Skip to content

BIG BUSINESS around Bashir’s Documentary. Time to find Who was Who in the game

March 9, 2011

Have you noticed that when you search for something rare and cannot find it you are often rewarded with something equally valuable instead?

This is what happened to me when I tried in vain to find a confirmation for a Spanish article called “Víctor Gutiérrez, asesor de Bashir” about Gutierrez working as Martin Bashir’s assistant on a number of his films.

Instead I came across the New York Times article telling a lie that CBS had paid millions to Michael Jackson for Ed Bradley’s interview which we recently discussed in this post.

The article was part of a series about Bashir’s documentary and besides confirming that the New York Times did indeed lie about CBS it also showed how NBC offered Michael Jackson $5mln. to get him into a trap and what a mad race was arranged by several TV networks to make huge profits at the expense of Michael Jackson.

The first thing I’ve learned from the New York Times is that February (when Bashir’s documentary aired) is the crucial month for setting TV advertising rates for the rest of the year – so airing the documentary in February 2004 was not a chance one.

The race for grabbing money started with British Granada TV’s perfect timing for offering their film to the market and was picked up by almost all major networks. They ferociously competed in selling Jackson to their viewers in February as it is a sweeps month when advertising rates are set – which by the way may be valid for newspapers too (?). The New York Times reveals that,

“In the end Mr. Jackson took up more than 10 hours on prime-time network television and another 10 hours on cable in the two-week period beginning last Feb. 6, during a sweeps month, when advertising rates are set.”  (The NYTimes, Jan. 21, 2004).

Please don’t be misled by the phrase saying “Mr. Jackson took up” something – it wasn’t him but the TV networks who made huge business on his name. Actually from the way the NYT describes Michael Jackson he is no human being at all but a huge selling item and a tool for boosting someone’s ratings.

The fact that Michael’s own career was sacrificed for their profits was not even an issue with them. Actually the decline in sales of his albums was one of the hottest selling points too – seeing the heavy market demand for anything incriminating Jackson, the networks turned hour-long specials into two-hour ones and speculated on every piece of negative news about the man. The article below admits it even in its headline:

Networks Scramble for Anything Jackson

Published: February 14, 2003

With his recording career in sharp decline, Michael Jackson may no longer be the king of pop, but he certainly is the king of sweeps.

In the last week, Mr. Jackson, 44, has generated a frenzy of bidding and counterbidding for Jackson-related programming among the four major television networks, all seeking an edge in the special ratings period known as the sweeps month.

The sheer volume of Jackson material, as well as the ferocity of the competition to acquire it, has amazed even the network executives participating in the process. ‘Michael Jackson is the ultimate traffic accident,” said Jeff Zucker, the president of NBC Entertainment. ”People can’t take their eyes off him.”

The rush for Jackson-centered programming, and the scheduling chess match among the networks, began in earnest after more than 27 million people tuned into ABC on Feb. 6 to watch a British-made documentary about Mr. Jackson, which ABC paid [to British Granada Television] almost $6 million to acquire.

Fox then beat bids from the other networks, including NBC‘s $5 million offer, for the rights to film made by the Jackson organization, which hopes it will counter some of the negative impressions of Mr. Jackson left by the documentary.

Yesterday, ABC agreed to pay an additional $500,000 to the show’s British production company, Granada Television, for rights to rerun the original documentary next Monday. The documentary will be preceded by yet another hour — produced by ABC News — about Mr. Jackson’s career and the controversies surrounding his interaction with children.

ABC’s three-hour Jackson block on Monday is intended to blunt the finale of ”Joe Millionaire,” Fox’s hit reality show, and a ”Dateline NBC” documentary about Mr. Jackson, largely centered on his extensive facial surgery.

But when NBC learned about ABC’s decision to rerun the two-hour documentary from 9 to 11 Monday night, it expanded its own planned hour long Jackson report to two hours. VH-1 will present the original Granada documentary five times this weekend, beginning Saturday night at 9.

Most networks acquire the rights to run programs at least twice, and it is not unusual for a successful show to be rebroadcast within a short period. But Granada sold rebroadcast rights to VH-1 before the documentary even appeared on ABC.

CBS, the only network so far not to have a Jackson program in the sweeps month, is still trying to land Mr. Jackson for an interview on its newsmagazine ”60 Minutes,” executives from the network said.

Then the New York Times article shows how marvelously “unbiased” their approach to Michael Jackson is. You can practically feel their satisfaction at the decline in sales of Michael’s albums and see them making innocent eyes at their own and other media’s role in it.

The point of the show is to emphasize that Michael’s decline in success was wholly his own doing and was the result of a natural process of the public loss of interest in his talent and a growing interest in his “increasingly eccentric behavior”.

The media is presented as an innocent baby of course whose business is only to register the horrendous “crimes” of Michael Jackson which include dangling the baby over a hotel balcony (I don’t remember it being “over” anything), the audacity to never disclose details of his facial surgery (as if he was obliged to do it) and “inviting” children to sleep in his bed (which is a flat lie as he never invited anyone there).

The New York Times further proves it complete “neutrality” by explaining in detail that the interest in the Fox rebuttal special based on the film created by “the Jackson camp” is quickly “fading” as networks “feel discomfort” and “uneasiness” about the “source” of the tape – Marc Schaffel, who is producer and director of pornographic films and who is now thought to be back in the Jackson “camp” again.

This news is accompanied by a small but piquant note from a spokeswoman for Jackson, Ann Gabriel who said she didn’t know about Schaffel’s involvement but described him as “merely Michael’s friend”  – thus adding a little more spice to the description of Michael Jackson’s “criminal” character.

  • In her testimony at the 2005 trial Ann Gabriel said she had worked in Michael’s team for full six days, had never met Jackson personally and was so concerned about Michael’s “friend” Scaffel and another guy Konitzer that she asked Michael’s lawyer LeGrand to investigate both of them because she “couldn’t allow Mr. Jackson’s reputation to fall into total ruin in the press.” After her dismissal, she spent six hours telling Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, that the singer was surrounded with “detrimental” people who were draining him dry.

Marc Schaffel does indeed own a copyright to Debby Rowe’s episode in Michael’s rebuttal video and sued both Jackson over it and the Fox News when they showed the episode in their news program soon after Michael’s death. So much for him being a friend…. (for the full story please go here ).

However the readers of the New York Times don’t know these small but crucial details and easily buy the idea that Michael Jackson’s rebuttal video, made by a porn producer, should be something fishy, untrustworthy and probably even a lie intended to disprove the “truth” told by Bashir.

TV networks knew that no money could be derived from positive news about Jackson, so few competed for his own footage of Bashir’s interview and as a result a relatively small number of people saw it – as witnesses to those events recall it. Compare the number of viewers on the first days of airing different specials (with numerous reruns of Bashir’s documentary not taken into account):

  • Feb.24, 2003  Michael Jackson TV special, FOX’s “The Michael Jackson Interview: Footage You Were Never Meant to See” drew a mere 14.2 million viewers on Thursday, about half as many as the 27 million who watched British interviewer Martin Bashir’s “Living with Michael Jackson” on a special Feb. 26 edition of ABC’s “20/20.” 
  • About 14 million viewers also greeted last week’s Dateline NBC special, “Michael Jackson Unmasked.” The FOX special, which was sanctioned by Jackson, was meant to serve as a rebuttal to Bashir.


Since Fox was the only one who made a special based on Michael Jackson’s own video footage and there were practically no reruns, the New York Times felt free to join or echo the accusations against Fox that they “had much lower standards” than the rest of the networks and “did anything for higher ratings” –  thus showing how terribly worried they were about a non-existent speck in other people’s eye without noticing a big log in their own.

The NYT chose not only to repeat these outrageous statements in full earnest but stressed the shakiness and untrustworthiness of anything coming from Michael’s camp by the unusual number of  “but” used in their piece about the Fox special. It naturally starts with the news of Michael declining success:

“The fascination with Mr. Jackson flies in the face of declining sales for his albums. Mr. Jackson’s latest album, ”Invincible,” has sold two million copies in the United States since its release in 2001, and ”HIStory,” a greatest hits album, has sold 2.5 million copies since 1995, according to Nielsen SoundScan. By contrast, ”Thriller,” Mr. Jackson’s 1982 hit album, sold 26 million copies.

