|Writing Assignment – Personality Profile - Jackson: Write a profile story on Michael Jackson. Assume that Michael is still alive. You are writing for a national entertainment magazine, so use language and terminology that a wide variety of people from a wide geographic range can understand and relate to.
- Using an anecdotal lead.
- Creating a strong, simple main news idea.
- Keeping like items alike.
- Using a strong end quote.
(For the record: Michael Jackson has been found not guilty of every crime he has ever been charged with. All other issues are discussed in the following material.)
Jackson Interview Transcript
NEW YORK, Dec. 28, 2003
ED BRADLEY: What is your response to the allegations that were brought by the district attorney in Santa Barbara, that you molested this boy?
MICHAEL JACKSON: Totally false. Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists. I would never hurt a child It's totally false. I was outraged. I could never do something like that
ED BRADLEY: This is a kid you knew?
MICHAEL JACKSON: Yes.
ED BRADLEY: How would you characterize your relationship with this boy?
MICHAEL JACKSON: I've helped many, many, many children, thousands of children, cancer kids, leukemia kids. This is one of many.
ED BRADLEY: But tell me why you developed Neverland.
MICHAEL JACKSON: Because I wanted to have a place that I could create everything that I that I never had as a child. So, you see rides. You see animals. There's a movie theater. I was always on tour, traveling. You know? And — I never got a chance to do those things. So, I compensated for the loss by — I have a good — I mean, I can't go into a park. I can't go to Disneyland, as myself. I can't go out and walk down the street. There's crowds, and bumper to bumper cars. And so, I create my world behind my gates. Everything that I love is behind those gates. We have elephants, and giraffes, and crocodiles, and every kind of tigers and lions. And — and we have bus loads of kids, who don't get to see those things. They come up sick children, and enjoy it. They enjoy it in a pure, loving, fun way. It's people with the dirty mind that think like that. I don't think that way. That's not me.
ED BRADLEY: And — and do you think people look at you and think that way today?
MICHAEL JACKSON: If they have a sick mind, yeah. And if they believe the trash they read in newspapers, yeah. And — and it's not — what — just cause — remember something. Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's the gospel. People write negatives things, cause they feel that's what sells. Good news to them, doesn't sell.
ED BRADLEY: What was going through your mind when you're taken into a police station, in handcuffs, to have a mug shot taken, that you know is gonna be shown around the world?
MICHAEL JACKSON: They did it to try and belittle me, to try and to take away my pride. But I went through the whole system with them. And at the end, I— I wanted the public to know that I was okay, even though I was hurting.
MICHAEL JACKSON: I've been back there. But not in my bedroom. I won't live there ever again. I'll visit Neverland. It's a house now. It's not a home anymore. I'll only visit there. What time is it? Cause I'm hurting. You know what? I'm — I'm hurting. I have to go pretty soon anyway. Yeah. Okay. I don't feel good.
This is not the first time Michael Jackson has been accused of child molestation. Ten years ago, he was accused of sexually abusing another young boy. However, after the boy refused to testify, and after Jackson paid the boy’s family millions of dollars to settle a civil lawsuit, Jackson was never charged. Although the family in the current case against him has filed no lawsuit and says it does not intend to, Michael Jackson is still suspicious of their motives.
Jackson’s high powered attorney Mark Geragos told me that if I wanted an answer to that question I’d have to ask him.
MARK GERAGOS: I mean remember what happened to him ten years ago. He was humiliated. He was — he went through where somebody — was examining him. Was photographing him. Was having him — humiliating him in the worst way in terms of looking at his private parts and photographing his private parts. And — and he was subjected to some of the most, just intrusive kinds of things that you could ever imagine. I can only try to put myself into that situation and — and say look, if money could make that situation go away, maybe that — that was the calculus then. I don't know and I don't wanna second guess it.
ED BRADLEY: But — but what you end up with is the public perception that this has happened not once, this has happened twice. That young boys have — have come forward to accuse him of — of sexual molestation over the last ten years. And he has made public comments about how he enjoys sharing his bed with children. Can you understand how the public might feel that, hey, maybe there's something here. There's a lot of smoke.
ED BRADLEY: Given the allegations, given the innuendo — why would you put yourself in a position where something like this could happen again?
MICHAEL JACKSON: Well, I'm always more cautious. But I will never stop helping and loving people the way Jesus said to. He said, "Continue to love. Always love. Remember children. Imitate the children." Not childish, but childlike.
ED BRADLEY: Michael, what would you say to you — your fans, who have supported you through all of this, and — and who today, some of them might have questions? What would you say to them?
MICHAEL JACKSON: Well, I would tell them I love them very much. And I— I— they've learned about me, and know about me from a distance. But if you really want to know about me, there's a song I wrote, which is the most honest song I've ever written. It's the most autobiographical song I've ever written. It's called, "Childhood." They should listen to it. That's the one they really should listen to. And thank you for your support, the fans around the world. I love you with all my heart. I don't take any of it for granted. Any of it. And I love them dearly, all over the world.
Oprah interview, 1993:
Michael: Well, on stage for me was home. I was most comfortable on stage but once I got off stage, I was like, very sad.
Oprah: And sad from the beginning, sad since it first started, why so sad?
Michael: Lonely, sad, having to face popularity and all that. There were times when I had great times with my brothers, pillow fights and things, but I was, used to always cry from loneliness.
Oprah: Beginning at what age?
Michael: Oh, very little, eight, nine.
Oprah: When you all became famous?
Michael: It was wonderful, there's a lot of wonderment in being famous. I mean you travel the world, you meet people, you go places, it's great. But then there's the other side, which I'm not complaining about. There is lots of rehearsal and you have to put in a lot of your time, give a lot of yourself.
Michael: Well, especially now I come to realize - and then - I would do my schooling which was three hours with a tutor and right after that I would go to the recording studio and record, and I'd record for hours and hours until it's time to go to sleep. And I remember going to the record studio and there was a park across the street and I'd see all the children playing and I would cry because it would make me sad that I would have to work instead.
Oprah: Suzanne said it was a heavy price, I want to know how big of a price it was, losing your childhood or having this kind of life?
Michael: Well, you don't get to do things that other children get to do, having friends and slumber parties and buddies. There were none of that for me. I didn't have friends when I was little. My brothers were my friends.
Oprah: Was there ever a place where - because you know children - because I remember talking to myself and playing with my dolls - was there...and I think every child needs a place to escape into, a child's world, a child's imagination, was there ever a time you could do that?
Michael: No. And that is why I think because I didn't have it then, I compensate for that. People wonder why I always have children around, becasue I find the thing that I never had through them, you know Disneyland, amusement parks, arcade games. I adore all that stuff because when I was little it was always work, work, work from one concert to the next. If it wasn't a concert it was the recording studio, if it wasn't that it was TV shows or picture sessions. There was always something to do.
Oprah: So here you were, Michael Jackson, you all had hits, you all had so many hits - four hits in a row - and you were crying because you couldn't be like other kids.
Michael: Well, I loved show business and I still love show business, but then there are times you just want to play and have some fun and that part did make me sad. I rememeber one time we were getting ready to go to South America and everything was packed up and in the car ready to go and I hid and I was crying because I really did not want to go, I wanted to play. I did not want to go.
Michael: Very, very, very difficult, yes. Because I think every child star suffers through this period because you're not the cute and charming child that you were. You start to grow, and they want to keep you little forever.
Oprah: Who's they?
Michael: The public. And um, nature takes it's course.
Oprah: It does.
Michael: Yes, and I had pimples so badly it used to make me so shy. I used not to look at myself. I'd hide my face in the dark, I wouldn't want to look in the mirror and my father teased me and I just hated it and I cried everyday.
Oprah: Your father teased you about your pimples?
Michael: Yes and tell me I'm ugly.
Oprah: Your father would say that?
Michael: Yes he would. Sorry Joseph.
Oprah: What's your relationship like with him?
Michael: I love my father but I don't know him.
Oprah: Are you angry with him for doing that? I think that's pretty cruel actually.
Michael: Am I angry with him?
Oprah: Because adolescence is hard enough without a parent telling you that you're ugly.
Michael: Am I angry with him? Sometimes I do get angry. I don't know him the way I'd like to know him. My mother's wonderful. To me she's perfection. I just wish I could understand my father.
Oprah: And so let's talk about those teen years. Is that when you started to go inside yourself? Because obviously you haven't spoken to the world for 14 years. So you went inside, you became a recluse. Was it to protect yourself?
Michael: I felt there wasn't anything important for me to say, and those were sad, sad years for me.
Oprah: Why so sad? Because on stage you were performing, you were getting your Grammys. Why so sad?
Michael: Oh, there's a lot of sadness about my past and adolescence, about my father and all of those things.
Oprah: So he would tease you, make fun of you.
Oprah: Would he...did he ever beat you?
Oprah: And why would he beat you?
Michael: He saw me, he wanted me, I guess...I don't know if I was his golden child or whatever, but he was very strict, very hard, very stern. Just a look would scare you.
Oprah: And were you scared of him?
Michael: Very. Like, there's been times when he'd come to see me, I'd get sick, I'd start to regurgitate.
Oprah: As a child or as an adult?
Michael: Both. He's never heard me say this. I'm sorry, please don't be mad at me.
Michael: I do forgive. There's so much garbage and so much trash that's written about me it is so untrue, they're complete lies, and those are some of the things I wanted to talk about. The press has made up so much...God...awful, horrifying stories...it has made me realize the more often you hear a lie, I mean, you begin to believe it.
Michael: OK, but number one, this is the situation. I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of my skin, it's something that I cannot help, OK? But when people make up stories that I don't want to be what I am it hurts me.
Oprah: So it is...
Michael: It's a problem for me that I can't control...but what about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun, to become darker, to become other than what they are. No one says nothing about that.
Oprah: So when did this start? When did your...when did the color of your skin start to change?
Michael: Oh boy, I don't....sometime after Thriller, around Off The Wall, Thriller, sometime around then.
Oprah: But what did you think?
Oprah: How much plastic surgery have you had?
Michael: Very, very little. I mean you can count on my two fingers. I mean let's say this, if you want to know about those things, all the nosey people in the world, read my book Moonwalk, it's in my book. You know, let's put it this way, if all the people in Hollywood who have had plastic surgery, if they went on vacation, there wouldn't be a person left in town.
Oprah: Mmmm, I think you might be right.
Michael: I think I am right. It would be empty.
Oprah: Did you start having plastic surgery because of those teen years because of not liking the way you looked?
Michael: No, not really. It was only two things. Really, get my book, it's no big deal.
Oprah: Are you pleased with the way you...
Michael: I'm never pleased with anything, I'm a perfectionist, it's part of who I am.
Oprah: And so when you look in the mirror now and see the image that looks back at you are there days when you say I kinda like this, or I like the way my hair...
Michael: No, I'm nev...
Oprah: ....or I'm kinda cute today...
Michael: ...(giggles)...cute today....no, I'm never pleased with myself. No, I try not to look in the mirror.
Oprah: When you have broken all those records, when you have the number on album ever sold, when you've broken every record there is to break, when you become an icon of an industry, is there always the pressure to do something bigger and something better?
Michael: Oh gee, that is something, um, it makes it harder each time to follow up. You try be as original as you can be without thinking about statistics, just you go form the soul and from the heart.
Oprah: Do you think that by talking now, setting the record straight for yourself, that maybe people will be able to focus more attention to your music and not judge you for anything other than the kind of music that you play?
Michael: I would hope so. I would love that.
