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Bonus: Rebuttal to Think Twice Part 3:

In this episode, we present a few more examples of how the narrative in Think Twice is one-sided and slanted, and offer a wider context and missing information that calls into question their own theories and conclusions. We take a look at how Think Twice presents Michael Jackson’s relationship with his father and what they’ve left out of the background regarding Jackson’s Oxford speech. And because Think Twice uses Jackson’s words and actions in 2 short films to support their guilty narrative, you'll hear alternative interpretations based on information from his own background. And finally, we examine how Think Twice does or doesn’t reconcile the many other relationships Jackson had with kids who’ve consistently maintained his innocence.

Episode image from Michael Jackson Silhouette 

In this episode Think Twice suggests that the pressure from his father to succeed in music, and a strict upbringing were powerful influences that led him to continue seeking that missing affection, and later fueled child sexual abuse.

In this interview, you'll hear his warm recollections of Jackson's mother Katherine, who he says was very sensitive, loving, caring, and the most important role model for Michael Jackson. He says Michael's loving kindness comes directly from his mother Katherine. This goes against the Think Twice narrative of cold, strict parents withholding affection from their kids.

You are Not Alone, by Jermaine Jackson, is an important reference for trying to understand the dynamics in the Jackson household, especially how Michael was loved unconditionally by his mother and was the most like her--generous and always giving to others, sometimes to their own detriment.

Michael's brother Tito Jackson, explains on Questlove's podcast how all the brothers shared the dream with their father of success in the music industry, it was not a goal forced on them by their father, as implied in Think Twice.

LaToya explains in her book Starting Over how Michael’s sheltered and upbringing that centered on being nice made him more susceptible to being taken advantage of.

Moonwalk is Michael Jackson's autobiography that includes information about his family background. He recounts the close bonding and fun times with his brothers, as well as his closeness with his mother. It also includes accounts about his on the road tutor Rose, who he loved dearly and considered a second mother.

Also offering unconditional love and affection to Jackson were many father figures, including producer Quincy Jones and his manager Frank DiLeo:

Quincy Jones as father figure to Jackson:

J. Randy Taraborrelli's The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story (p. 185)--Michael confided in Quincy, who provided a nurturing, loving environment in and out of the studio

Frank DiLeo as father figure to Michael:

Oprah focused on the hurt inflicted by his father, but didn't ask about any fun or joyful memories of growing up.

Martin Bashir's Living with Michael Jackson documentary released in February 2003.

Bashir manipulated Jackson in this interview, and took advantage of Jackson's vulnerability to press him on the pain he felt from his father's lack of affection.

Michael Jackson's rebuttal to Bashir's documentary, which reveals unreleased footage showing Bashir's deceptiveness.

Motown executive Suzanne De Passe on Michael Jackson's playfulness and sense of fun.

"Well, yes. Michael asked a million questions, was a very mischievous kid and so much fun. Before they were famous we had lots of time together, getting them ready."

Magic Johnson describing in an interview all the fun he had with the Jacksons on their Victory Tour, with Michael directing them all in ideas for having a great time together, like pillow fights.

Jackson’s drummer Jonathan Sugarfoot Moffat on how Jackson stopped a show to protect a bug on stage, as an example of his respect for all of life

Michael Jackson's short film Ghosts (full version)

Episode 1 of Think Twice, in which they analyze Jackson's music video Ghosts (originally called "Is This Scary")

Longtime Jackson photographer Harrison Funk explains in this interview on the MJ Cast how Jackson was targeted by the tabloids during the Bad Tour in the late 80s, and how he hated being called a freak and "Wacko Jacko". This was well before the Chandler allegations of 1993, so Jackson had a history of being cast as strange and scary, which was a theme of the Ghosts video.

Harrison Funk, longtime Jackson photographer, in his MJ Cast interview speaks about the attack of The Sun tabloid (Murdoch) with their 'Wacko Jacko' stories put out during his Bad tour in London, which was years before the allegations came out. First started calling him Wacko Jacko in 1985

Background on Jackson's friendship with Ryan White, who acquired AIDS through a blood transfusion, and was buoyed by Jackson's support, especially after suffering bullying and harassment.

