wants companions, he wants some world he feels he missed out on. He wants to live in a freaking care bears cartoon. He's not a parent. These children are symbols, and if the fact that he named one of them 'Blanket' doesn't prove that, I don't know what.

Security blanket? What happens when 'blanket' is 17?
posted by Hildegarde at 11:55 AM on February 7, 2003

Ummm... Dunno... throw him in the gentle cycle with some Woolite and hope he doesn't fray at the edges?
posted by JollyWanker at 12:05 PM on February 7, 2003

How is that a joke? It's true that he's hoarding these children because they get him off; if not sexually, then in some other way.

Okay, so what you're saying is, he enjoys having children around. He likes children. Yeah, sick.

I understand if what you're saying is he isn't a good parent because he won't be able to teach them to become adults, but only how to keep being children, but that's different from calling him a child molester. He's more like a retarded man who wants to bring up his children, but whose children will soon surpass him (wasn't there a bad movie about that recently...).

To accuse someone of child molestation because they talk about children being pure & innocent (as the poster I quoted above did) is ridiculous; I'm sure a high percentage of kindergarten teachers would use the same words. (personally I agree it's simplistic but that's not really relevant). Saying that that is a sign of pedophilia is like accusing someone who kisses his daughter after school of planning to rape her later.
posted by mdn at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2003

Mikey craves the spotlight, and this documentary gave it back to him for a while (since the Tommy Motolla stuff died out pretty quickly). With the money Michael threw around at that mall, he could've easily made arrangements for them to allow him to shop undisturbed, after hours. But that wouldn't have had the same impact as the shots of fans dogging his every step while he tried to browse around, would it? Same with the trip to the zoo. There was really no reason to expose his kids to those crowds, other than Michael apparently wants to show the world how popular he still is.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:44 PM on February 7, 2003

Interesting article about Bashir - who is described as a "devoutly Christian introvert".
posted by sparky at 12:48 PM on February 7, 2003

I watched the documentary on Monday when it was shown in England. I found it compelling in the same way as a freakshow.

What struck me, though is this: no matter how white MJ is today, he can't change his DNA, and "his" three children all appear to be caucasian, although at one point, before he said the mother of 'Blanket' was a surrogate he'd never met, he said that the child's mother was a black woman with whom he'd had a relationship.

As for any alleged agreement not to show the children, if that's the case, why did MJ consent to them being filmed in the first place?
posted by essexjan at 12:53 PM on February 7, 2003

"Didn't Macaulay Caulkin say that the Neverland ranch was the only place he ever felt comfortable-or words to that effect?"

Konolia: If you had once been left home alone, any home with people would be comfortable.

Re: the Smoking Gun link--Michael is crazy! All that money and he rents cars at Rent-a-Wreck!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:55 PM on February 7, 2003

Goddammit. I saw parts of this report, and was utterly frustrated with the one glaring oversight in the journo's line of questions.

"Oh, that Michael, he's like a child, he's so disturbed, he can't function like an adult, blah blah". Oh yeah?? Well he was sure in enough of his right mind when he bought the publishing rights to the Beatles music. Why didn't he ask Mike about that? This is a guy who sang a duet with Sir Paul on his own hugely popular Thriller album. Maybe he became all child-like and innoncent after Bad or something.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:57 PM on February 7, 2003

MJ is like one of those Outer Limit episodes.

Imagine that you had a practically infinite amount money; that people thronged and cheered everywhere you went; that you could go anywhere you wanted, at any time you wanted, meet anyone you wanted, have anything you wanted - nothing is denied you. No one says no to you.

You'd regress like MJ has, first to adolescence, then to childhood, and finally to an infant. Look for him to begin performing in diapers next.

You heard it here first.
posted by Zombie at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2003

Frankly, I sort of expect him to gack himself before too long. Then we'll see a Barbara Walters special on what drove him to do it.
posted by RavinDave at 2:43 PM on February 7, 2003

Questions of "setup" or "leading questions" or "betrayal" aside, this documentary, so long as it captured non-manipulated events and the answers Jackson offered were his true, non-edited responses, provides yet more evidence of something that's become clear through looking at Jackson and his behaviours in the last decade or so. That is that he has become or has been revealed to be a person whose ability to make rational judgments is either severely limited (in a fashion which has become more acute over time) or intermittently impaired, especially with regard to the very serious questions of appropriate adult-child interactions. Furthermore, he is obviously surrounded by a staff of "handlers" who are merely paid sycophants with no ability to counsel against or prevent any poor choices, no matter how outrageous.

