Jan 02 2012

Remember Me

Category: Angels,Humanitarian,VideosSeven @ 11:50 pm


The second hint...

The second hint...

I was seemingly led to create this video on New Year’s Day 2012.

I’ve had a couple of Loreena McKennitt’s CDs for years and was curiously led to revisit a song of hers called ‘Dante’s Prayer‘. I was reminded of her music because someone posted a song of hers on Facebook. So I began to listen to different song on YouTube while I was there. This other song oddly reminded me of Michael. It was a haunting remembrance. It spoke to me of Redemption. While listening, I could see images of Michael going through my mind, as I have many photos of him. I couldn’t discern or remember the title of the song. The video was part of a live performance so the title of this one wasn’t listed or I didn’t hear it. But I could hear the lyrics. Especially the phrase ‘Please remember me‘.

Thus, I went searching. Since the words ‘Please remember me‘ were haunting me in combination with the images of Michael flowing though the music, I figured that could be the title – I just couldn’t remember. I ended up on one of those lyric sites which listed all of her albums and songs. From the list, I chose one, hoping it might be the one and saving me from a trip to my rather disorganized and dusty CD stack in the other room (yes I’m that lazy and was at the computer so decided to just search online). Oddly, the first song I chose was the one: ‘Dante’s Prayer’ from her CD ‘The Book of Secrets. There it was – with those haunting lyrics. Well, that was easy! And really odd, as if I were meant to find this song – on this day.

Relenting, I went and dug out my CD of her music and listened to the song again. I was quite distracted by it.

Then, later that day, an image appeared on my computer screen – a pillow with a rose on it and a note that says ‘Please Remember Me‘. There it was. That same phrase – again. Now, I knew this was no coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidences. So I decided to try to actually create that video which was swirling around in my head.

I felt was led to this and that perhaps the entire idea for me to create this video might be from God, maybe from Michael, the Universe, or who or whatever one might want to believe. It was given to me complete in my head. It haunted me. All I had to do was bring it to life, to give it birth. I had trouble initially with my video creation software. I became very upset. I said: “well if you want me to create this thing, you need to give me tools I can do it with!“. The next day, I fumbled around online but then found right there on my system some video creation software that had been there all along. It came with the system. I had just never used it. Viola! It was much better and I was able to create the video.

There are no coincidences. Particularly when someone is led to something like this on a day like New Year’s Day. I hope the video isn’t taken down. It’s beautiful, meaningful, and certainly seems to be somehow divinely inspired. I do not profit from it – except spiritually. I hope you do too.

The message seems to be ‘Please remember me‘, of course. And, to remember all Michael Jackson taught those who knew him – through his own actions, through his own life and his ways of living and loving. While there is Redemption, we cannot live mindlessly, counting on that alone to save us. It will not, and such reliance is spiritually and ethically lazy. We must be careful what we bring to and what we leave in this world. If what we are doing doesn’t help anyone besides ourselves; if it is hurting others or our planet and the other inhabitants and living things here, then we are doing some things very wrong. We know what they are. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

About Dante Alighieri:

He created a work called ‘Divine Comedy‘. It was a poem about the Redemption of Man. There are three parts: Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.

Dante called the poem a “Comedy” (the adjective “Divine” was added later in the 14th century) because poems in the ancient world were classified as High (“Tragedy”) or Low (“Comedy”). Low poems had happy endings and were written in everyday language, whereas High poems treated more serious matters and were written in an elevated style. Dante was one of the first in the Middle Ages to write of a serious subject, the Redemption of Man, in the low and “vulgar” Italian language and not the Latin one might expect for such a serious topic.


Dante’s Prayer

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and fire

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We’ll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me
Please remember me

©Loreena McKennitt

Tags: , ,

Dec 31 2011

Happy New Year – “there will never be a time when we will cease to be”


"The birds, the bees, the infinite galaxies, rivers, mountains, clouds and valleys are all a pulsating pattern, living, breathing, alive with cosmic energy...There never was a time when I was not, or you were not, there never will be a time when we will cease to be."   Michael Jackson

"The birds, the bees, the infinite galaxies, rivers, mountains, clouds and valleys are all a pulsating pattern, living, breathing, alive with cosmic energy...There never was a time when I was not, or you were not, there never will be a time when we will cease to be." -Michael Jackson

In view of the new year, I’d like to share with you some end-of-year highlights:

You may have heard that half of the two-man team who designed Michael’s performance wardrobe for well over two decades passed away December 2nd. Dennis Tompkins wished for his passing to remain private and so it was. We were all shocked to learn almost two weeks later that he had passed. Our sympathies and compassion go out to his family and friends, not least of all his partner in business Michael Lee Bush. In memory of Dennis, MLB had some exciting news to share and left this message recently on his facebook page:

thank you all for the kind words with the passing of Dennis Tompkins I’m pround to announce “POP REGALIA-The Style of Michael Jackson” an art book dedicated to the memory of Dennis….. it will be a behind the scenes look at the art form of designing and tailoring of Michael’s costumes from our time working with The King of Pop. It will be kinda like your personal museum of his clothing. A visual feast for the eyes!!!! Fasten your seatbelts!!!!!!!! look for the upcoming page here on facebook…..

If you haven’t seen Eliza Lo’s MJ artwork you’re in for a treat. This amazing artist is a regular contributor to the Sunflowers for Michael group, donating her drawings each week to the week’s flower deliveries. Eliza also has an art book for sale containing many of her articulately detailed drawings of Michael. You can find details about “A Loving Tribute to the King of Pophere:

One of Eliza Lo's drawings of Michael

One of Eliza Lo's drawings of Michael

This hard cover book contains 137 drawings Eliza has done to honor Michael Jackson. In keeping with Michael’s legacy, all proceeds from this book will go to help underprivileged children. For information on ordering, please email: [email protected]. You can also email Marie Lim: [email protected] and Pat Peterson: [email protected]

A while back, Seth Riggs shared a bit about Michael the humanitarian – a subject oft-ignored by the establishment media, but often mentioned by those who knew him:

At one of many hospitals Michael visited.

At one of many hospitals Michael visited.

Every night the kids would come in on stretchers, so sick they could hardly hold their little heads up. Michael would kneel down at the stretchers and put his face right down beside theirs so that he could have his picture taken with them, and then give them a copy to remember the moment.

I’m a sixty-year-old man, and I couldn’t take it. I’d be in the bathroom crying. But Michael could take it, right before going on stage no less. The kids would perk right up in his presence. If it gave them a couple days’ more energy, to Michael that was worth it. As far as I’m concerned he’s a prince of the world.

He’s the most natural, loving person I’ve ever known, a very good person, as corny as that sounds,” continued Riggs, “He’ll see a picture of a baby, and if it’s a cute kid, he will go absolutely gaga over the picture.

