The greatest hypocrisy I ever witnessed was at the trial in 2005, during which the media twisted the public perception of what was happening inside the courtroom by reporting only statements made by the prosecution side – regardless of any rebuttal or the witness’ credibility – and ignoring the defense case. Hungry for ratings, they judged and condemned Michael in the public arena, with no regard for fairness or truth.
During breaks at the courthouse, reporters would pour into an area at the back to file stories and grab something to eat. One time, I overheard two of them criticizing the prosecution team and calling the case a farce. Those same reporters went on TV that night praising the prosecution case and saying a conviction seemed inevitable. The same thing happened repeatedly as news gave way to biased and false opinion that sought to satisfy a perceived appetite for sensationalism at the expense of all else.
In May I spoke with a young female reporter from a British newspaper. She told me she’d been busy filing stories during the first part of the trial (when the prosecution presents their case) but had nothing to do now because the newspaper's editor was interested only in scandal and controversy - and not in reporting the evidence being presented that proved Michael's innocence. I said, “Isn’t that very unethical?” She shrugged and said, yes, that it probably was.
One day in June, the lead prosecutor made a racist remark towards a celebrity defense witness. Everyone in the courtroom gasped. I expected this to be headline news the next day. It wasn’t even mentioned. Had it been a defense lawyer who’d made the remark (not that that would ever have happened), you can bet every reporter in the country would have been up in arms.
Twist and turn
We seem to live in a 1984-type society (referring to George Orwell’s book of that name), where you can rewrite history on a daily basis, contradicting things you’ve said in the past and ignoring cold hard facts. Just because somebody says something doesn’t make it true. But that doesn’t stop the media printing empty claims (even those that are exposed a moment later as the ranting of a lunatic and a fraudster) as headlines, giving them a weight they don’t warrant.
The truth is immutable, constant and consistent. Lies are fluid. They twist and turn, changing as needs be. There was only one truth presented at the trial, which was proven beyond doubt. There were a million lies, many given a false sense of credibility by the media, while being exposed in the courtroom as utterly baseless.
Those who spread lies would do well to remember that ANYbody's life can be destroyed by the word of a liar. It happened to him. It could happen to you or to anyone you love. Once an accusation has been made, the damage is done. No matter how vehemently you deny it or what evidence you present in your defense, the seed of doubt has been planted. Lies destroy lives.