“Angle”- This is a journalistic term used to indicate what an editor, publisher, producer, television station manager, etc. wants a particular story to convey.
“Michael would get between 50 and 60 extortion attempts per year. Most of them were paternity. Women claiming that Michael was the father of their child, and a whole bunch of other ones were over music…All of those things got thrown out of court because once they got to court, they couldn’t back it up.”David Nordahl, a friend of Michael’s for 20 years
Okay, back to how this all works….
For instance, an editor may tell you that he wants your particular story to concentrate on said celebrity’s marriage. That is your “angle” and what you will, if you want your piece to be accepted, concentrate your questions on, and lead the interview and your research in that particular direction.
Sometimes in writing, an editor or the station manager for television, will say to the writer or reporter…”this is the angle I want this story to have.” In other words, the main concentration, emphasis, feel…what they want the audience to feel, hear, and think about…the lasting impression they want to convey from the article or story.
In fact, the “lead”…in an article, the first paragraph, and in television, that opening statement, the whole purpose of the lead is to draw you in, make you want to read or hear more, and if done correctly, is very powerful.
Michael, in essence, did this in his art. He wanted the audience to feel particular emotions, the emotions and feelings he wanted to convey through his music, lyrics, dance, the beat, and he thought about every single aspect with the precision of a surgeon on what his audience would see, feel, hear and how they would react to that. That, is artistry in motion.
The same to some degree happens in all creative fields, including writing and television. The difference is, Michael used his creative genius for good, but in writing, journalism, television, that is not always the case. This skill can be used for good and to bring about positive, or, it can be used for evil…to sway the public’s opinion by spreading half-truths and making the story “angle” one of negativity.
For instance, they might be told that the angle that is being looked for is Michael’s child molestation charges or his eccentricity or the plastic surgeries or his changing looks or his white skin, that he bleached his skin or his love for children gone awry or his money woes or his “careless spending”…it is all calculated in the words and headlines used, right down to the images (some photoshopped at times) that will be shown to you….it’s all in what they want you, the public, to think about this particular person or to think about in general.
In this case, that boiled down to them wanting you to think about Michael Jackson and how odd he was, how he molested children, how he was sick and perverted, how he died a drug addict (all lies, but all things they want and need you to believe). This is exactly what they want and need you to think.
Because, newspaper and magazine publishers and television stations all have advertisers and sponsors and it is their job to please the sponsors. The sponsors and advertisers want people to tune in because they are investing money in commercials, ads, etc. So, they obviously want as many people as possible to see their ads and to buy their product.
So, the juicier and crazier the story, the more sensationalized, the bigger the audience, and, the more revenue that the sponsors and advertisers make, and hence, the publication or television station makes. If the advertisers are pleased, they continue to advertise with said publication or station, so all continue to benefit.
The losers in all of this? The people being lied about, and the people being lied to (the secondary being you and I, Joe and Josephine Public).
This is why you see the commentary said before and after the story so that even if the interviewee said positive things about Michael, you will hear both before and after and sometimes thrown into the middle of an otherwise positive piece, negative innuendos thrown in to cause you to doubt, to cause you to think negatively about Michael Jackson or anyone else they may be reporting on. You begin to believe the lies because you hear them so often.
It doesn’t help that 24 hour news stations play the same news reels over and over again creating an almost mild brainwashing effect…Michael always said that if you hear a lie often enough, you begin to believe it.. His exact quote was “Someone makes it up, and everybody believes it. If you hear a lie often enough, you start to believe it.”
The more negative stories and half truths and lies that can be put out there and accepted by the public and the more the public tunes in or buys the publications, the more the demand goes up. The more sensationalism that can be created, the more we tune in….remember this? Remember the panic and hysteria that was being played out on our television sets?
They know what the demographics are, they know that trash sells. They know that if they get us riled up, concerned, angry, fearful or shocked, we’ll gossip and share and the more this happens, the more people tune in.
So the more trash they “dig up”, the more you will keep tuning in to hear more (they know the public can be insatiable in their desire to hear gossip or in their innate ability to almost want to be shocked or put into a state of frenzy, fear or excitement) and, the more you tune in, the more money their advertisers make, making them happy and continuing to advertise with said publications or stations, and…the more the station or publication continues to make. It’s a “win-win” for them.
Michael Jackson is BIG NEWS. They, the media, the tabloids…know that whatever they publish about him (and the nastier the better) will bring an audience. He was known everywhere in the world and he didn’t give them much to go by, so, they made it up. They had to in their own minds because it was the ticket to their livelihood.
The image below? Photoshopped! But how many of you have seen this photo used in the media and tabloids!
Disclaimer: While I may not necessarily agree with all of the subjects or opinions shared on the above blog, I feel that the coverage of this subject by the blog’s author is very thorough and informative and dispels a lot of the untruths surrounding Michael’s paternity
Michael lived his life helping others, giving of himself and his money and his time, to help those hurting and in need, much of which he kept to himself as to not do it for an audience, but for the One whom he gave all the credit for his talent to, Almighty God.