During the tour, on his nights off, he would go into a toy store and buy ten of this and ten of that and then stay up all night long putting batteries into toys, making certain each and every one worked so that he could have them ready to give to kids backstage the next day. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about.

-Seth Riggs, Michael’s vocal coach for over 30 years

Speaking of Seth Riggs, Riggs plans to open a school in Russia. Says Riggs: “I will find a new Michael Jackson in Moscow”. I don’t believe there will ever be another Michael Jackson, but I’m sure he will find some very good talent in Russia to keep him busy and to add to the constellation of stars currently in vogue in the entertainment world.

Seth Riggs had worked with Michael Jackson for 30 years. Among those who attended his vocal studio in Hollywood were Steve Wonder, Madonna, Jenifer Lopez, Julio Iglesias, Christina Aguilera. Many Hollywood actors were also among his students. In total his students account for 135 Grammy awards and, according to Seth Riggs, “eight or nine Oscars”. Now the legendary vocal coach plans to open his school in Moscow.

Seth Riggs is very enthusiastic about Russia. It is not only some Russian songs but first of all great number of talented people he admires here. That is why I want to open my school in Moscow, he says.

Seth Riggs began to work as a vocal coach simply because he was to keep his family. When coaching many actors and pop-singers he developed his own unique technique known as Speech Level singing.

By the way when Seth was young and performed as a singer he was accompanies by a young pianist who later became known as Van Cliburn, the winner do the first Tchaikovsky piano contest in Moscow and one of the favorites of the Russian music lovers.

Seth Riggs’s school in Moscow will be headed by Victoria Belova, an actress and a vocal coach of the Gnessin State Musical academy, who undertook internship in Seth Riggs’ studio in LA. Seth also plans to come to Moscow as often as possible and besides that it is possible to give lessons via Skype. Seth recalls that he trained Michael Jackson 2 hours a day 6 days a week and on tour 3 times a day. This is the training I want for those talented people who come to our school, he says.

By the way Seth Riggs has a chance to find not only a new Michael Jackson in Russia but future Madonnas too. In particular during his visit in Moscow Riggs was impressed by a unique talent of singer Angelica Agurbash.

SOURCE: http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/12/26/62927367.html

Michael looking a bit perturbed about being asked to sign a stack of napkins.

Michael looking a bit perturbed about being asked to sign a stack of napkins.

Who knew that Michael didn’t like signing his autograph on disposable napkins? I guess it makes sense that he’d rather sign something that will last such as a pillowcase or cloth napkin, all of which he used to sign and write sweet notes to fans on.

Here’s the story told by Rusty Lee Golden (William Lee Golden’s son) of the Oak Ridge Boys:

When Michael and his brothers came out of their dressing room and saw Dad, they all broke into the chorus of “ELVIRA” as it was the #1 song in the nation at that time (pop and country). BUT…after the singing was over, Michael turned to me and said “I remember when the Oak Ridge Boys were the #1 Gospel Group. Do they still sing Gospel??” I told him that yes they did and then he went onto tell me that he LOVED Gospel music…mentioning Andrae Crouch, Rev. James Cleveland and a few others. Yes, I know that those were NOT SG artists, but remember, MJ was after all black and that’ s the type gospel music they knew. He mentioned how much his mother Katherine was also a huge fan of “Gospel Music”.

Seconds before the camera flash went off, a Jackson’s aide rushed up to MJ and handed him a Sharpie pen and about 25 or so cocktail sized napkins into his “GLOVE” and then said “Hey Mikey….the promoter wants you to sign these”. I well remember the aide getting out of the way of the shot but MJ is looking straight at him and no….not too happy. More mad than sad. After the flashes of about 10 cameras went off, Michael just sorta’ said to anyone who could hear…”Don’t we have any regular pictures to sign? I mean c’mon man…NAPKINS????”

This picture was taken on 7/31/81.

SOURCE: http://averyfineline.com/2009/07/07/rip-mj/ (see Rusty’s remarks in the comments below the photo)

Drawing by Christine Wallden, another very talented Sunflowers for Michael contributor.

Drawing by Christine Wallden, another very talented Sunflowers for Michael contributor.

If you have a few bucks that you want to donate to a wonderful project in Michael’s name, Gardner St. Elementary is collecting funds to build a Michael Jackson Music Room. Sandy Lee Scott of the very successful Sunflowers for Michael project has agreed to help raise funds for the school and has set up a facebook page to help with the effort. It’s important to note that any money donated goes straight to the school – no “middlemen”.

Sandy said:

The main item that they need is a projector which costs $3000.00. We met with Principal Kenneth Urbina at the School last week and promised him that the NYC fans will do the best we can to get this projector for the school. Once they have all the items they need, they will also have a small area in the back of the classroom set up as a Museum to honor Michael. We would appreciate any amount that you can donate to this project.

Please send your check or money order to (NO PAYPAL):

Gardner St. Elementary School
7450 Hawthorn Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90046

Attention: Marielena Armaginal

Phone: (323) 876-4710



If you have any questions, you may call Marielena at the above number or email Sandy at [email protected].

If you remember the incredible video called “Man Behind the Mythcreated by Walking Moon Studios, you might be interested to know that WMS is working on another incredible video project aiming to highlight Michael’s genius and creativity. A new video is being produced for Joe Vogel’s book “Man in the Music-The Creative Life and Work of Michel Jackson”. The producers of the video are asking for participation from the MJ community. For more information about the project and how to participate, please go to http://walkingmoonstudios.blogspot.com/ for information. Also, please pass on this information to anyone else who you think would be interested.

Heal the World for Children is an amazing charity quietly doing the work of carrying on Michael’s legacy.  They recently shared some highlights of their work in 2011:


For Earth Day, our teams all over the world cleaned up parks, planted trees with the kids and held educational sessions.

To mark Universal Children's Day or the December holiday season, our teams went to hospitals to visit the sick children with smiles and toys.

To mark Universal Children's Day or the December holiday season, our teams went to hospitals to visit the sick children with smiles and toys.

On Michael's birthday, all the cities joined in bringing joy to the children during our biggest event of the year, Children's Festival.

On Michael's birthday, all the cities joined in bringing joy to the children during our biggest event of the year, Children's Festival.

You can find Heal the World for Children on Facebook, twitter, and at their website.

Happy New Year Everyone.

For all of you, I wish you a safe, happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Dec 25 2011

“We can’t leave when there are still people in line. It’s Christmas, dude.”

Category: Children,Humanitarian,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 12:16 am


Some of you have seen this story before. Some of you haven’t. Either way, it’s a heartwarming read.  In December, 1996, Gwen Carino was a PR officer at Manila Hotel, and was assigned to head the annual Orphan’s Christmas Party where 300 children from different orphanages around Metro Manila were treated to a day of fun and surprises.  It was a big project, to be sure, and the fact that Michael Jackson found out about the event and asked to help added to the pressure (and joy!) of Gwen’s job that day!

