Media should stop smearing Michael Jackson

Stephanie Toone

Wacko Jacko. Bubble’s best bud.

Everybody has a name for him. Child molester might be added to the list.

In 1992, Michael Jackson was faced with accusations similar to the seven counts of child molestation he was charged with in December.

Many wondered whether Jackson was guilty or not.

Instead of proving his innocence, Jackson decided to take the easy way out and make the alleged abused child a millionaire by settling out of court.

Though no verdict was reached then, Jackson’s image was already scarred for life.

This case now is not about a cancer-stricken child who was supposedly defiled by the weird 45-year-old pop star. It’s about the media’s demand to write stories about the freak show that is Michael Jackson’s life.

Jackson’s flair for eccentricity started with his close companionship with Bubbles the Chimp. Since then, his transformation from a handsome black man to a ghastly white woman has kept the tabloids busy.

Everybody knows Michael is weird.

He does not always make the best decisions.

Plastic surgery was a bad idea.

Showcasing your infant over a balcony to your fans was a really bad idea.

It was not necessarily normal at first to have sleep-overs with the Culkin kids. Furthermore, it was stupid to have sleep-overs after being accused of child molestation.

But while the media writes about his bad decisions, they need to consider what else Michael is.

He was brought up in a family of nine with a father that would rather whoop his kids than nurture them. Besides not being nurtured by his father, Jackson was never able to be a normal child. From the time he was able to say his ABC’s, little Michael was expected to get every dance step right and never miss a note.

This man does not need to be imprisoned. He needs about 10 years of therapy.

Michael does love kids. He really loves kids because he’s really a child at heart. But he doesn’t love kids in that way. He has made millions of children’s dreams come true by allowing them to visit Neverland. He probably enjoys the amusement park he built more than the kids do.

This does not mean he has impure intentions. In fact, I have not seen or heard one bit of evidence that would convince me of his guilt.

The police have a case based on hearsay and the fact that Michael is obviously strange. But that is not enough to convict. With good lawyers and a weak case, there’s a good chance that Michael will not be found guilty.

But even if Michael’s name is cleared, the media may never give him a break.

There are too many real problems in the world to write about for journalists to waste time on Michael Jackson stories. For the sake of Michael, his fans, and everyone else, just leave him alone.

Stephanie Toone is a sophomore print journalism major from Nashville.

This commentary does not reflect the views of the Herald, Western or its administration.