Rant: Where do these Michael Jackson investigation leaks keep coming from?

July 27, 2009

(ChattahBox) — We are bombarded with new so-called developments in the Michael Jackson case every day.  I realize many people are clamoring for these details but we have tried to be prudent about how often and what we report.  But in observing the media circus from mostly the sidelines, I am appalled by the many reported leaks in the investigation, claimed to be from official sources.  While it’s easy to dismiss at least some of these as perhaps dodgy or overzealous reporting I kind of went over the edge tonight, with a report I just saw.  The headline: AP source: Jackson doc gave him drug before death

The main claim in the story: “Michael Jackson’s personal doctor administered a powerful anesthetic to help him sleep, and authorities believe the drug is what killed the pop singer, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Monday.”

The source supposedly spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.  If you believe the AP to be a trusted media source, which I mostly do, then why is a law enforcement official, which you would have to associate with the LAPD since they are handling the case giving out such information? The AP has everything to gain by publishing such juicy details, but what about the official and the department?  Sometimes leaking unofficial information is an intended tool used by law enforcement to get the word out on something to help their case, but I am having a hard time believing that is what’s going on here.  In fact it seems like this could only harm their case by telegraphing the direction of their investigation and potentially prejudicing a future jury.  So what does the official who gave out this information get out this?  He or she certainly didn’t get their name in the paper so if it’s not fame they sought so what then?

You know if anyone should know what damage leaking information in a high profile case can cause, it’s the Los Angeles police. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office is already looking into whether county coroner’s office employees may have illegally leaked or sold private information from early in the Jackson death investigation.  Perhaps it’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.


2 Responses to “Rant: Where do these Michael Jackson investigation leaks keep coming from?”

  1. Sandra in Phila, PA on July 28th, 2009 11:36 am

    We are witnessing just the tip of the iceberg right now the horrible invasion of Michael Jackson’s privacy in regard to his medical information, from the doctors who have treated him in the past revealing on TV his medical conditions and what they treated him for (e.g., lupus, vitiligo, rhinoplasty), to the paramedics who arrived on the scene describing his body to others as “lily white from head to toe,” bald, and emaciated, to the coroner’s office where his death certificate was viewed hundreds of times and even printed, to the hospital (or was it the coroner’s office again?) where it was described that curious doctors and “others” could simply walk in and view Jackson’s corpse, which was described as missing a nose with just a black hole and jagged pieces of cartilage around it. Someone took a photo of Jackson’s dead body when the paramedics where loading him into the ambulance, which appeared in the tabloids, and how many other photos will surface next of Jackson’s corpse with his missing nose and bald head because so many people had access to his corpse? This is an outrage. I thought there were HIPPA (?) laws that protect the privacy of a patient’s medical information. There should be some kind of felony law that ANYONE who reveals or improperly accesses medical information about a patient, from paramedics, to hospital personnel, to the autopsy doctors, to the coroner’s office, to the morgue, to the investigators will be prosecuted, and that includes ANY media outlet that publishes this information. Furthermore, any media outlet should be forced to reveal their sources for medical information given to them so that those sources can be prosecuted, and it needs to be a felony.

    It is a crying shame what they are doing to Mr. Jackson, and people are looking at this and feeling fear about having their medical records become electronic and easily transmitted and accessed by others. If people don’t feel confident about the privacy of their medical information, that will not bode well for health care reform. I hope that President Obama will speak out about this as it pertains to Mr. Jackson’s privacy and tell us what he is going to do about it.

  2. Louise Brown on July 29th, 2009 3:47 am

    I agree with Sandra. It really is a horrible invasion of Mr. Jackson’s and his family’s privacy. What if that were you, or your mom, or dad or one of your siblings or relatives that they were doing this to? Would you want all of this type of information being made readily available to the public? I thought that was what the HIPPA laws were all about. But it seems like because Michael Jackson was a celebrity people can just do what they want. I was horrified to see pictures of MJ’s body in the ambulance. It should not be difficult to narrow down who took those pictures and then sold them. That person should be fired and never allowed to work as an EMT again, ever, anywhere on earth. And, to those people who deliberately accessed his medical records, let’s have their names published widely so that all medical facilities can see that they violated the agreement they signed when they took that job and that way other companies will think twice about hiring them in the future. I realize that this is juicy news that everyone wants to know but there is a right way and a wrong way to do things and if it were my family’s information I would not want it spread all over the internet. As for the LAPD they have always been suspect for their processes and procedures. Now is the time to call them out. Instead of investigating the Coroner’s Office they should be investigating themselves and firing anyone who was involved in this mess.

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