Tuesday’s Column (Michael Jackson)

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t get the whole Michael Jackson adoration thing.

Perhaps the hundreds of thousands of people heading downtown this morning really want to take part in something that has nothing to do with the still-dead King of Pop.

If they are not going to Staples to remember Jackson, they are there to be part of something bigger than life.

It’s not clear.

But why waste an entire day stuck in traffic? Why get pushed around

by cops? Why fight sweaty dudes in wife-beaters in what is sure to be a mosh pit outside of Staples Center?

Let’s get something straight. Regardless of how much joy Jackson’s music may have brought to the masses, he was a sicko.

If there’s any proof it probably lies in the multimillion-dollar settlements Jackson reached with purported

victims. One of those claimed the singer molested him at age 7 and again at age 10.

That kid’s mother was Jackson’s maid. Jackson reportedly reached a $2.4 million settlement with the

family.

In 1993, Jackson paid $20 million to a 13-year-old who claimed the pop star sexually abused him.

The boy’s mother explained later how Jackson begged her to let him sleep with the boy, according to court documents and testimony at trial.

The star and the mom argued about it, but ultimately the boy’s mom gave in and allowed her teen to spend nights in Jackson’s bed.

After the mom relented, Jackson bought her a Cartier bracelet. Clearly, this was a man who thought he could hurt whomever he wanted and do what he wanted because he had the means to buy his way out of trouble.

The boy may have been molested over a six-month period of time after that.

In 2003, police arrested Jackson and charged him with sex crimes against a 13-year-old boy who had cancer.

At his trial in 2005, prosecutors detailed how Jackson showed porn to young boys on the grounds of his Neverland Ranch. They spelled out how he gave the kids wine, which he called “Jesus Juice.”

The state documented how Jackson preyed on the teen cancer survivor and the boy’s family – for his own self-gratification.

The victim, a resident of El Monte, told a jury how Jackson groped and fondled him.

A member of the jury that

ultimately acquitted Jackson said

later he thought Jackson was a child molester. Another said Jackson should stop sleeping with kids.

If Jackson were any other 46-year-

old man in that situation, he’d

probably still be in prison fending off predators who take no mercy on

pedophiles.

Certainly, he’d be listed on the Megan’s Law Web site once he got out of the joint.

I guarantee if he was the creepy guy living down the street from any one of us, we’d be repulsed and sickened by his behavior.

If anything, Wacko Jacko’s life story should be a cautionary tale about the price of fame and the parents who subject their kids to foul and unspeakable acts.

It’s a story about the danger of prescription drug abuse and the

doctors who are nothing more than educated street corner pushers.

It’s an epic filled with details of bad decision-making by a whole host of people – including those making a pilgrimage Downtown on this summer day.

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  • Felicia Williams

    Thank you!! This is right on point. Thank you for seeing the real lessons in his death. I hope that one day we can celebrate the deaths of war heros, teachers, researchers, and community members who have helped make the world a better place rather than a scary one.

  • Sean

    1. innocent until proven guilty; and he was not convicted.

    2. If you dislike this so much, why are you devoting a number of posts on this already? Just ignore the hype and report on what this blog is really about — crime in San Gabriel Valley.

  • Deborah

    I am very disappointed that the newspaper would choose to run a story on hate on this day when we DO CELEBRATE Michael Jackson, the genius who gave the world so much joy, so much hope and so much love. But you chose to write about negativity, incidents never proven and undoubtedly about greed. I hope (although I’m sure you did not bother) you got a chance to watch his service at the Staples Center today. That service was about the love that this man gave to the world, about his charity and concern for this world and for the children of the world. You are pitied by me since you obviously could not see this man for who he really was. Shame on you.

  • Jim

    That was one of the most cynical articles I’ve seen in a long time. Its sad to see the blind judgment that took down the McMartin’s is alive and well on these pages.

  • Jenny

    well said Frank..i’m your biggest fan.

  • EddieTheHat626

    It is a joke. The cost alone of this sickens me, estimated between $2 and $4 million dollars. Fortunately, it will all be over in a few days and we won’t have to see this pervert dancing all over T.V. anymore. Frank youu hit the nail on the head with this story, thanks!

  • D.W.S.

    RIGHT ON THE MONEY. YOU SAID IT LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAID. NOW THAT IS A THRILLER.

  • D.W.S.

    dear sean, o.j. was not proven guilty. wake up and get out of neaver- neaver land

  • eric

    things you failed to mention:
    1. the 1993 civil settlement was made by the insurance company, not MJ. he had no say.
    2. both families met with lawyers before contacting police.
    3. evan chandler (the father in the first case), refused to testify in the 2nd trial. wouldnt you do anything and everything possible to get a man that molested your child in prison, ESPECIALLY if he wasnt convicted of molesting your son?
    4. the arvizo family has a history of lawsuits. after getting caught stealing from JC Penny AS A FAMILY, the mother sued the department store saying the security guards groped her.
    5. police have NEVER found anything remotely incriminating in any of MJ’s homes.
    6. evan chandler wanted 60 million and a court order to help him make a record.
    7. jordan chandler sued his dad for abuse.

    etc.

    dont believe me? look up the court documents and dont settle on media reports.

    (and the only “sick” thing is that you put this hate up on the day he is remembered and celebrated. shame on you.)

  • sean

    DWS — Ahh….. I was wondering when someone would bring OJ into this again. Seems we can’t have a conversation about MJ without someone brnging OJ into this, whether it’s black or white.

    Well, regarding OJ, can’t control the idiot prosecutors who were too busy boning each other than focusing on how to present the scientific evidence. I mean, who would ever ask another person to wear vinyl lab gloves, then put on a tight fitting glove. The anti-slippery nature of the vinyl glove would have made that impossible. But, no… Also, rather than explaining EDTA found in blood sample as a normal preservative for blood in lab work, the prosecutors totally got tongue-tighted about the presence of EDTA, and allowed the defense attorneys to walk all over them on the EDTA aspect of “planting” the evidence.

    But, rather than making this into a debate about OJ or our flawed legal system, the final verdict still stands: Michael Jackson was never proven guilty on those charges. I think in the court of public opinion, whether he is what you and Mr. Girardot say he is, that’s also fairly divided 50/50 along racial lines.

    Let’s just leave it at that.

    As I said, if you and Mr. Girardot really hate the idea of celebrating a “pervert”, as Mr Girardot seems to be saying, then I’d simply turn this off and ignore the hype. You are perfectly within your rights to do that; and leave the folks who want to celebrate a brilliant legacy to do what they want to do — mourn the passing of an entertainer who were very much part of our lives.

  • lotto

    I couldnt agree with you more Frank. Dont get me wrong, i listened to and liked some of MJs music. Sure he’s a great musician. but it makes me wonder why he had to settle with the families of the kids that accused him of molestation. if you’re not guilty of anything, why settle?

  • sean

    Lotto:

    why settle if he was not guilty? I don’t know the “real” reason behind it; but in business school and law school, we are taught that when we go through a law suit, we figure out the cost of defending the law suit, even a short one, take a discount, then settle for that much. It’s simply smart business decision.

    Take the first one, for instance, it was settled for $20M. He and whoever advised him probably figured out that the drawn out legal battle, the disclosure of private matters, and even a “not guilty” verdict would have cost him much more than $20M, so a settlement of $20M would seem cheap. And, it would seem logical, for a person as private as Mr. Jackson seemed to be, to value his privacy much more than money.

    On the second case, if I recall correctly, there was no civil suit, no settlement, or judgement. It was purely a criminal matter. So, use OJ’s analogy, where the Goldman’s were rewarded handsomely in a civil suit despite a not guilty verdict in criminal case; if the Arvizos had a strong case to present in a civil matter, I am fairly sure they could have gotten $20M or more, since there was already a criminal complaint on this. However, the Arvizos never filed the civil suit, despite the fact the family is apparently law suit happy. So, what does that tell you about the strength of the allegation?

    Anyway, these are all heresay and conjectures. the only persons who would know for sure would be Jackson, the accusers and God.

  • Myron

    Frank,

    About time somebody said it, ANY grown man that wants a kid to sleeping in his bed is a pervert, and most of us had no problem saying that until he died and then Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, and many of the very people now fawning over his corpse, began acting like he was a gift from GOD – please!!!!

    This isn’t a celebration of his life, this is just madness driven by the 24/7 news cycle racing for ratings and a bunch of people who should be AT WORK or LOOKING for a job hanging out like slackers, and not realizing that Jackson did everything he could to AVOID the exact type of media spectacle his death has caused.

    And of course he also avoided these same people who claim they can’t imagine life without him. Grow up already people.

    Then again, I guess we all need something to worship when we have nothing going for ourselves, I guess in death OJ fans will be screaming NO HE WAS A GREAT RUNNING BACK – He never killed anyone. Talk about his days in football…

    Go to work tomorrow and stop fawning over a junkie who had 20 plus plastic surgeries, and wouldn’t have even talked to most of you unless you were a young boy.

  • Myron

    Frank,

    About time somebody said it, ANY grown man that wants a kid to sleeping in his bed is a pervert, and most of us had no problem saying that until he died and then Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, and many of the very people now fawning over his corpse, began acting like he was a gift from GOD – please!!!!

    This isn’t a celebration of his life, this is just madness driven by the 24/7 news cycle racing for ratings and a bunch of people who should be AT WORK or LOOKING for a job hanging out like slackers, and not realizing that Jackson did everything he could to AVOID the exact type of media spectacle his death has caused.

    And of course he also avoided these same people who claim they can’t imagine life without him. Grow up already people.

    Then again, I guess we all need something to worship when we have nothing going for ourselves, I guess in death OJ fans will be screaming NO HE WAS A GREAT RUNNING BACK – He never killed anyone. Talk about his days in football…

    Go to work tomorrow and stop fawning over a junkie who had 20 plus plastic surgeries, and wouldn’t have even talked to most of you unless you were a young boy.

  • Sarah

    I can’t believe the newspaper would waste their time printing an article like this . It sickens me that there are people like you who have no respect for someone that not only captured the hearts of millions in the world but for someone who just passed away.I hope you look back and remember what a heartless person you are. And as for EddieTheHat626(or eddie the jerk) who called Michael a pervert, that just shows he’s as heartless as you. It angers me that you decided to write something like this on the day of his memorial. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion , but when that opinion is aimed at potentially hurting many people and making them angry, it just proves that your opinion should not be known and should not be taken into consideration.Because to those who are just as angry as I am, your opinion doesn’t count.

  • I hate Frank

    YOU ARE A JERK AND AN A***** AND AN S.O.B. YOU DESERVE TO BURN . YOU ARE A LITTLE B**** . HOW DARE YOU PUT DOWN AN ICON THE WORLD LOVES . YOU ARE WORTHLESS AND HEARTLESS . YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE FORGIVEN. YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE A METRO EDITOR. YOU DON’T DESERVE TO HAVE AN OPINION . AND FOR THOSE THAT AGREE WITH YOU AND WROTE THOSE HORRIBLE THINGS ABOUT MICHAEL ,THEY ARE JUST AS WORTHLESS AS YOU. I HOPE YOU WILL TAKE IT UPON YOURSELF TO STOP GIVING YOUR OPINION .SHAME ON YOU!!WE HATE YOU

  • kat

    I’m glad someone finally had the guts to write what many of us non starstruck types have been thinking thank you!

  • Steve

    Tell do you express the same vitriol for Cardinal Mahoney who clearly enabled the molestation of more children than Jackson ever could have?

  • pants on fire

    the writer of the article needs to do some research because his story is full of misinformation. how can someone in the newspaper world be so dumb as to write such a childish thing. this is why newsppers are going down the drain because of people like this so called writer who proabley hasnt written an indepth good story his entire low life. if you got so much to say why dont you show us all your awards for your writings and why dont you do some research next time to spread out all these lies

  • Vito

    It was refreshing to read your column. I was beginning to believe that all newspapers print only articles that placate sick people, who I sometimes think may be the majority of people in this city. Don’t let the blast which is sure to come from these sick people bother you. Thanks for calling a spade a spade.

