Writing About Writing About Michael Jackson: What Some Critics Still Get Wrong

Sources: Forbes – By Zack O’Malley Greenburg | All Things Michael

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If Michael Jackson were still alive, tomorrow would be his 56th birthday. And though he passed away more than five years ago, fans across the country–from his onetime home of Las Vegas to his birthplace of Gary, Indiana–and around the globe will be celebrating the King of Pop as though he never left.

In many ways, he hasn’t. Songs from his latest posthumous album, Xscape, have been soaring across the summer airwaves. And from a financial perspective, Jackson couldn’t be more alive: he’s raked in over $700 million in the past half-decade–the most lucrative stretch of his career since the late 1980s–and has out-earned every living act measured by FORBES over that span.

Yet amidst this Jacksonian renaissance, a few stubborn narratives persist in corners of the mainstream and tabloid media, even as his image and finances have undergone something of a metamorphosis. That unfortunate reality is one of the more fascinating ones I’ve observed since releasing my book, Michael Jackson, Inc., earlier this summer.

The book has put me in a unique position to observe such trends. Thanks to the magic of the internet—Google alerts and Twitter updates, in particular—I’ve been able to find most of the reviews of the book within hours of their publication.

As a writer, I’ve been mostly pleased with the reactions to Michael Jackson, Inc. It’s been covered by outlets from Billboard to Vibe to the Chicago Tribune. Amazon named it Book of the Month in Business & Leadership and USA Today dubbed it one of “the hottest titles this season,” while Kirkus called it “a useful, informative examination” and Ebony said it “offers a perspective fans around the world may have never seen.”

But in a couple of cases, the reviews barely addressed the book at all; rather, they merely seemed like excuses to rehash old arguments and heap judgment on the King of Pop. Quite a few would be better characterized not as reviews of Michael Jackson, Inc., but of Michael Jackson himself.

For instance, the Wall Street Journal review began with the writer’s opinions of the King of Pop, describing him as “a minor god,” “a tricky deity,” “perhaps a child molester” and so forth (never mind the fact that Jackson was cleared of all charges leveled against him).

The Washington Post, meanwhile, focused on Jackson’s “oddball exploits and alleged crimes,” complaining that the book “leaves out the juicy stuff to focus on the pop icon as a business entity” (despite the fact that delving into the finances of Jackson’s career is the title’s stated purpose).

To be clear: as an author, I’m thrilled that such publications took an interest in my work, and I certainly respect the right of fellow writers to state their opinions, even if I disagree with them. But it amazed me that those refrains still often surround any exploration of Jackson’s life and legacy, even one focused on his finances.

Those sorts of attitudes have been noticed by others who’ve studied Jackson in depth, from my friend Joe Vogel, author of Man in the Music, to the late James Baldwin, who famously wrote:

The Michael Jackson cacophony is fascinating in that it is not about Jackson at all. … He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables, for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael. All that noise is about America, as the dishonest custodian of black life and wealth; the blacks, especially males, in America; and the burning, buried American guilt.”

Jackson indeed turned many tables. And though few will deny his eccentricity, his many accomplishments include serving as the Jackie Robinson of the music video era. He forced MTV, once the province of white rockers, to add the work of black artists to heavy rotation, beginning with “Billie Jean.”

By buying the Beatles’ publishing catalogue in 1985, Jackson flipped the paradigm of artist-as-employee on its head, replacing it with the notion of artist-as-owner. He then pioneered new ways of monetizing superstardom, launching his own clothing line, sneakers, video games and more–paving the way for modern celebrity-moguls like Jay Z and Diddy.

Though those narratives are making progress, they haven’t sunk in across all corners of the press. As journalists, we have a duty to push aside subjective notions and focus on the objective truth. In the case of Jackson, it seems for many observers the subjective has settled over the years like sediment at the bottom of an ancient ocean, forming a solid mass still sometimes mistaken for objectivity.

Five years after Jackson’s death, some of those layers seem to have been worn away, judging by the resurgence of his work–his earnings provide unmistakable evidence of a shift. Given his continued impact on global culture and the business of entertainment, it seems likely that trend will continue, but there’s still a ways to go before the objective fully overcomes the subjective.