But network executives said that the public was now less interested in Mr. Jackson’s talent than in his increasingly eccentric behavior, including inviting children to sleep in his bed and dangling his baby over a hotel balcony.

Because the first broadcast on ABC of the documentary was the most-watched show of the month so far, the Fox special on Feb. 20, created from film shot by the Jackson camp, is now expected to be even more of an attraction. But the rush to acquire it generated discomfort among several of the participants, who registered uneasiness about the source of the videotape that was being offered.

Specifically, two networks said that their interest in the material faded as soon as they learned that one of the intermediaries in the negotiations was F. Marc Schaffel.

Mr. Schaffel had previously been associated with Mr. Jackson, even producing his charity music video for victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. But the video was never released, and Mr. Schaffel was thought to have been excluded from the Jackson camp after revelations about his background in producing and directing pornographic films.

Still, several network executives said Mr. Schaffel participated in the negotiations about newly available tape of Mr. Jackson. A spokeswoman for Mr. Jackson, Ann Gabriel, said she did not know Mr. Schaffel’s official position in Mr. Jackson’s camp, describing him merely as ”a friend of Michael’s.”

… Fox executives said they were unaware of Mr. Schaffel’s background when they negotiated with him for the new Jackson film. But one senior Fox executive said, ”It was almost like, don’t ask, don’t tell.”

A senior executive at a competing network said of the frenzied negotiation for Jackson material: ”The whole thing gives me a stomachache. We’ve never been closer to Paddy Chayefsky.” Mr. Chayefsky wrote ”Network,” the movie with an apocalyptic vision of an anything-for-ratings television future.Other networks accused Fox of having much lower standards about what it was willing to do to acquire a show that will attract big ratings.

But Joe Earley, the corporate spokesman for Fox, said: ”This is obviously a case of sour grapes. The other networks were aggressively vying for this footage. Since they were unsuccessful, we’re now suddenly the only network that would ‘stoop’? That’s transparent and laughable.”

Well, I don’t know anything about Fox, but now that I see what they had to go through to show Michael’s rebuttal video they have gained my immense respect…

However the most interesting news is yet to come.

Two more New York Times articles tell us of an incredibly treacherous way in which the NBC network wanted to interview Jackson and their openly blackmailing methods to try and force Michael into this interview:

“NBC chose to play a valuable card in its hand. NBC made a written offer to pre-empt an investigative program into Mr. Jackson by ”Dateline,” an NBC News program, an offer that the Jackson side understood to mean the segment’s cancellation, a senior Jackson adviser said, not just its indefinite postponement, as NBC insists.”

To understand what the above piece is all about we need to read the official offer made by NBC to Michael Jackson detailing the rights of both parties. To me it looked like a positive trap they expected Michael to walk into at the price of $5mln.

Please note that their offer was sent to Michael immediately after Bashir’s documentary by the NBC West Coast Vice-president in charge of the business affairs of NBC and was copied to an Entertainment chief and producer of a NBC News program (these details are important).

Here is the full text of the NBC offer for your full enjoyment of it:

Text of NBC’s Inducements to Jackson Camp

Published: January 21, 2004

On Feb. 15, 2003, Marc Graboff, executive vice president of NBC West Coast, sent an e-mail message to David G. LeGrand, a lawyer for Michael Jackson, asking Mr. Jackson to consider a bid by the network for the exclusive rights to an interview. The e-mail was copied to Jeff Zucker, entertainment chief of NBC at the time, and David Corvo, executive producer of ”Dateline NBC,” a news program. Mr. Jackson’s representatives also received a term sheet for a Jackson special and interview. Following are the texts of the e-mail and the term sheet, both provided to The New York Times by a representative of Mr. Jackson.

Graboff Message

I am the executive vice president of NBC West Coast, in charge of the business affairs of NBC. As you no doubt are aware, NBC is extremely interested in acquiring the rights to the Michael Jackson footage and to an interview with Mr. Jackson.

David Corvo of ”Dateline” has forwarded to me an e-mail from you that indicates that you are close to finalizing a deal with another outlet.

However, before you do so, I urge you to review and consider the Term Sheet that we will be sending you shortly, which, among other things, offers $5 million for the exclusive rights to the footage and the interview.

NBC’s Claudia Eaton and Robert Jarrin are now in Las Vegas standing by to meet with you to work out the terms of the arrangement and the logistics of the production. I am also available to discuss these matters, whether in person or by telephone.

Again, we urge you to seriously consider the offer we are about to send to you. Unlike with other networks, the acquisition of the rights to this special on NBC will have the added benefit of pre-empting NBC’s planned broadcast of the one-hour ”Dateline” scheduled for Feb. 17.



Term Sheet

Feb. 11, 2003

1. Purchase Price: $5 million.

2. Personal Interview: Exclusive right to conduct the next Michael Jackson interview to be published in any medium (to be conducted by Pat O’Brien or T.B.D.). General areas of interview questions to be provided in advance.

3. Footage rights: Exclusive rights to the existing footage in Jackson’s possession or control, including without limitation:

a. Two (plus) hours Martin Bashir footage

b. Three (plus) hours Debbie Rowe footage (other than three minutes previously sold to ET) [Entertainment Tonight]

c. Footage [of the boy, whose name is being omitted by The Times]

(collectively, the ”Footage”), consisting of, without limitation, the exclusive right to edit the Footage for use in a one- to three-hour (as determined by NBC) prime time television special to be broadcast on NBC (the ”Special”), the exclusive right to broadcast any part of the Footage, whether as part of the Special or in advertising, publicizing and promoting the Special, and the exclusive right to use excerpts in other NBC programs such as ”Access Hollywood,” ”Dateline” and the ”Today” show

4. Limitations on exclusivity: Special and the Footage are exclusive in all media throughout the world in perpetuity, to NBC and its related cable systems and affiliated broadcast platforms (e.g., Bravo, Telemundo, MSNBC, CNBC). Embargo on sale or use of any unused portion of the Footage.

5. Representation and warranty that Jackson owns all rights to the Footage and that NBC’s use of the Footage as described above will not infringe on any third party rights (including, without limitation, Martin Bashir and/or the BBC).

6. Indemnification with respect to any claims related to NBC’s use of the Footage

7. Copyright to the Special to be owned by NBC.

8. Consultation/approval rights on editing the Footage. Jackson may predesignate certain Footage segments to be incorporated into Special, provided appropriate disclosure made pursuant to NBC broadcast standards and integrity guidelines.

9. Jackson assistance in obtaining music clearances/licenses or other music rights for network/cable broadcast and home video.

10. Jackson cooperation in prebroadcast publicity/promotion of the Special.

Claudia Eaton talking point: not for inclusion in formal deal memo:

Pre-emption of scheduled Feb. 17, 2003, ”Dateline” special on Michael Jackson to be discussed.

I regard this magnificent document as an effort to blackmail Michael Jackson.

The very beginning of it makes you immediately apprehensive – their desire to lure Jackson into giving an interview by promising to pre-empt the Dateline one-hour program looks more like a threat “See what we will do if you don’t agree…”

The terms offered are discriminative to the degree of being an insult:

  • they will inform Jackson of only “general areas of interview questions” which leaves much room for all sorts of ‘queer’ questions meant to take him completely unawares
  • they will receive exclusive rights to all Michael’s materials without limitation, which will make him unable to use them himself or offer them to anyone else if he doesn’t like the NBC’s version of the story
  • the NBC rights will include the exclusive right to edit the Footage –  which is the right to totally disregard Michael’s opinion –  as well as the exclusive right to broadcast any part of the Footage for promoting the Special and using it in other NBC programs like ”Access Hollywood,” ”Dateline” and the ”Today” show (I can imagine what episodes were to be selected)
  • the clause on “limitations on exclusivity” says that there will be no limitations on exclusivity as the Footage will be shown exclusively by NBC and its affiliates all over the world – with no one else having access to it!
  • moreover, if NBC does not use some parts of Michael’s footage – which may easily turn out to be crucial for his exoneration in the eyes of the public – there will be a worldwide embargo on sale and use of the unused material!
  • knowing in advance that Michael will make claims against NBC they are offering an unknown sum of “indemnification” which is yet to be discussed and which will be naturally turned into another piece of sensational news
  • consultation/approval rights on editing the Footage are limited to a permission for Jackson “to predesignate certain Footage segments to be incorporated into Special” which is followed by a virtually incomprehensible condition that it will be done “provided appropriate disclosure made pursuant to NBC broadcast standards and integrity guidelines”.
  • Jackson is required to assist NBC to obtaining music rights to songs for network broadcast and home video of him (so if they, for example, want to mock at his home video or decide to bury Michael’s music forever he will not be able to complain – as he himself gave his okay to that).
  • and finally Michael Jackson will be under an obligation to cooperate in “prebroadcast publicity/promotion of the Special” – even if he doesn’t like it, doesn’t agree to it, didn’t have the right to edit it and has claims against NBC because of it!


Let us imagine ourselves in Michael Jackson’s shoes – he either gives an interview on these slavery terms or they will broadcast their Dateline news program about his facial surgery which from the way they speak about it should be something really nasty? Well, even in a danger like that I wouldn’t agree if I were him. He didn’t agree either, but his associates nevertheless checked up whether the Dateline program would indeed be cancelled.

And to their big surprise the NBC network said that all they had in mind was just an indefinite postponement!

“When first reported a year ago, deep in a Washington Post gossip column, Mr. Graboff said the offer ”was not a quid pro quo: ‘You give us the interview, and we’ll kill the Dateline special.’ ”

But a close adviser to Mr. Jackson who negotiated with NBC said the offer had been precisely that. ”They said they would remove it, that they would not run the special if we gave them the interview,” said the adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ”They would get rid of the special.”

In the end, the Jackson adviser said, the deal with Fox went ahead for more than $5 million [other sources say it was $3mln], even without an interview with Mr. Jackson, his advisers said, and the NBC offer was spurned”.

When Michael Jackson refused NBV had their revenge on him by expanding the Dateline program to two hours and trashing him there under the title of “Michael Jackson Unmasked” over such issues as his plastic surgery and ties with his porn “friend” Schaffel:

”Dateline” expanded its Jackson segment to two hours, and it ran on Feb. 17. Titled ”Michael Jackson Unmasked,” the special was critical and featured Mr. Jackson’s extensive plastic surgery and his ties to a former producer of pornographic films, Marc Schaffel.”

Critical of Jackson? They mocked at him speaking about only two operations for full two hours (though he was probably right – some surgery could be corrective as was the case with his broken nose) and said that he had more than 50 operations instead, because a certain person “shared an office” with Jackson’s plastic surgeon and therefore knew better!

“Earlier this week, a “Dateline NBC” special examined the singer’s denial that he had only two plastic surgery operations. A doctor who shared an office with Jackson’s personal plastic surgeon claimed the pop singer had over 50 operations”.

Now, considering that the offer from NBC to pre-empt the Dateline program was made in writing and that all of us understood it to be a cancellation how did NBC explain that they never meant it that way, I wonder?


They said that the “entertainment” section of NBC (which pays for its interviews) cannot have power over “the news” section of NBC (which doesn’t pay) and that Dateline is a news program and “entertainment” TV cannot affect news which runs on its own.

The above is said with a straight face of no jokers who claim that a Dateline program on Michael’s facial surgery is a news program and that the offer made by the vice-president of NBC on behalf of the whole network is nothing but a useless piece of paper:

“Two executives named in the memo — Mr. Graboff and Jeff Zucker, who was the president of NBC Entertainment at the time — were not available for comment, said Rebecca Marks, an NBC spokeswoman.  David Corvo, the ”Dateline” executive producer, who was named in the message, said yesterday,

”At no time did anyone discuss not running the ‘Dateline’ material.” He said he did not see the term sheet and did not remember seeing the e-mail message. He said the negotiations broke down before anyone could consider moving the ”Dateline” report, but said, ”We would not have agreed” to cancel it. ”I can’t imagine that happening.”

Ms. Marks, the spokeswoman, said that the offer to cancel the ”Dateline” special had been only an offer to move the broadcast date. ”It wasn’t that ‘Dateline’ won’t run ever,” she said. ”It’s that we weren’t going to run two specials in February.”

Ms. Mautner, the spokeswoman for ”Dateline,” said the special would have been shown later, though she acknowledged that Mr. Zucker, now president of NBC Entertainment, News and the Cable Group, is in charge of programming prime time, including ”Dateline.”

”There’s a line between our entertainment and news divisions, and they cannot kill a news special,” she said. ”Entertainment doesn’t have the authority to kill a news special.”

The above means that if Michael Jackson had agreed to the exclusive interview with NBC (passing over to them all his footage and never having the right to use it elsewhere) NBC would also have deceived him by showing the Dateline “Michael Jackson Unmasked” too, but only a little time later…

Amazing, isn’t it?

The New York Times somewhat whitewashes this little trick on the part of NBC explaining it by the tendency to blur the lines between news and entertainment, which is a correct interpretation of the phenomenon itself, but is no justification for NBC’s fraudulent actions, of course.

”A senior NBC executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the lines between news and entertainment are increasingly unclear. ”We’re at a crossroads, quite frankly,” the executive said. ”It needs to be clear. You can’t play it both ways”.

And it is at this point, after impassionately telling its readers of NBC’s deception plan, that the New York Times chooses to tell a lie of its own – about CBS this time whom they put on a par with NBC with their “checkbook journalism”:

“The furor over Mr. Jackson has raised other allegations of checkbook journalism. CBS denied a recent allegation by a close Jackson adviser that the network’s entertainment division agreed to pay $1 million to Mr. Jackson for an interview to run on ”60 Minutes” last February.

Both CBS and the adviser said the interview had fallen through after CBS refused to pay for the interview in advance, while the ”60 Minutes” correspondent Ed Bradley sat waiting at Neverland Ranch. CBS says it never agreed to pay in advance and insists that CBS News was not paying.

The adviser also said that CBS had paid another $1 million for a Christmas Day interview with Mr. Jackson by Mr. Bradley for ”60 Minutes.” CBS has denied this, too”.

The specific thing about CBS was that it somewhat stood apart from the disgusting race for profits over Michael’s name and though Ed Bradley of CBS “60 minutes” did plan an interview at the same period of time he wasn’t offering Michael any money.

Their arrangement was a more honest and simple oneMichael talked to Ed Bradley for several hours prior to the interview and despite all those millions offered to him by others agreed to do an interview with Ed Bradley just because he developed a trust for the man and didn’t expect any distortion of fact from him.

As you remember their initial interview was scheduled for February 2003 (same period when NBC made their offer to Jackson) but was put off because Michael received a phone call before its start that Jordan Chandler’s “deposition” had being released on the Internet and would soon be in the US papers (though it was a declaration only and was supposed to be sealed in Larry Feldman’s office – see this post for details about it).

The interview with CBS took place almost a year later –  on Christmas day, 2003, when Michael’s associates contacted Ed Bradley on their own and said he was finally ready to talk to him.

So why did the New York Times, the “pillar of journalism” as Larry King called it, tell a lie about CBS paying millions for the interview?

Most probably because they couldn’t bring themselves to say that despite NBC’s offer of $5 million Michael decided to give an interview for free.

Only recently (in Nov. 2003) the NYT reported his financial difficulties:

  • “Mr. Jackson’s financial well-being appears fragile and with each successive record costing more and earning less than the last, he is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain his lavish lifestyle” .

And now they will have to admit that Michael Jackson turned down the offer of $5 million just because he liked the honesty of a journalist?  No way!

So referring to some unknown Michael’s “close adviser’ and even Ed Bradley himself they invented details of a bargain between Michael and CBS saying that the initial interview had fallen through because Michael wasn’t paid $1 mln. as promised and it took place only after the second million was paid in addition to the first one – implying that all this time Michael Jackson had been bargaining with Ed Bradley …

CBS charged the New York Times with printing a colossal lie as is clear from this article:

CBS charges ‘Times’ printed ‘colossal lie’

Posted 1/5/2004 11:35 PM by Peter Johnson

“In a letter to the paper, 60 Minutes chief Don Hewitt said the Times printed a “colossal lie” when it reported CBS paid $1 million to secure the Dec. 28 interview. The interview made 60 Minutes the week’s top-rated show, drawing 18.8 million viewers.

In a phone call, Hewitt said, “I can tell you categorically that we at 60 Minutes did not pay Michael Jackson one cent.” Asked if another CBS division paid Jackson — which is what the Times alleged — Hewitt responded, “Was the deal sweetened? To the best of my knowledge, it was not.”

The Times said Monday it stands by the Dec. 30 article by reporter Sharon Waxman. “Our story was balanced and accurate,” spokesman Toby Usnik said. “CBS’ position was set out fully.” Waxman could not be reached but has said that her reporting was accurate.

Waxman’s story, that Jackson was paid by CBS Entertainment and not 60 Minutes, thereby allowing CBS News to maintain it does not pay for interviews, prompted intense criticism of the network.

“CBS shredded whatever remained of its news division’s ethical standards,” wrote Tim Rutten in the Los Angeles Times. “Checkbook journalism is a pretty dirty term, but it somehow seems inadequate to describe the arrangement. All that’s missing is a wire transfer to a numbered account in the Cayman Islands.”

The network denied it made any payment to Jackson for an interview, but acknowledged it had negotiated an unspecified deal to air a Jackson entertainment special during the recent ratings sweeps period.

CBS postponed the special after California authorities issued an arrest warrant for Jackson on child molestation charges. And CBS has said it told Jackson that unless he addressed the charges on 60 Minutes, the special would not air.

Waxman — quoting an unnamed, disgruntled Jackson associate — reported that to get the interview, CBS sweetened the deal by giving him $1 million beyond a reported $1.5 million it had already paid upfront for the special.

Waxman also reported that last February, Jackson had backed out of doing an interview with Bradley until he was paid $1 million. The Jackson associate quoted Bradley as saying, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.” (Bradley, on vacation, could not be reached Monday.)

In his letter, Hewitt, 81 — now in his final semester at the top-ranked newsmagazine — questioned why the Times would allow a source “with an ax to grind to put damaging and utterly false words in the mouth of a journalist as respected as Bradley?”

He continued, “Is it not a violation of journalistic ethics to publish an unsubstantiated story … without getting corroboration that he actually said what you quoted him as saying?

Because we at 60 Minutes do not allow people with axes to grind to make wild, unsubstantiated accusations, we assumed all news organizations worth their salt adhered to the same standards.”

The Times wouldn’t say what it will do in response to Hewitt’s letter. A scandal last year involved reporter Jayson Blair, who admitted faking numerous stories and quotes. Since then, the newspaper has made a series of changes to better respond to complaints, including the appointment of a public editor who writes about such issues, and a standards editor to oversee accuracy internally.

60 Minutes also has faced ethical charges before: In 1995, it held a Mike Wallace interview with tobacco whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, a move widely viewed as caving into pressure from CBS higher-ups.

“CBS shredded whatever remained of its news division’s ethical standards”? “Checkbook journalism is a pretty dirty term, but it seems inadequate to describe this arrangement”? “60 Minutes also has faced ethical charges before”? And all of this “prompted intense criticism of the network’?

I am amazed more than ever… First they invent a lie about CBS and then they trash it for their own lie –  while all this time all those TV networks which are indeed to blame for “checkbook journalism” feel safe and sound as no one is looking in their direction or cares about what they are doing?

Isn’t it a surprising coincidence that each time some network (Fox or CBS) made a more or less unbiased report about Michael Jackson this network also had to defend itself as it was immediately accused of violating ethical standards? Though it was actually them who were telling the truth?

Why didn’t their accusers look in the direction of NBC instead and say a couple of tender words about their fraudulent schemes and their total lack of journalistic ethics when they were setting a trap for Michael Jackson and openly deceived him by all those false promises?

The news veteran Ed Bradley didn’t throw tantrums over the unjust and colossal lie told about his program. The only thing he allowed himself was a quiet comment in his February 2004 interview with Larry King that no money had been paid to Jackson, that Michael chose him as he trusted the man and money was not a factor at all, and that he was infinitely surprised that no one from the New York Times had verified their false information or named the source of an unknown Michael’s “associate” who allegedly told that lie.

Below is an excerpt from Ed Bradley’s and Larry Kings’s conversation. Now the details they discussed about differences between “entertainment” and “news” are becoming clear at last:

KING: …The story that appears in the “New York Times” is “he says, first we have to make this deal. We need the money more on a live television show”.

BRADLEY: Never happened.

KING: Nothing like that ever — “New York Times” story was completely wrong.

BRADLEY: Completely wrong. Completely wrong. The “New York Times” story which was based on something that happened a year ago in February when we were at Neverland that this person said, we have to have more money for Michael.

KING: That was then.

BRADLEY: The quote was put in my mouth in the “New York Times” story saying I said, don’t worry, we’ll take care of it. Who said I said that? The person they attributed that quote to was described as a disgruntled former Jackson associate, unnamed, who felt that he was owed money. Now, that’s not a very credible source. What bothered me was that they never contacted me directly to say, did you say that?

KING: Never called you?

BRADLEY: They called — by the time they were ready to write this story we had finished the interview and I had gone on vacation. They called the CBS PR people and said, can we talk to Bradley? Bradley’s on vacation. They never said, here’s a quote. This is what they’re saying that Ed Bradley said, how does he respond to that?

KING: Back to a year ago, a year ago back in February, when they didn’t do it, did he say at that time, I want more money?


KING: Did he say, I’m doing the special, you must run it?

BRADLEY: No, this was a year before the special.

KING: The special hadn’t even been thought of?

BRADLEY: No, the special hadn’t been thought of. Maybe it had been thought of, but I didn’t know about it.

KING: Money was never mentioned?

BRADLEY: Money was not a factor. What happened a year ago was that when Marlon Brando told him that the deposition [declaration] was being made public he freaked out and he didn’t want to see anyone.

KING: So when you read the story, what did you think?

BRADLEY: I said, it’s a lie. I never said that. Who was the person who said I said that? Name him.

KING: Were you shocked that the “New York Times” ran that? I mean, here’s a pillar of journalism.

BRADLEY: You know, I expected more from them, frankly. I mean, if I had a quote from an anonymous source for a story I’m doing at “60 Minutes,” I couldn’t use that quote without contacting the person who’s quoted in that story in saying, this is what they say about you. We couldn’t do that.

KING: To your knowledge, is there any content between CBS Entertainment and CBS News where Entertainment could say do us a quid pro quo?

BRADLEY: No, there is no quid pro quo. There was no quid pro quo with Michael Jackson. CBS did not pay for the interview. CBS did not sweeten the pot. In other words, CBS did not say, OK, we paid you so much with a special, do the interview and we’ll pay you more for the special.

KING: Never happened.

BRADLEY: Never happened. Now, was there someone there from CBS Entertainment? Yes, because he knew Michael Jackson, having done the special with him and knew Michael Jackson’s people and he was a liaison with us, but he had nothing to do with the interview.

KING: Were they not going to run this special unless he did the interview?

BRADLEY: I don’t think they were going to run the special unless he answered the questions. Now it was his choice as to where he chooses, which forum he chooses to answer the questions. Now, would they prefer that he do it on “60 Minutes?” You bet.

What Ed Bradley is saying is that though someone from CBS Entertainment knew Michael Jackson (and could have paid to him if he had asked for it), this was not the case with Ed Bradley’s news program “60 minutes” which Michael selected himself because he trusted the man and gave him the interview for free – which makes the story told by the NYT “pillar of journalism” a flat lie.

Let me repeat that this lie looks to me like the only way the New York Times could explain the ‘impossible’ news that Michael had refused $5mln dollars from NBC and preferred an honest journalist instead.

And let me repeat that the cheek with which everyone else threw accusations at CBS for their “dirty checkbook” journalism is something simply unheard of. It is like calling white black or black white without batting an eyelid …

Though I hear that Thomas Mesereau later called Ed Bradley’s interview a disaster I would say that Michael Jackson wasn’t mistaken in Ed Bradley – the questions he asked were no provocations and showed his sincere desire to understand Michael Jackson’s way of life and thinking.

It was Michael who didn’t know how to explain that he saw no harm in giving his bed to others, that this was the way he was raised or that he was simply unwilling to give in to someone else’s dirty thinking by following their rules:

BRADLEY: As we sit here today, do you still think that it’s acceptable to share your bed with children?

MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: Of course. Of course. Why Not? If you’re going to be a ped-le, if you’re going to be Jack the Ripper, if you’re going to be a murderer, it’s not a good idea. That I’m not. That’s how we were raised. And I didn’t sleep in the bed with the child, even if it I did, it’s OK. I slept on the floor. I gave the bed to the child.

