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TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Michael Jackson Reconsidered

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Michael Jackson was one of the world’s best known entertainers, who reached nearly unprecedented heights of influence, fame, acclaim and wealth. His success earned him many enemies, including media foes and prosecutors.

Jackson faced the courts over charges of sexual abuse of children, for which he was legally acquitted, but to which some members of the media and the public continued to cling, regardless of the absence of evidence against him, and the criminality of at least one of his accusers, and his accusers' motives for extortion.

Jackson was a complex figure, often mocked, but one whose struggle with his identity, especially his race, indicated the depths of his personal suffering. For decades, he paid surgeons to mutilate him. The result was a face that seemed less human than anime.

Revelations about his life suggest he’d had no peace in his life since his abusive father put him to work round-the-clock to achieve fame an…