Jun 23 2011

Dr. Patrick Treacy’s Speech at Gardner St. Elementary, June 22, 2011

Category: Friends,Justice,Photos,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 1:03 am

Yesterday, June 22, 2011, Dr. Patrick Treacy gave this profoundly moving speech at Gardner St. Elementary School which Michael once attended and which once again proudly displays his name on its auditorium.

The event at which this speech was made was a private function set up to honor Michael’s humanitarian legacy, and was done in association with the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait.

Principal Urbina and Gardner St. Students in front of Michael Jackson Auditorium

Principal Urbina and Gardner St. Students in front of Michael Jackson Auditorium

Dr. Treacy’s Speech:

Fifty three years ago, a young black boy was born in a small town in Indiana. This was a different time, a time when the African-American Civil Rights Movement tried to gain freedom from oppression by white Americans.

It was also a time when the next generation of post-war Americans were growing up, the sons of soldiers who had freed prisoners from the tyranny of prison camps like Auswitch and Buchenwald, a time when all of Europe was filled with a profound and abiding gratitude to the American people.

As Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust said in a speech to an important gathering of White House dignitaries in 1999 ‘Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being’.

And gratitude is what we should now have today for that young American black boy. His name was Michael Jackson, someone I am privileged to call my friend, somebody who often stood alone to fend for the children in the world, for the destitute, for the victims of disease and injustice.

Michael was very troubled by the suffering he saw in the world and even more to the indifference to it. His first words to me when we met were

‘Thank you so much for helping the people of Africa’.

There were no airs and graces, no pomp and circumstance and his only concern was for the lives of other people who lived on a different continent than the one in which either of us were born.

I had been to Africa and seen the devastation of the plague of HIV at first hand and when we discussed it, there was tears in his eyes and he said we had to do something together for the people of Africa.

He planned to hold a great concert in Rwanda and we would fly there together in his private plane and then down to see his great friend, Nelson Mandela. Sadly, these events were not to happen and the world lost one of its great humanitarians.

In that speech, Elie Wiesel had also some words to say about indifference. He said ‘To be indifferent to the suffering in the world is what makes the human being inhuman’.

For the person who is indifferent, his or her neighbour is of no consequence. Their lives are meaningless as indifference reduces the other to an abstraction. Indifference always benefits the aggressor — never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten.

Michael Jackson felt that pain, not just for the hungry children, but for himself when the people of America remained indifferent to the injustice that was perpetrated upon him making him a virtual prisoner in his own land, causing him to flee to the Middle East and eventually find solitude in Ireland, my home.

What an irony that someone who cared so much about the rest of humanity was rejected by his own. It was a pain he felt deeply and one that on occasion he discussed with me, but mostly he did not want to talk about it and I never opened those painful memories …being like him, exiles beyond the norm.

Michael Jackson was never indifferent. He brought light where there was darkness, hope where there was despair; he never turned away from cruelty when he could give compassion.

We have just started a new century, a new millennium. The first ten years have been some of the most brutal the planet has ever encountered. The century started with terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. These actions dragged this great nation into conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been wars in over twenty countries, which cast a dark shadow over humanity: So much violence, so much pain.

If there is one thing to do today, to preserve Michael Jackson’s memory — that is not be remain indifferent to the suffering we see all around us in the World.

There are times when I feel God has abandoned this world, the terrible earthquake in Haiti where bodies were cut from building by hacksaw, the funeral undertakers in Zambia where the coffin-makers work banging nails in wood late into the night, the streets of Northern Ireland where throats are cut for pronouncing a word on a beer bottle with the wrong accent.

I have lived in Baghdad, I have been a prisoner of Saddam Hussein, I carry the war wounds of Northern Ireland and I say to you here today that there is a God who looks down on all of this wrong and he brought us Michael Jackson to help to solve it.

Over seventy years ago a ship with a human cargo of one thousand Jews — was turned away from the port of St. Louis back to Nazi Germany. The ship, which was already on the shores of the United States, was sent back and the people left to the fate of the dictator.

This happened in America, a country with the greatest democracy, the most generous of all new nations in modern history. It is happening again today, with the bombing and terrorization of innocent children on foreign shores. Don’t let it happen, stand up for the things Michael stood for, to wipe out injustice, to combat disease and try and save the planet we live in.

What will the legacy of Michael Jackson? How will he be remembered by generations as yet unborn?

Let’s be grateful to God that he sent us such an angel to live amongst us for a while and let us not be indifferent to the wrongs we see around us. If Michael ever wanted us to do one thing that would make him happy as he looks down over us today it would be not to turn away from the victims of oppression and aggression and if in doubt about ever knowing what how to act. . . just think . . .

. . . ‘What Would Michael Do?’

-Dr. Patrick Treacy

A video of the speech can be seen here:

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May 08 2011

Explosive claims by Dr. Patrick Treacy about the death of Michael Jackson have been banned from US TV

Category: Justice,PhotosSeven @ 5:13 pm

I wrote about this earlier in my post regarding the fact that there are so many negative stories about Michael in the media, but it was buried at the bottom. I posted this story before that on my MJJ-777 Facebook page, and now, the story has taken on legs of its own.  It’s an important development in the case against Conrad Murray and lets us see clearly how slanted this case is for Murray and against his victim, Michael Jackson in the media. It appears that perhaps Dr. Treacy has been essentially gagged until after the trial because his truth-telling may threaten Murray’s case (which if the truth is told is an exceedingly weak one and this is likely why) .

If you remember, also posted here previously, there was an interview that Dr. Patrick Treacy did a few weeks ago with Aphrodite Jones on Investigation Discovery about Michael and propofol. This is the program that is apparently being banned from US TV.

Tom Mesereau has commented that Murray’s defense may be trying to ‘win in the court of public opinion‘ by manipulating the media in this fashion.  Dr. Treacy was on the potential witness list last I checked, so while this program and others may be banned, he may still be called to testify in the trial.

UPDATE 5-10-2011: On his Facebook page, Dr. Treacy has said the following regarding this matter:

I think there is a general ‘gag’ on everything not just this show. The trial has been put back for 4 months. I don’t really know whether they [ the lawyers ] were the cause.

ID Program with Dr. Treacy Censored?

ID Program with Dr. Treacy Censored?

TRANSCRIPT: From the-sun.ie, by Jason Johnson:

Explosive claims by a top Irish surgeon about the mystery death of Michael Jackson have been banned from US TV.

Defense lawyers had the footage pulled as they fight manslaughter charges against the King of Pop’s LA doctor Conrad Murray.

The trial’s start date has also been put back by four months as they seek out new witnesses.

Fermanagh-born cosmetic surgeon Patrick Treacy was Jackson’s only doctor when he lived in Ireland in 2006 and 2007, and became friends with the superstar. He also treated him shortly before his death in 2009.

He claims the singer would never have self-administered powerful sedative propofol–which was found to have caused his death.

Dr. Treacy, director of Dublin’s Ailesbury Clinic, is on the list of potential witnesses for the trial of US-based Dr. Murray for involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors claim Murray, 57, gave Jackson the lethal dose of propofol and then attempted to cover it up. Murray’s lawyers say he’s not guilty and Jackson gave the drug to himself.

But Dr. Treacy, 54, rubbished this explanation in a now-banned TV show recorded two months ago for the Discovery Channel.

In it the plastic surgeon, who has been interviewed by US detectives about the cases says, “Any time Michael used propofol with us it was always in the presence of an anesthetist and he always requested that.”

“There was one time I had to go (to) Michael’s house a few days before he was going to meet the Queen.”