Background on Jackson's friendship with David Rothenberg, who was supported emotionally by Jackson throughout his life, after suffering 3rd degree burns over 90% of his body.

The Think Twice interpretation of Ghosts reflects a lack of understanding about Jackson’s respect and inclusion of historical themes in his videos and music. You can see a clear resemblance between the zealous mayor in Ghosts and Sheriff Clarence Strider, who is described by PBS’s American Experience as an unforgettable symbol of southern intransigence in the 1955 Emmett Till case.

Source material on the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 90s:

Michael Jackson's HIStory Teaser, released to promote his HIStory album in 1995. Think Twice uses the HIStory Teaser to support their theme that Jackson was a narcissist, that he saw himself as god-like in the eyes of the world, and a historical figure of monumental importance. But they neglect to dig beyond the surface interpretation to explore other explanations for what Jackson intended in this video.

Spike Lee's documentary Bad 25, where Questlove explains how Jackson's use of "Shamone" in Bad is a tribute to Mavis Staples.

Thoughtful analysis of the History Teaser from Dancing with Elephant, with Willa Stillwater and Eleanor Bowman

"Placing Michael Jackson in the midst of Riefenstahl-like pomp and circumstance, where we would expect to find a dictatorial military leader like Adolf Hitler, not a peace-loving pop star, the HIStory teaser evokes the scene in The Great Dictator where the gentle Jewish barber becomes a stand-in for the thinly-disguised Hitler character. Associating Jackson with the Jewish barber, while alluding to Nazi Germany, HIStory parallels the black experience with the Jewish experience – the black ghetto with the Jewish ghetto – and the treatment of Jews with the treatment of blacks in America."

Background on the Chaplin movie, The Great Dictator, which inspired the HIStory teaser.

History on the language of Esperanto, used in both The Great Dictator and the HIStory teaser.

Smithsonian Magazine article on why Hitler hated Esperanto.

Background on the creator of Esperanto.

MJJ Justice Project article about Jackson and Charlie Chaplin.

"Like his hero Charlie Chaplin before him, Jackson referenced the visuals of Triumph of The Will in an effort to completely corrupt the sentiment."

Joe Vogel book, Man in the Music

"For half a century, Michael Jackson’s music has been an indelible part of our cultural consciousness. Landmark albums such as Off the Wall and Thriller shattered records, broke racial barriers, amassed awards, and set a new standard for popular music. While his songs continue to be played in nearly every corner of the world, they have rarely been given serious critical attention. The first book dedicated solely to exploring his creative work, Man in the Music guides us through an unparalleled analysis of Jackson’s recordings, album by album, from his trailblazing work with Quincy Jones to his later collaborations with Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Rodney Jerkins. Drawing on rare archival material and on dozens of original interviews with the collaborators, engineers, producers, and songwriters who helped bring the artist’s music into the world, Jackson expert and acclaimed cultural critic Joseph Vogel reveals the inspirations, demos, studio sessions, technological advances, setbacks and breakthroughs, failures and triumphs, that gave rise to an immortal body of work."

In this interview, actor Wesley Snipes said he and Michael Jackson met up in Africa and talked for hours about many philosophical things and was sincerely impressed with the books he engaged with. "Mike had a consciousness that would blow your mind"

Entertainer Liza Minnelli spoke with Ellen about Jackson's remarkable curiosity--how he was like a sponge.

In You are Not Alone, by Jermaine Jackson, he describes how his little brother Michael was always that kid with never ending "why" questions. He was the most curious of the siblings.

Renowned photographer Dick Zimmerman worked with Michael Jackson on the Thriller cover photos. Zimmerman says the reason they connected so easily was because of the lack of pretension between them, neither was trying to impress, Zimmerman was very affected by Jackson’s genuineness and lack of ego. Here’s Zimmerman in an MJCast interview.

Sound engineer Brad Sundberg worked closely with Michael Jackson for over 20 years, spent a lot of one on one time with him, and he emphasizes in this MJCast interview Jackson’s down to earth nature , and lack of ego, including his refusal to play his own music at Neverland, and his ever present awareness and appreciation of those around him

In another account by longtime Jackson friend and painter David Nordhahl (see interview #2) we can hear how Jackson wanted to use his fame to help kids, but had no interest in promoting himself personally.

