Inner Michael » News from the Dark Side: Peddling Michael Will you be there?

News from the Dark Side: Peddling Michael

Will you be there?

You may remember the explosive phone hacking scandal in Britain that began in 2011 and captured the world’s interest and condemnation. The tabloids owned by Rupert Murdoch and particularly his now defunct News Of The World,– by far the most salacious of the collection of tabloids, were accused of hacking into the phones of celebrities, the royal family and even the cell phone of a dead teenager intercepting her voice mail messages, and obstructing the police investigation into her disappearance, leading her family to believe that she was still alive, giving them false hope. In a move to assuage his complicity and appease the public and their outcry of “foul!” closed the doors of News of the World. It was a cynical move to divest one newspaper in order to save his empire.

Hacking is a well known and understood practice in the industry– as is hunting, hounding, stalking and exploiting public figures for profit.

Right now the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the U. S. is considering supporting a number of proposals:
1. A bid to divined up Internet to large corporations who will then divide the Internet up and sell its parts. The Internet should continue to be a free public utility.
2. They are actually entertaining the idea of Murdoch’s bid to purchase Time Warner and merge News Corp and Time Warner.

Can you imagine what kind of news and information you will be spoon fed from someone who came up in the tabloid industry, made his billions from the tabloid industry exploiting other people (including peddling Michael Jackson as Wacko Jacko”) without their consent, invading their privacy, harassing them and their children and providing no compensation for using people to sell newsprint and further his dark agenda– and it’s not to make the world a better place.

Say “no” and make your voice heard:

To protest this really, really bad and unimaginably destructive idea go and make your voice heard here:

Why is this important to Jackson supporters?

Because News of The World was one of the first tabloids to use “Wacko Jacko” in the headlines.  (Some testify that it actually invented and coined the name) As was Murdoch’s The Sun. Once published, the name stuck and tabloids and mainstream media picked it up and used the moniker which Jackson hated.

Several books by those in the tabloid industry have confirmed that Murdoch, who moved his empire from where he began in Australia to Fleet Street in the U.K. to gobble up the media real estate in Britain– specifically ordered his tabloid reporters to go after stories about Madonna and Michael Jackson because they were so popular and the public was fascinated and sometimes obsessed, with them. Murdoch realized that his demographics were middle aged readers and was missing the youth demographic. In order to recruit and gain the young audience in addition to the ‘average Joe’  reader stopping off for a brew in the pub after work, he deliberately targeted the two most well known celebrities on the planet and the British royal family.

Citing “free speech” as his ‘sword of justice’, he deliberately capitalized on ‘Schadenfreude”  which is defined as being gleeful and amused by someone else’s misfortune. When taken over by Rebekah Brooks, the News of the World immediately began using “”naming and shaming” to create public interest, targeting those with mental illness and accused or suspected sex offenders. The tabloid deliberately inflamed public opinion that escalated into a frenzy, resulting in angry mobs going after people who were not convicted and in many cases, harmed people through mistaken identity including a “pediatrician” which to the readers and their mentality was synonymous with “paedophile.” She was called out for her irresponsible journalism but the hunt for the salacious continued targeting celebrities, politicians and royals and included phone hacking very early in her tenure. Many entities accurately making accusations of phone hacking were paid in exchange for their silence– which delayed for years the exposure of this “bastard child” of journalism.

They also paid for tips from police and for story leads, which created the climate for and fostered the practice of “checkbook journalism.”

The media, watching the readership and circulation increase along with the profits, began to produce journalism and “must-see TV” which used cash to pay for stories and which bred journalist with “flexible” scruples. There was money to be made off denigrating and mocking real flesh and blood people because it was profitable. Some cultures would call feeding off the flesh of a human cannibalism. But that scheme combined with America’s racist agenda let to a feeding frenzy on Madonna and Jackson both with Jackson taking most of the blunt force. Decades of the abuse reduced the artist to a caricature and objectified him making him an easy target. Those steps of dehumanizing are purposeful. Making someone into an object instead of a human gives license to bully for a public unawares of the systematic and sequential nature of a tabloid takedown.

Murdoch’s competitors, not to be outdone, also seized on Jackson’s popularity, the wide audience he commanded and the public’s fascination with Jackson, and the race was on. They reported that he slept in an oxygen chamber to keep from aging (actually Jackson purchased chamber for a children’s hospital and laid in it to see how it would work); that he “bleached” his skin to appear white and deny his African American heritage (Jackson actually had 2 diseases which affect the skin and connective tissue including cartilage– Lupus and Vitiligo); that he dangerously ‘dangled’ his child unsafely from a balcony (the “balcony” jutted out underneath Jackson who held a tight grip on his child excited to show his firstborn to fans who beneath the hotel chanted “show us the baby” and he complied, probably not the best public relations move on his part given his incessant stalking by tabloids. The media played the clip over and over from an angle that made it look dangerous and “wacko” behavior of an ‘eccentric star’; that he married Lisa Marie Presley to distract and dispute the media that labeled him “homosexual” or “asexual” and eventually picked up on the story of molestation brought in a case where evidence of extortion was caught on tape. The resulting payout to make the annoyance go away was, to a salivating media, an admission of guilt. The payout was to avoid a grueling and damaging trial with an accusation made by a man with an unstable mental illness. His innocence was always understood as the legal documents included a statement specifically stating there was no acknowledgment of guilt and leaving the door open to a legal prosecution by the accusing family. They took the payout and never filed charges.

Tabloids are of the opinion that scandal and sex sells, thereby increasing readership and circulation of a publication. “If it leads, it bleeds” is the motto of the daily news. That is why the majority of the news is negative. The tabloids use standard tools and practices to further their agenda and profits– using rhyme and alliteration, large headlines and purchasing photos by paparazzi who deliberately bait the celebrity or public figure to get the “best” negative photo– again degrading the targeted individual to a beneath human status that makes it more OK to bully.

When you are hunting for the dark side of anything, rest assured you will find it. It’s the same phenomenon that when you buy a red car, suddenly red cars appear everywhere. This persecution of the “guilty” in order to assuage one’s own guilt and complicity in the inhumane treatment of another is an old trick in human nature that is supposed to provide relief. But the relief is at the expense of the soul.

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder applies to those who experience the trauma, those who participate in causing the trauma and those who witness the trauma. To stand by and witness the guerilla decontextualization (twisting content to strip a human being of dignity and further a dark and purposeful agenda) is a soulless activity with hidden consequences.

Think of it this way: The media is a giant and is the most powerful means to shape and manipulate public opinion. Used in an unethical, un-soulful and dark way, it is a weapon of mass destruction. the media has evolved into a bully with the biggest bully pulpit and the misuse of power. That weapon is wielded irresponsibly all too often and hypnotizes and indoctrinates us to “come to the dark side.” It is a bully pulpit that is big and powerful and when it bullies, is capable of unimaginable and irreversible damage.

We are all downwind.


Some news about the scandal and its litigation reported by an Inner Michael reader following the story:

“At last I have something to tell you. Andy Coulson, former editor of the now closed News of the World tabloid newspaper, is starting an 18 month prison sentence tonight at Belmarsh Prison, in London!

After an 8 month trial at the Old Bailey, he was found guilty of conspiracy to hack the telephones and intercepting voice mails of thousands of people – royalty, celebrities, including pop stars, politicians and ordinary people – between 2000 and 2006.

Rebekah Brookes was found not guilty last week due to lack of evidence (?) The police are to question Rupert Murdoch again.
Former news editor, Greg Miskiw was sentenced to six months. Two other former senior reporters, Glen Mulcaire and James Wetherup, got four to six months suspended, and 200 hours of community service within 12 months.

About the Tabloid Newspapers: They still wield a lot of power in this country but it’s a waning power. Recent figures by the National Readership Survey reveal that the Sun is still read by just under six million people a day but those figures are falling rapidly. It has lost around a million readers over the last 12 months.

This figure assumes that one newspaper is then read by several different people. Sales of the newspaper have fallen by more than 250,000 over the last year to just over two million a day. Only the Independent showed a bigger percentage drop. Secondly, the creation of an online paywall has seen its online readership drop from more than 750,000 a day to under 100,000. Compare that with the Daily Mail’s two million online readers in the UK. The Sun is no longer Britain’s most read newspaper brand.
Source: National Readership Survey

The News of the World Hacking Scandal:

New York Times:

If you’re interested in the Timeline of the Scandal:

What does Murdoch own?

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s Empire:

 News Corp. holdings including three national newspapers in the U.K.; almost 150 publications in Australia; the New York Post and Community Newspaper Group in the United States; The Wall Street Journal and related publications in the U.S., Europe and Asia; Dow Jones information services;

HarperCollins book publishers Including:

Daily Telegraph; Dow Jones; Harper Collins Publishers; Herald Sun; Inside Out; New York Post; News International; NT News; Post-Courier; Sunday Herald Sun; Sunday Mail; Sunday Times; The Advertiser; The Australian; The Courier-Mail; The Daily; The Mercury; The Sunday Mail; The Sunday Telegraph; The Sun; The Sunday Times; The Times; Times Literary Supplement; The Wall Street Journal; The Wall Street Journal Digital Network; Weekly Times; Zondervan.


Businesses include the FOX Broadcasting Company; the 27 stations in the Fox Television Stations group and various television operations throughout the world. Cable properties produce and license programming for cable and satellite platforms in the U.S and Asia, including the FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network, FX and STAR. News Corporation wholly owns Italy’s most popular pay-TV company, SKY Italia. The company also has significant holdings in British Sky Broadcasting, Germany’s Sky Deutschland; Asia’s TATA SKY and FOXTEL in Australia and New Zealand.

FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports; FOX Sports Australia; FOX Television Stations; MyNetworkTV; Big Ten Network; FOX Business Network; FOX Movie Channel; FOX News Channel; FOX College Sports; FOX Sports Enterprises; FOX Deportes; FOX Sports Net; FOX Soccer Channel; Fuel TV; FX; Nat Geo Wild; National Geographic Channel United States; National Geographic Channel Worldwide; Speed; STAR; Stats, Inc.; BSkyB; FOXTEL; Sky Deutschland; SKY Italia.

Movie and television production and distribution

Move production and distribution through Fox Filmed Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Film. Television production includes 20th Century Fox Television and other TV studios including 20th Century Fox; 20th Century Fox Espanol; 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; 20th Century Fox International; 20th Century Fox Television; Fox Searchlight Pictures; Fox Studios Australia; Fox Studios LA; Fox Television Studios; Blue Sky Studios; Shine Group.

Other assets

“Next generation” media properties including Hulu, an online video joint venture with NBC Universal and Disney; and News Outdoor, an outdoor advertising company.

The list includes:

American; AskMen;;;;;;; IGN Entertainment; Milkround; National Rugby League; NDS;; News Digital Media; News Outdoor; Scout; Spring Widgets;; WhatIfSport.

~To Inner Michael~



  1. Dalia said . . .

    Talking about abuse by the media, I want to thank you dear Barbara for all your support. Thanks for putting our feelings into words regarding the publication of Clarín, the diary who mocked Michael in Argentina. Thanks for the letter and its suggestion to an online petition. Today the goal was achieved. The general director of the newspaper have it in his hands with 1003 signatures.

    Posted August 2, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Welcome. Keep me posted.

    Posted August 2, 2014 at 5:35 am | Permalink
  3. Dee said . . .

    We sit back, read and revel in it today – and you can be sure that one day, it might well be us, our loved ones, our children tomorrow. Excellent piece, Barbara. However, coming from the UK and having see the shocking treatment of Michael by the tabloids over decades, it is undoubtedly the Daily and Sunday Mirror that has been the worst and more grotesque in its treatment of this gentle man, and others. In fact, The Mirror is the only tabloid that Michael sued, so this gives you an idea of just how bad it truly was – and is.

    Up until recently, the Sunday edition was edited by none other than Tina Weaver (the UK’s answer to Diane Dimond) who – unsurprisingly and ironically – also sat on the Press Complaints Commission, overseeing complaints about media intrusion and inaccuracy. She used to edit a now defunct tabloid called ‘Today’, and used every opportunity in the 1993 case to produce front page headlines condemning Michael to prison and swaying public opinion against him in the most vile way. She too, was recently arrested on phone hacking charges, but will likely glean sympathy due to the fact that on arrest, she was pregnant. Of course, there was no such dignity for an innocent man with three children dependent on him. Michael’s life and the way he was vilified will go down in history as one of the most shocking and horrendous acts of mass bullying we might ever witness.

    Posted October 6, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks for the comment. I am not suggesting that one is tabloid is less damaging or is better than another. This practice goes far beyond “free speech” or anti-censorship which was Murdoch’s excuse for what he was doing (and still is.) It goes far beyond innocent “reporting” and “journalism.” This is a concerning trend for humanity. What the tabloid business (and mainstream media following the trend to get eyes on the page, readership and market share) does is focus on the shadow side of the ego to the detriment of the other side– bright shadow and the potential within the inner self (Inner Michael) which engages the soul and compassion.

    Social scientists tell us that humanity is hard-wired for compassion and science proves that we are all one and that reality from the quantum to the cosmos is one huge interconnected web. Targeting people for dehumanization and bullying conscripts the dark side of human nature. When we compare the number of words and images dedicated to destroying and semblance of “humanity” in favor of divisiveness, marginalization, humiliation, separation, and bullying, with the dedication to compassion, empathy, kindness– it’s obvious that the destruction of “humanity” individually and the collective, devolves instead of evolves the human being. Making people “other” and deriding them by labeling them less than human and undesirable has caused most of the problems on this planet from the beginning of time– colonization, genocide, ethnic cleansing, joy killings, slavery, racism, war…

    We are now a global community. We have “colonized” the planet to the brink of our own extinction, so dehumanizing is not a trend that is helping to move the species forward in evolution. Exploiting people for sport and profit diminishes all of humanity– those who are targets, those who observe and those traumatized directly or indirectly by the practice as well as those who justify their own bullying behavior by thinking or citing it as “normal.” It makes all of us less. It makes us value self and others less and ultimately diminishes the value of humanity and the planet. The slope is very slippery.

    Posted October 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

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