Below, Gwen tells the story about Michael’s love and graciousness during this event (emphasis mine):

SOURCE:  http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=483815&publicationSubCategoryId=70

by By Gwen J. Cariño


Handing out a loot bag to a boy during the Orphan‘s Christmas Party held at Manila Hotel on December 1996

MANILA, Philippines – When I was a PR officer at Manila Hotel, I was assigned to head the annual Orphan’s Christmas Party where 300 children from different orphanages around Metro Manila were treated to a day of fun and surprises. It was one of the biggest projects on my plate and it was such a challenge to focus on work the day before the big event, knowing Michael Jackson was billeted in the hotel.

Two nights before, I had been fortunate to be part of his welcome line at the hotel lobby together with the rest of the PR and sales staff but was content enough to see him walk by.

The day before, a guy claiming to be Michael Jackson’s aide from Mamarao Productions came to the office. I couldn’t recall his name but he looked for the “person in charge” and said his boss had read the announcement about the event in the Dear Guest flyers we had circulated to all the rooms a week before. Michael wanted to know how he could help. His aide went up to the Penthouse and down to the PR office several times after we gave our suggestions.

Michael offered to fill up the 300 loot bags with goodies and toys, candies and chocolates. But after getting close to 50 sponsors, it was actually a problem for us to dispose of everything.

So I thought hard…how can the King of Pop meaningfully join the affair? I couldn’t possibly have him be with the kids in the palayok game or the pabitin as he might end up being mobbed! And since the annual event was really all about giving, I mustered all my courage and told the Mamarao guy that the best thing I could think of was for Michael to literally be present to help distribute the loot bags, sign autographs and pose with the children for photos. “Wow, that may not be easy. You’re talking about handing goodie bags to 300 children and I can just imagine the chaos. We’ll see, Ms. Jacinto. I’ll get back to you,” he said.

Lunch break came and it was the most hurried one I ever took in my entire life. It wasn’t until after 5 p.m. that Michael‘s aide came back and said, “Michael is more than happy to do whatever you suggest. How do we go about it tomorrow?”



I wanted to scream. I had to calm myself and regain composure as the Lizzie Maguire in me said, “Get real, get back into focus.”

We agreed that Michael would join after the games, musical program and snacks, and at the last part to give out the loot bags. My colleague Annette Africano and boss Dulce Agnir requested for additional security around the garden and the stage area as this was where we decided to distribute the gifts. We made sure the children would form an orderly line.

Then the moment arrived. It was at the Champagne Gardens on Dec. 7, 1996. I was surprised to see him walking towards us, guided by his aide. Michael came up to me as I had to brief him.

“Hi, how are you? Thanks so much for letting me in, I know I’m early ’coz I didn’t want to miss the program.”

I said, “Are you kidding? Thanks so much for volunteering! Here’s what Michael, why don’t you just sit here and watch the musical numbers before we get into the gift giving. I will have to tweak the program a bit.”

He replied, “Sure, anything you say… (pausing to look at my name tag) Gwen!”

I was stunned at how incredibly sweet and modest he was. And in my mind it was, “Oh my God, this is really happening!”

Amazing how he patiently sat through the whole program. Carol Banawa, then an Ang TV mainstay couldn’t believe MJ was watching her perform. She had her red blouse signed by him right after her number. Then followed Stefano Mori’s dance number. Later, his back up singers and dancers came up on stage followed by select kids from different orphanages who danced to the beat of Billie Jean. Oh, the smile on Michael’s face was just amazing.

Then we announced that Michael will be distributing gifts onstage. I explained to him that there’s a loot bag for the younger kids and another for the older ones and he nodded. The thrill and excitement he gave those children was incredibly touching. It was in between the gift bag distribution that I caught a glimpse of MJ, not as a performer but as a person.

It was one in the afternoon. Santa Claus (David Endriga, a friend of fellow PR officer Francis Capistrano) was with us. The heat was scourging and I was worried that Michael felt so hot with his black long-sleeved signature attire and hat.

“Are you alright Michael? We can let you take a break,” I asked.

He said, “I’m cool Gwen. Just imagine how Santa feels inside his velvet suit and beard. We’ll be fine.”

I never heard him complain or say a word about how hot it was or how long the line was. He had the most beautiful manners. He didn’t even ask for a drink or a towel to wipe his sweat but one of our banquet staff made sure he got a glass of fresh orange juice.

An hour passed and we were halfway through gift-giving when we noticed that the garden was getting filled up. Suddenly, there were people from media, politicians, officials and hotel guests including those in a wedding reception at the nearby Champagne Room who deserted the newly-weds just to get a glimpse of the King of Pop.

“Oh oh, this isn’t supposed to be, I’m so sorry,” I said.It’s all right, we’ll get through it,” Michael said smiling.

As we finished giving out the last loot bag to an 11-year-old orphan, a new line of more kids and adults formed. Michael’s bodyguard, Wayne, said. “We can leave now.”

Michael replied calmly, “We can’t leave when there are still people in line. It’s Christmas, dude.”

I felt my heart beat faster and the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood up. He wasn’t just the most electrifying performer, but the most generous person.

One of the most memorable moments was when a lady came up to him for an autograph. Laughing and holding his tummy, he said “Hey Gwen, you’ve gotta check this out.” He whispered, “It’s a blank check. The lady is making me sign on a blank check.”

We laughed hard and little did we know that it wasn’t even half of the comedy. He later showed me and Wayne other stuff people would use or pick up on the ground when they couldn’t find paper for him to sign on. One lady made him sign at the back of her elegant, designer Filipiniana gown. One teenager came up to him holding a dead leaf and another one, a popped balloon. Imagine how our laughter ballooned as well.

It was an amazing, genuine experience. At one point he asked if I was going to catch his History concert and I said “tomorrow night.”

“Oh, you’ll have a blast!” Michael told me.

At this point he became concerned about the stage as adults outnumbered the kids. His face had nervousness written all over it but he still didn’t complain. He tapped the wooden floor with his foot several times making sure it was sturdy enough not to fall apart. “I’ve experienced the stage collapse and I just want to make sure we’re all safe here,” he explained.

Half of me wanted the line to finish because we were literally melting and worried about our safety, but half of me didn’t, knowing that once the line ended, Michael will leave.

At some point it did end. I managed to get an autograph for my sisters and me before our general manager, Clem Pablo, requested him to sing Give Love on Christmas Day.

Cesar Sarino, one of the hotel’s officials, addressed his thank you note to the King of Pop. Then I saw his guards and aides whisking Michael off stage.

I said in my mind, “Oh man, I didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye.”

Suddenly, I saw Michael return on stage and say, “Thanks so much to you and your team, Gwen. This really means a lot.”

Then he held me beside him and said, “I’ll see you at the concert.”

As Michael Jackson is laid to rest and returned to pristine condition in the afterlife, these two incredible acts of the King of Pop — volunteering for charity and unselfishly spending time with the less fortunate, will forever be the way I will remember this man.

A short video of the event:

Tags: , , , ,

Dec 22 2011

“Michael is alive in each star. God bless you.”

Category: Friends,Justice,Photos,Quotes About MJ,Stars,VideosSeven @ 11:51 am


I have a few stars to share before the holidays. The first twinkler is a Michael Jackson tribute at the Carnival Rio de Janeiro (2010). In the video below, a pod suddenly appears at the front of the float which contains a Michael impersonator. The side screens are showing Michael and Janet’s ‘Scream‘ video and the portait on the back contained the inscription “Michael vive em cada estrela. Deus te abençoe.“, which means: “Michael is alive in each star. God bless you.“. If you remember, the song ‘They Don’t Care About Us‘ was filmed in Rio, in favela Dona Marta, after much resistance from the state government at the time. It turned out though, that in 2009, Billboard described the area as “now a model for social development” and stated that Michael’s influence was partially responsible for this improvement. So his filming the video for the song there was of great benefit, not detriment, as state authorities feared.

Back of the float:

Photo and caption at the back of the float

Photo and caption at the back of the float

If you haven’t seen the complete video Barry Gibb released on December 19th of he and Michael recording “All In Your Name” at Middle Ear Studios in December 2002, you must watch:

To show your support, please buy and download the music video and/or the song from his official website. This is a truly beautiful gift for Christmas this year. Thank you Barry and Michael!

We didn’t have any deep and meaningful conversations or anything, but he is very sweet. I don’t want to hear any bad things about him anymore! -Kim Wilde

Michael with Kim Wilde who opened for Michael on his Bad Tour [for 34 shows in Europe] in 1988.

Michael with Kim Wilde who opened for Michael on his Bad Tour in 1988

In April 1988 our office received a phone call from Barry Clayman Concerts asking if I would like to join Michael as opening act on his BAD Tour, due to start that May. This was incredible news and I could hardly believe that I would be appearing on the same stage for 5 months with the greatest pop performer of my generation.

The tour coincided with the release of my album, ‘Close’, and undoubtedly helped it towards sales of 2 million, with 4 big hits including ‘You came’. In fact the video for ‘You came’ (which was shot in front of the Reichstag and adjacent to the Berlin wall, historically pulled down just over a year later) included a typically ecstatic and excitable BAD Tour crowd. Incredible! Many times I was able to watch Michael from the side of the stage with his then manager, Frankie DiLeo, as he blew the audience away with his unique dancing skills, wonderful music and beautiful voice.

I am always asked if I met him, which in fact I did only once, about 3 weeks into the 5 month tour. I was escorted to his dressing room at the Olympic Stadium in Munich and briefly introduced to Michael, as the official photographer positioned us side by side, snapped a shot, and then it was all over. There was no opportunity to chat – even for a few minutes – and as I turned to say goodbye to this fragile looking yet unexpectedly tall man I asked him to take care of himself… I wish he had.

When I was told of the death of Michael Jackson I couldn’t really take it in; this was late in the evening on Thursday 25th June. By the time Friday morning came around I could feel a deep and gnawing sadness growing inside me that has stayed with me since. Whenever his name is mentioned, or his music played I am transported back to a magical time in my life, and I smile a little, and sometimes wipe away a tear. RIP The King of Pop.

SOURCE: http://www.wilde-life.com/blog/kimwilde/michael-jackson-1958-2009

Kim Wilde from an interview Published in: Hitkrant (Netherlands), October 15, 1988:

Although Kim Wilde toured with Michael Jackson for months she just met him twice. ‘We didn’t have any deep and meaningful conversations or anything, but he is very sweet. I don’t want to hear any bad things about him anymore! It’s too weird that there were even rumours that we were having an affair. Yes, we respect each other but that’s as far as it goes. I’ve only talked to him twice!

What were those talks about, then?
He told me that he felt I was doing great, and that he was looking forward to the successful tour. And he asked whether I was still enjoying it. And I was!

What impression did you get of him?
He’s very normal, very smart, very sweet and very sympathetic. And what’s the most important thing: he’s got a very sweet smile. You can tell a lot of things from the way someone smiles.

And what did you think of his show?
It’s great to watch the show from beside the stage! When you look from the audience everything seems to go automatically, but from the side you can see how much work is in it. And it’s hard to tell how he does his tricks. I knew that he would go into a tent and then appear on the other side of the stage, but I looked very close and still couldn’t tell how he did it.

Isn’t it a bit of ungrateful work, doing a support act? The audiences come for the headline act, after all.
Yes, that’s true. And you’re playing when there’s still daylight, and then people can only see a few small figures on stage. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It’s the only tour that Michael has done in his life, and it most likely will stay that way. It’s a historic fact, and hundreds of thousands have come to see it. Taylor (Dayne, who did the support for another part of the tour, ed.) and I were there as well. They can’t ever take that away from me. But it’s time I will be the headline act myself soon!

SOURCE: http://www.wilde-life.com/articles/1988/kim-wilde-met-michael-jackson-those-nonsense-stories-should-be-over

Woman on left, Cindy Sorenson (Geex)Woman on right, Debbie Lee Carrington (Idee)

Woman on left, Cindy Sorenson (Geex)Woman on right, Debbie Lee Carrington (Idee)

Debbie with Endorexpress on the reopening of Captain EO in 2010:

EndorExpress: Being that Captain EO was a Disney project, there was a lot of merchandise sold during the original release. Do you have any of those old Idy & Ody toys?
Debbie: I gave them to my nieces! But I saved my security pass that Michael had signed and I’ve got some of the original cast & crew sheets and things like that. I saved a lot of things. One thing that is very special to me is a storyboard from Captain EO that Michael had signed.

EndorExpress: That is amazing! Now, I’m sure you’re eager to see Captain EO again as we all are. Do you have a favorite memory from working on this project?
Debbie: It was all just mind boggling and unforgettable. I mean, I remember the first day at the table read sitting around on the studio lot with Francis [Ford Coppola] and Angelica [Huston], Tony Cox (Hooter), and Cindy waiting for Michael Jackson to arrive. All of a sudden he shows up coming through the giant stage doors with his glasses, his glove… and he came in. Francis went around the room and introduced everybody. Michael was painfully shy! Very surprising.

Francis would say, “Debbie, this is Michael.” “Michael, this is Debbie Lee Carrington.” He [Michael Jackson] would look down and say, “Pleased to meet you.” Just having him walk in the door with that first impression, with the light behind him, it was just amazing. And then the process of getting to know Michael and really sharing moments and seeing him dance – the whole THING was one of the most amazing jobs I’ve ever done.

EndorExpress: And I think being a part of his ‘crew’ really added to that.
Debbie: Oh yes! Part of his crew. Captain EO was our boss so we were very close with Michael. It was all very fun. When Michael would dance, you know, that was a whole other thing. He would snap into another person and it was just so magical and impressive. You’d get chills watching him dance.

SOURCE: http://www.endorexpress.net/special-features/captain-eo-tribute-coverage/a-conversation-with-debbie-lee-carrington/


Carrington had a speaking role and a distinctive costume for EO:

“I’m half of the three-legged, two-headed character called the geex,” Carrington says. “We are the navigator and the pilot for Michael Jackson, who is Captain EO.”

She says a body cast was made for her and another actor while they were lying down and “connected” at the hip. From there, a harness was made to keep them together while in the furry costume.

“It wasn’t very comfortable,” Carrington says. “It was actually quite challenging to coordinate and walk together with the other actor because we had to act as one.”

Director Francis Ford Coppola spent the first part of the rehearsal period with the cast, including Jackson and Anjelica Huston, doing improvs. The purpose was to get them to open up to one another and act like a team, just like in EO, Carrington says.

“Michael came out of his shell after the first day,” she says. That led to a fun, playful environment on the set, complete with practical jokes, Carrington says.

Both Collette and Carrington saw Captain EO for the first time in many years when the film came back to Disneyland earlier this year in California.

Carrington has continued in the entertainment industry with acting work and stunt jobs. She says that she and Jackson remained friendly and, although he invited her to his house, she never went.

“Looking back, I wish I had,” she says. “I always thought ‘Well, we’ll work together, we’ll see each other again at another time.’ Unfortunately, it never happened. Then we lose him and you realize the permanence of that.”

SOURCE: Orange County Register, February 23 2010


If you have not seen the interview that MJJCommunity has done with Dr. Steven Shafer from the Murray trial, you must. Dr. Shafer is articulate, responsible, caring, honest – all the things we know a good doctor should be. You will see that in his generous answers to fans’ questions. Dr. Shafer answered a whopping 86 questions from fans in this 3-part interview:

Part 1

Some quotes:

MJJC: Since your father passed away during the trial, was it hard to do the testimony? (and please accept our most sincere condolences for your loss)

Dr. Steve Shafer: I’ve shared with some members of the MJJCommunity my personal story about my father’s passing. I’ll spare you the details, other than to say that for me, the trial brought me an unexpected gift: the chance to be with my father when he died. Had it not been for the trial, I would have been in New Jersey. As it was, I was at his bedside, offering love and morphine. (I can only hope that one of my kids decides to take up a career in anesthesia.)

During my testimony, I felt that my father was beside me. It gave me confidence, particularly during cross examination. I knew that since my Dad was with me, I’d be OK.


MJJC: Did media approach you for interviews? If yes, why didn’t we see you on TV?

Dr. Steve Shafer: Yes, I was approached, but I don’t think the interviews were aired. I think the reason is that they didn’t like my answers. I was asked about what I thought Conrad Murray’s sentence should be. I answered honestly that I didn’t have the background to judge that. I said that our lawmakers determine the appropriate sentences for criminal behavior, and judges then impose sentences based on the dictates of the law. I said that this was really a question for Judge Pastor, who IS an expert. I don’t think they liked that answer. They probably hoped for something much more vengeful from me.

I was asked how I felt about my role in convicting Conrad Murray. I honestly replied that I don’t think I had much of a role. Conrad Murray gave Michael Jackson propofol in a bedroom, with no training, no monitoring, no backup, no accountability, abandoned him to talk on the phone, and then lied about his action. His guilt was obvious when the facts emerged in 2009, and it just as obvious after my testimony.


MJJC: Lots of hyperbole has been made of the IV tubing/matching/non matching. Could you explain in detail once more (with no defense attorney interrupting) why this has no bearing on the statements made by you?

Dr. Steve Shafer: I initially believed that the IV tubing that Conrad Murray purchased in large quantities from Sea Coast Medical was non-vented, because I did not see the vent in the picture taken by the medical examiner, no vent is described in the product description from Sea Coast Medical, and I was unsuccessful in my initial effort to purchase the tubing from Sea Coast Medical. It turns out that it was vented, which I only realized after I physically examined the tubing in court.

However, the fact that the smaller infusion set was vented only increases the ease with which Conrad Murray set up the infusion, and the ease of concealing the tubing set on the day Michael Jackson died.

However, it still comes back to the big picture: Conrad Murray was giving Michael Jackson an anesthetic drug in his bedroom with inadequate training, inadequate monitoring, and no backup. That is why Michael Jackson died. None of these issues changes the big picture.

Part 2

Some quotes:

MJJC: While watching the trial it felt like there’s an animosity or fall out between you and Dr. White. Are we correct about this? If yes did this fall out stem from the events of the trial or is there a history to this?

Dr. Steve Shafer: Paul has been a friend for nearly three decades. The Paul White you saw on television was not the Paul White that I have known since medical school. He has made many contributions to our specialty. It is my hope that his contributions are his permanent legacy, not his defense of Conrad Murray.

Paul has been a cherished mentor since I was medical student. I was not his “student” as Chernoff stated, and I did not appreciate the implication that Paul taught me what I knew about propofol. However, Paul has given me counsel on everything from medical school to romance. I was expecting Chernoff to ask “Hasn’t Dr. White been a mentor to you?” I was ready to say “yes”.


MJJC: What did you think of Dr. White’s testimony and his behavior? Did anything he said change your opinion about your colleague? Were you surprised by the things he said and things he did (such as his comments to the media) or didn’t do (such as not doing his own charts, not overseeing the Beagle experiment)?

Dr. Steve Shafer: There were factual errors in Paul’s testimony. Paul is capable of outstanding scholarship. I don’t know the dynamics of his relationship to the defense team that led to him not doing the heavy lifting that he usually does when it comes to checking the literature. I wish he had contacted me in advance. I would have been happy to help him review the literature and explain the science.

The different approaches of science and law to discerning the truth failed Paul. If this had been an argument over a scientific manuscript, Paul and I would have spoken directly, without attorneys trying to discredit either one of us. We would have lined up papers, and arguments, and “duked it out” by e-mail, or perhaps over an extended lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. That would have worked and the science would be right (at least as “right” as we could get it). There would be no adverse consequences for either of us. As scientists collaborating to “get it right” we would have done well. The criminal justice system isn’t set up to allow scientists representing opposing sides to collaborate in an effort to find the truth.


MJJC: What are your thoughts on Murray as a doctor?

Dr. Steve Shafer: I believe he violated the fundamental trust between doctors and patients, and that he did so not in an isolated incident under duress, but intentionally and repeatedly. That is not something a doctor would do.


MJJC: According to Walgren’s words during closing arguments “we don’t know whether Michael awoke, yelled for help and choke while Conrad Murray wasn’t in his bedroom, and we’ll never know” and to Alberto Alvarez testimony that Michael’s eyes and mouth were wide open, I want to ask you: could Michael suffered before death and could he really yelled for help and choke while dying? And if no, why his eyes /mouth were open if he died sleeping?

Dr. Steve Shafer: Michael Jackson did not suffer. He died because he stopped breathing. He was unconscious at the time. If he had been conscious, he would have been breathing.

It doesn’t mean anything if a patient’s eyes or mouth are open or closed after death. I witnessed my own father’s death during the time I was testifying. I was at his bedside. He was in and out of consciousness for about two hours before his death. My last communication from him, an “OK” sign with his hand, was about an hour before his death. After he died, I noted that his eyes and mouth were both open. I closed them.

Part 3

Some quotes:

MJJC: Do you think the medical community has learned from Michael’s death in regards over prescribing to a powerful wealthy person and wrong doing by a doctor?

Dr. Steve Shafer: Absolutely. I mentioned this above. I am aware of this because I occasionally see this in my practice. Doctors serve patients by acting as doctors. That is a message for doctors and patients alike.


MJJC: Can you explain “Propofol lollipop” a little more?

Dr. Steve Shafer: Propofol absorbed from the stomach never reaches the brain, because it is all removed by the liver. However, the blood supply to the mouth and esophagus (above the diaphragm) does not return directly to the liver. Instead, it just goes to the heart, and from there goes everywhere including the brain. So a propofol lollipop would provide propofol to the venous blood, and from there to the brain. Paul White and I discussed this at one of the breaks prior to his testimony. It is a reasonable idea, provided the dose was adequately controlled.

Should this ever become available, then I would reconsider my position on classifying propofol as a controlled substance. My current view is highly influenced by the fact that it only works when given intravenously, and that really burns!


MJJC: What does Propofol taste like?

Dr. Steve Shafer: It has the consistency of skim milk, and tastes like a very medicinal salad dressing.

MJJC: In your opinion, does Demerol aggravate insomnia as a side effect? Did it play any part in Michael’s physical and mental health? What was the best treatment for Michael’s insomnia?

Dr. Steve Shafer: There are three questions here. I’ll answer them in order:

Demerol’s chemical name in the United States is “meperidine.” In many countries it is known as “pethidine.” Meperidine has a metabolite, “normeperidine”, that is a nervous system stimulant. As a nervous stimulant, I would expect it to exacerbate insomnia.

The coroner examined both blood and urine for meperidine (Demerol) and normeperidine. Neither could be detected. Thus, meperidine did not play a direct role in Michael Jackson’s death on June 25th. However, you asked a more general question about “play any part in Michael’s physical and mental health.” It is a good question, and I will again need to apologize for not answering it. I have not read Dr. Klein’s medical records or heard a detailed explanation of Michael Jackson’s care. I am uncomfortable speculating without that information.

Sleep disorders are complex, and treating them is a specialized branch of medicine. It is my understanding that any drug that affects the level of consciousness can exacerbate sleep disorders. There is a nice description of sleep disorders, and the treatment of common sleep disorders, at http://www.sleepfoundation.org/artic…s-and-insomnia.


MJJC: Anything you want to say to the members of MJJCommunity and Michael Jackson fans in general.

Dr. Steve Shafer: Once your questions about Michael Jackson’s tragic death have been answered, I encourage you to set it aside. Conrad Murray has been convicted. We have a reasonable understanding of what happened. It’s time to return to the bonds that brought the MJJCommunity together in the first place: your celebration of Michael Jackson’s life, his message, and his music.

I appreciate the opportunity to address your questions, and hope that the answers are helpful to the MJJCommunity.


Steve Shafer


PLEASE visit each part of this important Q & A for many more detailed, honest answers from Dr. Shafer. He has been very generous in answering all fans’ questions about what happened to Michael and is obviously very qualified to do so. Dr. Shafer is a doctor who operates and practices with meticulous integrity and care, and he is obviously 180-degrees opposite of a “doctor” like Murray. I can’t think of a clearer contrast between a great doctor (Shafer), and a very bad one (Murray).

Many thanks to MJJC and Dr. Steven Shafer!  Also, many thanks to our friends at UK Loves MJ from whom I’ve shared much of the other info in this post.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from MJJ-777.com!

Michael is alive in each star. God bless you.

Michael is alive in each star. God bless you.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Dec 14 2011

Occupy. Dignity.

Category: Humanitarian,Justice,MJ QuotesSeven @ 1:14 am


Dignity_Campaign_StickerThere’s an insidious epidemic afoot. It’s not a health threat, poverty, or climate change, though those things are very serious. The epidemic I refer to cripples our collective ability to deal with those other threats. What I’m referring to is bullying, misinformation, verbal abuse, and incitement to violence and killing that is rooted in greed, power, and control. Anyone in the US and the UK can turn on the radio and hear it every day: celebrities being maligned, entire groups of people being demonized based on skin color, nationality, sexual orientation or religion, and radio hosts telling us that people of a particular race or sex or political mindset ought to be shot, harassed, bullied,  or have some or other violence perpetrated upon them. Sometimes they even name names. Too often, a mentally unstable individual takes their advice to heart and starts shooting in public places, at political events, or schools. And innocent people die.

When the current US President took office, the first black president the nation has ever had, threats upon the President’s life increased 400%. For threats upon the President’s life in the U.S. to increase immediately after a new President takes office is normal, unfortunately. But, a 400% increase in such threats is unprecedented and anything but normal.

Verbal abuse and verbal violence is flung about on our airwaves every day as the lives of celebrities are picked apart, intruded upon and twisted around to form a sensational story that sells and makes the media companies big money. School bullying has caused countless numbers of desperate young people to take their own lives just to escape the torture. Media abuse is why Michael Jackson was so anxious about his ‘comeback’ tour (This Is It). He knew he would be in the media spotlight again. He knew the same old salacious lies would be recycled and new ones would be created. This tore his life apart previously and part of his ‘comeback’ was to help himself and his children recover from that damage, so that they could stop living like nomads without a country. But the spectre of being subjected again to such media torment is at least part of what resulted in the chronic anxiety which caused Michael to become so desperate for sleep that he ended up being administered the propofol that finally killed him. In my lifetime I have never seen anyone so bullied and abused by media as Michael Jackson. He needed to make money for himself and his family to pay off his debts and get his life back on track. But he knew that as soon as he lifted his head up again, the media assassins would be back out en force to demonize, denigrate and negatively define him and everything he did. He was damned if he did and damned if he did not. Is it any wonder he could not sleep?

But you must realize that what happened to Michael Jackson is part of a much larger problem. It is social. And it is political. No matter what political or religious stripe one is, for the media to use public airwaves to do to people what they did to Michael Jackson during his life and after his death, or to incite violence against and killing of anyone (which one pundit who shall remain nameless did again just last week) is unacceptable – and it’s illegal. It’s also a large part part of what prevents the U.S. and the world from being able to move forward and solve its problems.