That kind of feel-good news won’t get the kind of readership and television audience needed in most cases because, sadly, we’ve become a society that would much rather talk trash about others and gossip, then hear good news, celebrate it and let it inspire us to do something good as well.
Add to that the inherent angle of jealousy, hatred, ignorance, racism and prejudice, and you have a very powerful concoction for what you are seeing on the 7 o’clock nightly news, hearing on your radio and reading in your local paper, magazines and tabloids.
So instead, this is what you saw:
ALL LIES…all garbage. They didn’t want you to know the real Michael…the man who gave millions to charity, the man who visited sick children all over the world and helped save some of their lives, as many as he was able, the man who payed for the funerals of other celebrities whose families were too broke, the man who would say to friends and associates that they needed to call their mom and thank her on their birthdays because she gave them life, the man who cared about this earth and the children, the next generation, so much, so deeply from his heart, that he gave his all to that mission.
Because, they knew that if you knew that, you wouldn’t buy their trash magazines, tune into their shows, read their articles…and they wouldn’t make money!
With the stories presented on Michael Jackson, the angle is, of course, very negative, at almost a criminal level. It’s very evident the slant of the story, the spin, very evident in how the reporter or interviewer directs the interviews, and in commentary made by those on the set, both before and after a story or interview is presented. Stop for a moment and observe next time. It will become very obvious to you if you hadn’t noticed it before.
In essence, the audience is “set up” in how that publisher or station, wants you to feel and think, and the story or interview is sandwiched between commentary whose aim is to sway your emotion and make you feel and think in a way they would like you to.
You will also see that in some cases, those being interviewed are paid big money for their interviews and some can be unfortunately swayed by the money, to lie, essentially selling their soul to the devil so that the publication or television station, can maintain their desired “angle” for the piece. The media gets what they want…maintaining the angle and controlling how you think about something, and the person doing the lying gets paid big money and, if they have no morals, will do it.
David Nordahl spoke to me about this in his interview last year and Patrick Treacy has mentioned this to me as well about the exorbitant amounts of money being offered by publications for anyone to share “trash” stories about Michael. This isn’t about truth many times, which it’s supposed to be, it’s instead, about “trash” and “cash” 😦
Let’s take apart these 2 recent media stories:
By Jen Heger
Radar Legal Editor
With Katherine Jackson ratcheting up the debate about her son Michael Jackson‘s relationship with children by saying he was no child molester, a well-placed government source tells RadarOnline she’s right.
“The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services absolutely agrees with Katherine that her son never molested any child in cases the department investigated,” a source told RadarOnline.
PHOTOS: The Jackson family at court in Los Angeles
Michael Jackson was investigated by DCFS on and off for at least 10 years. The department undertook a first extensive investigation of allegations made by an underage accuser in 1993.
“Michael was fully cooperative during all of his interactions with DCFS,” the source said. “Michael was interviewed for hours without his lawyer. He held nothing back. He couldn’t understand why these allegations were being made against him. DCFS cleared him on any wrongdoing in ALL investigations.
PHOTOS: La Toya and Katherine Jackson arriving at UCLA Medical Center
“Did Michael put himself in precarious situations that most normal people wouldn’t? Absolutely . . . The questioning was very, very hard on Michael, he just couldn’t fathom that anyone could accuse him of being a child molester.”
Another accuser, in 2005, “had absolutely no credibility,” the source said. “There were differing accounts of what happened from the accuser and his family members.”
PHOTOS: Janet Jackson Through The Years
Los Angeles’ DCFS also investigated claims of abuse last year involving Michael Jackson’s three children. Michael’s nephew, Jaafar, allegedly used a stun gun on Michael’s son, Blanket. After an extensive investigation, DCFS again took no action in the 2010 stun gun incident.
“Katherine was questioned by officials from the department, and as always, she was cooperative but saddened,” the source said. “Katherine feels that her family has been targeted by opportunists over the years, and she just hopes that was the last time she ever has to go through that.”
Okay, let’s take a look closely at the above:
The lead “With Katherine Jackson ratcheting up the debate about her son Michael Jackson’s relationship with children.”
As I’ve stated, the lead is what draws you in…and already a negative word, “ratcheting” is being used to describe what Mrs. Katherine Jackson is doing, when what she is really doing is, basically, defending her son’s honor.
But the writer does not say this…she uses the phrase “ratcheting up the debate” to already put Michael and his mother in a negative light, even though, the news that follows is positive and clearly shows that Michael cooperated with authorities and was found NOT to be a child molester! The subtlety is already at work to sway your opinion in the direction that the writer and the publication, wants it to go.
And now, sandwiched in this article is another negative connotation to make sure that all of the positive truth about Michael doesn’t get you too touchy feely with “peace and love”
“Did Michael put himself in precarious situations that most normal people wouldn’t? Absolutely …
Notice this? They are saying by subtle word mastery that Michael was NOT normal. THIS is what they want you to think. They’ve already stated in this article that Michael cooperated fully, did not understand why he was being charged and how the DCFS, after a full investigation and interviews with Michael, found NO EVIDENCE to make them believe he was a child molester, and yet, the writer is making sure that you don’t forget that Michael wasn’t “normal”.
Many of you are well aware of these tricks, for others it may be new to you, but once you notice this, it’s very, very evident in how words and images are used to get us to think a particular way.
Okay, and the second story…this on one television:
A recent interview with Mrs. Katherine Jackson by Matt Lauer of the Today Show:
You’ll notice that the lead in to this story is fairly subdued and kind in the You Tube version. The first opening question starts with the fact that Mrs. Katherine was at the preliminary trial of Conrad Murray every day and how it “struck” the interviewer because she didn’t have to be there and “why did you feel the need to be in that courtroom”, and yet, I would bet that if any of us were in her situation, we would be at court every single day too. That was her son.
“Was it difficult for you to be in the courtroom with someone who is accused of, in some ways being responsible for your son’s death?” This is the second question and it’s a typical “no brainer” media question because well, of course it is!
You’ll notice in this interview that Mrs. Jackson mentions that the cases were kept open for years after (Gavin is told in his testimony that I posted a link to on this blog, that he has until he is 18). Mrs. Jackson mentions that the children were told that they could come and talk to the police during all of those years and as she states, nobody came because they all knew it wasn’t the truth.
Now, this is VERY important. Listen to this closing comment by Matt Lauer after the interview is shown on the Hulu link:
“A lot of strength, but you can also tell there’s an awful lot of pain that is in her heart over the loss of her son (okay, doing okay so far)…but WAIT…they cannot maintain it 😦 …”and I think anger, in what is HER OPINION, about some of the stories that have been told that are not correct.”
Meredith Viera then says “Absolutely and she wants to speak out, which I found very interesting too.”
Now, did you catch that? Leading into the interview, the lead is used to make you think that it’s odd somehow for Mrs. Jackson to want to be in the courtroom every day for the preliminary trial of someone who was responsible or partly responsible for killing her son. Do you see how they are directing your thinking?
The interview itself is fairly subtle and kind…but then, the closing statements (you must watch the hulu version of the video, link above to see these both).
There are exclaimed points made to the fact that “it is HER OPINION” that the stories of her son are not correct, and that, it’s very interesting that she wants to speak out.
Again, do you see how, sandwiching this apparently kind interview, your mind is being twisted to believe that not only is it odd for Mrs. Jackson to attend the preliminary trial of someone responsible for her son’s death, but also that it’s only her opinion that the media’s lies weren’t true about her son and that it’s “interesting” that she wants to speak out against them.
If someone lies about you or someone in your family, do you not speak out against it in truth? Yep, I thought so. Not so “interesting” after all.
I think we can all agree that we see this truth happening right before our eyes. Think about it. Not long ago, all we heard about was the Japanese earthquakes, tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns. Now, we rarely hear about those things despite the fact they are still going on. It’s all put in the background almost as if it never happened because there’s more sensational news to take it’s place. Instead, we are hearing the latest sensational news…Obama Bin Ladin’s capture and death and we see those reels played over and over and over again.
The media can be used for good, or otherwise. It’s each of us who has to remain aware and pay attention to what we are letting into our minds and pay attention to what is being said and always, always seeking truth.
When we desire to have peace in our lives (and I think we all desire that), we have to realize that peace comes from God. The problem comes in when all that surrounds us threatens to steal our peace by continually putting us in a state of anxious, excitable frenzy, worry and lies over the state of everything…our world, the economy, health scares, and continual lies about celebrities and those in the public eye to draw our attention in. There are real concerns of course, but we must put them in perspective. Last time I checked, God was still on the throne and He has His hand on everything we deal with. We either try to handle everything on our own and live in a constant state of anxiety (which is how the media hopes to keep you), or, we instead rely on God and His Truth.
We need to stop allowing ourselves to be marionettes to the media and tabloid’s string pulling and instead, seek true, lasting peace in our lives, and truth.
Because, when we don’t, when we allow ourselves to believe the lies and be drawn in and play the game…this is what happens:
Michael’s former bodyguard Marvin Butts speaks candidly about the real Michael, the one that so many didn’t know:
“Mike was special, he was the chosen one. He was the one that God looked at and pointed His finger on. That’s how Mike survived everything he did. He was spiritually blessed.” ~ Marvin Butts
Michael was an angel, he was an angel. Forget what you heard. Michael made us all (think) “how can you judge me if you don’t even know me?” When I listen to the words of that song, he was an angel.” ~ Marvin Butts