Jewish World Review Feb. 18, 2003 / 16 Adar I, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
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Consumer Reports

Cash for what? | Here's a moral dilemma that just about everyone will understand, with the possible exception of Michael Jackson. The Fox Television Network is paying the troubled singer millions to give his side of the story, after a firestorm of outrage over his videotaped admission that he sleeps with young boys. Actually, there are not two sides to that situation, even though Jackson is so confused he doesn't know it. If you are an adult, you do not sleep with children who are not part of your family. Get it, moonwalker?

Jackson puts forth that he was conned by British interviewer Martin Bashir, and will provide outtakes backing up his opinion from the damning, original interview that ran on ABC. One of the outtakes shows Bashir telling Jackson, "your relationship with children is spectacular."

Well, that's swell, but who cares what Martin Bashir thinks? What's important here is that Jackson stated on camera: "I have slept in a bed with many children."

Not swell, especially because Jackson, according to The New York Times, paid one of those children an astounding $25 million to shut up about bedding down with him. Apparently, Jackson learned nothing from that sordid scandal 10 years ago. A reading of the 12-year-old boy's charges released last week would make any responsible person's stomach turn.

So there is a moral dilemma in any business dealing with Jackson, and it is not hard to see. Jackson is being paid millions solely because of this controversy. He is not promoting a record or a movie or a concert tour. The allegations that he is a child molester are enriching him. Obviously, there is something very disturbing about that.

But a case can be made, and perhaps Fox will make it, that Jackson deserves a chance to defend himself with counter-evidence. The original interview was edited in England, and maybe Jackson has some points that were lost in the mix.

However, there is no question that Jackson wants money to tell his tale. A CBS news crew headed by "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley was all set to interview Jackson a few days ago. But he bagged it because one of his advisors told him he could get big money from a network. If Jackson really felt aggrieved, the "60 Minutes" venue would have provided him with much more credibility than the paid deal will.

Your humble correspondent decided a long time ago that Michael Jackson is a disturbed man who should be kept away from all children, including his own. Anybody who would mutilate his face the way this guy has, is self-loathing in my opinion. Jackson's modus operandi has been to lavish gifts on young kids and their unbelievably irresponsible parents. In return, he gets private "visits" with those children.

This is wrong and dangerous, and the California authorities should be ashamed for not taking a more aggressive approach to monitoring Jackson's behavior with minors. The quote from the Santa Barbara County DA that "sleeping with children is not a crime," is simply outrageous.

If it were up to me, I would not pay Jackson a dime. Any business deal with this guy is creepy and perhaps immoral. We are living in a time and a country where boundaries of decent behavior are collapsing all around us. Michael Jackson is the poster boy for that. He should be shunned.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


02/10/03: Runaway train
02/03/03: Dissenting dishonest dissent
01/27/03: The Clooney Factor
01/21/03: Poverty-inducing entertainment
01/13/03: To protect and serve
12/30/02: Global double Crossing
12/30/02: The villains of 2002
12/23/02: Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness
12/16/02: The Houston lesson
12/09/02: Somewhere Santa is weeping
12/02/02: A taxing situation
11/26/02: Talk is expensive when it comes to Bill Moyers
11/18/02: Sanity has left the building
11/11/02: The right stuff
11/04/02: The Attorney General blues
10/28/02: This ain't no game
10/21/02: It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal
10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate