Michael Jackson. The Emperor Has No Clothes?

Am I missing something here? 

The television media, for the past two days, have been wall-to-wall with Michael Jackson’s death, but it seems that any discussion of his apparently life-long pedophilia compulsions are off-limits. They’re hinted at, they’re alluded to, but nobody says shit out-loud about it. It just doesn’t seem quite polite on TV to talk ill of the recently deceased.

I suppose it’s remotely possible that Jackson was not a pedophile, but if he wasn’t then he appears to have missed it by only a hair. It’s true that he managed to gain an acquittal when he was tried for some specific counts of pedophilia, but let’s get real here. He paid one family $20 million dollars to avoid legal action against him, and his lifelong behavior bore all the signs of a manipulative and wealthy pedophile using his money to obtain access to children.  

I like what Lisa Marie Presley said back in the summer of 2008 about her marriage to Michael Jackson. Presley had just turned forty, and at forty, things look different. She was asked about her marriage to Jackson and she said:

That was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I was really naive at the time. I was in la-la land. I must have been out of my fucking mind.

Source: The Week, Sept. 5, 2008.

That’s what the television media are right now. Out of their fucking minds. Watching the different networks is like sitting around in the living room with a bunch of relatives in denial. They all seem to be in agreement that now is not the time to speak the truth about the dead. But it’s sending a terrible signal about the value our culture places on children. Michael Jackson was, well, famous, so let’s all look the other way, at least for a few days.

Not me.

Remember the Ed Bradley interview?

For more of my take on Michael Jackson, see here.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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24 Responses to Michael Jackson. The Emperor Has No Clothes?

  1. Jared K says:

    I’m surprised by your perspective on this Santi. You always surprise me–I credit you for being unpredictable.

    Surely, you appreciate some of his work, yes? That was back when pop music was both commercial and, unlike today, occasionally brilliant.

    I’m not sure about the pedo thing. I’m sort of 50/50 either way. He just might’ve been crazy enough that he wasn’t one. And I mean that it might even be plausible that he didn’t cross that line–the guy was so unconventional that you have to throw out alot of what we normally rely on for these intuitions.

    Did you see Martin Bashir’s comment that he believes Jacko didn’t do anything “criminal.” Bashir did an investigation piece on Jacko a couple years back:

    I’m not defending him, and I think it is plausible that he had those attractions, given that he was clearly a sexual being and clearly around children all the time. But child molesters (folks who go beyond thoughts) tend to be repeat offenders. With the kind of access MJ had, I would think there ought to be dozens or even hundreds of victims (and maybe we will learn that there were some day–or maybe not.

    As for 20 mil, I certainly wouldn’t part with that much money were I innocent, but he evidently had no concept of money management or practical spending limits.

    Ambiguous it seems.

  2. santitafarella says:


    Innocent until proven guilty, I suppose, but I sure the hell wouldn’t have had him anywhere near my children. And the children that he did bring around him were oftentimes hugely vulnerable (cancer patients; boys of poor single mothers). An adult single male obsessed with Peter Pan and decorating his bedroom with children’s toys is bringing kids into his bedroom for “sleep-overs.” That should set off five alarm predator worries in any sane parent not tempted by greed or stupidity. And Jackson shows zero evidence of having any serious impulse control. The older I get, the less patience I have for bullshitters. Michael Jackson was, in my view, a huge bullshitter who got away with spectacular amounts of bullshit. It’s like Rush Limbaugh, G. Beck, and Jimmy Swaggart. Everyday, bullshitters look at their bank accounts and say, “How stupid people are!” This, in my view, is what Jackson was doing. He was using his fame and wealth and “mystery power” to get away with things. It’s an old game. If you dress like a glitzy version of Captain Crunch (as Chris Rock noted that Jackson did), or put on the clothing of a priest, or have a gift, you can cast spells on people and get away with stuff.

    Jackson was a spell-caster.


  3. santitafarella says:


    I looked at the Bashir video you sent me to, and he’s part of the problem. Note the rhetorical tone-down of what he suggests it means to be a single man bringing young boys into his bedroom for “sleep-overs”, and the fallacious “I never saw anything” obscurantism. His emotional solemnity is also cloying. It’s all slight of hand and euphemism. Of course he wouldn’t have seen anything. It means nothing. I have a great deal of contempt for people who use language in ways that distort, rather than clarify, an issue. It’s like using “enhanced interrogation” for “torture.” Michael Jackson was suspected of being a pedophile because he brought vulnerable children into his orbit and took them into his bedroom overnight alone. At least Bashir could describe things accurately.


    • Perhaps you should see Living With Michael Jackson Take Two, or read the court transcripts, or read about how all of the children insisted they loved mj and he had done nothing wrong- including to the police- or how the children’s parents were all fraudsters- or how the raids on all of his property turned up zero pedophilia, just a few mags like Club and Plumpers and yes, “Barely Legal” which sadly is very popular and features naked women in their early 20s. Or maybe how he bought new organs for accuser, saving his life, giving his mother the idea to milk him- she wanted to settle out of court, not in. or how the prosecution’s shrink examined him and didn’t think he was a pedophile. or the billions of dollars he gave to charities for children, tsunamis, AIDS, black education and more, including not just money but time, visiting more hospitals than princess di.

      while we lynched a black man because he was fragile and weird, our attention missed the real dangers- usually in our own home, where most pedophiles reside. or in the church- 10 THOUSAND cases being investigated now.

      we’re all guilty for lynching an innocent man who spent his life preaching love and helping children. sound familiar? it’s the oldest story in the book.

    • Sorry, but what kid wouldn’t want to have a pajama party with pop star mikey? As several witnessed, he was not in bed naked with children- they fell asleep, tuckered out, and he tucked them in. It’s a bit odd,yes, to our nouveau-victorian society, but michael couldn’t see things from a normal lens. The other day a man told me they are struggling financially and to afford an apartment, he has to share his room with his daughter. I used to snuggle into my grandma’s bed. My nephews sleep in my bed when they visit, and I sleep on the floor. None of these situations is about pedophilia.

      I reiterate- MJ sacrificed his time, money and sadly, his reputation to help burn victims, sick kids, the poor, the dying…he secured organs for dying children who needed transplants, including one alleged “victim.” He gave billions.

      Why don’t we consider the real pedophiles- it’s very likely your brother or your uncle, not the freaky guy eeryone picks on because he is different.

  4. Why do people speculate?People seem convinced drugs killed Michael Jackson why do people just wait and see what his autopsy show?.The family have now been told he was given heavy dose of morphine before his collapse if this is the case the person who gave him the morphine should be brought up on murder charges simply because they have obviously given him an overdose but again its all speculation i wish people would just shut up and wait on the cause of death from the coroner.. People should be remembering Michael for the joy he brought to us through his music..As for all the celebrities who have come out the woodwork to pay tribute to him in his death i have one thing to ask you all,Where were you all when Michael was on child abuse charges?where was your support then? you are hypocrites each and everyone of you and you make me physically sick,Michael needed your support then not now he has gone to a place where you can no longer hurt him…… As for the kids who accused Michael of the crimes against them i say..You were kids and you are in no way responsible for what adults did ie your parents the media, but i urge you to now come forward and tell your story tell the truth people will respect you more i no i will,Dont let Michael suffer in death as he did in life think of the Michael you knew and one time respected and loved……

  5. santitafarella says:

    MJ TopHit Albums:

    Under normal circumstances, nobody gets to do what Jackson did (bring unrelated children into his bedroom overnight). No adult man gets to do that without the rendering of suspicion cast upon him.

    It’s not sane to give adult males that kind of latitude with the most vulnerable among us. Nobody gets that. And for Jackson to engage in that behavior—bringing children into his bedroom overnight—and then act put-upon by the public for being suspicious that he was a pedophile is outrageous.

    An analogy: a middle class woman goes to a street corner known to be frequented by prostitutes. She gets picked up by cruising men. They give her money. She leaves the car. She tells people that she never has sex with the men. Never touches them. Never blows them. Never lets them put their hands on her. She just talks to them. They simply drive around. She feels compassion for them. They’re lonely. She wants to help them. She doesn’t understand why all those around her suspect she’s a whore.

    Jackson engaged in an equally outrageous—and suspicion generating—series of actions—many of them characteristic of pedophiles—and then he is shocked—shocked!—that people might suspect that he is, well, a pedophile.

    What really makes me mad is where are the journalists who are NOT siding with power here. Where are the journalists who are not being deferential to the man with money and fame and who are not rendering the children invisible.

    The power disparity between Jackson and the children who visited his bedroom for “sleep-overs” is enormous. A wealthy man in his forties was bringing children unrelated to him into his bedroom alone overnight. I want you to absorb the import of that before you suggest that the suspicion directed toward him is unreasonable and based on animus.

    To treat pedophile-suspicion directed toward Michael Jackson as a form of persecution is to tell people it is wrong to speak plainly about what is evident. Michael Jackson lived his life in ways characteristic of a pedophile. It doesn’t mean that he was one. It means that there is a real probability that he was one. No adult male gets to bring unrelated children into his bedroom alone overnight without suspicion being rendered by other adults. It would be a monsterous deriliction of duty toward the children involved not to cast that suspicion.


  6. Korynn says:

    You and everyone like you disgust me. It’s unfair such an incredible man is gone and fucking piece of shit morons like you get to stink up the earth and continue living, creating filth like this. You’re clueless. If you spent two seconds doing the research instead of regurgitating everything you’ve ever heard on the news maybe you’d have a hair of an idea of the kind of man he really was.

    I’d say you’re probably a Christian, too.

    Gothpirate@gmail.com Email me if you’ve got something to say. And if you’re not gonna man up, that’s fine too. I got out what I needed to.

    • themadjewess says:

      ‘You and everyone like you disgust me. It’s unfair such an incredible man is gone and fucking piece of shit morons like you get to stink up the earth and continue living, creating filth like this. You’re clueless’

      KORYNN…if NOT worshipping a CHILD MOLESTOR is considered disgusting, then SO BE IT.

  7. themadjewess says:

    So he put out some good music, but really…this worship of a CHILD MOLSTER IS DISGUSTING

  8. santitafarella says:


    I agree with you on the weirdness of Michael Jackson worship. It’s strange.


    • themadjewess says:

      It really is sick, all this worship over a real sick, demented pig is preposterous.

      • Scott says:

        I don’t care anything about the man. I don’t care what he has done for society or what menace to society he was. No one should be worshiped to this level. This obsession with celebrity is one of the worst facets of humanity.

        Don’t bother calling him inspiring. If he never existed the world would still obsess over some other pop star.

  9. santitafarella says:


    I think you’re being a bit rough. People are complex. Give credit where credit is due. Jackson may have been a pedophile, it’s a real possibility. It’s also true that he had positive charitable impulses and real gifts with regard to music.


    • Scott says:

      Sorry, but you’re not reaching me. I consider Michael Jackson as interchangable and useless as any other pop star. As for charitable impulses, I hope he’s remembered most for the 20 million he gave that family to keep them at bay.

      • Kim says:

        You are a common hater. If you didn’t care so much, there would be no need for you to post comments like these on the guy.

        Typical sicko.

  10. Michelle says:

    This disturbed me more than anything http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2009/06/28/first-target-of-michael-jackson-s-obsession-with-boys-says-what-he-did-was-wrong-but-i-forgive-him-115875-21476871/ – it really does appear to show a lifelong pattern.

    I checked out the background on this guy, there really isn’t a good reason why he’d make it up. Are all the people connected with this telling lies? Seems to me unlikely. At any rate, MJ set a poor example with his lifestyle, it’s almost the textbook guide to being a pedophile.

    • Kim says:

      I can’t wait for judgment day of haters like you and the creep that wrote that garbage.

      MJ was as pure as they come. It’s too bad he naively believed all children were as innocent as he was. He thought he could heal the world. He didn’t realize that there are child predators out there and this piece of crap kid is one of them.

      Keep tabs on this lying, creepy Nick Owens kid. He’ll likely be convicted of molesting children some day. Something MJ NEVER DID and would NEVER DO!

  11. SoCalGal says:

    It was written in Rolling Stone magazine that Michael was forced by his insurance carrier to settle the claims of Jordan Chandler. It’s true that the entity paying the claim has the final say about whether to pay it. In other words, the insured can’t say, “No, I refuse to settle.”

    As to the story above about Terry George, well, I simply don’t believe it. There will now be a chorus line of formerly young boys claiming that Michael Jackson abused them. No, it was Michael who was the abused–repeatedly and from a very early age.

    As to Michael being “as interchangeable and useless as any other pop star,” well, that’s spoken by someone who probably has contributed very little to the betterment of others, let alone led the Guiness Book of World Records in charitable giving by a “pop star.”

    I hope you will all take the time to listen to Michael’s speech at Oxford University in 2001.

    Here’s the text…


    …and here are the audios.

    Part 1 => http://tinyurl.com/km3oue

    Part 2 => http://tinyurl.com/mdpno6

    Part 3 => http://tinyurl.com/l2kkuk

    Part 4 => http://tinyurl.com/m7v37b

  12. Kim says:

    Lisa Marie’s comments that you left out:

    “I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once. Our relationship was not ‘a sham’ as is being reported in the press.”

    “I loved him very much.”

    “The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him”

    “He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together. I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now. He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place”

  13. YouTards says:

    I can only point out that the world stinks less without PedoJacko in it. People unfortunately in this day and age are fairly retarded (lowest common denominator), so actually think they need courts or John Law (or Oprah) to prove that a man is a child molester, when NORMAL people figure it out in 10 seconds.

    My other comment uses something most of these devoluted ‘tards cannot comprehend, nor contain: Common Sense.

    PedoBearJacko- Me grown Man. Me bring kids into me bed. Kids NOT mine. Me adult age. They NOT.

    Yep, that is how hard this issue really is, but try explaining that to morons who can’t figure out why McDonald’s coffee is hot, or how they screw up their own taxes when the IRS gives you directions.

    As for the Media? Seriously, if THESE people are stupid, what the hell do you expect from THOSE morons?
    Hahaha! That is like asking your dog WHY it shit on the carpet, and wondering why it runs to the corner to piss when you ask. They are brainless. Like roaming Cycloptic and massively Autistic chimps, they only exist to do the least possible, not the best!

    PedoBearJacky was villified at first, and now immortalized for the same thing. The only good thing?

    NORMAL people are glad the sick sonofabitch is dead and gone. It means there IS Justice in this world.

    And it means God just settled the scales, and PedoJacky paid the Piper. Justice ain’t blind baby, it makes you pay in spades….

  14. Senor Mule says:

    It’s a fact, he is and was a pedophile, but with money and stardom or political position, you can do anything, and you are “Above the law”. Why wasn’t he prosecuted for fleeing to france? The average Joe would have had the book thrown at him. I don’t think we should immortalise this sicko, regardless of talent. At the end of the day, he was , and always will be a child molester.

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