Interview with Charles Thomson, part four
We’ve been talking with Michael Jackson expert Charles Thomson, in a lengthy interview about recent unfortunate events in the MJ community. Thomson, a talented young music journalist, has been accused of everything under the sun, including allegedly conspiring with Sony to murder Michael Jackson. Here, we continue to examine this theatre of the absurd.
Regarding the photograph with Randy T- is Randy also a villain in this saga?
A lot of Michael Jackson’s fans seem to have a highly sanitised image of him. On the basis of Jackson’s extensive charity work and humanitarian efforts, some fans do seem to view him almost as a celestial being – an angel walking the earth.
Conversely, Randy Taraborrelli’s biography of Jackson portrays him as a man with many facets to his character. He writes about Jackson throwing tantrums sometimes, or being snappy with his staff, occasionally cursing – that sort of thing. Basically, Taraborrelli portrays Jackson as a human being and some of Jackson’s fans can’t handle that – it’s too real for them. They view even the remotest criticism of their idol as an act of sacrilege.
Randy Taraborrelli is one of the world’s most respected celebrity biographers. He interviews roughly 500 people for every book he writes, gaining an extraordinary insight into his subjects. I also know from our personal conversations that he’s very critical of his own work and wouldn’t allow anything to go into print if he thought it was untrue. For the fans to dismiss him as ‘tabloid’ is just baseless. If you want to talk tabloid, go read Christopher Anderson’s book – or Ian Halperin’s or Diane Dimond’s. Taraborrelli’s book is, in my opinion, the only Michael Jackson biography which even comes close to getting to Michael’s core and understanding him as a human being.
Moreover, Randy Taraborrelli believes in Michael Jackson’s innocence and has been on the record as believing in Michael Jackson’s innocence since around 1995 when he said so in an interview about the upcoming HIStory album. The fans criticise him for giving both sides of the story in his book, particularly regarding the 1993 allegations, but I don’t see how you can possibly come away from that portion of Randy’s biography without feeling the doubt in the 1993 case was far beyond reasonable.
As for bloggers accusing Randy of being a Sony-sponsored anti-MJ blogger; he must be the first paid blogger in the world who doesn’t actually have a blog.
You were also accused of being someone you weren’t. Tell me about that.
This is another example of Michael Jackson’s fans and detractors behaving in the same way, actually. I think it’s because they’re at either end of an extreme scale, from people who obsessively adore Michael Jackson to people who obsessively despise him. Psychologists say that those who subscribe to conspiracy theories tend to have obsessive personalities.
There’s a website called Topix that houses a group of people who rabidly despise Michael Jackson. That’s where the conspiracy theories about my identity originated. A writer called Deborah Ffrench kept going over there and defending me, so they started claiming that Deborah was actually me. I remember finding it ironic at the time that these people were accusing me of lying about Michael Jackson’s innocence and at the same time were perpetuating their own insane lies about me. Total hypocrisy.
In actuality, Deborah Ffrench is very real and recently published the first part in a trilogy of articles about Michael Jackson for the website Stereoboard. Her first piece, which centred on the 1993 allegations and how the media covered them, was fantastic – easily the best article I’ve ever read about the 1993 allegations. We help each other out with research all the time but we are certainly not the same person.
Since it was decided by various conspiracy theorists that I am actually an evil Sony henchman, a further conspiracy theory has evolved among Michael Jackson’s fans that Deborah Ffrench – for reasons unclear even to the originators of the theory – ghosted some of my Michael Jackson articles for me. They even took different articles written by me and started comparing the syntax and the vocabulary, quite certain that they could prove through textual analysis that the articles had been penned by two different authors.
The fact that Deborah was dragged into the debacle really highlighted how insane the situation was. Some fans were comparing her articles to mine and declaring that we were provably the same person because we had
identical syntax. It just shows how conspiracy theorists can invent something out of nothing. Deborah and I don’t write in the same way at all. I am a journalist. I’ve been trained to write in straightforward, factual language – always to the point and nothing flowery. Deborah, on the other hand, is more literary. She has a flair that I couldn’t emulate even if I tried. It’s built into me to write journalistically, whereas Deborah is in love with language.
Talking about conspiracy theorists making something out of nothing, that’s just reminded me of something I saw the other day, which showed again how these bloggers can take tiny modicums of fact and then use them to ‘prove’ gigantic and irrelevant theories.
Some bloggers have been accusing John Branca of being involved in Michael Jackson’s death and their blogs have been doing the rounds on facebook. Somebody posted one of the links on Randy Taraborrelli’s facebook page. Randy is a friend of John Branca’s so he put up a message saying he didn’t want any trash talk about Branca on his profile.
A conspiracy theorist blogger subsequently wrote: “So now we have a three-some . . . Taraborrelli, Branca and Charlie, who are all just so buddy-buddy. Isn’t that nice?”
This is an absolutely perfect example of how conspiracy theorists take mundane and irrelevant factual information and use it to ‘prove’ something through a series of leaps which are unsupported by any evidence.
Facts: Charles Thomson knows Randy Taraborrelli. Randy Taraborrelli knows John Branca.
Leap number one: This proves that Charles Thomson knows John Branca.
Leap number two: This proves that Charles Thomson, Randy Taraborrelli and John Branca are all involved in a murderous conspiracy together.
I have never met John Branca. Ever. Never corresponded with him, never spoken on the phone, never been in a room with him, never even been in the same building. I have literally never had any contact with John Branca at any point in my life. But on the sole basis that I know Randy and Randy knows John Branca, I am accused of being involved in a murderous conspiracy with John Branca.
As you said earlier: ‘Absurd’.
Your previous interview on my blog received mostly wonderful support. But not entirely. I was asked why I’d run an interview with you on my blog, since you allegedly had not been a supporter before Jackson’s death. I mentioned that you are barely out of school and probably were not yet working during the trials. Am I wrong? Was there a time when you were giving Jackson negative press, and changed your mind?
I am certainly not just out of school. I left school six years ago, but spent the next five in higher education at college and university. (NB from Lorette: by “school” I in fact meant higher education, not public school. In Canada school refers colloquially to studying, not to grade school.)
I’m glad you asked me this question because this is a lie that conspiracy theorists have been circulating about me for several months now; a baseless and gratuitous fiction that I only started writing positively about Michael Jackson after he died when it became ‘profitable’. It’s a provable lie, perpetuated by bloggers who have made their name from attacking me and now need to keep the myth of me as bogeyman alive in order to preserve their own perceived credibility.
I have been writing positively about Michael Jackson for public consumption since the Summer of 2008, when I interviewed Aphrodite Jones about her book ‘Michael Jackson Conspiracy’ and published it in a magazine called Deadline. That interview is on my website and at the time Aphrodite declared that it was the best article she’d ever seen written about her career. It was also published on the fansite MJStar and circulated on various other fansites at the time.
Then, in May 2009, I self-published my own black music magazine called JIVE. The first article in the entire magazine opened with a quote from Michael Jackson’s 2002 speech in New York about racism in the music industry, and in the ensuing article I wrote about how black artists have been maligned and bullied throughout the last century, encompassing Chuck Berry’s case in 1959 and Michael Jackson’s in 2005.
So that shatters the myth of me being some sort of hater before Michael Jackson died. As for the constant claims that it’s now profitable for me to write positively about Michael Jackson, or that I’m doing it to further my career – that’s all insane drivel as well.
Firstly, all of my recent work on Michael Jackson’s legal troubles has been published either on my personal blog or on the Huffington Post, both of which I write for no money whatsoever.
Secondly, I am a journalism graduate who has, in my work on Michael Jackson, attacked CNN, CBS, Fox News, ABC, MTV, VH1, CourtTV, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Mirror, the Guardian, Channel 4, ITN Factual, the New York Post, the New York Times, the Hollywood Reporter and I can’t even remember who else. Anybody who thinks that this is going to assist me in my career is living in a fantasy world.
previous portions of this interview:
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