It seems CBS
learned their little Michael Jackson media tango from the big boys at NBC
. Loyal readers may remember our piece on CBS effectively paying Michael Jackson for an interview
over the holidays. Last February, NBC pulled a similar stunt. After the Martin Bashir documentary there was a bidding war between the networks for an interview with Jackson. NBC told Jackson that if he agreed to an interview, in addition to receiving $5 million for the rights to the footage, a 1 hour Dateline special entitled "Michael Jackson, Unmasked" would be cancelled. And, what's worse, they made the offer in writing. NBC, let Standard Deviance give you a piece of advice: Never, ever, do anything unethical in writing! It is very difficult to argue with a memo that includes the name of the president of the network. Tsk tsk, we thought NBC was craftier than this.
These Michael Jackson media scandals seem quite similar to the dilemmas found in Lord of the Rings
. An interview with Michael Jackson is like having the ring of power, but it is an evil power. Just as Boromir and Faramir get CRAZY trying to get that ring from Frodo, these networks seem to be losing their knowledge of what is right or wrong in their quest to get the interview. Elijah Wood should take Michael Jackson and throw him into the fires of Mordor
so we can all be spared these scandals.
New York Times