Friday, February 21
Jackson is sweeps' dream-come-true
Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times, February 13, 2003

Michael Jackson's record sales may no longer be a thriller, but he is becoming ratings gold for networks and news organizations that have flooded the February TV landscape with what seems like an "all Jackson, all the time" tidal wave. [...]

While the networks have been frantic in their scramble for Jackson-related material, the singer has escalated the frenzy with his reported $2-million deal with Fox to show footage his own cameraman shot during the filming of "Living With Michael Jackson."

The Jackson footage was made at the same time that a crew was filming British journalist Martin Bashir's interview with the singer.

The Jackson footage, which includes moments not captured by Bashir's crew, shows the journalist praising Jackson for being a good father, which contradicts Bashir's approach in the finished program. There, Bashir said he became concerned about Jackson's behavior toward his children while in Berlin, where Jackson made news when he dangled his youngest child from the fourth-floor balcony of his hotel room.

The ABC broadcast was seen by 27.1-million viewers and was last week's most watched TV program.

Spokesmen for Jackson and Fox said Wednesday that the network has total editorial control over "Michael Jackson Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You."

Jackson's spokesman, Stuart Backerman, added that the singer is not an active participant in the program. He said Jackson's representatives turned over about two hours of footage of the Bashir interview, along with an additional three hours of an interview with Debbie Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife and the mother of two of his three children.[...]
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