“After one of his procedures he had hyper-sensitivity in this area around his nose and would require sedation, I couldn’t get an anesthetist that night.”

Dr. Treacy offered an alternative which he could have administered without an anesthetist, but the singer wouldn’t consider it.

The doctor said “There always had to be an anesthetist” adding that it “would seem unusual” for Jackson to die from administering heavy doses of propofol to himself.”

[email protected]

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From my pharmacist friend Nikki (and I also commented to this effect in my previous post):

One should also be asking (including the prosecution), considering Dr. Treacy’s account, why would Michael supposedly consent to Murray giving him propofol when he is not anesthetist either? Was Michael aware or not of what was occurring to him under Murray’s care? What did Michael want versus what did Murray do? What lies did Murray tell to Michael and did Michael really want Murray treating him and being his doctor or not? What proof is there that Michael, and not others, approved of Murray being Michael’s primary doctor?

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Aug 25 2012

“He hid his hard-won treasures inside the hearts of all who loved him”


Summer-Song Rhapsody for Michael Jackson
(Aug 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Summertime opened like a myth spun from gold,
delivering your talent through ages of classic genius
to plant the seeds and nourish the beauty
of all the bright wonders that would color your dance.

Is any path so demanding as that of living a miracle?

Like a cosmic gymnast on a beam of uncommon grace,
or a swimmer slicing through waves of childhood tears–
you transformed fortitude into Olympian triumph.
Hid your hard-won treasures inside the hearts of all who loved you.

The more sincere the soul, the heavier the cross endured.

Your voice strung notes like pearls of sky-blue hope
around the trembling throat of humanity’s crimson agony.
Upon the heads of those abused and disinherited
your song placed crowns of inspired revelation.

There is no faith so perilous as faith in love.

Summertime blossomed fields of rose-scented dreams––
and death amplified your sudden absence with new life…
to plant the seeds and nourish the beauty
of all the bright wonders that colored your dance.

___

by Aberjhani, founder of Creative Thinkers International
co-author of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
and ELEMENTAL The Power of Illuminated Love

SOURCE: http://www.examiner.com/article/summer-song-rhapsody-for-michael-jackson-editorial-with-poem

Don’t miss Aberjhani’s ‘Notes for an Elegy in the Key of Michael (I)‘ here, as well as his exclusive two-part series ‘Michael Jackson and the Power of Numbers‘.

Besides Aberjhani’s consistently brilliant and loving work on Michael’s behalf, there are some other jewels I also want to share here.

One of those is Come and Get It: The Rare Pearls, a two-disc set of early Jackson 5 recordings due out August 28 — the day before what would have been Michael’s 54th birthday. NPR featured one song from this collection called ‘If the Shoe Don’t Fit‘, and in that song, Michael’s voice hits an incredible note on the word “shoooooe“! Listen here.

Another little gem is a short video of The Jacksons recording the song ‘Jump for Joy‘ in the studio. This song was on their ‘Goin Places‘ album which, with its Norman Rockwell-like cover,  was originally released in October 1977 when the band re-teamed with Gamble & Huff after their move to Epic records.

Thanks to David Edwards who commented and left a link to the interview with the Jacksons and Gamble & Huff at Sigma Sound Studios. According to the description, this is “11 minutes footage of The Jacksons giving a small interview and recording the song Jump For Joy from their 1977 album “Goin’ Places” in Sigma Sound Studios. Producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff along with owner of Sigma Sound Studios Joseph Tarsia are present as well.

Another jewel is this fantastic artwork of Michael’s three children done by Mimi Garren. An even bigger jewel is Michael Jackson’s Legacy, the organization that is – with the help of friends and fans around the world – building Everland Children’s Home in Liberia which will be a refuge for countless vulnerable children. Mimi, an accomplished artist, is one of its founders. Mimi designed the logo for the organization’s website and does other artistic work on their behalf. The artwork is to go with a book to be presented to Mrs. Katherine Jackson detailing the progress of the Everland project in Michael’s name. Dr. Patrick Treacy, featured and mentioned here many times since the site started, is Honorary Ambassador to MJL. Dr. Treacy – Michael’s doctor while he lived in Ireland for many months – is a tireless humanitarian like Michael was, and this is where their hearts joined in friendship.

Michael's three children: Paris, Blanket, and Prince

In regards to the photo, the organization states:

Around 29th August, amidst the celebrations and vigil in Gary, Indiana, we are hoping to get a beautiful book into the hands of Michael’s beloved mother, Katherine. Diligently compiled by MJL’s Karen, it charts Everland’s progress with photos, reports and commentary. Together with the book, there will be a small card from MJL which depicts a picture of Michael’s three dear children (see below), courtesy of our artist, Mimi. We would like to thank US supporter Raven, for kindly offering to help us get the book about this journey to Katherine and the children at such a significant and poignant time as this. Gratitude and love to all those who have joined us and each other on this journey! The pages of this book reflect nothing but L.O.V.E and the hearts of those who have given in order to make this dream possible ♥ www.michaeljacksonslegacy.org

Next gem: Willa and Joie of the fabulous website ‘Dancing with the Elephant‘, had a chat with Joe Vogel about his book ‘Featuring Michael Jackson‘. Here’s an excerpt:

Willa: I’m glad you mentioned the bonus chapter, Joe, because I was hoping to talk with you about that. It’s just a heartbreaker. It really captures the poignancy of Michael Jackson’s childhood. On the one hand, he loved what he was doing – the music and dancing and performing. Yet as you quote in that chapter, “Those were sad, sad years for me.” We see that same paradox in the songs themselves that he recorded at that time. They’re so polished and perfect, you know it must have taken painstaking work to create them. Yet when you listen to them, they sound so fresh and spontaneous – just brimming with sheer joy. You include a Nelson George quotation that describes this so well:

Forty years later … [Michael’s] exuberance still leaps out of your speakers. Despite all the work that obviously went into crafting these vocals, Michael still sounds like he just walked into the studio from the playground.

That’s such a bittersweet way of describing his music because, of course, he was rarely able to play on a playground, and he felt that loss deeply. It’s as if the things he wanted most in his life – the things that were absent from his real life – he magically conjured up with his voice, and they became present in his imaginative life – an imaginative life we all enter into and participate in when we listen to his songs. And I wonder if somehow, the fact that he wanted those things so badly – love, sympathy, the simple freedom to play and be a child – is what made them so vibrantly present in his voice.

Joe: I agree, Willa. I’ve always thought one of Michael’s great gifts is his ability to express the full gamut of human emotion. There are some artists who are brilliant at conveying one end of the spectrum (for example, Kurt Cobain), but Michael can take you from the brink of despair to a transcendent, soul-vitalizing joy. I think his solo work takes on more weight and nuance and shades, but even in the Motown songs, I think you’re right, that he is imagining himself into those words and emotions (using what experiences he had to draw from), and his vocal performances reflect that. He’s not just mimicking his heroes, as some critics have said. He’s interpreting and expressing. In so many of his early songs, there is this sense of melancholy and yearning (“Music and Me,” “With a Child’s Heart,” “Maybe Tomorrow,” “Ben”). Yet there is also an exuberance and vitality and charm.

Willa: Exactly.

Joe: He’s a lot like Chaplin in that way, though for me Michael communicates on an even deeper level.

MORE at the link: http://dancingwiththeelephant.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/featuring-michael-jackson-with-joe-vogel/

Michael’s birthday is next Wednesday. Besides or in addition to perhaps participating in various celebrations and gatherings around the world, my suggestion remains the same as every year: do something for or with children. That is the thing that seemed to make him happiest – making others happy and especially little ones.  I think he enjoyed the childhood he never had through other children, and I think he felt soothed by giving children the happiness and emotional support he felt he sometimes didn’t have as a child.