BRADLEY: What is your response to the allegations that were brought by the district attorney in Santa Barbara, that you molested this boy?

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.

It is clear that in contrast to other journalists Ed Bradley was at least making a serious attempt to understand the world of Michael Jackson and even in the midst of the 2004 events had the courage to say to Larry King he didn’t think him to be a molester:

KING: What’s your read on Michael Jackson?

BRADLEY: Michael lives in a world, I think his main residence is aptly named Neverland. It’s a fantasy world. I mean, I’m sitting outside waiting for this interview that never happened. I hear this noise and I look over my left shoulder and it’s an elephant and a trainer walking the elephant. I’m looking out at the lake in front of me and there’s a geyser at the other end of the lake and spawns, you know, gliding across the landing.

I look over here there’s a little waterfall and I see statues of pink flamingos and then I see the flamingos move, they’re real. And then I hear a half hour later to my right and I look over my shoulder, here comes another trainer with a camel.

All the time there’s a train going around and there’s a train station that’s as big as your house. And it’s all lit up with lights. And on other parts of the property, there’s other animals. There is a ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, and then there are all of these Disney-type programs being played on outdoor speakers.

It’s — he lives in a world that is still a child’s world. He never had a childhood. The one thing that struck me that he said was that when I was a kid and I would pass a playground and see kids out there playing, I had to go into the studio. From the time he was 7, 8 years old, he’s been the breadwinner for his family. So he now has re-created this world of fantasy where he can be a child.

Well, that’s not a real world. It’s not a real world, but it’s his world.

KING: Sad or what?

BRADLEY: I think it’s sad because it’s not real. And I think, in some ways, Michael is out of touch with reality, and I don’t think he has people around him who can say, Michael, can’t do this. Michael, you can’t do that. Michael, you can’t say this. You know, I think he has been so big for so long that he can do whatever he wants to do.

KING: Did you suspect — did you come away with any opinion?

BRADLEY: I came away not convinced that he is a ped-le. I think that that’s something that only a jury can decide. They have to look at the evidence, and I haven’t seen all the evidence. But I came away not convinced that he is a ped-le, but convinced that he doesn’t make sound decisions. That having already been accused in 1992, got to be extra careful about what it is that you do and not allow yourself to be put in a position where you could be accused again.

…KING: Do you like him?

BRADLEY: I don’t dislike him. I mean, yeah, I mean, I don’t — I feel sorry for him more than anything else. I feel sorry that he didn’t have more of a normal life. And that somewhere along the line, as an adult, someone didn’t, you know, as we used to say, smack him upside the head and say, Michael, you can’t do this.

KING: Jermane has mentioned the black aspect. And you’re a black journalist. Do you see any of that in this?

BRADLEY: No, I don’t, no.

I was sorry to hear that Ed Bradley died in 2006 at the age of 65. He was an honest journalist and left a good memory of himself.

Here is the full text of his conversation with Larry King – two years before his death:

As a POSTSCRIPT to this please don’t forget that in the above interview Ed Bradley also revealed absolutely sensational news that a year before his talk with Larry King (in February 2003, just before Bashir’s documentary aired), he was very close to making an interview with the Arvizo family as he saw them in Michael’s house that day!

As Ed Bradley was waiting for Michael to get ready for an interview they were all sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee. The Arvizos were eating doughnuts and praising Michael to Ed Bradley saying what a great guy Michael was. And it was only a chance occurrence that Ed Bradley didn’t record that interview – it just never entered his mind that several months later these very people would accuse Michael of unspeakable crimes!

Can you imagine that if only he had had a clue as to what they would say later we could have had a totally neutral and unbiased rebuttal video from Ed Bradley of CBS? I am thrilled even at a theoretical opportunity that it could have happened!

But this is a different story which you can read in this post

43 Comments leave one →
  1. morinen permalink
    March 9, 2011 8:59 pm

    Oh my god. How did Michael go throw all this and not lose faith in humanity?


  2. hana permalink
    March 10, 2011 12:17 am

    So Martin Bashir and Victor Guiterezz were good friends?..Wow, no wonder why Bashir treated Michael like a criminal and called Neverland a dangerous place for vunerable children.


  3. Dialdancer permalink
    March 10, 2011 5:36 am

    I have a friend who will be highly interested in this information.


  4. March 10, 2011 4:20 pm

    There is something wrong with our media, all they concerned were their precious ratings, can you imagine NBC,CBS or even Fox networks willing to do a decent documentary about Michael Jackson? man they were be out of their minds if they did that!! Geee about Jackson? no way ,out of question!!
    This is about money and maybe a little bet of harsh slander , piece of mocking and ridiculing Jackson certain comments about his childhood,his relation to boys because they don’t say CHILDREN and most important of all his face”as they said 50 or 145 facial surgical operation in another british tabloid program,my God how can someone put so much in his face or NOT”
    We are NOT stupid to believe such things, never occured in mind that”oh maybe its true,why would he do that” , people need to realize that it is a money profiting machine, they “media” wash the viewers point of view on something or somebody,think on your own DON”T let them feed you their stupidity and nonsense self serving opinions.

    Thanks Helena, that was greatly done .


  5. ares permalink
    March 11, 2011 4:38 pm

    This was really well written Helena,thank you. It’s very interesting reading what was going on behing the scene at that time. Τhis blog is one more proof on why the media will never report the true facts about the 1993-2005 cases.Because they basically have to admit that they are as responsible for Mikes downfall and death,as it was MJ himself, if not more.


  6. lcpledwards permalink
    March 12, 2011 1:36 am

    I originally posted this comment in my post on Bashir, but I felt it was relevant to this post since it involves NBC, which now employs Bashir, and smeared MJ on it’s Dateline NBC special after he rejected their interview:

    Hey guys, I found some new info on NBC and Sony! In January 2003, Andrew Lack was hired by Sony to replace Tommy Mottola.

    Lack was the President and Chief Operating Officer of NBC since June 2001, and President of NBC News for eight years prior to that. In 1993 NBC hired him to help increase the ratings of their fledgling news program, Dateline NBC. Their ratings were down after they were caught manipulating a story by rigging explosions in a report on truck safety! General Motors sued them for libel and defamation, and NBC settled out of court, and FIRED several journalists and producers who were associated with the story.

    Whoa, talk about journalistic integrity, huh?

    (Open the links below for more info on this scandal:

    The reason that this is very important is because as the head of NBC, he gave the go-ahead for those horrible Dateline NBC episodes that aired after MJ rejected their interview offer after the Bashir documentary aired. If they had no problem slandering a major corporation like GM, then they certainly had no problem in slandering MJ, who was himself a walking, talking corporation!

    This is an excerpt from Maureen Orth’s 2003 article on MJ:

    This past January, however, Tommy Mottola was out as Sony chairman. Ironically, his replacement is Andrew Lack, the former president of NBC, who, shortly before accepting Sony’s offer, had given the go-ahead for Dateline NBC to do a show for the February ratings sweeps on Michael Jackson’s collapsing face and the downslide of his career. This action of Lack’s was alluded to by Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s brother, on a TV talk show on which he extolled the closeness of the Jackson family while at the same time letting slip that Michael had never met Jermajesty, Jermaine’s son.

    MJ always thought that some of his enemies paid Janet Arvizo to make those false claims, and he never ruled out Sony. The fact that Sony hired the President and COO of the network that has done the worst reporting on MJ, instead of hiring a record executive with years of experience, only confirms MJ’s suspicions. Lack approved that Dateline NBC episode in order to boost NBC’s ratings and their revenues, and couldn’t have cared less about MJ’s feelings. So it’s very plausible that he could have paid Janet Arvizo to make those false charges against MJ so he would go to jail and Sony could get control of the catalogue, thus boosting their profits. It’s what any good businessman would do!

    And here is another example of Sony’s corruption: in 2002-2003, they were involved in a scandal known as “payola”, where they would pay radio stations to play the music of their artists, regardless of the demand for their music by the public! This scandal was made public during 2005.

    It’s amazing that while they were paying radio stations to play the music of such “legends” as Jennifer Lopez & Jessica Simpson, they refused to even market MJ’s “Invincible” album.

    MJ was right: the music business is the most corrupt business ever!,2933,163537,00.html


  7. **** permalink
    March 21, 2011 6:46 pm

    Ed Bradley interviewed Michael in 1986 too


  8. Teva permalink
    March 21, 2011 11:17 pm

    Thank you I thought I had seen all the MJ interviews, but this is new to me.


