Richard Corliss Makes Excuses for Michael Jackson

Before Michael Jackson's death Friday, I wasn't aware that I had any affection left for the King of Pop. Like millions of others, I grew up watching Jackson and the rest of his family grow up. Janet Jackson's my age, and when she played Penny as a 10-year-old on the sitcom Good Times, I was in love. I decided to save myself for her -- not that she appreciated it -- until I finally gave up at age 18.

I'm not the only one who still had some affection for Jackson, but the extent of the tonguebath he's getting from the mainstream media has surprised me. It's one thing to downplay the accusations about child molestation and other inappropriate behavior with children that dogged the last 15 years of his life, but another thing entirely to explicitly make excuses for him. Writing for Time magazine, movie critic Richard Corliss rationalizes that even if Jackson molested kids, he was not a sexual predator because he thought of himself as a child:

Yet Jackson's profound weirdness -- not just the glove or the seaweed hair striping his face but the blanched skin, the pained eyes, the tremulous soul -- hinted that Peter Pan was the wrong role for him. Wasn't Jackson really one of Peter's Lost Boys, stranded between childhood and adolescence, loved by the public yet feeling caged and abandoned, and searching, groping for the Edenic innocence he believed was any child's birthright? ...

When he welcomed handicapped kids to the ranch, he felt he was their equal, and they were friends he could play with, or sing to -- or, he must have thought, love, in the purest sense of the word. The litany of alleged misbehavior in the 2005 trial ... is not unfamiliar among preteens. If Jackson committed these acts, it was not predator-to-prey but peer-to-peer. Having forgiven the father who abused him, could he not forgive himself for bonding with the children who came into his Neverland bed? Could this Lost Boy even understand the difference between hugging and fondling, affection and assault, generosity and lechery?

If you find any other examples of the media making excuses for child sex abuse when celebrities are involved, share the link.


Thank you. Really.

I think it's disgusting for that article to even pontificate "if he did it" because he was acquitted of the allegations. Child molestation and pedophilia is morally wrong, heinous and illegal. Yet, in his case there wasn't any evidence that he did it, and the jury agreed.

Look, anybody, anywhere and in any circumstance can accuse anybody of ANYTHING - it doesn't necessarily make it TRUTH.

I'm am not nominating him for Sainthood and I'm not saying he's perfect.

The guy never had a chance to live a normal childhood, surrounded himself with children and wanted to give them the childhood he wished he had.

It is a fact that he suffered from vitiligo, which lightens and produces splotches on the skin and spreads all over the body in severe cases. So, with the consultation of skin specialist doctors, he had a skin procedure which lightens the skin EVENLY all over the body. With vitiligo, you LOSE all your melanin, so he had no choice but to bleach it evenly.

Yes, he hated the way he looked and it didn't help that his father was a tyrant and constantly told him he was ugly and made fun of his nose. He realized he was starting to look exactly like him so he went the other way aesthetically.

He is a sad figure, dying tragically like so many other legends. They just picked and picked at this man and it drove him to the grave. His genius was a gift and a curse.

He may have been a homosexual pedophile, but he was our homosexual pedophile.

Maureen Orth, a journalist who covered Michael Jackson's trial, wrote a detailed account of the evidence that he sexually abused children.

Everyone's a saint after they're dead.

He was one sick bastard. See ya, Mikey. Good riddance.

Where is individual responsibility in all of this? The fact that tripe like this gets published is a clear indication that the notion of individual responsibility is just not "in vogue" in our day and age.

So many people have been taken in by Michael Jackson. BTW, he was aquitted of the last child molestation charge by the jury, they didn't rule he was not quilty. This was because the plaintiff's mother was a psycho completely lacking in credibility by the jury, not because MJ did not molest the child - people need to understand the difference.

One can tell how distorted MJ's perception of life and the world was by simply looking at how he had dctors ruin his own face, turning him into a monster. How can ANYONE say the face Michael Jackson ended up with was not an abomination of anything natural? My opinion is somewhere along the line, Michael Jackson snapped, broke down and lost it not unlike Norma Desmond in "Sunset Blvd".

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