Does NOI’s Involvement With Michael Jackson Matter?

Pat Lalama of ‘Celebrity Justice’ was on CNN’s ‘American Morning’ on Monday to discuss with host, Bill Hemmer, Michael Jackson’s involvement with the Nation of Islam, and whether or not it even mattered the group was assisting him. “You know, Bill, I’m not sure that really, in the end, it matters,” he told Hemmer. “I think there are two elements happening here. One is I think there’s a psychological impact to having the Nation of Islam’s aura surrounding Michael Jackson. You know, if you read one of the latest issues, I believe it’s Newsweek, Mike Tyson, who is a member of the Nation of Islam says you hire the nation of Islam for security to do two things: one, to make the white man think twice and the black man respect you. I don’t think I could say it any other way. I think there is that psychological impact. Secondly, I don’t care what anybody says, I’m willing to bet my next three paychecks there are some financial dealings that are going on between the Nation of Islam and Michael Jackson. I know he does have some cash flow issues. And Mark Geragos wants to get paid, I’m sure. This is going to be a huge cost. I mean, the legal cost for something like this are just insurmountable. I think underneath all this Nation of Islam aura is probably some talk of quid pro quo. It’s I’ll do this, you do that, you give me this, and I’ll stand behind you strong.” Read more.

Defense: He Wasn’t There

January 5, 2004 – Roger Friedman of reports that Michael’s lawyer Mark Geragos is putting together a defense stating that the King of Pop was rarely in town or at Neverland when the Santa Barbara D.A.’s office says he allegedly molested a 13-year-old boy suffering from cancer. Read more.

Friedman Moans Over NY Post’s Jacko Journo Feud Story

January 4, 2004 – Roger Friedman of is posting a new bellyaching rant after a story about his scoop tussle with the New York Times’ Sharon Waxman ran in The New York Post, who also claimed the Post’s account of Jackson being under Nation of Islam’s influence ran before his. He writes, “Page Six would like to suggest that there is now a media feud between this column and the New York Times’ Sharon Waxman. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do not even know Waxman. I wish her well. She might be interested to know, however, that the very same information that formed the basis of her Saturday story about the business history of Nation of Islam chief of staff Leonard Muhammad was distributed to this reporter as well early last week.” Read more.

Jackson Journalists In Bitter Feud

January 4, 2004 – The New York Post reports’s Roger Friedman is howling that New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman ripped him off – and Waxman is accusing Friedman of being “inaccurate” after the story claiming CBS News had paid Michael Jackson $1 million for his interview with Ed Bradley on ’60 Minutes’, which the network denied. “My story is accurate. The sourcing is solid and I’m not interested in responding to specious reporting about my sources, who I am determined to protect,” Waxman said. “Roger Friedman is clearly not the kind of reporter to check his stories as he never called me. His reporting is inaccurate.”

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