No parent would hand a child off to a babysitter who could be labeled thusly, it seems bizarre to me that a parent would hand their child off to such a person just because he's a celebrity who professes to love children's innocence and purity. My developmentally disabled niece loves children too (though she expresses her reasons somewhat differently) but we wouldn't leave her alone with them.
posted by Dreama at 2:58 PM on February 7, 2003

something happen'd after thriller.
something broke him.
something none of us will know until the man is long gone.

and whatever that was has locked him into the child-world he never had under the oppressive thumb of father joe. so he surrounds himself with children and toys, buys things just because he thinks they're pretty, lets the "adults" around him do the "adult" things.

unfortunately, those children are not toys.

and in all likelihood, he did not father them. i mean, look at them... blond hair, pale skin. unless MJ has had some kind of "james bond" gene therapy to manipulate his dna, those children should at least partially resemble the michael we remember from "abc-123" ... shouldn't they?
posted by grabbingsand at 3:10 PM on February 7, 2003

The Michael at 'Imperial Doughnut' has his own confession:
"I can’t rival Michael Jackson’s bedtime revelations that were aired earlier this week but I have a feeling my justification might be just as futile to some. I don’t imagine it’s the most sensational confession to most of you, but I sleep with a soft-toy…"
posted by feelinglistless at 3:11 PM on February 7, 2003

Although I haven't watched the whole interview yet (I must admit I taped it last night, though), what I find a little disturbing is that he is obviously either lying or delusional about his facial plastic surgery (he claimed to only have had 2 procedures done). To me, this calls in to question his overall veracity, regardless of his unique mental problems.
posted by obloquy at 4:49 PM on February 7, 2003

TV is junkfood for the brain. 'Nuff said.

I think there are bigger problems to deal with in the world than wether MJ is sleeping with children or not.

Once world hunger, drought, the drug problem, cancer, HIV and global warming have been taken care of, I might give a damn about celebrities.
posted by spazzm at 7:35 PM on February 7, 2003

Essexjan asked: why did MJ consent to [his children] being filmed in the first place?

Michael Jackson's statement after the show claims that he didn't consent to his children being filmed, but that Bashir repeatedly requested that the cameras be kept rolling "so as not to break the continuity of filming".

I think it's very telling of the relationship between these two men that Michael Jackson, as one of the world's biggest stars, could have demanded approval over the entire finished edit of the documentary - but didn't.
posted by skylar at 12:46 AM on February 8, 2003

READ BLUESHAMMER'S GQ LINK. It's a fantastic piece of journalism that left me utterly convinced Michael Jackson was framed in the 1993 child abuse case. If you have any doubts, this article will almost certainly convince you. A few tidbits:

1. The kid's father was caught on tape planning a set-up of some kind
2. The lawyer who went after Jackson has a history of highly sketchy behavior
3. The mother's attorney resigned in disgust when the mother sided with the accusers
4. The wild accusations from former employees (things like naked bathing with kids) were all later shown to be false
5. The father, a dentist, gave the kid sodium Amytal, a controversial psychiatric medication that creates a highly suggestible state and has been linked to false repressed memory syndrome

The article is extremely thorough - a real "smoking gun." Which means that the affidavit "The Smoking Gun" recently linked to is a lie, a false accusation made by a manipulated boy "only after the boy had been give a potent hypnotic drug, leaving him susceptible to the power of suggestion," as the GQ piece puts it.

I usually love TSG, but in this case, the limitations of its approach to the Web - "we select, you decide" - are pretty obvious. If TSG knew about the evidence of a frame-up and posted the affidavit anyway without clarifying its history, I call that a disgusting move. If TSG didn't know the evidence of a frame-up, well, then, TSG should go ahead and read the article, take down the affidavit and replace it with info about the father and lawyer who convinced a young kid he'd been molested just so they could some cash.
posted by mediareport at 10:23 AM on February 8, 2003

Wacko Jocko is pervert.
posted by davidrosss at 10:32 AM on February 8, 2003

Too bad that he had a lousy childhood, but if Papa Joe was so nasty, why aren't Michael's brothers as whacked out as he is? Or maybe Tito is also bedding down small, unrelated children...
posted by kgasmart at 7:08 PM on February 8, 2003

grabbingsand - excellent post!
posted by Peter H at 9:12 PM on February 8, 2003

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