In the time since I posted Part 1 of this series late on Friday, the focus throughout social media has been largely about Radar Online’s tomfuckery in falsifying the documents they claimed as “official” police documents in the original story they dropped on June 20th. My purpose in Part 1 was mainly to provide a broad overview of the story and to rebut the sensationalistic media claims that these were “new” or “recently unearthed” reports; secondly. to remind readers that there was nothing in those original reports that ever stated child pornography had been found at Neverland-a statement that was signed off by both the defense and prosecution, as well as Judge Melville. From there, I touched briefly on how Radar Online had faked a lot of the information and was making grossly exaggerated claims about the items that were in the authentic reports.
Late Friday, just as i had posted Part 1, the crap really started to fly when Canadian artist Jonathan Hobin reached out to the media to let the world know that one of the photographs Radar Online had falsely inserted as “evidence” of Michael’s “sick and twisted, disturbing stockpile” of sexually graphic images featuring children was, in fact, part of Hobin’s well known collection titled In the Playroom. It is, in fact, an art book of photographs for which the theme is the depiction of children who have been victims of violent crimes. It is a collection that uses “shock art” as a call to social awakening of what is happening to children in our modern society. Further research revealed that the media has covered this collection and its author quite extensively. There were stories on Vice.com as well as an extensive write-up for The Huffington Post by Priscilla Frank in 2013-yes, the same Huffington Post who jumped on the MJ story bandwagon and repeated verbatim Radar Online’s lies that an image from this collection supposedly was included as part of Michael’s “stockpile” of “disturbing images.”
Yet here is what Huffington Post wrote of Jonathan Hobin’s book in 2013:
Although generally childhood is portrayed as a time of innocence and bliss, the reality is often far more sinister. Photographer Jonathan Hobin captures our childhood fascinations with the darkest aspects of adult life in his polarizing series “In The Playroom.” The series recreates disturbing historical moments such as the attacks on September 11, 2001 and JonBenét Ramsey’s death. We reached out to Hobin to learn more…
Note that the JonBenet Ramsey photo is clearly mentioned here, which means The Huffington Post as well as other media outlets were clearly aware of this photo’s origins as part of an art collection.
But the real clincher is that Hobin’s book wasn’t even published until 2008! So this book was not possibly something Michael Jackson could have even owned in 2003 when the raid of Neverland took place!
This same photo was featured as part of a Huffington Post slideshow of Hobin’s work in 2013-there was no mention then of it being anything other than a work of art!
Hobin has tried to reach out to the media to spread the truth about the photo and its origins. So far, I don’t know if anyone has taken him up.
But interestingly, as soon as Hobin spoke out-and as soon as other media outlets began circulating that Radar Online had faked at least a portion of the documents-the original 88 page document Radar Online had posted suddenly lost 27 pages overnight, shrinking to a mere 61 pages. This is clearly a case of track covering! With no retraction and no formal apology forthcoming, the gesture of merely removing these blatantly falsified images and documents means nothing. They created the damage by putting this fake crap out there in the first place-now that they’ve been caught, they are trying to cover it up.
And to make matters worse, now that the spotlight has been placed on how Radar Online falsified official police reports. they and their cohorts have merely created another diversion, one that is far more disturbing since it involves unfounded speculations about Michael’s own children and nephews. If this isn’t the ultimate in defamation, I don’t know what is! I do know that it’s time it has to stop; this feeding frenzy has gotten so crazy that anyone, it seems, can make up anything they want about Michael or his family-or his children (one of which, let’s not forget, is still a minor!) and have it printed by media outlets who will never bother fact checking the story. In fact, it’s scarier than that. One can truly speculate anything they want, and in so doing, create an atmosphere where people will believe it is fact. What they are doing is creating a lot of smoke to cover up the fact that there is no fire. It’s an old media tactic, but unfortunately, one that often has the desired effect.
Anyway, I guess I am allowing my anger to get me sidetracked and ahead of myself. What I intended with this series was to rebut Radar Online’s claims with what I know to be true about the Michael Jackson case and what was found (as well as what was not)-to separate truth from sensationalized fiction. And the best way to do that is just to go straight through the documents, addressing each item or issue as it appears. I will be basing this, obviously, on the original 88 page document which Radar Online has since deleted-not because I wish to further sensationalize their fabrications, but because I think it is important that everyone knows what they tried to get away with (I don’t think it was because they honestly didn’t think they would be caught; more like they just wanted to see how much and for long they could milk the story before the truth did catch up). The fact we must keep uppermost in mind when reviewing these materials is that many of these items had already gone through one round of misinterpretations and attempts to view them out of the context of their original intent-remember, the prosecution was trying hard to build a case for them as “possible” grooming materials since they had no actual evidence on which to build their case. Radar Online (as well as Vanity Fair and others) then merely added another layer of sensationalism to what was already, in many cases, gross misrepresentations of these items. It has also been reported by sharp-eyed fans that many of the “fake” images obtained from internet sources carried identifying information pinpointing them back to Wade Robson’s and Jimmy Safechuck’s attorneys. You will be seeing this as we move through the documents and come upon the faked images.
Here is the first page of the document:
The first three pages, as noted, are missing so the document essentially picks up with page 3. (Updated: You can find a discussion of the content of those missing pages here). The first item being discussed is Item #507, a drawing made on notebook paper of a boy in a circle. There were some apparent impressions made onto the paper by someone writing on a sheet of paper that had been on top of it, but nothing could be determined as far as what the writings may have been. However, anyone familiar with Michael’s art style knows that this sounds very typical of the types of drawings he liked to do. Many of his sketches have been seen publicly (many are available at a glance with a quick Google search) and we can see that, typically, Michael liked to draw self portraits of himself as a child, other famous figures and cartoon characters, or scenes that in some way evoke the essence of childhood. Below are some very typical examples of his art work:
It is very obvious, then, that the drawing described could have been very typical in style and content to any of the above. Notably, nothing further is inferred about the drawing other than that it would need to be “forensically processed” in order to read the latent writings. Translation: They knew they were wasting time even taking up space talking about it, as it was just a drawing of a boy sitting in a circle (interestingly, this could have been one of Michael’s many self portraits depicting himself in the spotlight, but without actually seeing it, it’s hard to say. All I know for certain is that, being familiar with Michael’s style and the types of subjects he liked to depict in his artwork, this is typical).
Next described is a book found in the arcade room, The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes. The report describes it as a book about adolescents and the counterculture, with “some” pictures featuring apparently adult individuals “with no clothing, or in a state of partial dress.”
I did a little further research on this book (which frankly wasn’t hard-a quick Google search is usually is all the detective work that is required, since these were and still are perfectly legal art books) and found out that the entire project was part of an Italian art exhibition that opened in Florence in January of 2003. The project’s purpose, as stated on the pittidiscovery website was:
“an opportunity for reflection on the increasing importance of teenage tribes in our society. A society where the obsolesence of concepts of sexual and demographic identity reflects social changes in progress in a violent, contradictory manner. The fourth sex belongs to adolescents. A sexually indefinite moment, in which gender ambiguity prevails. Adolescents are not boys or girls and not yet men or women. They belong to a parallel, fluid universe, in a state of becoming. They are closely connected to the present, yet symbolically contain the seeds of future.
Adolescence is not just a phase of passage in human life, it also is a mental state, an existential condition with an overwhelming impact on lifestyles and trends. Adolescents are omnivorous, tireless consumers, distracted but also attentive, easily persuadable but also independent. Adolescents do not want to be well-balanced, they love extremes in everything: from fashion to art to music…
Unbalanced between the present and the future, adolescents appear to us as both agitated and strangely passive. They may give form to their world in an aggressive way, but at the same time they are also forced to come to terms with the labels, the judgments and the formulae of the adult world.
Observed and studied by experts of all kinds, monitored in their behavior patterns, adolescents represent a decisive segment in the strategy of consumption. They adore clothes and music. They want to be cool at all costs. Fashion watches the teenage universe closely both as a source of inspiration and as a crucial target group, while contemporary art explores, exploits and analyzes the myth of the eternal adolescent. From the rebellion of the historical avantgardes, through the counterculture of the Sixties, to the doubts and uncertainties of Generation X, contemporary art has treated adolescence as an indispensable point of reference, coming to grips with its radical gestures, its violations and impatience.
The exhibition The fourth sex. Adolescent Extremes observes and portrays the restless territory of teenagers :an incredible resource of creative energy. The show lights a series of emotional fires where ideas meet and derail in new constellations of meaning. The materials in the show reflect the complex universe of contemporary culture: fashion, communications, art, music, cinema… The themes are many, and inevitably touch some of the nerve centers of our society. Talking about adolescence doesn’t only mean the subject of young people, but it also means talking about their restless relationship with the adult world. This doesn’t only mean representing the positive energies of this age group, but also exploring the insecurities and fears that can lead to terrible, extreme gestures.
The two curators, Francesco Bonami and Raf Simons, intend to construct an exhibition that is itself an expression of the languages of adolescence, mixing expressive codes and disciplines. Drawing inspiration from the multiplicity of the languages of teenagers, The fourth sex will be a space in which different ideas and trends release, transforming the show into a place of encounter and dissemination.
The exhibition, installed at Stazione Leopolda by a group of young architects, the Cliostraats, sheds light on the strength, weakness and promises of the fourth sex. The book/catalogue offers a variegated montage not only of the images in the show, but also of supplementary iconographic materials, such as images from art, fashion, teenage icons, legendary films. The volume is also an anthology of the most interesting writings on the theme of adolescence, in which a mixture of poetry, literature, current events, journalism and essays, give form and color to all the contradictions and ambiguities of an unhappy age we will never regret.
After wasting considerable space to describe the book, the report clearly states: “None of the material within this book would meet the legal requirements to be considered child pornography.” Get used to hearing that phrase; it’s one that’s going to crop up with just about every item described! The only thing they could try to claim is that such items could be used for grooming material. This, again, is going to come up a lot because, remember, it was all they had to go on and the prosecution was trying desperately to build a case on this!
Well, this is as much as I’m going to have time to post today, but I will continue on Wednesday to take you through both the real and “imagined” journey of Michael Jackson’s “stockpiled” porn. Sorry, though, if it isn’t as titillating as the tabloid accounts. Truth seldom is.
In the meantime, here is a cool rebuttal video that’s starting to go viral. Share it and make it go viral some more!
And don’t forget to sign:
Read Firpo Carr’s statements rebutting Radar Online as well! This is in two parts. He gives an excellent example of how innocent items that didn’t even belong to MJ were entered as “evidence”!