Two of my personal favorite MJ-related charities to donate to are  Heal the World for Children and Michael Jackson Birthday Charity.  Don’t forget Michael Jackson’s Legacy, above too. There are of course many more. Or, volunteer some time at a local children’s center or hospital – either to be with the kids or help do repairs, serve meals, clean-up, fix broken toys, whatever you can do.

Aberjhani wrote that Michael “hid his hard-won treasures inside the hearts of all who loved him“.  Just do something that comes from your heart and it will shine. He led by example. You know what to do.

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Nov 07 2011

GUILTY: Post Verdict Reflection by Michael Jackson Fans & Advocates

Category: Justice,VideosSeven @ 9:04 pm

Conrad Murray is guilty. He has been remanded to custody with no bail, taken away in handcuffs, finally. Sentencing is November 29th, 2011. It is the 7th day of the month, the 7th week of trial, and GUILTY begins with “G”, the 7th letter of the alphabet. 7•7•7

Post Verdict Reflection by Michael Jackson Fans & Advocates

Today, the jury in the trial of The People v Conrad Murray returned a Guilty verdict.

In a statement sent to media outlets, we expressed our gratitude and appreciation to the jurors who put their lives on hold to serve their community, to DDA David Walgren and DDA Deborah Brazil for the outstanding case they presented, and to the honorable Judge Pastor, who ensured this trial – in the courtroom at least – did not echo the disgrace of 2005 and pander to a selective, hystericized media.

Even though this verdict can never compensate for the profound loss that Michael Jackson and his children – Prince, Paris and Blanket, family, friends and fans have suffered – and will continue to; what it does achieve is this:

It declares publicly, the undeniable truth that Conrad Murray’s actions and inconceivable omissions led directly to the death of a human being. It doesn’t matter whether that human
being was Michael Jackson or anyone else. Michael was a friend, brother, son and a father. He was a person. Yes, an unfeasibly famous one. But still a person.

In reaching this result, the court has recognized that something precious was taken – a life. A life that mattered and will always matter, not least because for so long that life was treated with so little regard and even less basic human decency.

Predictably, of course, now that the verdict has come in, there will be endless debates by media and the usual talking heads about whether it was the right one. Our position is that it is. But we recognise that there are wider questions.

This reflection talks about some of those questions and the implications of this trial.

Most of the public tuning into this trial were presented with a picture of Michael Jackson and the fans, that in reality has very little connection to fact. Michael Jackson was not the demanding, selfish ‘addict’ he was typically painted as by many in the media, and most of the fans were certainly not all dressing up in front of the courthouse as a small minority chose to. [Note: Most of the fans at the courthouse were actually not doing this either].

The truth, however, is rather different.

Most Michael Jackson fans are ordinary citizens with ordinary concerns and aspirations. Just like you; we have kids at college, are paying off mortgages, working in jobs we either love or tolerate, are studying for a better life – and just trying to live our lives the best way we can. The only difference between us and those who saw this trial as just another high profile ‘tragic tale’ – is that for us this trial was personal.

Personal, because for decades we have supported and loved Michael for the human being that he was. This was never about how great a performer he was, or how many records he sold or broke. This much delayed trial was about trying to get justice – albeit limited, for Michael, his family, and us – the fans.

This has now been achieved.

But what we also clearly saw in this trial, was the same disturbing distortion we witnessed in 1993, in the years in between, in 2003/5 – and since. Billed as the trial of the century by some, or at least in the running, it was Michael Jackson’s celebrity that stoked the interest of worldwide media in this case and underpinned their attempts to turn the trial of Conrad Murray into the second trial of Michael Jackson.

Whether or not that media accurately reflected or influence the opinions of ordinary people around the world cannot be calculated, but it is certainly no stretch to state it reflected and influenced some of it. The media’s unique role in directing the tone and content of national and international conversation about this trial, evidently reflected the relationship that existed – and still exists, between Michael Jackson and the media.

For over 40 years, approximately the same time he was thrust onto the world stage as a child star, Michael has occupied a complex place in world culture. Evolving from an adored child of America to powerful advocate for those he felt were overlooked and in need – Michael consistently used his profile and resources to help others.

Before any other modern celebrity and to an extent that hasn’t been equalled since, far from being the narcissist he was routinely painted as, Michael Jackson’s endorsement of organizations such as: – Make A Wish, the United Negro College Fund, his fundraising efforts for the Horn of Africa famine relief, his work in collecting funds to vaccinate over 5000 children in developing countries against childhood diseases, assisting the ‘Pajama project’ in providing books, toys and pajamas to children – not to mention Michael’s own organization’s Heal The World Foundation, work in Sarajevo, drug and alcohol abuse education in the USA, and work in raising funds for paedriatric AIDS research; Michael Jackson’s lasting and indisputable commitment to the alleviation of global suffering of our some of most vulnerable social groups stands as a peerless achievement.

Yet none of these achievements were mentioned in the day to day coverage by the media during this trial. With something exceeding glee, the public were blanketed 24/7 to re-cycled images and audio of a man at a critically life-threatening point in his life. Media coverage during the trial invariably misinformed American audiences with the opinions of invested tabloid reporters, miscellaneous talking heads, past employees, those who were once Michael’s friends (but no longer) – and more rarely actual friends.

The question of direct and immediate causality for Michael’s death was clearly answered by the court – but there is a wider one. Media focus during the trial understandably centered on Conrad Murray and Michael Jackson, but whose lens were we viewing that focus through? Whose voices were we hearing, reading and watching?

As renowned author, scholar and music critic Joseph Vogel in a recent seminal article ‘Am I the Beast You Visualized? The Cultural Abuse of Michael Jackson,’ pointedly wrote:

“We have heard the point made over and over these past few weeks: It is not Michael Jackson currently on trial; it is Dr. Conrad Murray. But, of course, we know the reality. This is the ‘Michael Jackson Death Trial’ . He is, as he always was, the main event, the tantalizing spectacle. It is Michael Jackson who is under the microscope as we pry, one more time, through his home, his medical records, his body.”

In the run-up to the trial of Conrad Murray, the media didn’t even attempt to deny the sensationalist nature of their interest. After the payload of 2005, this trial was, after all – the next best thing. In July of this year, respected journalist and media critic, Tim Rutten heavily criticized the increasing tabloid directionalism most networks and press outlets now unashamedly promote as valid news.

In his article ‘The Threat of Nancy Grace’, Rutten asked:

“Why does HLN, a sister channel of CNN, give Grace this sort of abusive license? The answer is simple: Ever since it abandoned its straightforward news cycle some years ago, the one-time Headline News has struggled to find an audience — and, of course, revenue. An unremitting focus on sensational criminal cases — most of them involving missing or dead white women or children — with Grace’s snarl at the center of the coverage has provided that audience. HLN’s saturation coverage of the Anthony trial doubled its daytime ratings and nearly tripled its share of the lucrative prime-time audience.”

Rutten also quoted Scott Safon’s on-record comments to the New York Times earlier this year when Safon – executive Vice President for CNN Worldwide and the man responsible for managing the domestic US television network HLN – said: “I want to replicate this [Anthony trial coverage] when the Conrad Murray trial starts.”

Rutten’s closing question in the same article, leaves no doubts as to his thoughts about the above statement by Safon: “Is Turner Broadcasting’s abuse of its power as a news organization through the biased coverage of criminal trials really any less a betrayal of public trust than the Murdoch tabloid scandal now underway in Britain? ”

Good question. Is it?

British media commentator and academic, Professor Brian Cathcart, who teaches Journalism at Kingston University, London, and founded the highly successful Hacked Off Campaign – an organization launched in the wake of the still on-going hacking scandal that continues to rock Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp organization on both sides of the pond – recently wrote damningly about the behavior of the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper in its coverage of British Actor, Hugh Grant.

In his article, ‘The Mail and Hugh Grant: flagrant intimidation’, Cathcart described how Grant, rehabilitated and now [pretty excellent, actually] media ethics activist, had been subjected to intrusive and personalized targeting by the Daily Mail, as a direct result of Grant’s public denouncements against media overstepping of individual’s Privacy rights and illegal trading in confidential information by specific outlets.

Cathcart wrote: “The Mail’s great broadside against Grant has nothing to do with morality and nothing to do with the perils of fatherhood outside wedlock. It is simply an act of intimidation. The actor has been a prominent critic of privacy intrusion by the press and the Mail has chosen to make an example of him.”

It is saying to any prominent person who challenges the press: if you speak out, this is what we will do to you. One of the most vivid insights into the culture of the old News of the World was a conversation from 2002 that happily was recorded for posterity. “That is what we do,” a news editor told a reporter, “we go out and destroy other people’s lives.”

The Mail plays the same game, and its technique in this case is willful distortion. Take three facts and from those facts derive a dozen assumptions, all of which fit your agenda. From those assumptions weave a narrative as demeaning as can be contrived, and then pile the outrage on top. Never mind that the same three facts could provide the foundation of five entirely different narratives, leading to entirely different perspectives on those involved.

This is horrifying and it is happening. Now.

Many public figures, those that dare to put their heads above the parapet to address what Cathcart calls the Daily Mail’s desperation “to blunt the message that the unregulated mass-circulation press – the press that gave us hacking, the McCann case, the Christopher Jefferies case and so many others – is a threat to the health of our society,” are now finding themselves subjected to similar invasive ’stories’ by certain outlets in the British press.

Tellingly, the reason why the hacking scandal grabbed then pummelled international headlines was because the now defunct News of the World newspaper didn’t limit its criminality to British Princes, celebrities and politicians. It went much further.

Nick Davies – the phenomenal, British, newspaper journalist at the Guardian newspaper, who had been tracking and reporting the evidence against the News of the World for over 4 years prior to the Milly Dowler breakthrough story – broke that shocking story to the world on July 4, 2011. Davies’s story revealed, harrowingly, how missing schoolgirl Milly’s Dowler’s family – desperately waiting for news of Milly – had thought she was still alive when the previously full in-box of voicemails on Milly’s mobile was suddenly able to receive voicemails.

Naturally, Milly’s family assumed Milly was deleting the old voicemails. Their hope and their joy was to be shortlived however. As it turned out, the person deleting voicemails left for Milly was Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator employed, until very recently, by yet-to-be-determined, senior staff at the News of the World. The reason? To obtain the inside scoop on the Milly Dowler ‘story’ in order to publish and sell newspapers.

The British public were disgusted. One, because the abuse of Milly Dowler and her family’s privacy is, and will remain, a universally agreed low for journalism, but also, secondly, because they perceived it as involving an ‘ordinary person.’ One of them. This distinction between what is considered appropriate journalistic ethics in relation to an ‘ordinary’ individual or a ‘celebrity/public’ individual was made time and time again by commentators in, and by the media, over the weeks and months that followed the Milly Dowler story.

The truth, of course, is simpler. When it comes to damaging, false, explicit or any other serious matter; the things that hurt someone who is famous will equally hurt someone who is not. In fact, the fall-out is often more acute when the person (s) concerned is famous. If a person is considered too privileged or ‘lucky,’ the world will turn on their ‘missteps’ quicker than you can say Tiger Woods.

The distinction between the rights and wrongs of press intrusion into so-called ‘private’ and ‘public’ individuals is a baseless one. Apart from clearly stated instances of public interest, there is no justification for the kind of gross overstepping of media ethics the News of the World – and others – engaged in, and perhaps still do.

None of the above was news to Fleet Street – or Michael Jackson fans.

For years, we have watched helplessly while Michael was slowly dismembered and misrepresented by inflated, inaccurate incendiary stories that had no basis in fact. Word by word, headline by headline, the pressure on one human being was intolerable. Michael wrote about it, sang about it, talked about it. But no-one was listening. No-one but those close to him and us, the fans.

The reason Michael Jackson was treated this way? As always, the bottom line – money. Careers were made, air-time was filled, TV shows shlocked viewers and copy was sold. The reality is; that with few exceptions, if one looks at the media’s coverage over the past twenty plus years of not only the legal challenges Michael faced during his life but also typical news stories, there are relatively few examples of any serious attempt to inform and neutrally cover Michael’s life.

In death, it was no different.

Across-the-board media bombarded the public with stories from opportunists eager for their 15 minutes of fame. From would-be ‘I’m-the’real’daddy’ contenders, to ‘here-buy-my-book/DVD/tapes,’ to Maureen Orth on June 26, 2011, unbelievably telling then host at MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, Matt Lauer, that “I think this ending is great for Michael”, and “He would have wanted to go out this way,” to ‘exclusives’ from everyone and anyone that ever set eyes on Michael Jackson; the queue around the block for face-time by these characters was unprecedented, and inevitably – paid for by media outlets.

During Conrad Murray’s trial, in a million bars and workplaces around the world, from sofas and news-stands, advert screens at Times Square, New York and Piccadilly Circus, London – Michael’s life and death was autopsied by the very people that in an authentic, larger understanding of cause and effect played a critical role in exacerbating the context that would eventually bring June 25, 2009 into being.

This trial was yet another opportunity for the media to continue making money at the expense of Michael’s character – and the truth. For weeks we have watched and listened while the media ignored the clear facts of Michael Jackson’s autopsy and toxicology reports and the reality that he died from acute propofol intoxication, preferring to speculate about issues unrelated to the crucial events of June 25, 2009.

On a daily basis and almost uniformly, sweeping, assumptive judgements were made about Michael Jackson’s life and character by large sections of the media in order to draw eyeballs, ratings and clicks to their outlets. As a result, they painted a picture of Michael Jackson far removed from the reality of a man, in fact, being inadequately treated by the doctor paid to care for him.

It is a well documented fact, corroborated by numerous statements by both Michael Jackson and those who knew or treated him over the years, that Michael suffered from the nightmare of insomnia. It is also a fact that Conrad Murray’s choice to ignore rudimentary safety procedures when administering a demonstrably inappropriate drug to treat that condition led directly to Michael’s death.

While most of the media or independent commentators did not focus on these facts, there were exceptions. Beth Karas, Anthony McCartney, Linda Deutsch and the Associated Press, Law Med, Dr Barry Friedberg, Sky’s Michael McParland, Michael C. Barnes, Dr Patrick Treacy, Matt Semino, Thomas Mesereau, and those of Michael’s friends who spoke up for him – voices that avoided easy soundbites and paid attention to the facts Michael Jackson’s toxicology and autopsy reports established.

Mostly, however, lowest common denominators like TMZ, Harvey Levin, Bill Handel, Dr Drew, legal anachronism Brian Oxman, and the UK’s Kelvin Mackenzie and The Daily Mail chose to either deliberately or simply incompetently disregard those facts.

