Saturday, November 10, 2007

Love, Lust and Lies

"All the documentation I mentioned above was available to Baisden and the show's producers. They had the paper trail and other family members tried to talk to them and dispute the claims. They knew Jena-Gate was a lie when they let Jones on the air this week. But they simply didn't care. " Andre Banks, Write What I Like

"[Baisden] declined to specify how much was collected or how the money was distributed."
Chicago Tribune

Love, Lust and Lies is the name of Michael Baisden's God-awful syndicated radio show. Every day Baisden makes idiotic remarks about male/female relationships and entices otherwise innocent but attention seeking people to call in and expose their own stupidity. I have only listened to Baisden when I have been forced to do so, that is to say when I have been a captive audience of one of his fans.

The rightness of my reaction was confirmed this week when Marcus Jones, father of Jena 6 defendant Mychal Bell, attacked Color of Change on Baisden's show. Color of Change was one of the first organizations, on the net or off, to bring world wide attention to the Jena 6 case. Color of Change has an authorization signed by all six families, Jones included, to raise funds for attorney fees. Color of Change has also produced the invoices and cancelled checks to prove that their efforts are on the up and up. They have raised $212,000 and disbursed $210,000 to the lawyers, all with the permission of Jones and the other families.

Mychal Bell is still behind bars because of a drug related arrest made prior to the Jena 6 arrest. I point that out to instill some sense of compassion for his father, who may be the user or the usee in this mess, the degree of blame that should be directed at him is unclear.

Color of Change provided Baisden with the relevant documentation before his broadcast, so he isn't being honest when he now claims that Marcus Jones is responsible for the lies told on his show. Yes, Baisden immediately threw Jones under the bus when Color of Change proved the charges to be false. There is no honor among the dishonorable.

It is difficult to know where to begin with this mini scandal. Initially Baisden claimed that all six families signed a letter asking Color of Change to stop raising money. When two of those families denied having signed such a letter, Baisden then claimed it was signed by four of the six. To make matters even more interesting, some of the signatories say the letter they signed didn't even mention Color of Change. Baisden has declined to produce said letter. Why am I not surprised?

Baisden wrote a lame letter of quasi apology but has not given a full explanation on the air, the only apology that would count for anything. He should also give Color of Change an opportunity to speak on his show and address his charges.

That won't happen. Baisden is nothing but a snake in the grass. He has announced plans to raise $1 million of his own. I hope he does so, and I hope that the money pays for legal fees and for some compensation to the families for their ordeal. I also hope that he leaves a paper trail, like Color of Change. I'm not inclined to hold my breath.