A Thriller Of A Denial

Two years ago, almost to the day, I was in beautiful Santa Maria, California covering the start of the Michael Jackson molestation and conspiracy trial. That curious legal episode in our history still stands in my mind as among the most surreal I have ever experienced in my 10 years of covering legal events and issues for CBS News. I mean, what other trial involved the routine release of the "doves of freedom" from the courthouse sidewalk?

Two years on, the legend of Michael Jackson lives on, if not on our screens or in our I-Pods than at least in the realm of speculation, gossip and innuendo. I have been tuned out of this loop, apparently, because I have been focusing upon more important things, like railing upon the Anna Nicole Smith judge and dodging questions about Britney Spears' child custody problems. But apparently Jacko has continued to be a target of rumor-mongers, which prompted his eternally hapless spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, to issue the latest in her seemingly endless series of hysterical (and I mean that in both of its common uses) retorts.

This, in Bain's own words, is what recipients of a special list were emailed yesterday:

Several unsubstantiated rumors have been reported in the media regarding Mr. Michael Jackson, all of which are erroneous and untrue. Mr. Jackson is not planning a concert tour with members of his family. Mr. Jackson has been presented numerous proposals…proposals which he has not solicited, but were [sic] presented to him, several of which include performing in Las Vegas. Mr. Jackson is currently reviewing and evaluating each proposal. He does not believe that he is under any time constraint for making his decisions.

Therefore, reports that he has "been unsuccessful in finding a Las Vegas casino for his show, resulting in his having to turn to his family" are false. Mr. Jackson did not move to Las Vegas to shop a Vegas show. Mr. Jackson is in Las Vegas because he likes the city, and found it a convenient location to record with the artists, songwriters and producers who are working with him in the studio. Mr. Jackson has no current plans to appear or perform on "American Idol."

Mr. Jackson did not either solicit, ask to be given, or attempt to buy tickets to the recent NBA All-Star Game, as has been widely reported. Mr. Jackson was invited by several owners of NBA teams, as well as players, to attend the game as their guest. However, Mr. Jackson declined these kind invitations. Widely spread reports that Mr. Jackson sought tickets, and was denied his request, are completely false.

Mr. Jackson never leased property from Michael Flatly in Ireland. Therefore, reports stating that he was "evicted" from property owned by Flatly are erroneous and defamatory. Mr. Jackson has not recently released or recorded a single with Pras.

Now, I know what you must be thinking. What or who is "Pras"? The answer is: I don't know and I don't care. I'm not exactly sure that all of this "widely reported" stuff has been as widely reported as Bain seems to think it has been. Nevertheless, in order to make sure we've covered all the bases for Jacko, and because I still listen to his music, I feel compelled to add the following denials on his behalf. Just to set the record straight.

"Mr. Jackson was not deemed an 'enemy combatant' by President Bush nor was he invited to deliver the keynote address at the Global Warming summit. Mr. Jackson never delivered "yellowcake" to Niger and did not leak the name of Valerie Plame Wilson to members of the media. Mr. Jackson declined an invitation to participate in the execution of Saddam Hussein and is not the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby. Mr. Jackson did not as previously reported win a Noble Peace Prize and then donate the proceeds from it to the Tamil Tigers.

"Mr. Jackson is not responsible for the sniping currently underway between the judges on 'American Idol' and was not asked to broker the multi-lateral talks aimed at ridding North Korea of its nuclear weapons. He did not break the levees in New Orleans although he considers the city a fine place. Mr. Jackson does not intend to run for President of the United States and therefore has not set up an exploratory committee to that end. He did not give Britney Spears advice on how to change her appearance and is not responsible for that ugly dress that Meryl Streep wore to the Academy Awards.

"Mr. Jackson did not give steroids to Barry Bonds and he was not in San Francisco earlier this week when that landslide occurred. He is not responsible for the 400-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday and is not contemplating any offers to take over Google. Widely-spread rumors to the contrary are not only false, they are defamatory, except when they are flattering."