Bias or Truth in Biographies

I haven’t read too many biographies in my life. I typically stick to crime drama fiction or non-fiction specific to psychology or education. Still I enjoyed Betty White’s autobiography, Madonna’s unauthorized biography (written by her brother), and Child Neurosurgeon, Ben Carson’s autobiography.<

Michael Jackson
I have been a fan of Michael Jackson, the musician, since I was able to watch music videos on my bedroom television. Little did I know that Jackson was recognized as the king of pop – a talented songwriter and dancer.
I attended a concert shortly after Jackson’s death, and the group had put together an incredibly touching tribute accompanied by “Man in the Mirror”. Everyone in the audience knew the lyrics, and hearing their voices throughout the arena was amazing.
As I said I loved Jackson, the musician. Most fans want to know personal details about their favorite celebrity, either to see the advantages a celebrity has or to find flaws in the celebrity’s life that make him average. I suppose I would be one of those fans, but in Jackson’s case, I sought to better understand a man who had incomparable talents but seemingly immoral character. It never made sense that someone so famous would put himself in a position where his character is questioned.

Bias or Truth
Many musicians have bad habits – sexual promiscuity and drugs, the most common – but audiences are blind to such actions. Such immoral or illegal actions are considered “normal”. Violate a vulnerable individual, and suddenly, fans, media, and the music industry take notice. Jackson was accused of child molestation and indecent conversations. At the same time, people questioned whether the man was racist with his paling skin. They also joked about how many nose jobs he had undergone. Of course, journalists had more than they needed to keep their careers going in the last three decades due to Jackson’s life.Jermaine Jackson wrote a biography about his brother, intending to show the true man Michael was. I’m two chapters into the book, and I’m already wondering if the book will show more bias than truth. When Madonna’s brother wrote her story, he told both the good and the bad. His book angered Madonna, but her brother’s objectivity made what he wrote believable. I hope I can say the same of Michael’s biography, but this was written by a man who viewed himself as very close to Michael and always believed Michael to be innocent. On the otherhand, Michael’s sister, Latoya, never believed him innocent. This brings the question – who is the best biographer? I may need to read my next biography authored by someone unrelated to the individual described.

Contentpalooza 2,316 words


About debhalasz

I am a free-lance writer, skilled in writing press-releases, profiles, web copy, articles, and album reviews. I also am a skilled researcher in all areas. I have a MS degree in Educational Pscyhology and am currently in the dissertation phase of my PhD program. My passions are second language learning, learning strategies, music, musicology, neuroscience, and neuroeducation. I am a fan of all genres of music and love learning more about both indie and major-labeled artists as well as the behind-the-scenes people who make them look so good! View all posts by debhalasz

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