“During all the coverage of Michael Jackson’s supposed molestation of this teenage boy, I turned on ‘CBS This Morning’ and saw Diane Dimond being interviewed by Paula Zahn. And I remember thinking, ‘This is a seminal moment in the regression of TV journalism.'”1
DIANE PUTS HER FOOT IN HER MOUTH… AGAIN
The moment Michael Jackson was arrested and charged with child molestation, Diane Dimond insisted that she did not go looking for this story but rather it came looking for her. Of course, she must have forgotten ever making such a statement when, during another interview, she asserted, “I’ve been working this story for 10 years.”2 We would, however, prefer to call her work “jury tainting” in light of several absolutely unprofessional and unethical activities that have caused observers to question her “journalistic” inclinations and sensibilities.
Dimond, like her good buddy Tom Sneddon has often decried any assertion that she has a vendetta against Jackson or that she is obsessed with the child molestation allegations. In her own words, she is just a determined investigative journalist who is determined to get to the bottom of a huge story. To her credit, Dimond did offer some sound advice concerning how to evaluate a story: “You have to listen carefully to the reporters. If they’re giving their opinion, that’s not necessarily the truth. You have to, as a listener or viewer, think logically for yourself. What is true and what is false?”3 Following these wise words, we invite readers to assess the veracity of several stories Ms. Dimond has reported.
For instance, Dimond stated confidently, “I am 99.9% sure that Jordan Chandler will testify during the grand jury.”4 The only problem was that it never happened. Dimond did her best to make it appear as if the prosecution had scored a windfall. Of course, one has to ask logically: If Jordan Chandler was so eager to testify as Dimond was reporting, why did the prosecution (or sources close to them) whine about not being able to serve him a subpoena? If Chandler was eager to see justice done for the alleged injustice done to him, one would logically assume that no writ or court order would have even been necessary to get him to the stand. Score one for logic and against Dimond’s “objective” and truth-centered reporting.
Dimond was also one of the first to report the erroneous story that the prosecution had seized love letters allegedly written by Jackson to the latest accuser. On a November 24, 2003 edition of Larry King Live,5 Dimond, along with famed attorney Johnnie Cochran, Chris Pixley and Court TV’s Nancy Grace, did not hesitate much when discussing them:
KING: Do we — hold it! Does anyone here — does anyone here — anyone — know of the existence of these letters?
DIMOND: I absolutely know of their existence!
KING: Diane, have you read them?
DIMOND: No, I have not read them, but I absolutely know that that was tops on the list of the DA and sheriff’s department, things to look for inside Neverland. Listen, Larry, these are letters that are written in Michael Jackson’s hand. They are said to be — no, I’ve not read them, but they — they went after them because they’re said to be so sensational and so salacious in nature that this could be a key to the prosecution.
When pressed about her certainty of the letters Dimond got very defensive. Consider this entertaining exchange between her and Pixley :
PIXLEY: I think it’s inevitable that they’re going to report the story in one way, though, Larry, and that’s to say that Michael Jackson is guilty of these charges…
DIMOND: Oh, BS!
PIXLEY: … before there are even charges. I’m sorry, Diane…
PIXLEY:… have you entertained for a moment the idea that these love letters that you know nothing about may be just that, nothing?
DIMOND: First of all, Chris, I do know about them, and I know about them from high law enforcement sources. But I have always said, I don’t know if Michael Jackson is a pedophile. This charge should go to court.
PIXLEY: You said they play it close to the chest, you think this is a good DA’s office that doesn’t leak stories, that play it close to the chest. But you know from high-ranking officials exactly what these letters say, or at least…
DIMOND: I didn’t say I know what they say!
PIXLEY: … what they are likely to say…
DIMOND: If you’re going to…
PIXLEY:… that they’re salacious.
DIMOND: And you know what, Chris? Get it right! I get it right when I quote somebody! You get it right when you quote me!
PIXLEY:Who are you quoting about the letters, then, Diane, so we can get it right? Who is it that you’re quoting?
DIMOND: I’m not going to…
PIXLEY: You don’t have anyone to quote.
DIMOND: … give you my sources! I’m not giving you my sources!
PIXLEY:Then why are we talking about this as though it’s a fact?
Of course, Dimond did not “get it right” at all concerning this story and her merely quoting a source did not make the story right either. As Pixley hinted, the story was as phony as a three dollar bill,6 adding fuel to the notion that Dimond has little intention of reporting the truth but rather reporting what she knows to be false and potentially damaging to Jackson and his defense team. We will not even bother to speculate as to who her “source” was (the person’s identity should be quite obvious). It suffices to say that this person appears to have had little intention of disseminating truth and used whatever willing vessel he (or she) could find. Dimond fit the bill. Yet we are supposed to trust this king of reporting to provide “unbiased” information concerning the case.
DIANE PLAYS THE BLAME GAME
Perhaps the most egregious transgression Dimond committed revolved around the now-not-so-confidential settlement Jackson reached with his 1993 accuser’s family. Note the following excerpts from her “reports” on the matter: