Thursday, January 01, 2004

WHISTLING IN THE DARK: The Californian Police, not unexpectedly, have rejected Michael Jackson's claims that he was mistreated during his arrest. The cops point out that Jacko's chaffing occured on a different part of his arm to the bit where handcuffs go, that in tapes of his time in custody he trills that he was happy and - despite a supposedly disolcated shoulder, he was whistling quite happily as he was driven to the station. Adding to Jacko's woes, they're now thinking of adding an extra charge of false reporting to his rap sheet - worryingly for Mr. J, the witnesses in such a case would be a lot more difficult to buy off. Even if he did get a shedload of money from CBS for his recent interview. Some commentators are suggesting that, rather generously, the US network paid Jackson for giving him a chance to clear his name - which is a step away from Anglia offering Pontins a few thousand to appear in their commercial breaks. CBS insist that no payment was made, which isn't as unlikely as it sounds. The station has got a massive Michael Jackson special scheduled for this week, and to let it play without at least some sort of attempt to distance him from the kiddie shagging allegations would be difficult to justify. The suggestion from Fox News was that the cheque for the special was boosted, so that while not actually directly giving the pale-faced one a payday off the back of the claims, in effect that was what happened. And, lets face it, if anyone knows about making payments to Jacko, it'd be the Fox networks, who gave him several hours of airtime in 2003 to head off the child abuse allegations the last time it happened.

We're buggered, however, if we can make any sense of the whole Nation of Islam bodyguard saga. There's suggestions that as well as keeping Jackson from the world the NOI 'handlers' are sealing Jacko off from his advisors, too. Apparently, Jermaine thinks they're doing a top job, but Michael and his Ma want them out and someone else in. Except the NOI are a little bit like Harry Potter books - once you've picked them up, they're very difficult to put down again. What makes this even more curious, of course, is none of the Jackson clan (as far as we can tell) are even members of NOI. And without wanting to be too cynical, we can't help feeling that it'd be in their interests for Jackson to go down, and provide them with a martyr, rather than be exonerated.

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