  • Jim

    Vito, indicting a whole city makes you the ultimate idiot of this comment section. You’re probably the pervert hiding under the bed, you should be ashamed, and I hope someone turns you in soon. What a lowlife scumbag.

  • Mike

    While I agree with much of your article, I come here to read about crime in the SGV. As I have written before, I don’t care about your political or personal views. Perhaps you should create another blog where you could spout off about your conservative ideals and who you like and dislike. The blurb under your picture describes what this blog is supposed to be about. You should read it.

  • Felix Unger

    “1. innocent until proven guilty; and he was not convicted.”

    I can’t stand that outright bull****. If Michael Jackson was a fat, stinky white child molester who drove a cab for a living and had a dirty house with pizza boxes out on his front porch and tried to get the neighborhood kids to “come over and watch Iron Man” like the guy down the street from me who SHOULD be on the Megan’s Law website, he’d be in jail.

    He wasn’t a cause celebe. He was a child molester. Plain and simple. He used money to buy his way out of his problems and played the race/evil media/world is out to get me card anytime anyone criticized him.

    Loved his music. LOVED his music. Can’t deny that.

    But John Wayne Gacy was a great painter.

    Nuff said.

    Footnote: The neighbor I discussed was acquitted 3 times on trying to lure a child into a motor vehicle before finally being convicted. And he STILL sits out on his front porch and watches the kids go by on their bikes.

  • myron

    Wow some of you sure did get upset, big deal he’s an icon, that doesn’t mean he is the Messiah. Your icon was a flesh and blood human and does not sit on some pedestal.

    He can be criticized and people can form their opinions about him. Stop worshipping him like he will return one day and create heaven on earth.

    Besides if he did not want to be criticized he should have gotten some help and stopped sleeping with little children.

  • Dave

    Re: Deborahs comments – “the genius who gave the world so much joy, so much hope and so much love.”

    Michael Jackson didn’t GIVE the world anything. He was highly paid to entertain. He did that.

  • sean

    Mr. Unger,

    I don’t know your neighbor and I did not follow his trial, so I can’t comment on that. But, statistics are fairly obvious in indicating that had your neighbor been of a different skin color, most likely he would have been convicted and sentenced to a long time in prison.

    Now, I don’t want to interpret the statistics too much, but deep down, I have a nagging feeling that Michael Jackson was singled out for being a famous and wealthy Black person. By the way, I am not Black.

    But, ever try to walk or jog at night in San Marino area as a Black/Hispanic student at Cal Tech? A few of my classmates have, and boy, they were arrested and put in jail fast simply because they were of the wrong skin color in the wrong neighborhood. These incidences did not happen in the 1950s, but in the 1990′s and early 2000′s.

  • Felix Unger

    Dude, if you look poor and white you’d get arrested for jogging in San Marino.

    Does racism exist?

    Yes.

    Is the system against child molesters still flawed?

    Yes.

    Was Michael Jackson singled out because he was black?

    No.

    He was singled out because he wanted to sleep with little kids.

    Even if he wasn’t touching them, it’s WEIRD.

  • Myron

    Michael Jackson wasn’t singled out for being black – He admitted that he shared his bed with kids and several kids said there inappropriate behavior.

    He got off because he is Michael Jackson anyone else would still be in jail like Frank said.

  • sean

    Mr. Unger and Myron,

    What you have said and what Mr. Girardot has written are the point of this discussion. While he was never convicted of a crime, his behavior was weird. That is correct.

    However….

    Does that act of sharing a bed with a child in and of itself a criminal act? My son and daughter (3 and 1, respectively) crawl out of their toddler beds to come to our rooms and crawl into our beds around 4am every night; and we are simply too tired to take them back to their room. So, by the virtue of sharing our bed, does that mean we have also committed a crime?

    Of course, Michael Jackson went beyond that and shared the bed with other kids who are not his own. Sounds very bad, admittedly.

    However, after reading all these testimonials from his friends, from reporters (Robert Hillburn of LA Times) recalling interacting with him and realizing that he has never grown up, and he is still a child mentally, it is not hard to imagine why Mr. Jackson would do this.

    If you are forced to work at 10, even though that means you can buy whatever you want to buy, but you lose your childhood, you lose the ability to play with other kids (recalling Jackson’s own interview saying that he always wondered why he had to work and couldn’t play with other kids). Instead you would be thrusted into an adult world, no doubt full of greed and other negative side of human nature (considering how much money was involved). It is not hard to imagine a naive Michael Jackson seeing the ugly side of human nature at such a young age, would actually want to stay a kid.

    Perhaps that’s why he called his home, “Neverland”, as in Peter Pan, you know, the guy who does not ever want to grow up?

    So, if mentally he was still a kid, then in his mind, he was simply having a giant slumber party, only that he had the money to change his house into an amusement park and into a petting zoo. I never hosted a slumber party for my kids, as they are too young. But, as I understand it, it does involve children sleeping together, innocently, of course. No?

    So, if we can pull our collective minds out of the gutters and not using our adult logics and morals to judge someone who was obviously juvenile, can we also imagine that perhaps what he did was not all that abnormal TO HIM (from his perspective). Yes, it was weird from an adult perspective, and yes, it does open up opportunity for greedy parents to get money from him. But, all that greediness, all that ugliness, seem to simply push him into more reclusive life style, and more child-like “bubble”.

    Again, the Good Book tells me, “judge not lest ye be judged.” I never grew up with all that pressure to be an adult so young; I never grew up and be expected to be the main bread winner at 10 years old; so I can never really understand what that kind of pressure would do to a person’s psyche. I can only imagine that it would be tremendously adverse to it; as evidences of childstars going rogue seem to be a constant news headline: Danny Bonnaduci, the troubles faced by the three from Different Strokes, Drew Barrymore’s early cocain addictions, Haley Joe Osmont’s legal troubles.

    Again, I don’t know him. But the more I read about him from reporters (some pro, some con), from people in his world, from simply being a parent, the more I thought that he was simply a child who was forced to grow up too fast, and ended up deciding to stay a child forever. Now, that makes him a mental patient, but not a criminal.

    Perhaps that does not make sense to many in this world; but it seems quite clear to me.

  • eric

    MJ was naive, not evil. he wasn’t a pedophile, just a lover of childhood.

    lets not forget he went on trial in 1993. in 2003, during the bashir documentary, MJ was holding Gavin Arvizo’s hand in clear view of the camera. if he was really guilty, why would “perp” do that for the whole nation to see? after a molestation trial, most offenders wouldnt even THINK of holding a kid’s hand in public. michael’s love for kids was not sexual, it was genuine and whole-hearted.

    mj was naive. innocent. genuine.

  • eric

    Unger,

    being weird is relative.
    and last i checked, it’s not a crime.

  • myron

    Yeah uh huh that’s why he settled for 20 million because he never had a childhood.

    Yeah okay, so then Sean you would let your children sleep in bed with Michael Jackson??

    Just because you are NOT convicted of anything doesn’t mean you are innocent. OJ was acquitted and Charles Manson himself NEVER killed anyone. So in all of your eyes, I mean the innocent till proven guilty crowd, these are nice, upstanding citizens??

  • Jude

    Frank,
    I love to read articles about facts not about opinions!
    I don’t know anyone more greater of a humanitarian than M.J. We watched in respect to celebrate his life and the contributions he made to world as a whole. Fact, he was an equal opportunity contributor. Lets not forget the people in many countries he helped.
    As a musician, his music touched millions. But because he was involved with the world problems, the name MICHAEL JACKSON is not synonomist.

  • sean

    Myron,

    I knew that question would come up, so let me address that:

    First, Charles Manson is convicted, and sentenced to death before the idiot California Supreme Court changes it to life. OJ, in my mind, is guilty, because I was a trained scientist (MD/PhD), and have the scientific background to understand the DNA evidences that prosecutors botched in presenting.

    Would I let my own 2 kids sleep over at Michael Jackson’s? Well, the business side of me would come out and be more cautious. I would do my own due diligence. I would want references from kids and parents of those kids who have slept over there. I would want to know the guy for a long time, not just a mere acquintance. I would let my kids sleep over at my own sibling’s place, and I would let my kids sleep over at my friends’ whom I have known for years. So, had I just met Mr. Jackson, I would never allow my kids over there, not because he was an accused child molester, but because it simply was not prudent thing to do. Now, if I had known Mr. Jackson for years, and had been friends with him, and knew him well, and knew him to be simply child-like like what I said before, then yes, I would let them sleep over. But again, the caveat here is that I would have to know him for a long long time, and have a certain amount of comfort level. The same with any household or with any adults that are going to host slumber parties where my kids are involved.

    Again, that says nothing about Mr. Jackson; it merely underlines the fact that I am a very cautious person, and I would need to do full due diligence on everything before allowing the most precious assets I have to leave my side. That goes to how I run my business, how I invest, and how I treat people. That’s just me.

    Myron, had you read my earlier post, you would know my theory about why he settled for $20M. In law school and business school, the way you are usually taught to treat a law suit is that you treat it as a business transaction. Even for those law suits that have no basis, that are completely false, by the virtue of the company actually having to spend the money and defend against the suit will cost a lot of money/expense. So, the cheaper way to do it is to esitmate the legal costs to defend yourself in the court, take a proper discount, and negotiate the settlement for that amount.

    I would assume, Mr. Jackson, with all his business advisors and lawyers (leeches and vampires), probably urged him to settle due to any negative airing of his private life will probably negatively impact his marketability.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, we see businesses settle all sorts of lawsuits whether those suits have merits. They don’t make common sense, but they do make business sense as that would minimize damage and negative exposure.

  • Long-time WDN Subscriber

    The following perspective is coming not from a die-hard Michael Jackson fan and not from a childhood molestation victim. Therefore, I would like to fancy myself somewhat more objective on this topic and would appreciate it if the entirety of my comments were posted in response to “Jackson’s life not worthy of celebration”. I was raised in the Michael Jackson era but never fully came to appreciate him because I did not have access to MTV or even the extra spending money to go out and buy music albums. My teenage experience of Michael Jackson was relegated to what I heard on the radio. “Human Nature”, “Man in the Mirror” and several others were passing favorites, no more, no less. Only after seeing the extensive post-moretm media coverage of MJ and his early days as a Jackson 5 entertainer, which I was too young to recall, do I appreciate the immense talents Jackson had. That being said, I am torn on the child molestation allegations recapped in Frank Girardot’s July 7 column.

    First, it seems unlikely that someone who molests children calls for a press conference to openly talk about having sleep overs with children. Let’s remember that Jackson broke this odd story, not his accusers. Jackson may have been enigmatic, but he did not strike me as insane to the point of failing to understand that groping a child is wrong. Jackson understood, for example, that his own father’s beatings were terribly destructive. Why would this be any different? The fact that Jackson openly embraced a childhood practice that to the adult world seems so inappropriate indicates to me that he truly did not believe he was doing anything wrong, which might have been an easy illusion for the entertainer to cling to if these were, indeed, nothing more than vain attempts to recapture a lost youth. Jackson, who became a parent in his own right, understood that there are children who climb into their parents beds all the time. Jackson, however, did not seem to appreciate the fact that non-parental adult figures are off limits. Meanwhile, we have the reality that the mere presence of a biological relation to a child is not necessarily a safeguard either, yet this is where the public begins to make allowances: Parents and kids in the same bed, okay. Anyone else: Pervert. Why not try this one on for size: Children over two years of age should never be in their own parents’ beds, let alone share each other’s beds.

    It is possible that Jackson crossed the line. Yet the Constitutional tradition in this country, save the Salem Witch Trials, is to presume innocence until proven guilty. OJ was proven guilty on mostly circumstantial evidence despite his immense wealth. Certainly Jackson could and should have been found guilty if guilt is what the jury interpreted, for to deny that judgment and declare Jackson innocent would make members of the jury enablers of childhood victimization, guilty of child abuse in their own right. It is equally true, nevertheless, that Jackson could have been a target for extortion schemes simply by virtue of the amount of money he had in the bank. There was a period in Jackson’s life where he struck everyone who interviewed him or knew him as vulnerable, and the alleged prescription drug dependence would have only contributed to this vulnerability. Can any of us doubt that some of the people within Jackson’s circle would have exploited Jackson’s eccentric and fragile mental state for their own financial gain? The moment Jackson revealed himself too ignorant or too naive to realize that having children sleep over with a full-grown adult sounded twisted, the vultures were free to descend. Perhaps there were real victims among them. If so, surely whatever court-enforced silence was in effect as a condition of settlement is unlikely to hold true in death. If so, why not let the victims and their families speak for themselves? I, for one, would be far more inclined to take the words of Jackson’s alleged victims who at this point have nothing more to gain now that the star is dead over the words of an editor who shows no evidence of having interviewed MJ face-to-face. But note this much: If Jackson’s victims do not make any effort to affirm their victimization now that Jackson is dead, that silence will say something loud and clear for the record, don’t you think?

    While we are on the subject of presumed child victimization, we need to dispose of the assumption that kids are always innocent and pure. I personally know no less than a half dozen victims of child molestation, none of whom come from related families, who suffered sexual abuse inflicted by older brothers, cousins or neighboring teenage boys. By contrast, I personally know of no cases committed by the cliche “creepy guy living down the street” evoked by Girardot. The stereotype that child molesters wear their creepiness like a scarlet letter lends perfect cover to the real predators. Sexual predators start out as prepubescent and adolescent children, but often grow into adults who occupy responsible jobs in good neighborhoods with the trophy wife, kids, dog and the nicely mowed front lawn. They are your upstanding community members, childcare workers, business owners. Chances are your overtly eccentric person could care less about anyone, including children. It is the charming and seductive types who pass for gregarious, successful, educated, even pious remember the Catholic priests and who score more victims because people trust them. The misleading notion that all perverts come across like “wakos” or even come in mature, adult bodies, has got to go. Perverts come in all ages and sizes. They even act “normal”!

    If Jackson is guilty of heinous acts against children he will meet his punishment in the afterlife. This tragic situation is not for journalists to exploit now that the entertainer is dead. As a long-time WDN subscriber, I would like to see other topics receive the prioritization they deserve; namely, publishing a bona fide police blotter, which doesn’t even appear on the Whittier Daily News/SVGN website! Secondly, I would like the Whittier Daily News to deal with their own internal problems; specifically, the reality that one of the paper’s top reporters wrote a highly suspect story about “Diamond Capitol” a year or so back and appears to have gotten away with it despite this reader’s attempt to report the incident to a member of the senior editorial staff. When contacted for information pertaining to the Whittier-area business featured in the story, the WDN reporter in question, who regularly covers the business/economic beat, offered up a classified ad website as a hard news story “source”, upon which I was unable to verify any trace of this so-called financial firm. The story itself contained some tip-offs: the use of “Capitol” when “Capital” was consistent in the context of a financial topic. To make a long story short, the “Walter” answering the number supplied by this particular reporter did not announce the name of his business, nor his own name, which is generally customary when answering a professional line vs. one’s cell phone or home telephone. When an inquiry was made as to whether or not we had, in fact, reached Diamond Capitol, the answerer, in an apparent panic, repeatedly stated “How did you find me?” (as opposed to “How did you find ‘us’?”, which would have been expected of someone running a business). “Walter” would not answer any questions pertaining to the nature of his business when all we ever wanted to begin with was to find out if he could be of assistance in a particular financial matter. The guy wouldn’t even confirm his business address, saying evasively instead, “We have offices all over.” There’s just no better way to describe it: This supposed businessman acted as if we had “found him out” and were on the verge of notifying the FBI! All of which begs the question: What kind of legitimate business is a “secret”, or for that matter agrees to a full front-page interview/story, only to react in sheer amazement when a reader calls to inquire about one’s services? How do you stay in business if you aren’t in the phonebook and are nowhere to be found online even by those who reside in the city where you are said to operate? Aside from that, what kind of trusted reporter offers up an obscure, unmoderated website the Internet equivalent of a handwritten poster stapled to a phone poll on a busy intersection as a source for his interview, a verification that doesn’t pan out when the reader attempts to duplicate the search?

    Bottom line: Reporters are losing their jobs like everyone else, and even big-name publications are filing for bankruptcy. Yet SVGN editors, despite being notified of this hatchet A1 story nearly a year ago, have room on their shrinking payroll for a reporter who, in a pinch, appears to invent sources out of thin air to keep his rate of copy flowing to the satisfaction of his editors. The way we figure it, he apparently names unsuspecting buddies as confederate, pseudo sources who are taken off guard when a reader actually contacts them as a result of having read a story in which their direct quotations appear. Shouldn’t an editor like Girardot be stepping in to right the wrongs of his own errant staff? To bring this comment full circle, how easy is it to point figures at the dead, who can no longer defend themselves, whereas the “sins” of this newspaper and it’s editors seemingly go unchecked? WDN ought to concentrate on cleaning out their own closets. Girardot should start by looking for an entirely different flavor of “creep” in his own newsroom.

  • cyberbanditt

    Do your job and report about SGV crime. Its pretty good, but please have some respect. MJ was someone’s son and father, brother etc… Why trash him?

    Why so much hate?

  • anony

    Why were 90% of the comments removed? How can the MJ article have so many inaccuracies and no editor checked it out before publishing? How did anyone ever come to the conclusion that writing such vile, badly written and childish article without having someone else write the opposite view would not affect your readership? Did getting a few extra hits for your website outweigh the backlash and cancelation of subscriptions? With your newspaper going down the drain every day, with so few real articles and a ton of fluff from other news sources, why would you have someone write an opinion which is now a public of record of how your newspaper treats people. You have unmasked your agenda as a newspaper and now you will not be able to recuperate from this blunde. Using such repulsive language, full of inaccuracies, lies and misleading information, really says a lot about your direction in journalism. A big spiral downhill because many will have cancelled their subscriptions by now. Hope that your editorial board is able to survive this one because if there is one smart editor in the newspaper left, they will get rid of all those involved in writing this story, the writer, his editor and whoever else approves the stories. This type of disregard for journalism, disregard for readers and disregard for human decency has to have some type of punishment.

  • jane

    love MJ, despise him, or be on the fence…no one will ever know the truth except for him and his accusers. people getting all hyped up over this one way or the other need to find something better to do…he’s gone, he ain’t coming back, so why defend (or bash) his memory? let the guy rest in peace for shit’s sake.

  • Elliot Gold

    Jackson was a sicko, period!

    I totally agree with Frank Girardots column Jacksons life not worthy of celebration [Pasadena Star News, July 7, 2009]. Jackson may have been an incredible artist; some called him the king. Yet, while he wooed fans whose memory of him is his great musical legacy, he as well left a legacy sleeping with children not his own, children who will carry those memories for the rest of their lives.

    Even Rolling Stone Magazine, the king of journalism when it comes to music, while not questioning his private past, had its doubts about Jacksons public appearances and his stature in the music industry. In the most recent edition, July 9-23, 2009, sent to subscribers before Jackson died, the headline of the lead story was, Michael Jacksons Troubled Comeback. The article cited numerous sources who were troubled by his proposed comeback tour. The quote that summed it up was this: As one concert-industry veteran puts it, You can only burn people so many times before they go away.

    Girardots summary was spot on, Jackson was a sicko.

    Elliot Gold
    Altadena