Friday, November 12, 2004

HE SPITS IN ALL OUR ONION RINGS: Fox really seems to be cosying up to Michael Jackson, doesn't it? In the early days of his arrest on charges of kid-touching, the Murdoch empire seemed to be rapidly cooling on the man who they'd rallied round after Martin Bashir's documentary, but now they seem to be betting on Mickey being cleared totally of all charges and snuggling up with a view to future multi-media, cross-platform deals. So we've already had some commentary setting out to trash Aaron Carter's mum's recollections of the night her son stayed at Neverland, and yesterday, when most journalists were flexing brows over how many minutes closer to or further from armaggeddon the death of Arafat brought us, Geraldo Rivera (no relation to The English Riveria, we should point out) found space to cover some Jackson fans protesting outside MTV.

The fans were objecting to MTV's continuing use of Emeinem's Just Lose It video, which pokes fun at Jacko and the habit of having small kids over to stay in his bedroom. (The odd thing is, of course, that Eminem isn't actually portraying Jackson as doing anything that Jacko cheerfully told Bashir he did). And Fox News were richly rewarded for treating this small pressure group's dogged determination to feel slighted: Michael Jackson called up Geraldo for a chat.

It's interesting how Geraldo's career has progressed - a few years back he was little more than a sideshow promoter, allowing the freakish and wrong a chance to get a few moments of self-justification on network television, and yet now he's, um, taking phone calls from Michael Jackson.

Jackson attempted to suggest that this wasn't just him versus Eminem, but everyone against the Em:

"I think that it's demeaning and disrespectful," Jackson told Rivera, "and I also want to make it clear that it's not just about Michael Jackson but about a pattern of disrespect that he has shown to our community. He needs to stop it and he needs to stop it now."

The question is, of course, exactly what "our community" is - does Jackson side with The Source in their desperate bid to try and "prove" that Eminem is racist? Or is Jackson simply referring to the community of rich pop stars out of touch with reality, who do, quite often, get it in the neck from Em? Or does Jackson now side with other groups who have been targetted by Eminem - is it My Name Is that has so upset Jacko, and do we therefore conclude that Jackson is now identifying a lesbian? We may have to wait until the post-trial comeback show (on Fox, of course) before we get any answers.