That’s a good goal to set as a future birthday present for the King of Pop.

 

Read more at Forbes

He Is The Man In Our Mirror… What Do You See?

Source: Man In Our Mirror – Lisa Brisse| MJJusticeProject |All Things Michael

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Wow. I am blown away by the TMZ article released yesterday about the “maids” who painted a very ugly picture of Michael being unclean and someone who just peed all over his house. I am beyond speechless.

I promptly shared the article with my mom, Judi Brisse, because she, too, was a housekeeper at Neverland back in the mid ’90s during the very time when Liz Taylor and Oprah were there. She was enraged by this article and these horrible claims by her supposed “co-workers.” She stated clearly to me that nothing was further from the truth! That the house was impeccably clean and so was the “Boss.” She said Michael was not only clean, but respectful, kind and carried himself like royalty in his humble, gentle way. always.

This is a classic case of people who lack integrity and will do anything for money. My mom, too has been contacted by tabloids over the years wanting “dirt” and stories about Michael. She simply doesn’t have any stories (other than positive ones) and has denied their requests, despite their offers to her for money.

It is a shame that, in general, our society is so unhappy within our souls that we gloat in seeing people fall hard and then rake them over the coals. Why is that human beings can take someone who did so much good for the world–giving his whole heart and soul in every moment of his life–and instead, make up vile stories? Is it sadly because it’s the only way to feel better about one’s self? And the opportunity to make money?

In truth, what we project onto someone else, such as Michael in this case, says NOTHING about him nor his character, but everything about the ones making the claims, not to mention, a society that eats it up.

In my upcoming book, I talk about Michael being the Man in OUR Mirror… that what we saw in him is ultimately what see in ourselves. The world is our reflection. What do we see? Where is our heart? Where are we wounded within ourselves and therefore project that woundedness out to the world? What is the world WE are creating from that woundedness?

As an Exercises Physiologist and Wellness Coach and founder of State of the Heart Fitness (www.stateoftheheartfitness.com), I know for a fact, true health and well-being on ALL levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – starts when we heal the wounds of our own heart, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually, as well. And that is why I believe and know that healing the world begins from within. When we heal our heart, we heal the world.

Thank you, once again, for your reflection, Michael. Thank you for your gift on every level. May we all open our hearts (and send love to those needing it the most), so that we all can heal TOGETHER!

With love… God bless us all!
Lisa

Read more at Man In Our Mirror

Throwback Article: Michael Jackson Innocent In The Eyes Of Fifth-Graders

Sources: Baltimore Sun – By Sandra Crockett (Published February 22, 1994) | All Things Michael

Michael is innocent

Michael Jackson’s accusers have spoken. The critics have waded in with their opinions. Now it’s the kids’ turn to speak out.

And their opinion is worth hearing because kids will help determine whether Mr. Jackson, who on tonight’s “The Jackson Family Honors” on NBC performs for the first time since being accused of molesting a child, will be yesterday’s news or keep his superstar status.

If the 30 or so fifth-graders in Renee Johnson’s class at Baltimore County’s Deer Park Elementary School are any measure, The Gloved One won’t have much trouble getting on with his musical career.

“There is nothing wrong with his career,” Wayne Lee, 11, says emphatically.

But when Mr. Jackson settled the child molestation civil suit without admitting guilt but paying an unspecified amount (rumored to be between $10 million and $24 million) to his 14-year-old accuser and the boy’s family, he did lose a valuable endorsement.

Pepsi ended a 10-year relationship with Michael Jackson that reportedly paid him $20 million in endorsement fees during that period.

Mr. Jackson, however, is still a rich man. Forbes magazine has estimated his worth as $150 million.

But the charges and the settlement have not dimmed Wayne’s or other children’s enthusiasm for Mr. Jackson’s music.

“The people that accused him are just out for money,” says Wayne, who is into Michael Jackson music “big time.”

Some of the children’s comments revealed their own gentle innocence and belief that this world is an uncomplicated place.

“He gave all of that money to children and sick children,” says 10-year-old Cortney Williams. “He couldn’t have given all of that money away and then done that. Michael Jackson is innocent,”

“I think he’s innocent,” agrees Breyann Corbin, 10. “Michael Jackson can have anybody he wants. He wouldn’t have to sneak around.”

“I know he is innocent,” says Torrey Lewis, 10.

“I’m not reallly a fan of his, but it’s just not like him. From everything I have heard, he could not have done it,” says 10-year-old Sean Quinn.

“That boy is lying,” Tiffany Wilson, 11, says of the child accuser, adding that Mr. Jackson “paid the money to him so he can get on with his life.”

The Jackson who received the most scorn was LaToya, the sole family member who said her brother was guilty. “That LaToya, she just wants to be the famous one,” Wayne says.

“She’s jealous of her brother,” Tiffany adds.

Of course, a few of the 10- and 11-year-olds were left wondering about Mr. Jackson’s guilt or innocence after he paid the settlement. “At first, I thought he was innocent. But when he went and paid all of that money, it made him look guilty,” says Justin Mills, 10.

And like many adults, some children don’t know what to make of the accusations and the payoff. “I’m kind of stuck in the middle,” says 10-year-old Jennifer Ball, who leans slightly more toward thinking he’s innocent.

The children’s parents have talked about the case with their curious children. “We’ve discussed whether or not he could be guilty or whether he was a victim of circumstance,” says Roslyn Corbin, Breyann’s mother.

Breyann enjoys Michael Jackson’s music, which is fine with Mrs. Corbin. “I support her decision,” the mother says of her daughter’s desire to still listen to and buy Michael Jackson music. “Yes, I would buy his music.”

One parent was surprised that her child’s interpretation of what happened to Michael Jackson was different from hers. “Sean believes that he could not have possibly done it,” Robin Quinn says. “But it sounds suspicious to me.”

Read more at Baltimore Sun

A Hard Victory Won – June 13, 2005

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Our hearts pounded fiercely as each verdict was read

Not guilty! Not guilty! Over and over, they said

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To our ecstatic joy and great relief

The King was released to go home to live with his children in peace

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But peace he did not find there, so he took them and fled very far

From the pressure and judgmental thoughts that he should be behind bars

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Though he was proclaimed innocent, some folks still refused to see

That he was not the monster they made him out to be

Broken in many ways, abandoned by so-called friends

Can his shattered heart ever trust again?

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But grace saves him, love brings him back

He travels across the ocean again to get his life on track

From the ashes he rises, like a phoenix reborn

Victory did not come easily, but thankfully, he won

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© All Things Michael 2014 – vallieegirl67.com (Written By MJ Was A Cutie)

Help LMJ Stop Dutch TV Network RTL5 To Broadcast The MJ Autopsy Program

Source: Legendary Michael Jackson

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Following the Michael Jackson Estate message of this morning we have contacted RTL5 to try and convince them to stop the broadcasting of the program “Michael Jackson Autopsy: His body tells the realy story”, which will be aired this Monday evening.

RTL states it has heard the people against it but that they have heard from the UK broadcasters that there were no serious problems after broadcasting the documentary. They do not care about our claims that this is UNETHICAL, AGAINST the family’s en Estates WISHES and that it is UNTRUTHFUL.

“We are trying to sell a program and try to get as many viewers as possible”. This is the only thing that counts for RTL 5.

Please help us convince them to stop this broadcast!

Send a message via Twitter:
@rtl5 Respect this human being. Stop the broadcasting of ‘Michael Jackson Autopsie’ immediately! #untruthful #unethical #tabloid #STOPRTL5

Send a message via Facebook:
https://m.facebook.com/pages/RTL-5/113274542126945?refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FzQws0ASnjB&_rdr

Phone their public service to explain why you are against this:
+31 (0)35 – 6718630

PLEASE REMAIN RESPECTFUL AND SHOW THEM THAT WE HONOR MICHAEL JACKSON. WE CAN ONLY DO THAT BY SHOWING RESPECT AND ASK THEM TO RECONSIDER THIS DISRESPECTFUL BROADCAST !!!!