But you’d never know it’s illegal. Why isn’t anyone doing anything about this? These media entities have ‘free speech‘ and they like to hide behind that excuse. However, that ‘free speech’ does not include the freedom to incite violence or killing or to destroy or prematurely end innocent lives with bullying, harassment, or lies.

We all need to occupy the media and take our airwaves back so that what happened to Michael never happens to anyone else and so that no one else (no matter what political party, religion, race or sex they are) will get injured or killed because someone followed the advice of a hate-mongering political pundit on the television or radio.

How can the truth survive this toxic brand of “free speech“?

My friend Tori Tompkins said:

When someone undermines and devalues Michael’s phenomenal musical abilities right in front of me it makes me want to blow a gasket. Unless those that seek to criticize have sold over 100 million records in their lifetime, breaking industry records and personal and professional hearts in the process, I submit that they are in no fit place to judge. Archbishop Colloredo spent his life casting Mozart off as a disposable servant. I think we can safely say that history has proven his “learned” opinion gloriously wrong.

Often, what is sifted out from the sands of Time as actual truth has little to do with the “free speech” of present-day pundits or their hate-mongering, bullying, and demonizing. But why must we suffer this abuse? Why must lives be ruined and prematurely stolen by barbaric words flung around our airwaves which have little to do with truth and everything to do with power, control, and profit? And how is it that these corporate entities get away with abusing the public’s airwaves for their dirty deeds?

Partly, it’s because we let them.

I remember some of Michael’s words, and they directly address this issue:

Sadly, sadly, we live in a state of fear. Everyday we hear of war on the news, on the radio and television and the newspapers, always of war.

We hear of nations hurting each other, of neighbors hurting each other, of families hurting each other and the children killing each other.

We must learn to live and love each other before its too late. We have to stop! We have to stop the prejudice, we have to stop the hating, we have to stop living in fear of our own neighbors.

Like Michael said, we have to stop it. This is what he was a victim of. And there have been many others as well. Too many like Michael have paid with their lives.

Did you know that according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Radio and broadcast Television stations are supposed to “serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity“?  The FCC is the U.S. agency tasked with ensuring that they do so in that country. But they’ll only do it if we make them do it.

Did you know that in the U.S. “We the People” own the public broadcast airwaves? (except cable) Local radio and TV stations are granted licenses to broadcast only if they serve the public interest.

But media entities such as Clear Channel neglect their emergency broadcast systems, disaster strikes, and people die. Pentagon pundits profit from the same wars they promote, and Fox News gets a court ruling that news does not have to be true. Hate Radio rules. Hate Radio says if you don’t agree with someone’s politics or you don’t like their race or sexual orientation, harass them. Or, give out their personal information so others can harass them. Or incite your listeners to commit violence against them. Or suggest to your listeners that they should be killed.  At least one Hate Radio host in the past week or so has advocated killing those whose political views he disagrees with. How many more shootings such as that at a Gabrielle Giffords political event will we witness before this stops?

Media policy is killing people in the U.S. Literally. And it is killing our democracy, too. Corporate-financed lawmakers have stacked the media policy deck against “We the People“.

Our media could do so much to help our country and the world solve its problems. Instead it chooses to help itself and its corporate bottom lines. And more often than not, for-profit media will do or say anything to or about most anyone if they can make a profit from it. We saw that at its worst with Michael Jackson. And, in the utterly indecent content some of them chose to air after his death. And we hear it every day as hate radio hosts bully, harrass and incite violence against those they simply have political or religious differences with.

Even George Bush’s former speechwriter says that Fox News for instance, “creates an alternative knowledge system.” And, it’s true. They do. And since the FCC told them that “news doesn’t have to be true“, much of what comes from Fox News isn’t true and its viewers who rely on the network for information instead only get misinformation and are poorly informed about very important issues facing our nation and our world today.


Most people are distracted by salacious, sensationalist propaganda and lies coming from our media daily:

Oohhhh LOOK over there! Michael Jackson is a real FREAK! He BLEACHED HIS SKIN white!” – OMG! That politician is a communist/Muslim/Socialist/ who oughtta be shot!” – “OMG! Kill The Liberals! – OMG! Kill The Conservatives! – OMG! Voter Fraud! – OMG! Death Panels! – OMG! Socialism!” – and on and on and on and on.

All of it in big headlines and loud, sneering or blustering voices. Verbal torches and pitchforks leading a mindless mob to slaughter innocents or to debase and dehumanize others based on ignorant and sensationalist claims, or to distract the listener or viewer from the truth and the real issues at hand that affect millions of lives.

There is so much sensationalism and violence in their words and phrases. There is such a thing as Verbal Assault. Mentally unstable people sometimes follow the violent rhetoric of TV and radio hosts and start shooting people at public political events, at schools, in other public buildings, or they show up with bombs or other methods of dangerously acting out the seething fire of anger fed by these talk show hosts. Kids who are bullied end their own lives just to escape the torture of daily bullying, and celebrity lives are ruined with salacious lies that make corporations a lot of money.

And all of this is done under the guise of “free speech” … which has nothing whatsoever to do with the truth – or with solving the real problems in this world or in people’s lives. Quite the opposite.

From the Words and Violence Curriculum at Voices Education Project:

Shirley Sherrod was vilified by blogger Andrew Breitbart when he cut and spliced a speech she gave to an audience. The media picked up the story without checking out its veracity and the NAACP joined Brietbart in his condemnation of Ms. Sherrod. Government officials then asked her to relinquish her post with the department of rural development. When it came to light that her words were deliberately taken out of context and that the charge of racism was manipulated and false, the media was forced to reverse its position. But damage was already inflicted to her reputation, her livelihood and her psyche.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger used the N-word, a well known historical epithet and insult to African Americans eleven times during her radio show to a black woman who called for advice about her relationship with her husband. Dr. Laura resigned her position (she claims voluntarily) citing that her first amendment rights were trampled when listeners used their consumer voice to register complaints. Spokespersons including clergy and other commentators replied to Schlessenger’s charges of censure saying that the listening audience exercised their first amendment rights to speak out in protest her uncivil use of the public airwaves.

Meanwhile our veterans and children sleep in the streets, our education system is gutted in favor of more war and wealth for those who don’t need it. Poverty and the gap between the very wealthy and the very poor has increased to historic levels and what do we get from the media? Yet more violent assault upon those who had the least to begin with, and therefore who have lost the most at the predatory hands of the greediest, and who are most downtrodden:

“OMG! The unemployed are drug addicts!” – “Well, it’s their own fault someone else’s greed ruined their lives! They shouldn’t be so stupid!” – “OMG! They’re just lazy and don’t want to work!” – “If they can’t afford health care, Let Them Die!” – “People who make minimum wage are just lazy and so they can’t get ahead!” – “Black people are just lazy!”

And what does all this incendiary demonization and bullying of the most vulnerable members of our society solve?




And is it the truth? No.

We are Distracted . . .

We are distracted by misinformation and hate . . .

So most of the world is still looking the other way – looking at the shiny, angry, sensational corporate pundit propaganda being shoved in their faces every day and believing every word of it. Too many people are misinformed, confused, disarmed, and distracted; angry, full of hate, and ill-equipped to deal with the problems they themselves and their societies and countries face every day. They cannot distinguish “free speech” or hate speech from the truth about any of these issues. The hate radio talk show hosts and corporate media entities who employ them know such inflammatory rhetoric will garner them high ratings and thus subsequent profits.

What are they doing to make the world a better place? Not much. They’re destroying it right in front of our eyes but many of us are not even paying attention because we’re distracted by all the propaganda about who we should hate and why while they rake in the money. And that’s just how they intend it to be. That’s another way we let them get away with it. We allow and buy into the distraction and misinformation.

Meanwhile, issues like preventable disease and child neglect, poverty, racial, sexual and social injustice, economic injustice, dangerous climate change — all these problems go unsolved because we have a media that is more interested in destroying the world for its own profit than being a constructive, informative part of helping to solve the world’s problems — rather than “serving the public interest, convenience, and necessity“, as they are supposed to be doing.

It’s not against the law to lie to the public. It’s an FCC rule but it’s not against the law. –Broadcast Blues

So what now? What do we do about this problem? Sue Wilson has some ideas. Recently, Reverend Barbara Kaufmann and Sue joined us in a talk radio segment with Rev. Catherine Gross. If you missed it, you can listen here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/a-place-in-your-heart/2011/12/10/lift-your-voice-make-that-changeoccupy-airwavessue-wilson

Sue Wilson is the Emmy winning director of the media reform documentary “Broadcast Blues” and editor of SueWilsonReports.com. As a graduate in Radio/TV/Film, she was California State University Long Beach’s “Outstanding Graduate.” In the early ’90’s, she won Emmys for specials she produced for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, and then turned the spotlight on wasteful government spending for Sacramento Fox TV station KTXL, where her Emmy winning stories changed national, state, and local spending policies.

Once a media insider, Sue Wilson knows the industry, has broken national stories, exposed corruption and initiated change. A veteran of radio, and now TV, and a mediareform activist, she is the producer of “Broadcast Blues”, a documentary that sets its sights on media policy. She writes at SueWilsonReports.com, the Brad Blog and the Huffington Post, and she recently formed a new grassroots media reform group to take citizen action, the media action center, which recently helped organize protests against Fox news and News Corp.

Get Sue Wilson’s Broadcast Blues DVD. Have a viewing party in your town or neighborhood.

Decide what you’d like to see changed on your local radio channels – find their local offices. Send them certified letters (so you have proof they received them). Wait a couple of weeks, then go to their offices and ask to see their public records. If your letter isn’t filed there, complain to the FCC. The FCC says the media must serve the public interest. If they’re not serving the public interest, they are subject to fines.

There was an action on December 12th against ClearChannel and that date is passed but you can still demand changes of your local radio stations. For example the below from “OurPublicAirwaves.com“:

1. Put together a few committed individuals to form a local media action team at or after your viewing party.

2. Determine what Public Interest Obligations your team wants from your local broadcasters. Examples: Equal opportunities for all political candidates on TV and Radio within 60 days of elections, fact checking of third party campaign ads, tornado warnings on all TV and Radio stations. Find more ideas here.

3. Make an appointment to meet with your local broadcast station’s general manager and news director. Politely discuss what your group wants for your local community. You may find that local management is very sympathetic to your needs.

4. Take notes about what is said or promised in the meeting.

5. Monitor what happens next: Record TV or radio programs or listen to the radio online podcasts. Find specific instructions here. Also , here is a new site our colleagues set up to blog about Wisconsin broadcasters, we can set these up nationwide.

6. Write a report and send it to local newspapers and bloggers. If the stations meet your requests, make them heroes. If not, publicize how they are not meeting their public interest obligations to your community. Find examples here.

7. Use the form at www.TellFCC.com to complain to the FCC about:

Biased or distorted news stories, threatening or intimidating statements about an individual or group, incitements to violence, unfair or biased broadcasts, or indecent broadcasts. We will forward your complaint to the FCC, to the offending station, to its corporate owner, and to the team leader in your area, who can place the complaint on your local Facebook page.

8. Show up at your local stations during normal business hours and ask to inspect the stations’ public files. You do not need an appointment. If you are denied, take specific notes as to who you talked to and what was said, and immediately complain at www.MediaActionCenter.net, as they legally must show you their files on demand. Details of our rights are here. Find out who is complaining about what, and how the station is responding to the community’s needs. Find out who is buying political ads and at what price. Learn just how much money the station is making through political ad sales. Look for existing petitions to deny licenses, and see if two stations have shared services agreements to operate just one newsroom.

More information about public inspection file requirements for commercial broadcasters can be found here: http://www.dwt.com/LearningCenter/Advisories?find=231182

Right now, several New York stations are facing some big problems because their personnel required appointments to see the public files. Again, appointments are not necessary. The station must provide you with the public files immediately upon your request. If they do not, register a complaint with the FCC because they will be subject to fines.

9. Have your team leader communicate with us at [email protected] for advice and next steps: station protests, boycotts of sponsors, petitions to deny licenses.

10. Fill out the Broadcasters’ Public Interest Obligations survey linked here to let us know your concerns.

11. Stay vigilant: by reclaiming our public airwaves, you are protecting our democracy.

Boycott local advertisers who advertise on stations that support hateful, inaccurate, or biased Radio or TV programs. Car dealers, food stores, law offices, local service companies. Nothing gets a local station manager’s attention faster than angry advertisers pulling ads from a local station.

If you’re not in the U.S., find similar actions that you can carry out in your country and in your communities against local radio stations who spew hate speech and incite violence.

Now that the Conrad Murray trial is over, we have to get on with the other work that must be done on Michael’s behalf and on behalf of a Better World he dreamed of and that we all dream of. This kind of abuse cannot go unanswered and it cannot continue with impunity. It’s immoral and it’s indecent. And it’s deadly.

We need to make this right. We need to “occupy dignity” and we can start with talk radio.

This isn’t a week-long effort though. It’s not a temporary campaign. It’s a lifelong effort to correct a wrong that has long needed correcting and that has fully gone too far and cost too many lives.

While you consider all this information and what you can do, let me ask you this:

What kind of world do you want to live in?
What kind of world do you want your children to live in?
What are you doing that is more important?
Should the bullies have free use of our airwaves to spew hate speech and cost innocent lives?

Tags: , ,

« Previous PageNext Page »