Actor MacCauley Culkin says in this interview with Larry King that that his longtime friend Michael Jackson was not good at explaining himself because of his sheltered life.

In Episode 3, entitled Big Boy, Think Twice covers Michael Jackson's 2001 Oxford speech, given to promote his new foundation at the time Heal the Kids.

Transcript of Michael Jackson's 2001 Oxford speech on the MJJ Justice Project website.

Rolling Stone article covering the 2001 Oxford Heal the Kids speech. Here's edited excerpts:

"Heal the Kids promotes nurturing relationships between parents and children. 'The organization is trying to help adults and parents realize it’s in our power to change the world our children live in,' Jackson told the crowd at Carnegie Hall. The organization has plans to launch television advertisements with celebrities discussing the importance of family dinners. Heal the Kids will also start a book club to encourage parents to read to their children at night.'

In Episodes 2 & 7, Think Twice addresses Jackson's friendships with boys, and characterizes them as odd and inappropriate.

Neyfakh and Smooth refer to this photo of Emmanuel Lewis, Brooke Shields, and Michael Jackson at the Grammys in 1984

Emmanuel Lewis says in this interview that Michael was always a good friend to him, and his whole family, and he thought of him as his brother.

In this 1993 interview with Oprah, Brooke Shields says she spent lots of fun times with Jackson, one on one, and that she felt a deep brotherly love towards him.

Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart assessed the National Enquirer as the least reliable news source:

According to the Media Bias Chart, the most balanced news sources are Associated Press and Reuters. The Associated Press earned a reliability score of 51.98. Reuters earned a reliability score of 51.64.

The least reliable sources of news are the National Enquirer and World Truth.TV, the latter of which proudly proclaims itself alternative news based on the “sacred knowledge.” They sport a reliability score of 9.65 and 7.41 respectively.

According to mediabiasfactcheck, The National Enquirer rated low on credibility and rated high on extreme bias. They were identified as consistently promoting propaganda & conspiracies, had poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency, and rated high in fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes or disinformation for profit or influence.

Other Sources discrediting The National Enquirer:

Source 1: The Enquirer is not credible

Source 2 :The Enquirer has failed many fact-checks

Source 3: The Enquirer is at the bottom of the reliability chart

Background on Emmanuel Lewis and his height of 36" when he was 12.

From this growth chart, you can see that 36" is the height of your average 3 year old male.

Picture of Lewis carried by Bill Bray, Jackson's security chief.

Article highlighting the family members that stars bring with them to the Grammys. Jackson thought of Emmanuel like part of his family, so in that context it's not so strange that he would invite Lewis to attend.

Jackson nurtured friendships with adults who were child stars such as Liz Taylor, Mark Lester, and Liza Minelli. Here's an article about Jackson meeting Shirley Temple for the first time, and the instant connection they felt because of their shared show biz childhoods.

Actor Bryton James talks about how he met Michael Jackson at 5 years old and how Jackson maintained the friendship over the years with a primary goal to make sure James enjoyed his childhood in the entertainment industry.

Corey Feldman describes Michael as a big brother, and says that he learned about gratefulness and playfulness from him, even with the demands of his work in entertainment as a teenager.

Actor Corey Haim on his friendship with Jackson, who he says treated everyone like gold.

The MJCast interview with Jackson friend Brett Barnes, who maintained a supportive friendship from age 5 until Jackson's death.

Characteristics include impulsiveness, lack of empathy, narcissism, entitlement, all traits that are the opposite of what Jackson's friends say about him. These typical predator traits like impulsiveness make it difficult to imagine how he could manage to avoid any inappropriate behavior with the dozens of kids that have consistently maintained Jackson's innocence.

80 women were identified as victims of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

According to reports in The New York Times, there were over 500 victims of convicted sex offender and former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Almost 90 victims were reported abused by former film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Well sourced and thorough threads from the MJJ Repository in its rebuttal to the Think Twice podcast, especially about the misrepresentation of Jackson's PR tactics.


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