Read more: http://www.legendarymichaeljackson.nl/news/help-lmj-stop-dutch-tv-network-rtl5-stop-broadcast-the-mj-autopsy-program/

Chandler Timeline

Originally posted on Turning the Table on the Chandler Allegations:

July 1966 - Evan and Raymond Charmatz are members of a band named The Fugitives who’s single “Your Girl’s A Woman”, co-written by Evan, breaks into the top 40. Evan spends 4 years in college followed by 4 years of dental school according to his brother Ray.

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September 19, 1972 –At 28 years old (born 1/25/1944) Evan registers his dental license with the New York Dental Board. It’s unknown what address he used in 1972 but his license is currently listed with the board at the address he committed suicide in. He meets June at NYU’s free clinic (Ray says ‘73 when finishing school)

1973- Evan Chandler moves to West Palm Beach to practice dentistry– changing his last name to Chandler. According to Mary Fischer’s source he felt Charmatz was too Jewish sounding. But feeling that Chandler might have changed his surname for a more sinister reason, I requested information…

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The Trials of Michael Jackson: The Media Exposed

Source: The Examiner – Rev Catherine Gross

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A good reputation is the most valuable thing we have—men and women alike. If you steal my money, you’re just stealing trash. It’s something, it’s nothing: it’s yours, it’s mine, and it’ll belong to thousands more. But if you steal my reputation, you’re robbing me of something that doesn’t make you richer, but makes me much poorer. (Othello Act 3. Scene 3, Page 8) William Shakespeare

The Trials of Michael Jackson is an extraordinary documentary/movie. Dana Gedrick and Barry Shaw, who produced the movie, came like others to film the trial. However, as they began to see the unspeakable reality, they stopped filming the trial. They began to film themedia and the fans. “No one could have been prepared for what was to come. They had not anticipated all the compassion that would come from Michael’s fans, more importantly, they had no idea of how vicious the media was. Money grabbing media had already prepared headline reading guilty, and the verdict hadn’t even come in! Journalists, who for money did all they could possibly do remove fans from the trial, even assaulting them. The trial was a money maker for journalists, but this movie was their nightmare!” Riogirl left this comment for Dana and Barry, who were joined by Gregory Son on their broadcast.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/a-place-in-your-heart/2014/02/01/the-trials…

Riogirl Shirley · Top Commenter · Concordia University

“Excellent film regarding what REALLY went on in Santa Maria at the Michael Jackson trial in 2005, and what media people were REALLY doing to manipulate the public to sell their reports and shows and make as much money go into their OWN pockets, rather than simply INFORMING AND TRUTH.”

The Trials of Michael Jackson is a movie that reveals what really happened in the trial of 2005.It shows how media lies encompassed Michael Jackson. He was victim to the evils of slander, and the horror of propaganda. Propaganda does not just happen, it is well thought out. The game is to successfully use deceptive messages to create an emotional reaction to the lies being presented. Michael Jackson was used as the subject of massive propaganda. They were lies, and the perpetrators made unimaginable amounts of money. Here are just a few propaganda tactics used to crush Michael Jackson. The public was hugely deceived, and many have never recovered. Propaganda is like a virus. It is actually mind control of the masses. The Trials of Michael Jackson may well bring some healing. Here are just a few of the tactic used in propaganda.

1) Name calling- is abusive or insulting language referring to a person or group, a verbal they called him a child molester.

2) Bandwagon- is an appeal to the subject to follow the crowd, to join in because others are doing so as well.It was lucrative, so everybody wanted to get in on it,

3) Testimonials-are quotations or endorsements, in or out of context, which attempt to connect a famous or respectable person with a product or item. They paid people to give testimonials that were lies.http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/proptech.htm

This is an important documentary that has been suppressed so as not to disturb the heinous lies of what really happened at the trial. It is not enough to just hear from one person. This is far too significant. We are going to listen to several commentaries about The Trials of Michael Jackson. Some will be those who were there, some will be those actually experienced the film, and some will be friends of Michael Jackson.

The important thing is to show why this documentary is so significant. Did you know that there is one specific group of people that own almost all of the airwaves? They are main stream media. You will only see what they choose to broadcast. This is a truth that many do not know about. Think about it Comcast owns NBC, it is an enormous cable distributor, and now it is buying Time Warner, AOL. That means that Comcast has power over much that you see on TV, much that occurs on the internet, and will have a huge effect upon what you read.

Now why is this important? The answer is that but for films like The Trials of Michael Jackson, which Dana and Barry made, we are not likely to see a lot of truth from main stream media. The Trials of Michael Jackson is our opportunity to see something fresh new and true. This film belongs in everybody’s library. Michael’s good friend David Nordahl also wants to see truth.

Nordahl, 68, became not only Jackson’s favorite living artist (Michelangelo led the historic ranking) but a trusted adviser and confidant who designed Neverland carnival rides and joined family outings. He ducked the media for years, “because they wanted to talk about negative stuff, and I don’t know anything bad about Michael,” “I always thought of him as normal,” he says. “He’s the most thoughtful, respectful person I’ve ever met. In 20 years, I never heard him raise his voice.” When I interviewed David, what he had to say was chilling, He told how far the media would go for lies and greed.

http://www.examiner.com/article/an-unforgettable-journey-michael-and-me-…

David Nordahl ~ An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me: DAVID NORDAHL

[David Nordahl] I got a call from all the rags and they had cash money. They were running around with the rags from England who are over here with suitcases full of money. (Rags are tabloids)

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross] 1:04:27: To pay you?

[David Nordahl] 1:04:30: Yeah. To pay anybody that would talk about Michael, but it had to be negative stuff. I told him I said “I don’t know anything bad about Michael, I said I can’t help you”. I know that one time they wanted to know who all those children were in the–to fill the dreams. I say “hey they are all made up. I made them up”, you know, I did not know photos to work from. I just made all that’s stuff up and so they were disappointed at that but I got many calls, you know, that wanted me to talk about Michael something they could dig up, you know, something new that was bad about Michael but I didn’t know anything. So, what can I say?

Did you catch that? A multitude of things the world heard were paid for lies. The Trials of Michael Jackson uncovers what has been hidden so long. The truth effects out hearts. B. Anderson comments;

B. Anderson ~ The Trials of Michael Jackson February 12, 2014

“The Trials of Michael Jackson offers a seldom seen before and fascinating look into the workings of how the media reported on the Michael Jackson trial in 2005. I highly recommend it. It reveals eye-opening insights into how the media operates behind the scenes in order to present their version of the “truth”. From reporters rehearsing a guilty speech before the verdict was even announced, to their reactions when the camera was turned on them for a change, to their attempts at manipulating the fans and how those in support of Michael were viewed.

‘The producers were able to gain a view of the trial the public did not get to see. Not just outside the courthouse, but from also inside as they watched the proceedings for themselves and listened to actual testimony, not just from the prosecution’s side but also from the defense side as well. Because of this they are able to present a clearer picture than most of the media who were only interested presenting the prosecution’s side.

‘The media’s disdain for facts and downright cruelty in their depiction of Michael Jackson and those who were out there to show their support, is something everyone who cares about truth and how its depicted should see. Truth is a precious commodity and should never be thrown lightly aside because it doesn’t fit a specific agenda or may not attract enough advertising dollars. And we as the public hold a responsibility to ensure we receive the full story instead of accepting what a media driven by profit feed to us, just because it’s easier to do so.

‘My thoughts watching this film, continuously turned to Michael Jackson himself. Can you imagine being the target of all of that hate, animosity, and derision every day for months? On a global scale no less? How do you convince people of your innocence when it seems no-one is listening or wants to listen?”

Next,Author Charles Thomson. He is an multi-award winning court reporter, feature writer and investigative journalist. Charles has become internationally known for challenging the media’s unfair coverage of Michael Jackson. One of the youngest writers ever to be given his own Huffington Post blog, his first two pieces dealt with shoddy reporting on Michael Jackson, using the star’s coverage as a microcosm for wider journalistic failings.

Charles Thomson, who is an unshakable defender of Michael Jackson, is a multi-award winning court reporter, feature writer and investigative journalist. His stories have appeared in numerous papers.

Charles Thomson ~ One of the Most Shameful Episodes In Journalistic History

“Looking back on the Michael Jackson trial, I see a media out of control. The sheer amount of propaganda, bias, distortion and misinformation is almost beyond comprehension. Reading the court transcripts and comparing them to the newspaper cuttings, the trial that was relayed to us didn’t even resemble the trial that was going on inside the courtroom. The transcripts show an endless parade of seedy prosecution witnesses perjuring themselves on an almost hourly basis and crumbling under cross examination. The newspaper cuttings and the TV news clips detail day after day of heinous accusations and lurid innuendo.” Charles was on the money. In fact, his article corroborates The Trials of Michael Jackson. We can see the evils of the media.

June Nycgal is a ‘Top Reviewer’ at Amazon She has written 36 customer reviews, and 258 people were helped by her.

June NYCGAL ~ 2005 Trial – Turning the Camera on the Media! February 1, 2014

This film is a “must see” for anyone who harbors doubts about the Media’s power to manipulate and control public perception. The film makers turned their cameras on certain well known “journalists” reporting from Michael Jackson’s 2005 Santa Maria, CA trial, as said “journalists” attempted to interview Michael’s fans and supporters for the sole purpose of sensationalizing and depicting the fans as fanatical and obsessed.

With no televised coverage of the 2005 trial, the only information received by the public was from “journalists” and reporters who had access to the courtroom, most of whom were only too eager to report the prosecution side of the case while saying little if anything about Tom Mesereau’s decimation of prosecutor Sneddon’s witnesses and slim evidence. This, combined with their wholly inaccurate depiction of Michael’s “crazed fans”, leaves little doubt in my mind why, to this day, there remain so many individuals who believe Michael Jackson, a man totally vindicated by acquittal, was just another guilty celebrity who escaped prison.

To those who hold that erroneous belief, I urge you to view this excellent film, conduct your own research, read all available court transcripts, and then open your eyes to the manipulative power of an out-of-control, greed driven media to shape public opinion and perception.”

Barbara A. Taylor ~ Michael Jackson and media lies January 31, 2014

If you are a fan or even if you’re not, this is a MUST for all. This made me sad, mad, and frustrated all at the same time. What the media did and are still doing to Michael JACKSON is sickening. Watch this and you will see exactly how the media does things and how they change stories to make it appear worse than it appears. The media has gotten worse over the years. Today is no different. This film is a must have! You’ll understand what I mean when you see this film. I’m sorry Michael that they did this to you.

I am sorry too Barbara. I urge you, the reader to acquire this film and keep it in your library. In the meantime we are hoping for a part II. Here’s is where you can find it.

The Trials of Michael Jackson [DVD] http://goo.gl/3WhWYJ

If you enjoyed this article, then click the link below subscribe to Rev Gross’s column. You will receive every article as soon as it is published.

Read more: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-trials-of-michael-jackson-the-media-exposed?cid=rss

Vanity Fair Unfair Again

Originally posted on MJ Truth Now:

Recently, the film, “Trials of Michael Jackson,” has prompted education and discussion about what the media was up to in 2005.  Film makers Dana Gedrick and Barry Shaw have been interviewed on Blog Talk Radio and offered their firsthand testimony about the skewed reporting and manipulation by the media almost nine years ago. Not only was Michael unfairly and heinously portrayed, but so too were his fans.

Since Michael’s passing, we have been inundated with persistent bias, lies, exaggerations and twisted truth from various sources concerning Michael. Here is one more very recent example of pushing the narrative of a ‘creepy pedophile’ right in the face of someone who is, in effect, saying NO, nothing untoward happened.  It is an excellent example of the blind (by choice) labeling and opinion in the face of truth from the firsthand experience of a person who was there!

A new message from Truth Team advocates says:

Vanity Fair’s history of defining…

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