Our first “Busting Bashir” Article- Courtesy of popintervention
Martin Bashir & the Demise of Michael Jackson
Following Michael Jackson’s death, reporter Martin Bashir hailed Michael as a great entertainer, claimed that only a small portion of his “Living with Michael Jackson” documentary contained a controversy, and stated that he’d never seen Michael Jackson do anything criminal. In truth, Bashir’s tabloid documentary fed fire to an already vengeful Tom Sneddon’s embarrassed career, and launched an insidious witch-hunt for a child molester at Neverland, a child molester that was just as nonexistent as Peter Pan. Martin Bashir, with his veiled accusations and insincere concerns for children near Michael Jackson, threw the final straw that broke the camel’s back, hurtling Michael Jackson into a humiliating trial that ultimately caused him to turn his back on Neverland and his charity toward children.
When we last heard of Los Angeles DA Tom Sneddon, he was sitting somewhere wiping egg off his face after going to the appalling lengths of photographing Michael Jackson’s privates for comparison to a description given by Jordan Chandler. Firstly, anyone probably would have described Michael’s privates and come close to the truth. Take Dave Chappell for instance, who said, “Let me guess, there’s a head, a shaft, some balls, hair—maybe pressed, permed hair—with come some glitter sprinkled on it.” Second, Chandler’s description did not match, which forced Sneddon to concede. Sneddon and other Michael Jackson opponents were salivating at the chance to go at Michael Jackson again. Martin Bashir, trading Michael Jackson up in true Judas fashion, delivered it to them.
The only reason that Michael Jackson did the “Living with Michael Jackson” documentary was because his trusted friend, illusionist Uri Geller, set the whole thing up. The star was very mistrusting of the press, and with good reason. Uri Geller and Martin Bashir hyped Michael up, saying that it was Michael’s chance to get his story out. Michael agreed to do it, because he was anxious to have his story heard and to share himself with his fans. Jackson’s dermatologist and friend Arnie Klein’s claimed to Larry King, “Uri Geller was responsible for that …Uri Geller sold that interview to Martin Bashir for $200,000.”
The Most Loving Thing You Can Do–Share Your Bed
Uri Geller did an interview with Sky News in the UK, shortly after Michael Jackson’s death. He stated that he regretted introducing Michael to Martin Bashir. Uri Geller contended that Bashir had pleaded with Uri to introduce him to Michael, and showed Uri praise letters Princess Diana had written after Bashir interviewed her. It would be strange for Bashir to have professional praise letters from Princess Diana after Bashir ambushed her in an interview, too. In any event, Uri and Michael’s relationship suffered for a short time after “Living With Michael Jackson” aired. Uri reported to Sky News that Michael and he were able to heal the rift eventually before Michael died.
Martin Bashir’s only contingency for the Michael Jackson documentary was that it be a no-holds-barred interview. Michael Jackson agreed to that, just as he agreed to it when Oprah Winfrey interviewed him ten years prior. They set up a series of meetings that took place over an eight-month period during 2002, ending January 2003. During these meetings, Bashir even travelled with Michael, went shopping and to the zoo with Michael’s family. In the sessions, Bashir always encouraged Michael, and complimented Michael as if Bashir were a brown-nosing fan. Michael Jackson probably felt good about what he’d see when he tuned into “Living with Michael Jackson.” However, Michael was disillusioned and flabbergasted when he viewed the sensationalized and biased final cut that aired February 3, 2003.
Martin Bashir painted a distorted picture of Michael Jackson, editing out Michael Jackson’s explanations of things and contorting situations into tabloid fodder. To Michael Jackson’s face, Bashir said that Michael was a devoted father, and it was obvious that Michael’s children loved him. On camera, Bashir expressed his grave concerns for Michael’s children. Off camera, Bashir complimented Michael on his work with children, saying that Neverland was a wondrous place for them. On camera, Bashir painted Neverland as a cryptic and dangerous place for children. Bashir made many complimentary statements to Michael Jackson, which led Michael to believe that Bashir was on his side. All those compliments fell onto Bashir’s cutting room floor as his production company cut and pasted together segments to make a sensational story, instead of a human one.
Luckily for Michael Jackson, Martin Bashir was never really “off camera.” Michael Jackson’s personal videographer was always filming. Had it not been for Michael’s personal videographer, the truth behind the interview might have never been revealed.
Mountain out of a Mole Hill
The “small controversy” that Martin Bashir referred to in his interview surrounds a child named Gavin Arvizo, who Michael Jackson had become friends with after helping Gavin beat cancer in 2000. Michael Jackson had paid for Arvizo’s treatments, prompting Arvizo to want to meet him. After the child’s recovery, he would visit Neverland Ranch often, even when Michael was not home. Arvizo appeared on Bashir’s documentary, laying his head on Michael Jackson’s shoulder, and holding Michael Jackson’s hand. “I’d found this easily the most disturbing moment of the past eight months,” Bashir said in his video voice-over during the documentary.
Gavin Arvizo told Bashir a story of one night that he asked if he could sleep in Michael Jackson’s room. Michael and Gavin had debated over who’d take the bed. Michael ended the debate by saying that if Gavin loved him, then Gavin would take the bed. Michael slept on the floor. Bashir instantly latched onto the comment, later pressing Michael Jackson about the implications of sleeping in bed with children. “When you say bed, you’re thinking sexual—they make that sexual. It’s not sexual. We’re going to sleep,” Michael replied, and repeated that he’d slept on the floor while Gavin and his brother had taken Michael’s bed. Michael said that he always gave his bed to his guests. He thought that the most loving thing you could do was share your bed.
Once the film aired, Michael Jackson’s camp devised a rebuttal to Bashir’s documentary, entitled “Living With Michael Jackson Take Two.” It featured the footage that Jackson’s cameraman had filmed even when Bashir had signaled for his crew to stop rolling. The rebuttal video contained answers to the puzzling questions Martin Bashir claimed that he still had. You can also hear Bashir’s disingenuous praise of Michael Jackson. The video additionally clarifies incidences in the Bashir documentary that were left as baffling mysteries.
For example, Michael took his children to the zoo. It was swarming with fans. Bashir worried about the children, saying that Michael Jackson hadn’t seemed to notice that he’d placed his children in a dangerous situation. Bashir leads the public to believe that Michael Jackson had no thought to the safety of his children. Bashir did not include the truth behind that visit, which was that Michael had expected the zoo to be closed as he’d requested. Somehow, there was a misunderstanding between Jackson and zoo operators. Michael did not realize when they’d arrived that the zoo would be open.
Once the documentary hit the air, the misconceptions mounted. An official and some teasers at Gavin Arvizo’s school also latched onto salaciousness that Bashir promoted. Gavin became the butt of schoolyard jokes for sleeping in Michael Jackson’s bed. The school official reported her concerns about Gavin’s treatment to authorities, but the claims were dismissed by Tom Sneddon’s office, because they couldn’t find anything illegal about Arvizo sleeping in the same room with Jackson.
Michael Jackson: Not Guilty
Arvizo denied that anything inappropriate had ever happened with Michael Jackson and him. Arvizo maintained that story until his mother took him to see the same lawyer and psychiatrist that had gotten a speculated $20 million dollars out of Michael Jackson for Jordan Chandler in 1993. The moment Gavin’s brother told the doctor that Michael had touched Gavin, Sneddon’s office pounced. After Michael’s arrest, a grinning Sneddon was quoted as saying, “We got him!”
Even though Michael Jackson was found not guilty on all 10 criminal counts of child molestation in 2005, he would live the rest of his life, shunned by many as a child molester. The trial had taken a toll on him mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. He also never wanted to return to the forever tainted Neverland, which is why his mother Katherine contested a Neverland burial for her son.
Michael Jackson’s philanthropic work with children as chronicled on the mjfanclub.net sharply dissipated in 2004 when Bashir’s grumblings turned into a criminal matter. After that time, the site shows no significant outreach from the King of Pop. It seemed that in 2009, Michael Jackson had decided to reemerge from his legal problems with his anticipated comeback tour. Sadly, he died with his dissenters more willing to believe in lies than the United States judicial system.
In the advent of Michael Jackson’s death, Martin Bashir said that he never saw anything criminal transpiring between Michael and any children; however, Michael’s memory is forever marred by the stigma of the Martin Bashir interview scandal.
Submitted by: Rev. Catherine Gross