The misreporting of the circumstances surrounding Michael’s death began just hours after he died. Willful ignorance of the facts was typified by a story in Britain’s Sun newspaper on June 29, 2009, which quoted extensively from a fake autopsy report. The content of this bogus report was then replicated all over the world.

As well as referring to a “network of scars” on Michael’s face, which turned out not to exist, the Sun’s story spoke of a chest “wound” supposedly caused by recent skin cancer surgery. The Sun further claimed that the bridge of Michael’s nose had “vanished,” his nose had “caved in” on one side, and that he had cuts on his back and puncture marks all over his body. Each and every one of these claims would prove to be false.

In fact Coroner Dr. Christopher Rogers, testifying for the prosecution in Murray’s trial stated that Michael Jackson was “healthier than the average person his age.”

The toxicology report established that there was no Demerol in Michael Jackson’s system when he died. In addition, no evidence of Demerol withdrawal was feasibly proven by the defense at this trial. Yet this red herring was continually offered up as mitigation for Murray’s criminality by many in the media for one reason: generating controversial content in order to drive up ratings.

For years Michael Jackson said he had Vitiligo. An inhibitive and exposing condition for anyone – but even more so for a black man whose life was lived so publicly – how painful must it have been to be continually accused of ‘hating’ his own race when in fact the truth was anything but?

That Michael Jackson had the condition of vitiligo was established as a matter of record by the autopsy report of June 26, 2009.

With this verdict we hope that people around the world take a long, hard look at those responsible for informing them with accurate facts – and further, asks serious questions about the growing trend in high profile trials for lawyers to use PR teams to feed deliberately distracting stories to waiting outlets while juries have yet to be chosen.

We would like to be clear:

We welcome this verdict and applaud those who fought for it and awarded it; but it is not the whole story of how we arrived here.

Somewhere along the way that basic human right we all share – the right to be treated with dignity and decency and recognized as a thinking, feeling individual – was taken away from Michael Jackson. And while it was happening the only people raising the alarm were Michael’s family and friends and us – the fans.

In 1993, widespread checkbook-journalism incentivized a parade of disgruntled ex-employees and other dubious ‘sources’ selling their ‘eye-witness’ accounts on prime time.

In the subsequent trial of 2005, all of these ‘sources’ would prove to be utterly without credibility.

Over the next 18 years a coterie of singularly one-sided media commentators – namely Diane Dimond, Maureen Orth, Nancy Grace, Gloria Allred, Joy Behar, Bill O’Reilly and the rest – were given carte blanche to say and write whatever they wanted to about Michael Jackson without attention to fact or journalist ethics. The result? An industry that should – and did – know better, gave credence to the patently extortionate claims of 1993 and the maliciously motivated charges of 2003/5.

After Michael’s death those who actually knew him came forward to reveal the truth of who Michael Jackson was and who he had been all along. During the trial, America and the world heard for itself in an illicit recording made by Conrad Murray, the slurred but humanitarian intentions of a man who even in his lowest moment was thinking of others and what he could do to help them.

In the rush by many to diminish an exceptional man’s legacy and a lifetime spent giving, the secondary issue in this trial – the agony of long-term insomnia – has been forgotten. Michael Jackson died because of the profoundly egregious actions and inaction of Conrad Murray on June 25, 2009; but what about what was done to him for decades before?

Could any of us have lived Michael’s childhood, dealt with the competing demands of uber fame and the longing for normalcy, empathized on such a core level with children in need – while yet being so reviled, used and betrayed? Could any of us have stood it? Or would we too have been confused, frightened and in need of help? Is it any wonder that Michael Jackson suffered from insomnia?

Yet amid the frenzied speculation the one question no-one is asking is: Why?

It seems a media that was content to conscript public opinion and so effectively hystericize it to act as judge and jury when Jackson was being turned into an object of worldwide derision, is now reluctant to turn that same spotlight on itself. Where is the frank self-examination of that behavior? Behavior, which – if those who participated in it are honest – know was little more than legitimized abuse by an industry that refuses all attempts to regulate itself.

During this trial an implausible defense team overtly banking on the nearly 20 years of ignorance and embedded misinformation that many still believe about a proven, innocent man, asked America and opinion around the world to swallow the premise that Michael Jackson would actually pay a man to inadequately monitor him and provide a less than 25% chance that he would wake up and see his children again.

Thankfully, 12 men and women saw through this absurdity and handed down a verdict that reflected the facts and evidence presented by an outstanding prosecution team.

Meanwhile the one question the media is still refusing to ask; what brought a man who gave so much joy, art, and selfless example, to a place where his best-case scenario was nightly oblivion – remains unanswered and unexplored? Predictably, the echo chamber continues to rattle with the wrong questions, the prurient questions. The ones that go underneath a picture of a dead, naked man on a gurney.

Is Conrad Murray the cause of Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009? Undeniably, and now legally, yes. But let us not forget what came before and those who share collusive responsibility for that.

~

What the world needs to read and watch:

Journalist Charles Thomson: One of the Most Shameful Episodes in Journalistic History

Joseph Vogel, author of  ‘Man in the Music: The Creative Life and work of Michael Jackson

Man Behind the Myth by Walking Moon Studios.

_ _ _

NOTE: By way of credit, readers should know I did not write this post-verdict reflection. I can’t say who did but rest assured the writer(s) are very loyal MJ fans and advocates who spent considerable time putting this beautiful article together in response to the verdict.

Tags:


Oct 03 2011

Some thoughts on the first week of the Conrad Murray trial

Category: Justice,Photos,VideosSeven @ 12:09 am

Hmm . . .

Hmm . . .

I have a few thoughts to share about the first week of the Conrad Murray trial. There has been not one day of this trial thus far that didn’t feature something shocking, heartbreaking, or just plain disgusting. I am not going to give a detailed analysis of each witness but rather just share some thoughts about various aspects of the week’s proceedings.

If you want a detailed and well-done transcription of each day’s proceedings and each witness’s answers to examination by the prosecution and cross-examination by the defense, you can find those at MJJ Community.

Keep in mind that the prosecution will present their witnesses first, subject to cross-examination by the defense. Later in the trial, the defense will present their own witnesses subject to cross-examination by the prosecution. A partial list of witnesses the prosecution may to call to testify (or have called since we’ve gone through day 4 of the trial at this point) follows below. Witnesses who have already testified may be re-called to testify further during the trial.

I say ‘partial list‘ because the name “Bob Johnson” is not on this list. He was called on Day 3 (Thursday). Bob Johnson is Director of Regulatory Affairs Clinical Research and Quality Assurance at Nonin Medical. He was called to discuss various models of pulse and blood oxygen monitoring equipment. Also, “Kathy Jorrie” is not on this list. She testified on Day 2 (Wednesday). Kathy Jorrie is a lawyer with Luce, Forward, Hamilton, Scripps and is in charge of their LA office. She was contracted by AEG to draft a contract for services involving Conrad Murray and MJ. She began drafting contract in May-June timeframe after being contacted by Tim Wooley of AEG. That contract was never signed by Michael or AEG.