BIOGRAPHY on Michael Jackson
The Bio History of Michael Joseph Jackson began when he was born on the 29th of August 1958 in Gary, Indiana. He was the 7th of nine children. (brothers: Sigmund "Jackie", Toriano "Tito", Jermaine, Marlon, Steven "Randy", and sisters Rebbie, Janet and La-Toya Jackson
Michael began his musical career at the age of 5 as the lead singer of the Jackson 5 who formed in 1964. In these early years the Jackson 5, Jackie, Jermaine,Tito,Marlon and lead singer Michael played local clubs and bars in Gary Indiana and moving further afield as there talents grew and they could compete in bigger competitions. From these early days Michael would be at the same clubs as big talented stars of there days, such as Jackie Wilson and would be learning from them even back then. In 1968 the Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers discovered the Jackson five and from there they got an audition for Berry Gordy of Motown Records. The Jackson 5 signed for Motown and moved to California. Their first 4 singles, "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There" all made US No1 hits. The Jackson 5 recorded 14 albums and Michael recorded 4 solo albums with Motown.
The Jackson 5 stayed with Motown until 1976, wanting more artistic freedom they felt they had to move on and signed up with Epic. The group name Jackson 5 had to be changed as it was owned by Motown, so they reverted to The Jacksons as they had be known in the early days. Brother Jermaine married Berry Gordy's daughter and stayed with Motown. Youngest brother Randy joined in his place. The Jacksons had a number of hit recordsand in total made 6 albums between the years of 1976 and 1984.
In 1977 Michael made his first film debut when he starred in the musical 'The Wiz' playing Scarecrow with Diana Ross in the lead role of Dorothy. It was at this time Michael met Quincy Jones who was doing the score for the film.
Michael teamed up with Quincey Jones as his producer for his first solo album with Epic Records. The album titled "Off The Wall" was a big success around the world and the first ever album to release a record breaking 4 No1 singles in the US.
In 1982 Michael Jackson released the world's largest selling album of all time, 'Thriller'. This album produced 7 hit singles, breaking yet again more records, and went on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide. Michael was keen to use music video or short films as he called them to promote his singles from the album. He worked with the best directors and producers, using the latest technology and special effects.for the hit song 'Billie Jean' The short film 'Thriller' used the latest make-up artists technolgy combined with fantastic dancing and cherography, to produce a 14 minute video, with a start, a middle and an ending. So successful was this video that 'The Making Of Michael Jackson's Thriller' became the world's largest selling home video combined with soaring album sales. In 1983 Michael performed the now legendary moonwalk for the first time on the 'Motown 25 years' anniversary show. This performance alone set Michael undoubtable into the realm of a superstar.
In 1984 Michael won a record breaking 8 Grammy awards in one night. The awards were for his work on the 'Thriller' album and his work on the narrative for the 'ET Storybook'.
On December 9th 1984 at the last concert of the Jackson's Victory Tour, Michael announced he was splitting from the group and going solo.
In 1987 Michael released his much awaited third solo album, titled 'Bad', and lauched his record breaking first solo world tour. 1988, Michael wrote his first autobiography talking for the first time on his childhood and his career. At the end of the 1980s Michael was named 'Artist Of The Decade' for his success off of his 'Thriller' and 'Bad' albums.
In 1991 Michael signed with Sony Music the largest ever recording contract and released his fourth solo album, 'Dangerous'. He toured world again in 1992, taking his concerts to countries that had never before been visited by a pop/rock artist. Also Michael founded the 'Heal the World Foundation' to help improve the lives of children across the world.
In 1994 Michael married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of rock legend Elvis Presley. The marriage only lasted for 19 months, as they divorced in 1996.
1995 saw Michael release a fifth solo album, 'HIStory', which was a double album, first half new material and second half half greatest hits. Michael toured again over a legs covering a 2 year period. In between legs of the tour on November 14th 1996, Michael married for his second time to Debbie Rowe who was a nurse that Michael had met in the treatment of his skin pigment disorder. Together they had their first child Prince Michael Joseph Jackson jr born on February 13 1997 and a daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson born on April 3rd 1998. In 1997 Michael released the remix album 'Blood On The Dance Floor' which also contained 5 new song linked with a 38min film "Ghosts". This film Michael played 5 roles using the latest special effects and make-up artistry, combined with his dance and music.
In October 2001 Michael released the album 'Invincible'
In January 2008 “Thriller 25” made it to No. 2 on the U.S. charts.