Michael Jackson's own version of his controversial interviews with Martin Bashir was aired on Five (formerly Channel 5) on Monday.
Jackson's show got huge ratings in the US
Jackson's programme, which he said shows that Bashir betrayed him, used footage filmed by the singer's own cameraman.
The Michael Jackson Interview: The Footage You Were Never Meant To See caused a stir when shown in the United States and on digital television in the UK.
But what did you think?
This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.
I believe Michael Jackson was right in feeling betrayed and upset after the Bashir interview was aired. And I also believe he was right in releasing his version of the interview.
At one point in the interview Michael says to Martin Bashir, "This is tabloid, you are beyond this, you are a respected journalist." Yeah right! Maybe he WAS respected, now he has lost that respect to millions of people, whether they be fans of Michael's music or not, we could blatantly see from Michael's version that Bashir's attempt to shoot Michael down has backfired. Michael YOU ROCK OUR WORLD.
Ben Press, Wales, UK
I am not sure what Michael Jackson was hoping to achieve with this documentary. Was he trying to redeem himself and finally kill his "wacko" reputation? If so I think he failed. If he was simply trying to slate Martin Bashir's reputation, I think he DID succeed. Whilst I had a level of respect for Bashir, I now hope no celebrity goes near him, as he is clearly more interested in sensationalism than journalism. Whilst it has generated them both an enormous amount of publicity, does Bashir really think it was worth it? I can only see Michael Jackson benefitting from the publicity.
Dan Wong, UK
Being originally from Los Angeles, and 37-years-old, I have witnessed the many changes of Michael Jackson. I've never been a Jackson fan but after seeing the interview for the first time the other night I was appalled by Bashir. He may as well have brought a spit in order to roast Jackson. He was so desperate to take Jackson's innocent comments and twist them to suit his needs. Bashir ended up looking like and idiot and in my eyes, Jackson showed a sincerity and love that made Bashir come off as nothing but sensational and phobic.
Bashir deserves our praise, not our criticism and Jackson deserves our sympathy
I don't think Michael is entirely normal but I think the way Bashir behaved was despicable. By all accounts off camera he talked up to Michael and then abused the friendship to horrible effects.
Simon Russell, England
I'd like to defend Martin Bashir. He won Jackson's confidence and this allowed him to ask the questions that the public have been dying to for years. If Michael Jackson was portrayed in a bad way, it was his own fault. He was foolish and ill advised to make comments on a TV interview regarding plastic surgery and children staying over at his ranch. Bashir's documentary spent very little time dealing with these issues, they were mainly picked up on by other TV programmes and the press. Bashir's portrayal of Michael Jackson's lonely lifestyle made me feel genuinely sorry for him - Bashir deserves our praise, not our criticism and Jackson deserves our sympathy. It is the tabloid press who have treated both Bashir AND Jackson unfairly!
Jackson as a black person is mistaken to expect fair treatment. He should take a look at OJ Simpson, the Williams sisters, Mike Tyson...the list is endless.
Abraham Smith, UK
Bashir & Jackson cooked the whole thing up together probably, they both made a lot of money off the deal. Bashir had to have known the other cameras were rolling, he's not stupid.
What I found disturbing was that in the interview, only one of the two men seemed obsessed with sex with children and it was not Michael Jackson. The fear of paedophilia is the new media witch hunt. Look at the Brass Eye debacle. I also found the sexism worrying. I doubt that if Jackson were female even Bashir would be so ready to jump to conclusions.
Bashir and his team wanted sensationalism - what point would there be of making a documentary on Michael Jackson if it just said what a great father he was?
Surely the whole sorry episode is as transparent to the rest of the world as it is to everyone I've spoken to about it? Jackson is a self-obsessed idiot with more money than sense. He is not a child molester, but he does need to get a grip and stop feeling so sorry for himself. He needs a friend, not on his payroll, who will be frank with him and not indulge his self-pity. I'm not condoning his eccentricities, but is anyone honestly surprised by what the initial interview revealed? Bashir is a newshound and businessman, with a nose for a scoop and a cynical and arrogant attitude. Jackson didn't stand a chance. It's just one big media circus, with Bashir the lion-tamer and Jackson the pitifully confused lion.
Fraser Green, Scotland
Anyone who saw the first take knew that it was edited to make the interviewer look good. Bashir and his team wanted sensationalism - what point would there be of making a documentary on Michael Jackson if it just said what a great father he was? I am sure though that most of the world was not fooled by this and so there was no real need for last nights edition - another waste of time.
Matthew Jaffa, England
A true man always prospers in the end - Michael Jackson is without a doubt one of them and I did not need this second bit of footage to tell me that. Nevertheless, it has made us aware how easily comments/statements can be twisted and take a negative turn. What's great about this second footage, whereby a courageous man fought back for the truth, is that the documentary has also made the public aware that this twisting of comments/words happens all the time, no wonder every famous person gets so frustrated.
Herjit Sagoo, UK
Both of these documentaries may have done irreparable harm to Jackon's career, but it's put him firmly back in the public eye, and if there's one conclusion we can make from that documentary: it's where he feels happiest!
These two documentaries were done for one thing and one thing only - promotion of Michael Jackson. From both interviews you can see that Michael does not live in the real world, is still basically a child and completely and utterly naive. Perhaps Bashir simply used this last point to his advantage.
Allan Cameron, Scotland
MB gained MJ's confidence over a period of months, then betrayed with careful editing and narration. Shame on you Bashir.
Since Michael's kids said in the first documentary that they "have no mother", why in last night's show was Debbie Rowe sat trying to look close to Michael? - "look, there she is!!!"
Also, why in the second documentary, did the sound quality appear different for Bashir who apparently was off-camera to Michael who was on camera? Finally, why in the couple of times that the presenter mentioned "when only TEN seconds earlier Bashir said the opposite of this" did the full excerpt of the interview not play to highlight any contradictions?
Hmm.. not convinced...
So far as the second documentary last night, it just proved Martin Bashir did indeed twist things and put words in to Michael's mouth. I am in no doubt that Michael maybe needs a little therapy, but to be made out to be the monster he is supposed to be is ludicrous. He is obviously a very caring father, and Debbie Rowe obviously knows this, she proved to be a lovely woman in the documentary last night, and how very honourable of her it was to stand up for him, they are obviously lucky to have each other as friends.
I could barely watch more then an hour of Jackson's response, it was simply too boring to watch, the obviously bad quality of footage was frustrating
There are many stubborn people out there who still won't believe Michael despite the programme shown yesterday. I thought that it was fantastic and those ignorant people should just leave the guy alone now. He was deceived by Martin Bashir, and it's a shame that a respected journalist could stoop to such low levels... pure tabloid crap.
Anita Athi, England
Leave MJ alone now. The show was dragged out as is true to form in American media, and it seemed a bit tit-for-tat after a while, but after watching it one question remains? Would YOU like to be interviewed by Martin Bashir? Not me.
Kerry Martin, UK
I would like to believe everything MJ says, but I would be much more inclined to believe that his relationship with children is innocent if he didn't lie so blatantly about the plastic surgery.
Jim Taylor, UK
In all honesty, who really cares? People who have an opinion should keep it to themselves. After all, Joe Public doesn't know either of these two characters, and they are only reacting to undoubtedly biased and selected information from both parties that they are being fed. They don't know what the real truth is.
Alan Jackson, U.K.
I could barely watch more then an hour of Jackson's response, it was simply too boring to watch, the obviously bad quality of footage was frustrating...the interview with Debbie Rowe was bizzare; it does make you think how much she is being paid to hand over her chidlren to Jackson and give up her right to being called mum. Over all the programme was uninteresting and boring...I'm fed up with all the hype and the media frenzy surrounding "Wacko Jacko".
Helen Cowley, Great Britian
Having watched both versions of the interview and being a lifetime fan of Michael Jackson, I am amazed that Michael's version of the interview failed to address an unnatural relationship with the young boy who he admitted slept in the same room and probably same bed. The level of intimacy shown would concern me if Michael had been his natural father. This is especially worrying as he previously was accused of child abuse. I can forgive Michael for his quirky lifestyle and extravagances but not for his studity/poor judgement when dealing with young vunerable children.
Clearly Bashir is a poor journalist but his techniques may be commonplace. Whilst Jackson has the resources to fight back, many don't
I've always known the media would try anything to interpret things to us, and what Bashir did was no surprise to me. I don't understand why Michael would risk having that interview with him in the first place. The media when it comes to pop stars, never give the whole truth, they do exacly what Bashir did, it's their nature. I am more than happy Mr Jackson was a step ahead of him.
Ade Odetola, London, UK
Clearly Bashir is a poor journalist but his techniques may be commonplace. Whilst Jackson has the resources to fight back, many don't. What should we be doing about a problem that is possibly widespread? Auditing all journalistic work is impractical, but the media needs to get its act together before we all become over cynical.
D Morrison, UK
I thought that yesterday's programme was pure propaganda. Instead of being a documentary it felt more like one of the silly American programmes like America's Dumbest criminals!
Paul Knight, uk
Let's have the children's point of view next - do you think they could broadcast their version?
The second documentary was a pathetic attempt at damage repair. It claimed to address the issues raised in Bashir's work but side-stepped most and attempted to cloud over others. Are we seriously to believe that all the operations he had were just the two on his nose to make his voice higher and the burn surgery. Come off it! Burns don't give you a dimple!
He was ill-advised to rush into such an obvious attempt to put over one biased side of the story.
I don't think Bashir came out badly at all from the second documentary. If anything it showed that his piece was far more balanced than Jackson's attempt at a white wash. Er, sorry an impetigo wash!
I enjoyed the part where the viewer was told they would hear impartial comments about Jackson's relationship with youngsters. The impartial comments where from his wife, parents and make-up artist. How can this be impartial?
Now that all the dirty washing has been aired, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy all the wonderful music, videos and concert footage that made Michael what he is
I am not writing with the aim of determining which footage is fair, instead I feel I have to say how badly made Michael Jackson's documentary was. In fact it was almost so bad that it was an insult to anyone with half a brain cell!! This is mainly due to that awful fake American presenter, who continually repeated the same facts over, and over again!
Most hilarious of all was after nearly an hour of watching the show that they actually resorted to displaying the repeated information as black and white text of the screen!
In the end I got so fed up with the obnoxious style of the programme that I turned it off.
This just goes to show that Americans cannot make documentaries without insulting their audience.
Michael came back and proved the truth. He is not bad and he made his point. He admitted that he is friends with children AND animals because they don't judge him. Poeple that don't judge him and expect from him are his real friends. That is what friendship is all about. So what if he lets children sleep in his bed. As long as his is not in the bed with them then I can't see the problem. Good on Michael coming back at Bashir. I'm sure this has not done Bashir's career any good!
England (East Anglia)
Now that all the dirty washing has been aired, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy all the wonderful music, videos and concert footage that made Michael what he is. The bad publicity can only serve him well and keep him in the public eye. A clever publicity stunt. You should be grateful to Martin Bashir, Michael!
I have to agree with Lesley Culley on her remarks
regarding Debbie Rowe - how much was she paid!
Also I think the whole programmes were tit-for-tat
and they are both as bad as one another! Now
let's get on with more important issues like the war
that is looming and for the soldiers that are out
Bashir should be ashamed and I don't expect him to ever receive another celebrity interview
Andrew High, South Africa
Having never knowingly listened to any of Michael Jackson's music and only been vaguely aware of his press reported antics I remain supremely indifferent to anything he may say or do. As to Bashir, one only had to watch five minutes of his Diana interview to realise that he was a spinner of tales and distorter of any reality that underpinned his reports - I prefer Hans Christian Andersen.
James Rae, England
As an ex-journalist, I can recognise when a "journalist" is not being objective. It is clear from the new footage that Bashir purposely avoided and left out certain important bits of information. Why did he do this? It was most probably for ratings - I see no other reason for him purposely portraying Jackson in a bad light. Bashir's editing and voice-overs are close to lies (by knowingly leaving out certain information that would reveal a different story, he was in fact lying).
Bashir should be ashamed and I don't expect him to ever receive another celebrity interview. His career should be over following his dispicable actions. He acted without any morals or journalistic integrity whatsoever.
I believe that Jackson is purely a child at heart and it is this innocence in a grown man that scares people. He is the most gifted artist of our time and will hopefully be seen this way one day...
The only lesson learned from this sordid tit-for-tat is that Bashir has lost his reasonable reputation and Jackson is pathetic and naive. Can we please drop it now?
Murray Robertson, United Kingdom
For those people who say that the second documentary was edited: maybe it was, but at least the "disturbing" voiceovers were not there. What they showed were pure facts.
I can't really see what the fuss is all about. MJ seems a bit of an oddball (hardly unusual in the world of showbiz!) and MB did a pretty standard sniff-around-the-famous journalistic job. The real problem lies with a public taught to believe that linking the words "child" and "bedroom" can mean only one thing...
Michael P, Manchester, UK
Jackson knew exactly what he was getting, Bashir's techniques are hardly secret. He knew he would get controversy, which is the only thing that could pick up his flagging career.
Rick Spangle, UK
Bashir is entitled to edit, all journalists do, and Jackson is entitled to film and show his footage. The truth lies somewhere inbetween. The first is hungry for sucess, the second is naive, both documenteries were exciting.
I think Bashir has done himself a lot of damage
David Moore, UK
Aren't there more pressing issues in the world than contemplating the mind of a deluded pop star? Why elevate this man any higher than he already believes he is? As for Bashir, isn't the role of the modern day 'journalist' one of beguiler and sensationalist? Let us not forget that it was the media hungry tabloid reading general public that caused the paparazzi to hound Princess Diana to her death, and then mourned her so hypocritically afterwards.
That was the most sickening piece of television I've ever watched - the Bashir interview was painful watching, but Jackson's side of the story was so badly argued, poorly made and obviously biased that it made me less likely to believe anything he says.
Jackson is a seasoned celebrity who knows the risks and rewards associated with the media. Regardless of what you think of Bashir, last night's documentary did little to clear up the real issues with Jackson, not least how damaging it can be for young children growing up having to wear masks. If he is so truly concerned as he says he is about protecting their identity and innocence why risk this by consistently and sensationally parading them in the public eye? He understimates the effect his lifestyle and choices are having on the two children and though he doubtless loves them they are the only real losers here.
When I saw the first interview with Martin Bashir, I truly believed that something was not right. I immediately thought that this could be a set-up.
Yesterday's interview proved to the world that MJ was betrayed & he is not the person the media make him out to be. If there was a little love & understanding in the world then everyone could stop all the prejudice, jealousy and hatred that exist amongst us.
What a load of old rhubarb. If MJ didn't have editorial control, I'm a Dutchman. But there were a few interesting bits in there, but all it boiled down to was a cheesy attempt to run down Martin Bashir, who probably welcomes the publicity as well as MJ. OK the sleeping with kid thing is a bit odd but I dont think he'd do anything. The weirdest of the lot is Debbe Rowe. She has sex with a plastic former-magastar (twice) and gives the kids away ASAP as a gift. Wouldn't record tokens be a bit more appropriate ? And she wasnt paid at all? Yeah right.
I do not know who is playing the media most, Mr Jackson or Mr Bashir
It seemed clear to me after viewing both programmes that Martin Bashir seriously abused Michael Jacksons trust. So much interesting footage was left out of the first showing and I think it portrays how easily a camera can lie through editing. I believe Michael is a very misunderstood man, he only wants good for others and if people look close enough they will see the brilliant man he truly is. I think Bashir has done himself a lot of damage.
Jackson should just have kept quiet, the issue would have passed. However the real alarm about him, is not the sleeping in the same room, it was the indifferent attitude to his children in the large crowd on a visit to the Zoo, making his children wear masks. Let alone his seemingly serious belief of being Peter Pan and what is that fun fair about? Sadly many people have traumatic childhoods and manage to become healthy adults, Jackson gives no indication that he has managed that yet or even that he is even heading in that direction. Taking the children away from Jackson should be given serious consideration.
Barry B, UK
Martin Bashir's "documentary" was an absolute disgrace - packed with sick suggestive comments and innuendos containing hidden sinister meanings with the sole intent of portraying Michael as some sort of twisted child abuser. The unseen footage was a complete and true account of our greatest living Legend. Why don't people just give him a break? If he had any sordid secrets to hide do you think he would open himself up to the cameras in the way he did?
His trust was severely abused by Bashir who sought only to exploit Michael's naive good nature to depict a loving, caring, honest man as the complete opposite. The follow up revealed just how much he cares about his children, can you blame him for wanting to protect them following the way he has been, and probably always will be, treated? What alarmed me the most was how Bashir so obviously filmed only the parts where Michael was interrogated and left out his own comments about how wonderful the interaction between Michael and his children was! I'm just glad there was a follow up that good to repair any damage sustained by Michael.
Even in the original documentary, Martin Bashir came across as slightly two-faced, but the second documentary has most likely done more damage to MArtin Bashir's career than Michael Jackson's.
Jackson and Bashir deserve each other
That is not to say, the second documentary was totally accurate, it too had the feeling of being edited in favour of Jackson.
I don't think either documentary settles anything, I am assuming the truth lies somewhere inbetween.
Vinod Chhotu Patel, West Bromwich, UK
I do not know who is playing the media most, Mr Jackson or Mr Bashir. They are both playing games that are extremely trivial considering what is happening around the world at the present time.
Rachel Fernandez, England
I think it is time to leave this alone now. I think the Bashir documentary WAS unfair but I also think the MJ documentary last night was a little contrived. We have heard both sides now - there are more important things going on at the moment to worry about. No one can doubt Jackson's talent but I think it is time to move one from this episode.
Jane McCarthy, United Kingdom
According to Macca, when MJ asked his then-friend Paul McCartney for advice on how best to invest his millions he answered by getting into music publishing. MJ promptly then went and bought up the Beatles' back catalogue knowing Macca was desperately trying to jointly purchase the catalogue with Yoko Ono that he and John had written! Surely MJ's remarks about Bashir's betraying him are a bit laughable in this context, especially considering Bashir was doing a job and not in a friend situation unlike MJ and Macca had been?
Having watched both programmes, my main concern is that of Debbie Rowe - how much must she have been paid? I cannot accept her claims that they are a family unit and she is happy not to be in their lives! She said she would have another baby for Michael in a heartbeat so why did he go to a surrogate for Blanket? All very strange.
Lesley Cully, UK
When you cause severe distress to the people you interview by manipulating words and pictures it is unfair. We should not be watching such half truths again. Maybe Martin could make a career in making documentaries about plants since they would not be hurt by tabloid style documentaries.
Ravji Patel, England
The difference between the two programmes is that Martin Bashir spent 8 months in the company of Michael Jackson, both in public and private. The latest show was concocted merely to explain his unorthodox lifestyle and produced within a matter of weeks. Somebody this rich and famous should not, in the first place, need to put out a public defence of the way they live. Jackson should be a role model, not a joke. I imagine this will not affect future album sales!
Neil, Liverpool, UK
Michael Jackson's detachment from reality, coupled with Martin Bashir's sleaziness only made for "perfect" brainless television entertainment.
I have never seen such non-objective nonsense!
As for Michael - he's no King of anything but the sad delusional world he resides in. People say "young man" - you forget this guy is 40 years of age plus!
As for Bashir - he's a journalist, and the bottom line for them is "selling the story", no matter how many inaccuaracies. Journalists are not concerned with the truth, only making the front page.
Jackson & Bashir deserve each other.....if you can't dazlle with brilliance, baffle with bull.....
Ian, Dublin, Ireland
So, we know that Bashir said different things to MJ's face and to the public. But we already knew he's a journalist .... so we haven't learnt anything new. The only question that now concerns me is - might MJ be a threat to children ? It's clear from to me that he might, so let's stop protecting MJ or MB and concentrate on the real issue - protecting the children.
I don't think the Bashir documentary was as bad as Jackson thinks. Jackson loves children and has the resources to do great good. He brings joy and hope to so many children. I believe him when he says he wouldn't do anything to harm them, but he doesn't understand acceptable boundaries, and no one in his circle of friends will tell him.
Simon Moppett, UK
The programme claimed to be an unbiased account to let "you decide". I have never seen such non-objective nonsense! The whole show became, "the case for the defence". However, after both documentaries, I think the only people that have been manipulated are the general public.
The more we see of Jackson the weirder he gets. The untransmitted footage just confirmed this.
I have never before been a fan of Michael Jackson, but I am now. A truly great human being who should serve as a role model for us all. As for Martin Bashir...well, may God have mercy on his soul.
M Archer, UK
I think what both documentaries showed was just how powerful a tool editing is. It made me laugh that Jackson's documentary was to "allow us to form our own opinion on what we saw." The inhumanly saintly picture that was painted of Jackson; or the tear jerking music that slyly accompanied Debbie's interview to add bigger dramatic impact to what she was saying. The documentary tried every trick in the book to influence the viewer to support Jackson, rather than inform them as to encourage unbiased opinions. I also thought it was silly the way the programme was presented - I felt like I was part of the jury in some cheap American court case drama, with Maury Povich the "lawyer".
I was relieved to see Martin Bashir shown for what he is - a ghastly tabloid hack, with no genuine interest in (or knowledge about) Michael Jackson or his talent and career. Bashir rose to fame on the back of sycophantic, lowest common denominator journalism and I'm glad that Jackson has done something to put his nauseating arrogance in check.
It was clearly evident on last night's report that Martin Bashir did betray Michael Jackson
Alex van Zomerplaag, UK
This whole drama shows just how vulnerable and strange this popstar is and how manipulative and sensationalist the media is. Both individuals, MJ and Bashir, have come off pretty badly. The real villain is ITV who attempted to reduce the MJ version's audience by airing the original at the same time on ITV2. How childish.
Apart from the extremely annoying American-style documentary of constantly reviewing and repeating everything, I found some of the footage to be very interesting. Martin Bashir has a fair bit to answer for because it is clear that he acted in a manipulative manner in order to get Jackson to say certain things, praising him to his face, then condemning him both in the narration and in the post-aired interview. He came across as a two-faced hypocrite. However, I thought that people in the Jackson camp still failed to justify his extreme behaviour (i.e. baby dangling, sharing a room with young children).
I watched the programme last night and I have a completely different view now. I felt sorry for Micheal and also he seemed really normal and Mr bashir made him out to be a weirdo. After what Micheal's has been through, it was not fair. What he did to Micheal, Bashir, you are finished.
It was clearly evident on last night's report that Martin Bashir did betray Michael Jackson. A journalist is supposed to portray the truth, not to give an opinion but to let the public decide for themselves. My opinion of Michael has changed dramatically. I now think it's time the media left him alone to bring up his children in peace!
With all his agents, legal support and so on, how come the first documentary ever got onto screen without it going through them first? Surely any person with an ounce (sorry - few grams) of common sense would have included this in any contract to permit this farce to go ahead as it stood.
I feel that he has now alienated many members of the public since this programme was shown. He lives a privileged life that most of us will never know. He ought to remember that ordinary fans bought his records, putting him where he is today.
Antony Forst, England
Truth is commensurate with the amount of money and influence you have. The less of these two commodities that you have the more you will have no choice but to believe the ones who have more.
What a difference the extra footage made! It was refreshing to see Michael portrayed fairly in the second documentary. Long may it continue
Martin Bashir's "documentary" was a disgrace: full of insinuation, innuendo and downright lack of respect for one of our lifetime's most important and influential artists. Resorting to tabloid journalism of the lowest kind, Bashir has surely sealed his fate. It's hard to imagine any celebrity allowing him into their lives ever again. It was clear from Michael's rebuttal that Bashir not only loaded his documentary against Jackson, but worse: actually left out all the fascinating bits. Thank goodness Michael Jackson is beginning to fight back against these gutter journalists.
I gave up watching: it was so cheesey and made Jackson look even sadder. The programme had no credibility since it looked like it was wheeled out by his PR machine. If you want to get people to defend you, then you should not use people whose jobs or business depend upon you.
It's obvious that Martin Bashir has manipulated Michael Jackson and tried to manipulate the public with his piece of tabloid journalism. Michael has always been an easy target for negative criticism due to his reclusive lifestyle, but I thought the unseen footage showed him to be a very caring and compassionate man, and Martin Bashir to be a manipulative liar. His suggestive comments in the original documentary were there purely to sensationalise the programme and boost ratings. Hopefully the tables will have turned and his career will now be in question. I have always thought it strange that the public should think Michael should be normal, how anyone can possibly say how someone should act when his life has been totally unique - nobody knows how he should act. Michael is a product of the public, the public made him who he is with their desire to know him. It's time we left him alone and let him get on with what he does best - make music & entertain.
A Blair, Scotland
What a difference the extra footage made! It was refreshing to see Michael portrayed fairly in the second documentary. Long may it continue. While his musical genius and unique entertaining brilliance remain unrivalled, the documentaries combined have revealed his greatest attribute - that of a truly precious human being. Michael will go on from this to further greatness while Mr Bashir need not worry.. there's not a tabloid newspaper in the land who wouldn't employ him now.
After seeing both documentaries I had a question for Martin Bashir:
Have you had any plastic surgery Martin? Because easily the most disturbing thing I saw were the two sides to your face.
The Michael Jackson sanctioned version was nothing more than a cobbling together of comments by MJ's paid sycophants. Nauseatingly over the top and did nothing to dispel my view that MJ is a man who cannot cope with reality and adulthood. Don't blame your father Michael - your brothers have coped. Why can't you just get over the past and make the most of the comforts your billions can bring you.
I don't trust our media anymore after seeing what they did to Jackson and seeing the truth shown on Fox
Christine , Australia
Having seen both documentaries now, what strikes me most is the fact that the two productions were nothing but two waning celebrities' attempts to launch themselves back into the media spotlight. Martin Bashir has sunk to new lows in his career by doing so.
Much more balanced. I'm not a fan, but this second documentary definitely cleared a lot of things up. I've noticed that the people who criticise MJ are people who either haven't met him or don't know him. It is too easy to criticise from afar. What is wrong with being eccentric? Most artists are.
Christopher Contant-Galitello, UK
The programme conveniently forgot that Bashir's comments were made over some period of time and as such his views on Jackson changed. By ignoring this timeline and interchanging quotes out of context it is quite easy to make Bashir look
Why is the general public so blind? Can't you see beyond the documentaries? It is all self-publicity. As if Michael would have let Bashir show a documentary he was unhappy with, then feel forced to show his own footage of the interview. This was completely engineered.
Michael Jackson did not paint himself any prettier than the Bashir interview. He has simply reinforced that he is a lonley man who wants to live as a child and yet be taken seriously as an adult. I feel for Michael and his children for they will never have a "normal" life as you and I will, but then again with all that money there will always be intrusion by the public, he wants us to buy his records, then he needs to realise that we therefore assume our right to make judgments on his lifestyle.
I feel that the programme demonstrated the fact that Bashir had been very underhand with his type of journalism. I am amazed at the fact that Bashir still stands by his programme, how arrogant and conceited is this guy?
Nadia Majid, England
Bashir clearly used material that would show Jackson in a bad light. Jackson video showed Bashir ingratiating himself with Jackson in order to open up. Bashir may have misled Jackson in his intentions but my view on one thing has not changed. Jackson relationship with one particular boy filmed in the first documentray is just creepy. No spin was necessary to invoke a shiver down my neck when I saw Jackson holding his hand tightly while the boy rested his head on Jackson's shoulder.
I feel Martin Bashir has been very "two faced" over the Michael Jackson interviews. He was obviously insincere in his comments to MJ about his relationship with his children, making him "want to weep" and on the voiceovers he was obviously insinuating that there were "things going on" at his Neverland home. I think Mr Bashir has started to believe in his own publicity and should perhaps be ashamed for betraying MJ's trust. It seems to me that MJ is obviously a very naive young man, has had an unpleasant childhood, two failed marriages and has been so let down by many adult people, he can only feel happy and secure in the company of children.
Sharon Kennedy, USA
I think Martin Bashir was very unfair to Michael Jackson in his final version of the interview. I liked seeing the interview on Fox that cleared the record for Michael by Maury Povich. I also learned that you can't trust the media. NBC and ABC also slammed Jackson based on opinions by people who don't know anything except their personal opinions. I don't trust our media anymore after seeing what they did to Jackson and seeing the truth shown on Fox.
His child like tit-for-tat use of money to rebut the Bashir interview is a very sad indictment of how fragile, over-sensitive and out of touch which the real world this unfortunate person really is
Karen Converse, USA
This has been going on for so long. Can't the tabloids and public leave him alone? Yes, he looks different. Yes, he's a bit unusual. Let him get on with his life. And no, I am not a Michael Jackson fan.
Both programmes show Bashir as a terrible interviewer. And Jackson proved himself to have a very poor understanding of other humans to "succumb" to Bashir's cringeworthy "charming" statements. Both sad individuals. Let them get on with it, but please, no more TV programmes about it.
My perception of the original programme was that it was not objective and a typical British tabloid stuff meant to portray Jackson in a negative way. Last night's programme only confirmed this belief.
I still don't trust Michael Jackson. If he can lie about the plastic surgery which he has clearly had he can lie about other things. Why do we keep blaming Bashir for the way the footage was edited - that wasn't his job, the questions could have been included.
The truth was never fully show in either documentary. There is still much that wasn't said or clarified and so it left to the viewer to interpret the grey areas and read between the lines.
Dave B, UK
Apparently, now Bubbles is an unhappy chimp with the way he was portrayed in last night's programme and is consulting his lawyers.
I found it very amusing that this Michael Jackson Production complained about the original programme selectively editing, yet this unintentionally cheesy effort does this to the nth degree. Also who cares what Debbie Rowe thinks. This is a woman who was quite happy to literally give children to a man that would grab 'n' run once the cord was cut. She also seems to be living in a style that a nurse could definitely not afford - perhaps her motives were not as altruistic as she claims.
Michael Jackson is not a misunderstood person, he is a severely emotionally disturbed individual with lots and lots of money and little sense. This cheeseumentary changes nothing.
Jackson reinforces the global view that he is a child who dosen't live in the real world any longer and who is hurt by things that should would not hurt an adult. His childlike tit-for-tat use of money to rebut the Bashir interview is a very sad indictment of how fragile, over-sensitive and out of touch which the real world this unfortunate person really is.
Life offers choices and fame need not corrupt an individual, but sadly Michael's publicity is all self-created, because of who has has chosen to be and how he has chosen to live. I have no sympathy or truck with the damaged childhood plea. Fame hasn't destroyed him, he did it on his own.
I thought when watching the first programme that Martin Bashir wasn't the right man for the job. The whole show was ill conceived and should never have been made. They should have sent Louis Theroux.
The documentary showed Michael in a completely different light. The nauseating brown-nosing of Bashir wasn't the suprise so much as some of the answers that were left out of the original documentary (particularly the parts about his skin condition that were ignored, and the fact that his first two children were naturally conceived, we were certainly led to believe the contrary in the original documentary).
I believe that this footage plus the footage we have already seen come together to make a far more balanced picture of Michael's life. I felt sympathy for Michael after the original documentary and now I also feel I understand Mr Jackson a little better having watched the programme tonight.
Martin Bashir's statements in the "footage you were never meant to see" were so opposite to the voiceovers in the original programme. Either Martin was lying through his teeth to get MJ to trust him, or was lying through his teeth for the actual programme. The whole original programme now has left a dirty feeling in my mouth. Once more Michael Jackson has been put in a negative light that deserves a rebuttal if only to stop the ongoing barrage of personal insults towards this man.
Barbara Zimmerman, USA
This should have been renamed "the footage they couldn't stop repeating". As for Bashir? Case dismissed.
Bob Sytes, UK
If this show demonstrated one thing it's that UK tabloid journalism is still far and away better than this faux serious US nonsense.
This was a shocking cheesu-mentary. Bashir was criticised for not being impartial yet this riposte comes entirely from Michael Jackson's premises! Bashir is criticised for selective editing yet this programme did the same thing with Jacko's family! Bashir was caught out in minor sycophancy mode, but nothing more. What about that musak when anyone spoke! And talk about padding - this could have been done in 30 minutes without the constant repetition of the "evidence". Are audiences really this daft?
Martin Bashir betrayed the trust of the biggest legend in the pop industry today. Michael would never and has never hurt a child or living being in his entire life. ITV and Bashir will hopefuly get what is coming to them in the coming months and Michael will get his name cleared once again.
It defeats me how a star of this quality who has done so much to help children and charities around the world could possibly be treated this way. It's time to leave Michael alone, treatment and coverage like this will do nothing to harm the reputation of this great man with his millions of fans around the world. Long live Michael Jackson, death to poor journalism.
Having only watched 30 minutes of Bashir's interview I was forced to stop the tape due to his arrogant interviewing. Who cares if Jackson rides his playground alone or climbs trees for fun. Bashir tried too hard to make the ordinary extraordinary and I relish the chance to now see Jackson's side of the story.
Bashir's mockumentary opened my eyes to how the media operates. It showed me the power of editing and voiceovers, how with a snippet here and an innuendo there, a so-called "serious" journalist managed to create a monster right before my eyes.
How sad that after eight months of being around a truly enigmatic man, all Bashir could focus on was his face, his pastimes, his sleeping habits, his shopping sprees, his taste in furniture. What has happened to this "respected" journalist? Was there nothing else to talk about? What about the situation with Sony, or his Beatles catalog, Tommy Mottola who was recently demoted by Sony, his business ventures in Las Vegas, his music, his views on what's going on in the world today, All Martin could focus on was Michael's face and if his children were legit or not. Get a grip Martin!
The behind-the-scenes footage clearly showed Martin Bashir talking up Michael Jackson's good points, without telling him of his grave concerns. In a "friendship", this would be a betrayal, but in journalism it's standard practice. I see no wrongdoing.
Nick Clark, England
To Chirstine, Australia - how incredibly naive and ignorant to assume that abuse is distributed evenly to siblings in a family! If only all children were treated equally - how different most people's lives would be!
How can anyone even begin to judge something that we know nothing about - of course the father is going to defend his actions, and of course the brothers will defend their father - for all we know they may not have known the extent of any abuse, and I think to judge Michael Jackson simply on the comments of his brothers is wrong - shame on you.