1. Kenneth “Kenny” Ortega – Director/choreographer who was helping to direct Jackson’s upcoming “This Is It” world tour

2. Paul Gongaware – AEG Live CEO

3. Michael Williams – Michael Jackson’s Personal Assistant

4. Faheem Muhammad – Head of Michael Jackson’s security detail

5. Alberto Alvarez – Michael Jackson’s director of logistics

6. Kai Chase – Michael Jackson’s personal chef

7. Richard Senneff – Los Angeles fire fighter/paramedic

8. Martin Blount – Los Angeles fire fighter/paramedic

9. Harry Daliwal – Regional retail sales manager with AT&T, retrieved text
messages from Murray’s phone

10. Jeff Strohn – Records custodian for Sprint/Nextel

11. Dr. Richelle Cooper – Physician who was working at the UCLA Medical
Center emergency room the day Michael Jackson was brought in

12. Dr. Thao Nguyen – Cardiology fellow at UCLA, she was present in the
emergency room when Jackson was brought in

13. Dan Myers – Senior Homicide Detective with the LAPD

14. Sade Anding – Houston cocktail waitress who dated Conrad Murray, she
was on the phone with Murray when Michael Jackson went into distress

15. Bridgette Morgan – Friend of Conrad Murray, she called him 30 minutes
before Jackson went into distress

16. Nicole Alvarez – Actress and ex-girlfriend of Conrad Murray, with whom
he had a child in April 2009

17. Elissa Fleak – Investigator for the Los Angeles County Coroner

18. Stephen Marx – DEA computer forensics examiner

19. Tim Lopez – Pharmacist, testified Conrad Murray purchased several drugs including propofol

20. Jaime Lintemoot – Senior Criminalist for the Los Angeles County Coroner

21. Orlando Martinez – LAPD Detective

22. Dr. Christopher Rogers – Forensic pathologist with the L.A. County
Coroner’s Office

23. Dr. Richard Ruffalo – Anesthesiologist and clinical pharmacologist

Day 1 of opening arguments started out being emotionally devastating. Besides playing a May 10th recording of Michael found on Murray’s iPhone in which Michael was obviously very sedated, a macabre photo of Michael deceased and lying on a gurney was presented by the prosecution to the court. I understand the value of this image and this recording to the prosecution’s case but it was nonetheless very hard for fans and certainly Michael’s family to see this image and to hear Michael in that condition. This recording is not the last one we’ll hear, the prosecution tells us, and some reports are that there are many more recordings like this. Why would Conrad Murray record a patient in this condition? Worse, why would he do it multiple times? We can guess that Murray intended to sell these recordings to the media. Or, that he intended to use them for blackmail purposes in case Michael fired him or for some other reason if things weren’t going well. Perhaps he wanted material for a book he was planning to write or for a film he was planning to do. Over the years many people have unethically obtained photos or recordings of Michael and sold them to the media for tidy sums of money. Else, what other reason would a doctor make such a recording of a patient? If this is legal, it certainly is not ethical.

If this doctor was medicating Michael this heavily, how are we to believe he was attempting to “wean” him off of anything, as he claimed? Further, how are we to believe that Murray thought it was good practice to continue to medicate Michael in this fashion for weeks, insisting to all and sundry that he was “in great shape and perfectly OK”, as more than one witness in testimony this week stated? Clearly that was not the case — and it was not the case because of Conrad Murray. Prosecutor David Walgren stated in opening statements that this shows that Murray knew the effect of his treatment on Michael, yet continued to order propofol in very large quantities, sent to his girlfriend’s home.

Michael said:

We have to be phenomenal. When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.

Go. Go. I’ve never seen nothing like this. Go. It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world. I’m taking that money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world, Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital.

It’s important to note that even in this sedated condition, Michael Jackson’s primary thoughts were still of others – of building a hospital for children. I hope that the public doesn’t miss this point when considering this heartbreaking recording. There can be no doubt that in Michael Jackson’s heart and soul, he was always about helping others and that the ability to do so was what drove him to be the successful entertainer that he was. Remember that he once told an upset Frank DiLeo during a hospital visit with very sick and possibly terminally ill children: “This is why we do this. It’s not about the stage, it’s about helping others, making them feel good.”  This is what Michael lived – and died for.

On Tuesday (Day 1), Kenny Ortega testified that on June 19th, 2009, Michael was threatened that if he didn’t start showing up at rehearsals, they would cancel the shows. The same has been stated by Michael’s brothers Randy (in a television interview on CNN) and Jermaine (in his book, which I just finished reading tonight). In Jermaine’s book he writes that Ortega saw something on the last day of rehearsals at The Forum on June 19th that greatly concerned him. That would have been that Ortega saw Michael in a state he desccribed as “chilled, lost and a little incoherent“. Ortega states he gave MJ some food, wrapped him in blankets and gave him a heater. Michael, according to Ortega, asked him if he could sit and watch the performance, with Travis Payne filling in for MJ. Ortega agreed. Ortega emphasizes that he’d never seen MJ like that, and that he suggested Michael go home.

Then, on June 20th, Ortega is asked to go to MJ’s house for a meeting with Randy Phillips, Frank Dileo, Conrad Murray and MJ. The topic is that Murray is upset that Ortega sent Michael home on the 19th. Murray tells Ortega that he should stop being an amateur doctor, and leave that to Murray. Ortega clarifies that he did not make the decision to send Michael home on the rehearsal date 6/19, it was a mutual decision between Ortega and MJ. Ortega states that Murray’s demeanor is stern.

On June 21st, Ortega sent Randy Phillips a letter which read:

Randy

I will do whatever I can to be of help with this situation. If you need me to come to the house, just give me a call in the morning. My concern is now that we’ve brought the doctor into the fold and have played the tough love, now or never card is that the artist may be unable to rise to the occasion due to real emotional stuff. He appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening. He had a terrible case of the chills, was trembling, rambling and obsessing. Everything in me says he should be psychologically evaluated. If we have any chance at all to get him back in the light. It’s going to take a strong therapist to help him through this as well as immediate physical nurturing. I was told by our chereographer that during the artists costume fitting with his designer tonight they noticed he’s lost more weight. As far as i can tell there is no one taking care responsibility (caring for) for him on a daily basis. Where was his assistant tonight? Tonight I was feeding him, wrapping him in blankets to warm his chills, massaging his feet to calm him and calling his doctor. There were four security guards outside his door, but no one offering him a cup of hot tea. Finally it’s important for everyone to know , I believe that he really wants this. I twould shatter him, Break his heart if we pulled the plug. He’s terribly frightened it’s all going to go away. He asked me repeatedly tonight if i was going to leave him. He was practically begging for my confidence. It broke my heart. He was like a lost boy. There still may be a chance he can rise to the occasion if we get him the help he needs.

Sincerely,
Kenny

Letter Kenny Ortega wrote to Randy Phillips of AEG on June 20th, 2009

Letter Kenny Ortega wrote to Randy Phillips of AEG on June 20th, 2009

Given this information, I have the same question on my mind that Jermaine and many others have on theirs: How is it that when so many others noticed there was a problem, that Michael was losing a lot of weight, was incoherent at times, was unable to perform, that AEG did not notice this? And why in God’s name were these shows not canceled? I realize that Michael may not have not wanted them canceled. This would have meant he would lose everything. I wrote about this previously when I illustrated how AEG had Michael in financial bondage. And it’s true. They did. The way the contract reads, AEG would have taken his home (which they were paying the rent on), his children’s tutors (whom they were paying), and the most valuable thing he owned – his music catalog (his half of the Sony/ATV catalog) in order to extract the cost of the advances they’d put forth for these shows and for their financial loss due to their cancelation. I was truly a “do or die” situation for Michael. And unfortunately, the latter is what occurred.

But, had these shows been canceled given the obvious signs that Michael was in no physical or psychological condition to complete them, he might still be alive today. Was the Sony/ATV catalog worth his life? That is a key question — and it seems it has been for quite some time. Michael Jackson feared for his life for years because of that catalog. He apparently felt that some might try to kill him for it. It could be argued in moral, sentient terms that what this catalog costed his family and this world is far more than what the catalog itself is actually worth in terms of mere dollars.

From wrongful death suit Jacksons have against AEG. I believe June 18th date may be incorrect, as it was said in testimony to be June 19th

From wrongful death suit Jacksons have against AEG. I believe June 18th date may be incorrect, as it was said in testimony to be June 19th

Also from Jackson's wrongful death suit against AEG - stating that they would recoup their costs by taking Michael's catalogue

Also from Jackson's wrongful death suit against AEG - stating that they would recoup their costs by taking Michael's catalogue

Also on Day 1 and Day 2 (Tuesday/Wednesday) Paul Gongaware of AEG testified. He said that initially Conrad Murray wanted $5 million dollars per year to work for Michael. Murray did not solicit any counteroffers until he was told via Michael Amir Williams that Michael himself said to offer him $150,000/month. Murray accepted that still-outrageous offer. I know we deify doctors in the United States but I still find such amounts stunning, particularly for such poor medical care as Murray apparently provided not only to Michael, but to another patient who testified on Day 4 (Friday). That patient, whose name is Robert Russell, was also abandoned on and before June 25th, 2009 by Conrad Murray. Russell had to threaten legal action to even get a phone call from Murray about his continuing medical care. Prior to this, Murray had informed Russell that was going to work exclusively for Michael Jackson but after that, Murray seemed to completely lose interest in Robert Russell, prompting the legal threats from Russell to Murray’s offices if he did not get a response. Murray finally called Mr. Russell on the morning of June 25th, 2009, but then Murray went on to then abandon yet another patient – Michael Jackson – after apparently pumping him full of benzodiazepines and propofol.

Conrad Murray had been shown to have ordered the approximate equivalent of four gallons of propofol before June 25th,2009. And again, for someone trying to “wean” Michael Jackson off of an alleged addiction to propofol this seems rather excessive, not to mention that propofol isn’t a physically addictive drug so this whole concept is logistically beyond comprehension.

Days 2 and 3 saw Murray’s defense attorneys badger Michael Amir Williams, Faheem Muhammed, Alberto Alvarez, and Kai Chase seemingly about why they didn’t call 911 when Murray called them, starting with Michael Amir Williams, who was 30-40 minutes away when he received Murray’s frantic call. Williams called Faheem Muhammed and Alberto Alvaraz to go to the property and into Michael’s bedroom to see what was going on. What good would it do for anyone other than Murray to call 911 if no one else but Murray knew the situation? Don’t let Murray’s defense cause people to lose sight of these simple logistics. The bottom line is that Conrad Murray was the only one who could or should have called 911.

When a doctor is in charge of a patient and something goes wrong, it is primarily the doctor’s responsibility to call 911 immediately if (s)he is not already in a clinic or hospital. If (s)he is in a clinic or hospital, then the doctor should call an immediate code Red for assistance. If the doctor instead chooses to call everyone else on the planet instead of calling 911 and also does not instruct or fails to instruct anyone else to call 911, then 911 will not be called because others will follow the doctor’s orders. That Murray did not immediately call 911 himself is flatly inexcusable. No one else but Conrad Murray was responsible for making this critical call, yet he failed in even that basic action.

On Day 4, paramedic Richard Senneff testified that had Murray called 911 immediately, there was a good chance they could have saved Michael Jackson and got him breathing again. However, rather than doing so, Murray chose instead to call and have security personnel call 911 when they arrived, but only after instructing them to scoop up propofol bottles so that Murray could (unbeknownst to the security guards, they were just following the orders of the doctor in charge) dispose of this evidence. It appears that Murray took at least 20 minutes to even think of making that call. By that time, it was far too late for Michael. Worse, Murray lied to Senneff about when 911 was called. When Senneff asked Murray how long Michael had been dead before the call was made, Murray stated that 911 was called right away. Senneff could tell, he said, that this was a lie because Michael’s eyes were dry and his body was cold to the touch.

Here is a recap of paramedic Richard Senneff’s testimony:

* Richard Senneff said Murray told him he called 911 the second he realized MJ was in distress, when in fact there was an approximate 20 minute delay. Senneff said had Murray called earlier there was a good chance EMTs could have restarted Michael’s heart.

* Senneff said when he arrived at the scene MJ was already dead.

* According to Senneff Murray lied when he told paramedics at the scene MJ had no underlying condition.

* When Senneff asked him what medications MJ was on, Murray lied again, saying “none.” then admitted he had given MJ a sedative, Lorazepam.

* After almost 40 minutes and several unsuccessful rounds of starter drugs, the dispatcher at UCLA decides to call time of death… but Murray insists on continuing.

* Paramedics decide to take Michael to the hospital. After getting him into the ambulance, Senneff goes back to MJ’s room to retrieve his equipment…. that’s when he says, he sees Murray picking up items off the floor.

* Senneff said there was no sign of life at any point during the 47 minutes he treated MJ.

* He also testified that at NO point did Murray ever mention the word Propofol.

That Michael could have been saved if Murray had acted appropriately and called 911 immediately rather than calling practically everyone else on the planet first, and insisting on hiding evidence first, was really hard to hear. My friend Reverend Catherine Gross put it this way:

Defense is questioning why Kai didn’t get security but NOT why Murray didn’t call 911? Really? You gotta be kidding me. . . the only person who knew there was a life and death emergency was MURRAY.. not Kai, Amir, Farheem, Prince.

How painful it was to watch Alberto Alvarez as the tape of him calling 911 for help was replayed. I felt so badly for him on the stand. It was apparent that this was a traumatic event for this man and reliving it in that courtroom was very difficult. Alvarez has had offers from many media outlets (six-digit offers) for interviews but has wisely refused them all. At the same time, he testified that he has had trouble finding work and was financially strapped. Remember too, that I’ve previously mentioned in various different articles here that the media has offered Karen Faye, Jennifer Batten, Patrick Treacy, David Nordahl, and others huge sums of money to tell stories (true or not) about Michael Jackson. And I mentioned above how many people would obtain photos or recordings of Michael and sell them to the media, Conrad Murray possibly being one of those people since he had recorded Michael in an inebriated state that Murray himself put him in. I know that this is how the media operates. It is legalized bribery and I salute those who refuse to participate in it.

Murray’s defense also has annoyed the judge by writing Alvarez’s timeline on a whiteboard – incorrectly. Chernoff tried his best to knock Alvarez off of his timeline when Alvarez would say one thing while Chernoff would write and repeat something else. Chernoff further attempted to bully Alvarez into admitting that he could not possibly accomplish all the tasks Alvarez said he had upon entering the property, in such a short time. But this was an emergency situation. And, Alvarez’s response was: “I’m very efficient, sir.” At some points, jurors could not see this white board and that was another issue. Chernoff was also admonished for making editorial commentary to witnesses ie: “well that’s interesting but..”  Both Chernoff and Nareg Gourjian’s style in the courtroom seemed somewhat thuggish or perhaps borderline mocking at times, bringing back memories of school bullies in the First Grade.

Chernoff has openly admitted that he has no experience with high-profile cases such as this one and that was particularly evident on Friday (Day 4) of the trial, when someone else from his law office did an interview with The Today Show that morning, discussing the case and Alberto Alvarez’s testimony on television. This led to Judge Pastor having a “come to Jesus” meeting with counsel (a very loud and very animated one I understand), admonishing them that they or no one on their team is to speak to media about this case. Pastor issued a gag order and will have a contempt hearing with Matthew Alford, the member of Murray’s defense team who gave the interview, on November 15th.

