Lessons learned from the media and the insidious racism he faced when he was alive is a serious indictment on journalism and integrity.
This is the last and final piece in a series of four about Michael Jackson and the recent documentary Leaving Neverland and the entire saga of the most famous entertainer of all time.
These are the other stories that I wrote detailing the charges, the trials, and all the tribulations that brought us to this final piece. Feel free to read them all at your leisure.
(Michael Jackson) He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables, “for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael.” — James Baldwin 1985
What did we learn from the saga that continues to swirl around the most famous entertainer of all time? There is so much to be gleaned from this man and the things that he went through during his lifetime.
I think one of the most important lessons with talking about Michael and the media is, fame, controversy, white privilege, and even the American Dream and what it stands for. There is so much here, that I’m not even sure where to start. So, I’ll start with the most obvious lesson to be learned here and that is….
The Media and Selling Narratives
Michael Jackson exploded into the consciousness of America, and made headlines with his music. He broke barriers no other black star could even dream of, no matter how talented they were. Not only did Michael knock them down, he blew up the last vestiges of racial barriers that were placed in his way. He was too big, too talented, and too phenomenal to put him in the same league with other entertainers.
When the media learned that, there was a huge target on his back and he would never get rid of it, even in death.
The media had a money maker and they wouldn’t let it go. They would preempt normal news coverage and bring you whatever and wherever Michael Jackson was in the world. Truth for the media was never really important because the media only sells narratives, never the truth.