In the era of full-blown fake news, even newspapers that were once defined as serious have invented whole phone calls out of thin air and script false and groundless dialogues, from eating garlic for treatment to 5G as sources of contagion from covid. Writing and spreading falsehoods to discredit a political force or a character is not journalism but garbage.
That’s the reason why I would like to bring attention to the news spread in May 2006 by a proclaimed authoritative source commenting on the events occurred to Michael Jackson to obtain his assets refinancing: The New York Times is the botched winner on Michael Jackson news. All the others are copy/pasted from it. Sadly is still considered a sort of reliable source by many.
“Bullshit is language, statistical figures, data graphics, and other forms of presentation intended to persuade by impressing and overwhelming a reader or listener, with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence. It’s an open question whether the term bullshit also refers to false claims that arise from innocent mistakes. Whether or not that usage is appropriate, we feel that the verb phrase calling bullshit definitely applies to falsehoods irrespective of the author’s intentions or speaker”. https://www.callingbullshit.org/FAQ.html
Why such strong terminology? Why NOT! Media used and still use all kinds of insults against Michael Jackson, so I guess I can do the same.
Here below a break down of some of the most misleading passages of the article:
There’s the journalist had an alternate reality issue. Michael Jackson was in Bahrain in December 2005. There are plenty of media reports of Michael shopping at Ashraf’s Department Store, the Panasonic Store in Manama with the Cascio’s and the Lester families, who confirmed on many occasions having spent the Christmas holidays with him in Bahrain. Then, Jackson traveled to Europe in January fall.
Noted the author’s potential fiction writing skills, from some passage landscape descriptions similar to a dazzling blob of travel to the summary of Jackson’s life and career.
Sony is portrayed as a helpful and thoughtful company.
From the documents I have read and published on this site, Sony had done the best to object and delay everything for this particular refinancing. The hope was to reach a technical default and put Jackson into bankruptcy proceedings. Sony was the Bank of America co-guarantor of the principal loan amount, meaning that in case of MJ defaulting within the duration of the loan, they were obliged to pay back to the bank the principal amount of the loan, which was less than 25% of MJ 50% interests in the Catalog.
Sony’s guarantee was not free and cost Jackson nine million per year. Moreover, this clause was not a new addition to this loan. It was structured this way since the 1998 loan with Bank of America. Paying back the principal loan amount would not automatically give them the ownership of a supposed 25%. A bankruptcy procedure is much more complicated. All the bank interests and the various fees would have to be paid before having the title’s clearance involved in the loan. Not to count all the accounting involved. MJ would have been forced to sell the other portion to face and clear all the bank duties: and that’s was exactly Sony’s hopes.
Sony – around 2006 and 08 – didn’t have sufficient capacity to assume all without Michael Jackson money, that’s why they tiptoed around and negotiated the conditions: the risks to find themselves in an open bid with other investors and not be able to win the bid it was pretty real. But this is my own mere opinion.
What happened in real life: Jackson’s representatives asked for the extension because Sony refused to sell to another group. Their involvement was mere paperwork, as the documents had to reflex exactly the Bank of America content loan. Sony put a spanner in the refinancing process and did not help at all. Moreover, City Bank was brought into the deal by Michael Jackson Barhaimine’s advisers. The offer was so good and convenient compared to the high-interest rates covered by Bank of America and Fortress that bothered Jackson’s for many years. To avoid losing control, Sony and Fortress accepted City Corp’s conditions, using Fortress’s right to match the offer.
Jackson’s portrayed as a spending brat.
As far as the fiscal responsibility, when Michael Jackson was alive, he NEVER had issues with IRS – it would have been all over the press if he would. I do not know if the above words are real; these words have been reported by the New York Times and reported by many others. I personally never heard Mr. Malnik say so, but if he did, here a piece of testimony that shows Mr. Malnik traveling on a charter flight at Michael Jackson’s expense during the short time he was one of his trustees.
There is no sign of Mr. Jackson’s signature on the first loan in Bank of America of 1998, neither the second one. He was not even a guarantor. The loan was on his Trusts signed by Mr. Lee and Mr. Branca’s at that time trustees of MJ/ATV Trust (containing the interest of Sony/ATV); here what I found in a deposition.
The testimony was of one of Michael Jackson’s lawyers, who, without doubts, had a better picture of the story than a journalist. The lawyer requested then to stricken his comment because it was not relevant to the court procedure. But is something that makes you think ..no?
And why talking about an alleged Lisa Marie Presley settlement divorce? I guess he had some missing lines of text? The divorce documents show that Lisa Marie Presley didn’t want money from Jackson. She renounced spontaneously to any spousal support. They had no assets together (in terms of real estate or any other form of property). Michael’s only contribution was the payment of 300 Dollars for the formality allowing her to change the surname. (from Jackson-Presley to Presley again). Jackson also confirmed.
Schaffel misled the media by telling them he had rights to charity record. Michael unequivocally stated that he was the song’s composer and the rights belong to him. Schaffel collected $900,000 from the company that was owing money to Michael Jackson. Schaffel issued 18 backdated checks totaling $784,000 in the days after being fired by the pop star.
Schaffel was named as a co-conspirator in the 2005 trial. A copy of the indictment claimed that “Jackson unlawfully and lewdly committed a lewd and lascivious act upon and with the body and certain parts and members thereof of John Doe, a child under the age of fourteen years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, and gratifying the lust, passions, and sexual desires of the said defendant and the said child.” How can it be possible that a so-called serious newspaper adds as valid testimony over Michael Jackson’s spending attitude such scumbag?
The meeting was held at Sony Corporation offices in New York without Michael Jackson. His middle easter advisors AQ discussed the matter and tried to have Sony comply with their requests to sell them their 50% in Sony/ATV.
City Bank did not finance the Neverland mortgage (at least not officially); it was Fortress that set up the separate new loan. What City Bank surely got was a fee for having structured the entire transaction.
The last paragraph shows entitlement to a lack of respect toward Michael Jackson. And latent racism, I would add.
I guess this protagonist of lazy and arrogant journalism did not realize he was talking about the world’s most famous artist, the owner of thousand high profile companies, and not about his neighbor’s mortgage problems or his own unpaid installment of the car leasing.
This rampant nobody did not understand that Michael Jackson could still have afforded if he only wanted, the luxury to buy him and his whole ancestors and deciding to put them all on a barge in the waters off the coast of Lebanon before this moron of a journalist could realize what was going on.