Standard Deviance has been following the media scandals surrounding Michael Jackson, CBS
, and NBC
. It seems that even before the scandal of CBS paying for an interview tarnished 60 Minute's
and Ed Bradley's
reputations, Jackson screwed Bradley out of the much jockeyed-over February interview. Following Martin Bashir
's documentary there was a bidding war between the networks over an interview with Jackson. You may remember that NBC offered Jacko $5 million for the rights to the footage and said that if he interviewed with them, Dateline
would not air a special entitled "Michael Jackson, Unmasked"
According to Ed Bradley in an interview on Larry King Live
, 60 Minutes had the inside track on the February interview and was even set up to have the interview at Neverland. While Jackson was upstairs getting ready, Marlon Brando called and informed him that the sealed documents from the original child molestation case had been released on the internet and was going to be all over the tabloids the next day. The Smoking Gun
announced yesterday that they were the internet source. Jackson never came back for the interview. He just "disappeared".
Bradley also spoke about the holiday interview scandal. He said that there was never a quid pro quo for the interview and the special. He said that while CBS would never tell Jackson that they would pay him more for the special if he did the interview, they did say that they wouldn't air the special unless he did an interview.
I'm sorry, but that still sounds like shady dealings to me. The only way CBS can claim no fault is to say that the interview had no connection to the special, although perhaps Ed Bradley can absolve himself since he personally had no power over whether the special aired. Seriously, all these journalists should just stay away from Michael Jackson interviews. Trying to get one of those requires signing a deal with the devil, and does Ed Bradley really want his wife to have to give birth to the Devil's spawn
just to advance his own career? I think not.
Transcript of Larry King's Ed Bradley Interview
The Smoking Gun's copy of the Declaration
Does No One Have Integrity Anymore?
More Michael Jackson Media Scandals