…. haven't shied away from sharing their thoughts. Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth almost gleefully called Jackson a freak and pedophile since Jackson's June 25 death in various interviews on NBC properties. It seemed Orth—AKA Mrs. Tim Russert—was allowed to do everything short of singing Dixie.
Colleagues like Nancy Grace and Diane Dimond as well as Gloria Allred also piped up. When Jackson was alive, the outcries and rhetoric served a purpose. They were fulfilling the public's right to know about an alleged danger. Let's be clear, Jackson was convicted of nothing.
Incessantly revisiting Jackson's purported sins now is useless. It only brings pain to his three children. Dimond apparently got the message, after seeing Paris Jackson's tear-jerking goodbye to her father.
"Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine," Paris said. "And I just want to say that I love him so much."
When an MSNBC anchor sought comment, Dimond was speechless. Allred also seemed hard-pressed to find any words. There's a first time for everything. Pretending Jackson made no mistakes isn't an option. With that said, he should be the only paying for them. Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II (“Blanket”) should bear no responsibility of their father's alleged sins.
So, it's time for some peace and quiet. Making his mistakes unforgettable is no longer a journalistic triumph. Sadly, he's never been the only victim of those comments. His sobbing 11-year-old daughter feels the weight of them. And if his young sons aren't bearing a burden yet, they will. Let us lighten their load.
What About Presley, Polanski And Allen
Just because other people played with children doesn't mean Jackson should get a free pass. However, pondering the questionable choices of Elvis Presley—Jackson's late father-in-law—as well as directors Roman Polanski and Woody Allen begs a question. Is there a double-standard at play?
Examining Presley's courtship of Priscilla, the then 24-year-old man pursued a 14-year-old girl. There are conflicting reports about when they became intimate. So, a question of, at the very least, propriety went unresolved when Presley died. Any condemnation evaporated Aug. 16, 1977.
And, unlike Jackson, Polanski was actually convicted of something—forcibly raping a 13-year-old girl. But the Polish-French director fled the United States before his sentencing has remained a fugitive. At least Jackson faced his accusers. Read grand jury testimony at The Smoking Gun at: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0610081polanski1.html
If victimizing a strange girl isn't sick enough, why has society learned to accept Woody Allen's marriage to his stepdaughter, Soon Yi? Society should never accept some of Jackson's choices. I'm curious why Allen's marriage and Polanski's rape of a young girl has been deemed less reprehensible.
Race could be the simple answer. African-Americans, particularly men, will never shake the stereotype of being dangerous. Some women still clutch their purses. Jackson didn't help us attempt to shed the mythical idea either.
Architect of War
Robert McNamara, who made the Vietnam War a reality, also died. McNamara's actions didn't just spark outrage in the streets. That outrage found its way home. NBC News' Brian Williams revealed McNamara welcomed war protesters under his roof. His son, Robert Craig McNamara, was among them.
One must wonder how Robert Craig and Kathleen McNamara Spears dealt with their father's vehement detractors. That includes a man who tried throwing the elder McNamara off a Martha's Vineyard ferry and into the ocean.
No one—certainly not this writer—compares McNamara and Jackson or their choices. But the children of both men have endured and will endure having their fathers' actions, reputations and legacies questioned. They don't deserve that.
Only Jackson and McNamara can't defend themselves. Alas, dead men don't debate. Our nation has been conditioned to point out mistakes and rehash them. It's a condition for which we should find a cure. Making generations bear the shame of someone else's mistakes is ludicrous and hurtful.