  9. March 22, 2011 4:34 am


    Maybe someone can clear things up for me here.
    I’ve been looking through the Marc Schaffel lawsuit case and, as a result, found a lot of gossip and so-called facts.
    But, in the end, I’m seriously starting to think Michael was not always honest.
    From what I understood, he lied when he said he had cut ties with Schaffel back in 2001 although that guy was still around in 2003/2004 and implicated in those 2 documentaries on MJ “Private home movies” and “the footage you were never meant to see”. So he wasn’t too disturbed by Schaffel’s porn “history” afterall. I also found out that Schaffel was not honest either(Debbie called him a vulture) but that blatant lie from MJ annoys me. It throws his credibility out the window.
    Maybe I missed something, does anyone as a clue about this issue ?


  10. lcpledwards permalink
    March 22, 2011 6:01 am

    @ S
    Schaffel was fired in 2001, but rehired in 2003. Here is what MJ had to say about it in a deposition he gave for a civil trial in 2006:

    When he found out in late 2001 that Schaffel had a background in producing gay adult movies, Jackson said he decided to fire Schaffel but didn’t do it personally because he didn’t want to embarrass him. Asked how Schaffel wound up back in his employment in 2003 when he produced two TV specials that aired on Fox, Jackson said, “I didn’t directly rehire Marc Schaffel. It was somebody in the organization who obviously did.” Of Schaffel’s role in the productions, he said, “He was more in the background … he didn’t direct it.”

    So MJ didn’t lie when he said he cut ties with Schaffel, because he really was fired once his background was revealed. It’s very troubling that Schaffel could be rehired without MJ’s knowledge, and that’s an indication of the dysfunctional within MJ’s camp. But the thing to remember is that he was a FORMER porn director, and whoever decided to rehire him must have felt that they didn’t want to hold that against him forever. I guess when you work in the entertainment industry, you’re going to run into a LOT of people who have questionable backgrounds, and it’s damn near impossible to find someone who is squeaky clean.

    And if MJ was lying about not having any knowledge of Schaffel’s rehiring, than that further proves that he was a normal, flawed human being, just like all of us! It wouldn’t annoy me if he lied about his rehiring because, in reality, who hasn’t lied at one time or another in their lifetime?


  11. lynande51 permalink
    March 22, 2011 2:13 pm

    In 2001 Shaffel was hired to help produce/direct the video “What More Can I Give”. He was involved in the making of the video which was made for charity to benefit the victims of 9/11. MacDonalds was sponsoring the release of the record and video and they were the ones that found out that Marc Shaffel was previously connected to porn. They threatened and did pull their sponsorship of the video and that is why Shaffel was fired. He also co owned the rights to the video What More Can We Give and that is why it was not released here in the US. Over the next few years their were many things that Marc Schaffel claimed that Michael had borrowed money from him for and there was more gossip and speculation than there was fact. He sued him for money for antique shopping, a new Bentely and jewelry tht Michael supposedly bought for elizabeth Taylor and money paid to Marlon Brando for appearing in the video You Rock My World. Michael countersued him and what happened in the end in front of the jury was that Marc Schaffle got about $275,000 and Michael got $3 million out of it. They were both found to be at fault Michael was found responsible because according to a quote in the LA Times someof the jurors said he was a sleaze ball that molested kids. It seems that even after his aquittal he was to pay for the label put on him by the media for the rest of his life.One last thing. Please do not come to this site pretending to be anything other that who you are Dez.


  12. March 22, 2011 3:29 pm

    Witness says Jackson upset with plaintiff’s gay porn background

    By Linda Deutsch, Associated Press , Witness says Jackson upset with plaintiff’s gay porn background

    Posted: 07/10/2006

    SANTA MONICA – In November 2001, Michael Jackson was oblivious to the fact that the man he hired to produce a charity recording to benefit victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks had been a producer of gay pornographic movies, the singer’s former lawyer testified Monday.

    Zia Modabber said he broke the news to Jackson about F. Marc Schaffel’s background and met with the pop star in the middle of the night to show him a video of Schaffel directing a gay porn scene.

    “Can you describe Mr. Jackson’s reaction?” asked Thomas Mundell, who is defending Jackson against Schaffel’s claims that the pop star still owes him $1.6 million.

    “I think he didn’t want to believe it was real or true,” said Modabber. “He appeared angry, upset.”


  13. lynande51 permalink
    March 22, 2011 4:40 pm

    @Thetis: That was a great article I did not have that one. Most of mine I have found on highbeam reasearch do you use a different archive. I also have Schaffels original lawsuit if you would like me to I will convert it to PDF and send you the link so you can have it. I do have the article where Schaffel comes up with something about Michael adopting kids when he is on the witness stand and it came out of nowhere even his attorney was shocked when he said it. He was just like so many of the vultures that surrounded Michael during that time.What a thief Schaffel was when he went and back dated checks toget Michael to pay for things he wasn’t entitled to. The best part of the find was finding out that Michael was no longer good friends with Klein. I guess that the photos of them at Carrie Fishers for the last Christams was her trying to get them to be friends again. No surprises that Klein was one of the first to turn on Michael after he died. First he sues the family over an ugly green coat and then he comes up with Jason Pfieffer what a joke he must be in the medical profession. His only interest in being Michaels doctor and or friend was what he could get out of it. I also think that the estate should get that master back from Schaffel he has no rights to it. In August of 2009 he a Debbie Rowe went to Japan together to release it so there is truth in Linda Deutch’s article.


  14. March 22, 2011 4:53 pm

    Lynette, I always save articles in word form when I read them so this one was something I did at the time. I use various sources when I look for something particular of past articles but I always save the current news. I will e-mail you now to send you other thing I have so wait for my e-mail


  15. Suzy permalink
    March 22, 2011 5:35 pm

    @ Lynette

    Since you mentioned Klein, I once read Schaffel was introduced and offered to Michael by him. I’m not sure if it’s true though, I have read it on a forum. But it could be since Klein, Schaffel and Debbie seemed to be the same circle of “friends”.

    Debbie hates Klein now and she did have a falling out with Schaffel in the past, however it seems she and Schaffel reconciled after Michael’s death, since I have seen pictures of them together at Michael’s tomb. Also Schaffel then made that documentary on Michael last year titled “Commemorated” which is BTW – surprisingly – a pretty good documentary – one of the best I have seen since Michael’s death. I don’t know if he did it out of pure business or he still has some conscience left and it was his way to try to say sorry to Michael.


  16. shelly permalink
    March 22, 2011 9:27 pm

    I think that article is very interesting

    “By Linda Deutsch

    A forensic accountant hired by Michael Jackson’s lawyer testified Wednesday that a former associate who is now suing the singer used money from a Japanese record production company for the down payment on his own $1.9 million home rather than for the business expenses he claimed.

    Jan Goren, who showed jurors how he traced millions of dollars through the various bank accounts of F. Marc Schaffel, also said he found no substantiation for a $300,000 payment Schaffel claimed he provided to a mysterious “Mr. X” in South America on Jackson’s behalf.

    The testimony was presented as the trial neared the closing arguments phase. Schaffel’s lawsuit claims Jackson owes him $1.6 million for various endeavors he worked on for the pop star.

    Jackson’s side has sought to show Schaffel enriched himself at the singer’s expense, outweighing any sums that might actually be owed.

    Goren challenged Schaffel’s claim that he received $400,000 from a Japanese company called Music Fighters which was seeking to buy rights to Jackson’s “What More Can I Give,” an ill-fated charity recording intended to raise money for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    Schaffel had testified that he split the amount with Jackson, each taking $200,000, but maintained that he used his half to pay business expenses.

    Goren said according to his financial detective work that was not true.

    He said the $400,000 was wired by Music Fighters on Feb. 27, 2002, to Neverland Valley Entertainment, a company Schaffel started with Jackson, and the next day it was transferred into Schaffel’s personal account.

    The accountant noted that in a deposition Schaffel said Jackson was given $200,000 in cash and the rest was kept in the Neverland Valley account to pay bills.

    “That did not happen,” said the witness.

    “Is there any support that 200,000 (dollars) went out to Mr. Jackson?” asked Thomas Mundell, Jackson’s attorney.

    “Nothing,” said the witness.

    Goren then used an easel and marker to trace Schaffel’s home purchase, showing the down payment, escrow fees, mortgages and the full price of the home at $1.9 million. He said the source of the down payment was the personal money market account, “and 400,000 that went into that account was Music Fighters money.”

    On the purported delivering of $300,000 to “Mr. X” in South America, Goren testified that Schaffel never claimed the amount until this year and “there is no check, no moneys leaving a bank … no bank statements, no ledgers.”

    “I have nothing that corroborates it from a documentary point of view,” he said.

    He noted that the entry was coded “EFT,” which refers to an electronic fund transfer to another account. But he said the amount was never transferred to or from any account.

    “My conclusion on this is it is not a valid claim,” Goren said.

    On cross-examination, Schaffel’s attorney, Howard King, challenged some of the accountant’s opinions and asked if he considered testimony by other witnesses who said they knew about some of the disputed transactions.

    Goren said he read depositions by Jackson’s business manager, Allan Whitman, but had not questioned him about any of the records.

    “You didn’t ask Mr. Whitman to see any of Michael Jackson’s records or Michael Jackson’s tax returns?” asked King.

    “I did not,” said Goren.

    “Would you have liked to have seen them?” King asked.

    “I would like to see Mr. Schaffel’s tax returns,” Goren said.

    In spite of King’s claim that he was wrong on some figures, Goren consistently asserted that there were no documents to support some of Schaffel’s claimed expenses.

    “Even when there are documents that slightly support it,” he said of one charge, “it fails and it fails miserably.”

    Asked why Whitman and others in Jackson’s financial inner circle would have approved some large payments to Schaffel, Goren said, “I think they trusted Mr. Schaffel.”

    On the issue of the $300,000, King asked if Goren had seen a receipt from a Hungarian bank.

    “No, you can show me,” said Goren.

    But it wasn’t until redirect examination by Mundell that the receipt was displayed in court. It showed a withdrawal of $258,000 from a Hungarian bank three years before Schaffel claims he was dispatched to South America on a mission for Jackson.

    “Of course this does not influence my opinion,” Goren said. “This transaction took place three years before. So what? How does it end up in South America? I don’t see the connection at all.”

    King asked Goren if he ever asked Mundell why no one had asked for the name of the recipient of the purported $300,000 payment. Goren said he had not.

    Source: Associated Press


  17. shelly permalink
    March 22, 2011 9:32 pm

    This is the original lawsuit,

    Click to access Scan001.PDF


  18. lynande51 permalink
    March 23, 2011 1:32 am

    This is a trial brief that just basically tells the story that Schaffel wanted to tell. I have the original lawsuit which individually lists what he was saying Michael owed him. A couple of things of interest: Diane Dimond, Paul Barresi and Harvey Levin are on the witness list for Michael? I don’t know if I believe this or does this mean they know something about Schaffel? My guess is he has sold them information over the years. Well that would be one of their so called sources and easily refutable when you think of the actual testimony from Michael’s previous lawyers and business managers. Number two that is not Michaels signature on that document. It is not a leap to think this guy is a thief and a forger. Think about it he says that ledger of his was his own way of keeping the books. You can come up with anything when you are the one writing the book. I wonder is this maniac the one that made up the story about Michael’s kids? And to think he is a friend of Arnie Kleine. No wonder they are out to make up gay stories about him. This guy is somehow connected to Howard Mann too isn’t he? I think the estate needs to have a serious sit down with Katherine Jackson and soon.


  19. hana permalink
    March 23, 2011 1:40 am

    Here’s another article about Bashir where he called Michael Jackson “pathetic”:


  20. shelly permalink
    March 23, 2011 7:30 am


    Could you post the original lawsuit, I would like to read it. You said in your previous post that Klein wasn’t a friend of Jackson at that period, do you have a link for that, I would like to read the story.
    Thank you for your work on that site, I am just curious.


  21. March 23, 2011 9:32 am

    @Shelly maybe Lynette was referring to the article I posted below which shows that Schaffel lied when he said he kept his contact with MJ after he was fired. Klein was the one to inroduce him to Michael. What a surprise.

    Schaffel also testified that, even after being informed he was being let go, he and Jackson remained friends and talked frequently about projects.

    But Mundell produced an e-mail written by Schaffel to the man who introduced him to Jackson, Dr. Arnie Klein, which seemed to contradict that assertion.

    The e-mail written on Jan. 30, 2002, said, “I am deeply saddened this has cost my friendship with Michael Jackson. … I was the only one willing to fight for him all the time. I miss being able to help him. I miss my friend. All our projects have come to a stop.”


  22. shelly permalink
    March 23, 2011 9:45 am


    Dimond did a show with lots of different people who said they were robbed by Schaffel. She did in 2004.


  23. March 25, 2011 10:16 pm

    Okay thanks lcpledwards you cleared up things for me a bit. I didn’t know about the part where MJ said he didn’t know how Schaffel got “re-hired”.
    I don’t care about Schaffel’s background, I’m more annoyed by Michael’s “loss of memory”.
    I still think he knew lol I mean there are pics of them around 2003… anyway
    Yeah I know we all lie. But I like to think that Mike is “almost” perfect 😉


  24. ares permalink
    March 25, 2011 11:18 pm

    Dear S

    It would be better if you didn’t think that MJ was “almost” perfect because you will be seriously disappointed. MJ was no were near being perfect.He was a human like me and you with lots of flaws but he was not a criminal. I think that it is not right when people like you put him in this pedestal and then when you learn that he did lie and made mistakes ,like all people do,then you blame him because he “let you down”. I am sure you have told many lies in your life and even made up stories.So why are you so judgemental with Mike? Don’t you think that that is a bit hypocritical ?


  25. Dialdancer permalink
    March 28, 2011 5:13 am

    “Yeah I know we all lie. But I like to think that Mike is “almost” perfect”

    Why? Why would you expect any human to be perfect? That is as much a caricaturing of the Man and finding him guilty for all the world’s ills.

    Are you aware of how many legitimate actors, producers and directors at one time worked in or financed the Porn industry.

    Here we go again with the stumbling across rumors and gossip.


  26. ares permalink
    March 28, 2011 3:11 pm


    Ok, i think i undersand what you are saying. You want to be 100% sure that he was innocent,he didn’t lie, made mistakes or whatever in order for you to enjoy him as an artist, listen to his music or whatever right?


  27. Dialdancer permalink
    May 9, 2011 5:45 am


    Sometime things just stroll up to you…lol This is a repost from another site.

    With what time I spent checking out General Electric I had not scratched the surface of who and what they were.

    In a previous post I mentioned how NBC ruled over the Media pool ahead of FOX, ABC & CNN during the trial. I was channel surfing when I saw a HBO promo for their movie called “Too Big To Fail”. GE was one of the “financial families” at the table when the fate of Lehman Brothers was decided. GE was like 3 from the top of our financial structure, above Goldman Sachs, and Lehman Brothers. GE was until very recently the sole owner of NBC. I will have to watch this when it comes on.

    Michael was in some dangerous waters when he turned down NBC during the trial. I now have a clearer picture of the reason for the outrageous contract which was basically blackmail and a foothold for a takeover of “Michael Jackson” by NBC


  28. May 9, 2011 7:51 am

    “I mentioned how NBC ruled over the Media pool ahead of FOX, ABC & CNN during the trial. I was channel surfing when I saw a HBO promo for their movie called “Too Big To Fail”. GE was one of the “financial families” at the table when the fate of Lehman Brothers was decided. GE was like 3 from the top of our financial structure, above Goldman Sachs, and Lehman Brothers. GE was until very recently the sole owner of NBC. Michael was in some dangerous waters when he turned down NBC during the trial. I now have a clearer picture of the reason for the outrageous contract which was basically blackmail and a foothold for a takeover of “Michael Jackson” by NBC.”

    Dial, I have no doubt that someone really Big was and is standing behind Michael’s smear campaign. What they did to Michael wouldn’t have been possible without involvement of very big money, influence and authority. I even have an overwhelming feeling that someone Big is playing a kind of a game with us – “will they guess the truth one day or will they allow to go on fooling them?”

    This feeling arose from the fact that they actually left a lot of evidence in full view of everyone to see and analyze it. All conclusions made in this blog are based not on insiders information from some “sources” but solely on the sources open to all. People were just so brainwashed that they didn’t want to really look and preferred swallowing the bait of the official media instead.

    All this reminds me again and again of the “Truman show” movie – those who haven’t seen it must see it by all means!!!

    The producers of the film had in mind MICHAEL JACKSON when they were making the film (one of them said so in an interview – see below), so everything described there has a DIRECT bearing on Michael Jackson.

    Someone really BIG set the rules of the game, the whole world participated in it and it was only the main character who didn’t know he was in the center of everyone’s attention and didn’t understand why strange things were happening to him. The game was a highly profitable one of course as it gave unprecedented chances to advertise various products.

    Now that they admit that the film was based on Michael Jackson’s life they are practically telling us the whole truth behind his life story. Let me remind you that one of the producers of the movie was Luke Rockefeller – so he must really know…

    Am I saying we should fight this unknown monster in real life? Absolutely not! The only weapon against them is understanding what they are doing to us. Seeing through their plans is just enough to make us immune to their lies and receptive to the truth instead. And when lies stop working it will be useless for them to lie at all:

    ‘The Truman Show’ Based On Michael Jackson

    “Peter Weir in an interview, revealed the the 1998 movie, ‘The Truman Show’ was based on Michael Jackson. “You watch The Truman Show and, I mean, Jim Carrey did a fantastic job, but Michael Jackson is Truman. He’s who I based him on and he is the nearest thing to Truman.”

    Weir also says the movie ‘Simone’ was based on Michael. “And Michael Jackson, he is also the real life Victor in ‘Simone’. He had a talent and all he wanted was to share this and bring people happiness and escapism through entertainment. And people turn it around, they make it about the individual rather than the creation. It is the actual films, the actual music – that’s what it’s all about… People lose sight of this and the media make it all about the celebrity.”

    Information about the Truman show:


  29. Alison permalink
    May 9, 2011 6:36 pm


    and Peter Weir revealed this in october 2002. can we assume Michael heard about this?
    i expect there’s a lot of people called Feldman, but one of the producers was an Edward S Feldman. i looked him up, he’s from The Bronx, born in 1929 and didn’t move to LA till approx 20 years later, couldn’t tell exactly. is this coincidence or could he possibly be related to larry feldman??

    i read in cadman and halstead’s book that Michael was working on several songs in 2002/ 3 for an album. one of them was called ‘all in your name’ and he wrote it in 2002 with Barry Gibb, it was a protest about the invasion of Iraq. 2002 seems to be a year he was doing a lot of protesting, perhaps some people thought he was getting out of control and needed to be silenced.


  30. Alison permalink
    May 9, 2011 7:08 pm

    can’t find any link so far between the feldmans but will keep looking.


  31. sanemjfan permalink
    January 3, 2012 9:30 pm

    I added the Ed Bradley audio to this post.


  32. January 3, 2012 10:12 pm

    David, I put the Bradley video earlier in the “Michael Jackson’s financial success would be the worst punishment for his haters” post where the transcript of the video is mentioned. Can you put the video inside the post? My computer is giving me a hard time lately in the blog and it runs slowly so I only put it in the comment section.


  33. January 3, 2012 10:58 pm

    lo unico rescatable de todo esto es que Michael Jackson es INOCENTE se confabularon para destruirlo de a poco y matarlo al fin .Todos son culpables .Lamento que no hayan valorado un ser humano tan bueno y humanitario como Jackson ,Que vivia en su mundo por que lo habian enfermado durante 40 años ,sacando ventaja de todo su ser.God Bless King of Music .Espero ahora seas ” feliz”,lejos de toda esa carroña.I love you Michael ,forever.Perdonalos ,no saben lo que han hecho .JUSTICIA !!!!PARA MICHAEL JACKSON Y SU FAMILIA:

    the only thing salvageable from this is that Michael Jackson is innocent conspired to destroy gradually and finally kill him. Everyone is guilty. I regret that they have not valued as good a human being and humanitarian like Jackson, who lived in his world that I had sick for 40 years, taking advantage of all its ser.God Bless King of Music. I hope now you are “happy”, far from all that carroña.I love you Michael, forever.Perdonalos do not know what they have done. JUSTICE !! FOR MICHAEL JACKSON AND HIS FAMILY:


  34. January 4, 2012 12:02 am

    “David, I put the Bradley video earlier in the “Michael Jackson’s financial success would be the worst punishment for his haters” post where the transcript of the video is mentioned. Can you put the video inside the post?”

    Thetis, thank you for the great find! I’ve put it into the above “financial” post too and reworked it a bit for the transcript to fully correspond to the Youtube interview.

    As regards the “deposition” which was allegedly made by Jordan Chandler, it was another media lie which the majority of people repeated without having a single doubt. Also most people simply do not know the difference between a simple statement Chandler made (not even verified by any lawyer) and a deposition which is done in the form of a cross examination in the presence of lawyers from the other side and often recorded on camera.


  35. aldebaran permalink
    June 6, 2012 3:22 am

    Hi, vindicatemj, just read your post re NBC and the Truman Show. You say someone or a group “very big” are behind the destruction of MJ’s career and reputation. Let me say I agree with this. Re NBC, as we know, M. Orth was married to Tim Russert, VP of NBS News, anchor of Meet the Press, and later revealed to be a 30-year source for columnist Robert Novak, who outed Valerie Plame, CIA agent. Orth also was very close to Sneddon (Russert an ardent Catholic, as is Sneddon and his wife). She interviewed D. Dimond and even Victor Gutierrez, and many members of the prosecution team in LA and Santa Barbara. She wrote 5 lengthy, disgusting smears against MJ for Vanity Fair. Orth-Russert were well-connected financially and politically to the power elite in D.C. and NYC and the networks. They are major manipulators of public opinion. Diane Sawyer was a long time (8 years) aide to Richard Nixon, and went from 60 minutes CBS to ABC; B. Walters close friends with Roger Ailes of Fox, goes from NBC to ABC; Bashir goes from ABC to MSNBC; Andrew Lack former Pres of NBC, now head of SONY (?)–all these people are closely connected to media, politics (Russert was aide to Sen of NY Patrick Moynihan and Gov. Mario Cuomo). These people are deeply involved in what happened to MJ. Maybe Orth wrote her April 03 hitpiece as a result of MJ spurning the NBC offer? Why would she go to all that trouble and expense–btw, who was footing the bill for all her ‘investigation’? Who owns Vanity Fair?

    Please respond. Thanks.


  36. sanemjfan permalink
    June 7, 2012 7:42 pm


    Sorry for the delay in answering your questions!

    I think Orth would have written her April 2003 hitpiece on MJ REGARDLESS of whether he had accepted NBC’s offer to do an interview! I think that particular article was already in the works in late 2002 when she attended his civil trial in California that resulted from the lawsuit from his cancelled Millennium concerts. When the Bashir documentary aired, Orth saw it as a gift from heaven, as it gave her a chance to rehash the 1993 allegations again.

    A company called Conde Nast Publications owns Vanity Fair:

    There is a huge interconnected network among MJ’s enemies in the media, and they are all connected with the prosecutors and MJ’s accusers! This flowchart perfectly illustrates it; be sure to read the entire Veritas Project if you haven’t done so already!

    If you go to this post, you’ll be able to see a 4 part compilation of Maureen Orth’s interviews during 2004-05:



  1. BIG BUSINESS around Bashir’s Documentary. Time to find Who was Who in the game (via Vindicating Michael) « Angelbabe43's Blog
  2. Transcript of “Michael Jackson’s Secret World” by Martin Bashir « Vindicating Michael
  3. When It Comes To Michael Jackson, Andrew Breitbart and Matt Drudge are Poles Apart! « Vindicating Michael
  4. DAPHNE BARAK’S CAREER PORTFOLIO. Will there be any questions NOW? « Vindicating Michael
  5. Fact Checking Michael Jackson’s Christian Faith, Part 2 of 5: Michael Did NOT “Channel” Demon Spirits to Help Him Write Songs! « Vindicating Michael
  6. February 28th – March 1st, 2005 Trial Analysis: Summary of Sneddon and Mesereau’s Opening Statements « Vindicating Michael
  7. March 2nd, 2005 Anne Kite (Direct & Cross Examination) and Albert Lafferty (Direct Examination), Part 1 of 2 « Vindicating Michael

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: