Thursday, December 30, 2010

Universal Message

The line of human decency, worth, privacy and respect has just been crossed.

“The Discovery Channel has provided for many years valuable documentary programming focused primarily on popular science, technology and history. With this backdrop in mind, I find it incredulous that Discovery would exploit the recent death of Michael Jackson to increase their viewership at the expense of the integrity and positive educational track record of their network. The insensitivity and unprofessional tabloid approach that Discovery has decided to pursue is not only hurtful to the future of the network, but is deeply hurtful to the Jackson family, friends, colleagues and millions of supporters throughout the world… Please re-consider airing this dreadful re-enactment.” ~Statement from Stuart Backerman, Former Press Spokesman for Michael Jackson
L.A. County Coroner Ed Winter joins the criticism of the Discovery Network’s upcoming special reenacting Michael Jackson’s autopsy. Discovery Producers asked him for an interview earlier this year to describe the autopsy: “I told them no, we had no interest in doing it and it was a pending case… I think it’s unprofessional and I wouldn’t do it out of respect for the family.”  ~Assistant Chief Coroner, LA County

On January 13, 2011, a line of human decency, worth, privacy and respect for life will be crossed. Discovery Channel plans to air a re-enactment of Michael Jackson’s autopsy using a realistic synthetic cadaver that approximates his body.
Michael Jackson was a human being. And he was a father, a brother, and a son. He was also loved by millions around the world.
We believe in the worth and dignity of every human being. Nobody deserves to be treated this way — not in life, and certainly not in death.
Now comes the Discovery Channel
Never before in the history of television or media, has the personal autopsy of a recognized human being taken place using a synthetic cadaver to graphically show the dismemberment of someone who once lived — and is survived by three young children.
Justice and Fairness Derailed?
This program was cynically planned to be deliberately broadcast in the UK and Europe so that Michael Jackson’s family and estate would have no legal reach and would be unable to stop its airing or protest its broadcast. The plan includes across the board screening in multiple countries. Michael Jackson has three minor children and this will not escape them. This image in the collective memory which will find its way into their world serves to scar them emotionally. As such; this program constitutes child abuse.
The airing of this program may obstruct legal justice since it has the potential to reach the minds of the public and prejudice the jury pool in the forthcoming January trial of Dr. Murray the physician who administered his medication and was treating Michael Jackson when his death occurred.
Does this rise to the level of bullying?
We think so. And we believe Michael Jackson’s children would agree. Their father was bullied in life — and now, it seems the bullying continues in death. And his children are the ones who suffer. They don’t live in a vacuum and they will be affected by the inhumane treatment of their father. We are pretty sure they would like to remember him as their beloved father. His fans, friends and collaborators who know the truth about him – knew a dramatically different man to the one many believe he was. They knew him as a cherished friend, role model and hero.
It’s time to tell the truth and reveal the deliberate manipulation of that truth. It’s time to show you the real Michael Jackson:

Understand that everyone is vulnerable now.
We cannot imagine that any human being finds this program in good taste. What will stop Discovery or any other media outlet from dismembering and dissecting other beloved figures or celebrities publicly? What if they exhumed Lady Diana? Tim Russert? What if Oprah died tomorrow, or Bono, Helen Mirren, Brittany Spears, or Prince William? Would we see them on a slab for profit and before the hungry eyes of invasive voyeurs?
This cynical precedent established by the Discovery Channel makes everyone fair game to be exploited as a lab specimen for sensationalism, market share and promoting sponsor’s products.
Discovery Channel has sponsors and investors and can be deleted or blocked from your cable package.
Discovery’s major sponsors include: Volkswagen, Proctor and Gamble, Dow Chemical– as more are revealed, we will reveal them.
Dehumanizing people has consequences
One thing has made this kind of program possible: Humans dehumanizing other humans. When people lack ethics or ignore conscience, human laboratories and other abominations become possible: ethnic cleansing, lynchings, witch burning, human ovens, terrorism and war. So if you think this is not a slippery slope, you are wrong. Dead wrong. Our humanity dies when we accept the claim that “anything goes.” Michael Jackson was systematically and falsely vilified over time. His humanity was stolen and our own humanity along with it.
Aren’t we better than this? Aren’t we there yet? Discovery drew this line but we are asking you to draw another. One that says: Discovery, you cross this line — alone.

You are at a crossroads in the evolution of a civilization and a decision needs to be made:
Which road will we as humanity take? The road toward decency or the road toward depravity?
If your decision is for human worth, decency, civility and dignity, then:
We are asking that you use your voice to send a message to Discovery. Ask your cable provider to remove Discovery from your menu or block it from your bundle. Then stop using the products and companies who sponsored this program.
Then tell them what you have done in a letter or email.
Why the truth of this violation cannot be ignored:
§  All previous televised autopsies have been conducted on anonymous cadavers; their faces covered.
§  All bodies dissected were formally donated to Medical Institute and the donors consented to their remains being used for educational purposes.
§   Michael Jackson did not consent to his remains– virtual or otherwise being used to satisfy anyone’s morbid curiosity or consent to millions viewing his virtual internal organs. 
§  The dead remain a part of the living community, to be honored — not used for entertainment.
§   For many, this program may provoke a horrific unease, anxiety, dread or revulsion. For some it will result in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.)
§  Even if a cadaver is synthetic, the process of repeatedly associating the name of a recognized person — is a violation of their name and memory.
§  The virtual autopsy of Michael Jackson is a publicity stunt designed to exploit inhumane curiosity and has nothing to do with education or fact finding.
§  In the same way burial sites are also considered deeply important, autopsies—even virtual ones, should be conducted in private, not on worldwide television.
§  Our responsibility is to respect those who once lived and whom they have loved — and who love them still.
§  We are not beings isolated within nature; what is done to one of us is done to all. 
§  We may not be aware of exactly why this is so wrong, but we know that it is — and we will never feel the same way about Discovery again.
§  There is no respect or inherent value in this type of programming. It disrespects all peoples. It violates the sanctity of family, of life and memories, of everything we hold to be precious about the lives we are given. It violates humanity, the humane, and every sane thinking person.
§  All human cultures recognize the sanctity of human remains and burial and the peaceful non-disturbance of the deceased. This program and the use of a simulated corpse violates those sensibilities and moral codes.
§  This program will be duplicated and parodied on Youtube, and Discovery is culpable and should be held accountable for any damage in the aftermath.
§  Mr. Jackson’s minor children don’t care about Discovery Channel’s sync-rights or profits. They care about their father.
 Yes, a line has been crossed.

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