Also at the end of Day 2 (Wednesday) Judge Pastor delivered what has been described as a “stinging lecture” to prosecution and defense teams. According to this article, he “ticked them off for being late in the morning session, for comments in court “not appropriate” to the trial and snippy remarks between each other.“. It has been stated that defense counsel was particularly guilty of these behaviors.

At the top of this article, I mentioned the pulse oximeter. Bob Johnson of Noni Medical testified that Conrad Murray had used a cheaper model of pulse/blood oxygen monitor that is not meant for continuous monitoring. In other words the device was inappropriate for the treatment Murray was giving Michael (anesthesia). No matter however, because we learned Murray did not use the device at all anyway until after Michael was already dead. Alberto Alvarez testified that only after he arrived and they put Michael on the floor, did Murray put that device on Michael’s finger. Someone might mention to Conrad Murray that this device doesn’t work like that. It’s meant to monitor a patient who is still alive and meant as a tool to help keep the patient alive. However, Murray did not see fit to utilize the device at all until after his patient was dead. The sequence of events as told by Alvarez are as follows. Notice that no pulse oximeter was observed on Michael when Alvarez arrived. Murray only placed it on him after Michael was clearly already deceased:

* AA saw CM giving chest comprehensions to MJ. MJ was in the bed. AA saw MJ lying on his back, his hands extended out to his sides with palms up, his eyes and mouth was open. His face was slightly towards the left. CM was using one hand (his left hand) giving MJ chest comprehensions.

* CM said to him they need to get him to a hospital. AA was walking towards the bed and reaching for his phone in his pocket. Prince and Paris followed him into the room, they were behind him. Paris screamed out “Daddy”. Paris was crying. CM said “don’t let them see their dad like this”. AA ushered the children out the door and told them that everything will be okay and not to worry.

* When returned AA asked CM what happened. CM said “he had a bad reaction”. AA was at the foot of the bed.

* AA saw some sort of a plastic device on his penis to collect urine. AA now knows that it was a condom catheter. AA did not see any monitoring equipment, no ventilation equipment. AA only saw a clear plastic tubing for Oxygen attached to MJ’s nose. AA saw an IV stand.

* CM got some vials from the night stand and asked AA to put them in a bag. AA held out the bag and CM dropped the vials. CM told AA to place that plastic grocery bag to the brown bag. Then CM told AA to get the bag in the IV stand and put it in the blue bag. AA says there was a bottle in the saline bag.

* Walgren: “Why were you following these instructions?” AA ” I believed CM had MJ’s best intentions at mind, I didn’t question his authority. I thought we were getting ready to go to the hospital”.

* IV stand has 2 hooks. One hook had a saline bag, CM didn’t ask AA to remove that one. AA was only asked to remove the saline bag with the bottle. AA saw milky white substance at the bottom of the saline bag.

* Walgren shows the saline bag pictures to AA. The bad has a cut, AA says he didn’t see the cut on june 25th. Walgren shows the cut to the jurors. Walgren then shows empty 100ml Propofol bottle. Walgren replaces the bottle in the saline bag through the slit shows it to AA and the jurors.

* AA says all these events happened very quickly. AA says he was obeying CM’s instructions.

* 911 call is played in court. Alberto visibly upset and looks like about to cry when listening to the call.

* AA and CM moved MJ from bed to the floor. AA saw a clear plastic tube coming from the bag on the IV coming to MJ’s leg. CM removed it when they moved MJ. CM took pulse oximeter from a bag and clipped it to MJ’s finger.

We also learned (again) that Murray did not mention to any paramedics or to anyone at UCLA that he had given Michael propofol on June 25th, 2009. By the time paramedics arrived, Murray had hidden the evidence of what he’d done. It wasn’t until two days later when Murray returned all lawyered up and was interviewed by LAPD investigators that he mentioned having given propofol to Michael.

If you’re not on their mailing list, MJTruthNow has provided the following information for those wanting to avoid establishment media spin and who want to avoid giving such outlets ratings:

The public should wake up, trust their own ability to evaluate what they see and hear, and discard these cut-rate pundits, self-styled experts and fakirs whose purpose is not to inform, but to lead viewers by the nose to advertisers. We do not need Grace and her one dimensional cartoon colleagues — Velez-Mitchell, Behar, Positan, Ryan, Dimond, and Pop Doc Drew to explain the Conrad Murray Trial, what we are seeing and how we should feel about it. Anyone interested in seeing the Justice System at work and unfiltered should watch on free streaming video and come to your own conclusions.

Try the two links below for this experience. It’s commercial free, opinion free, discussion free, spin free, and Grace-free. This is where you are free to make your own decision about what you are hearing and learning.

Live Stream Link 1:
http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/livevideo?id=8361777

Live Stream Link 2:
http://www.ustream.tv/conradmurraytrial

For a trial schedule, go to this link:
http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Conrad-Murray-trial:-Schedule–details-and-live-stream/8368739

You may also wish to read the documents and transcripts of the trial. Records of the day’s court proceedings will be slightly delayed as verbal proceedings require transcription by a person. Please be patient until they become available. You may access them at this link:

Trial Transcripts
http://lasuperiorcourt.org/courtnews/ui/HPDocumentList.aspx?title=Peo+v+Conrad+Murray&casenum=SA073164&date=2010-05-04

Please do not give HLN the satisfaction of high ratings and the money they generate.

Gatorgirl aka Nikki has written a couple of very interesting articles about Day 1 and Day 2 of the trial. You can find those here and here.

Finally, some interesting interviews and comments this past week. We’ve seen Tom Mesereau on Joy Behar, Dr. Patrick Treacy on Dr. Drew, and Dr. Barry Friedberg this past week commenting talking about the case. And Michael’s friend Lou Ferrigno remembers feeling like Michael was “under tremendous pressure.

Let’s look at some of what they had to say:

OK, if we look at the facts… why is propofol so popular with anesthesiologists? If you give injection of it, there is no antidote, but it only last four minutes and it wears off. So, if he took a 20 mil syringe himself, the most he can give himself a shot of is 200 milligrams, which would only keep him asleep for four minutes and he would wake up again. So, it is almost physically impossible that Michael Jackson could have killed himself.

-Dr. Patrick Treacy, who treated Michael in Ireland in 2006-07

Leaving a sleep deprived, propofol-d­emanding Jackson in a room with propofol was like leaving a pyromaniac in a room with matches & failing to anticipate a match might get lit.

No judgment whatsoever­.

FYI…ther­e is no such thing as a lethal dose of propofol, even if Jackson somehow did open the crude infusion device to self-medic­ate.

The only lethal thing about propofol is its tendency to cause disruption­s in the airway & breathing.

Many critically ill ICU patients receive propofol safely for days on end because they are being mechanical­ly ventilated­.

The only ‘lethal’ thing about propofol is the failure to watch & monitor the patient’s airway & breathing and intervene when appropriat­e.

Read the Michael Jackson chapter in ‘Getting Over Going Under, 5 things you MUST know before anesthesia­.’

-Dr. Barry L. Friedberg, board-certified anesthesiologist

He hugged me and said ‘take care of yourself, I love you’. It gave me a funny feeling because I knew something was wrong. I knew he was under tremendous pressure and that kind of concerned me.

-Lou Ferrigno, ‘The Incredible Hulk‘, and Michael’s personal fitness trainer for This Is It

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It’s obviously been a really gut-wrenching Week 1 of the Conrad Murray manslaughter trial. If I can manage to find time to write a similar summary next Sunday for Week 2, I will do so. Meanwhile, I hope I can squeeze in an article or two about more pleasant subjects!

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