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OPEN MIKE

1/20/2006 07:00:00 PM Eastern

Dimond’s Rough Treatment Unfair

Editor:

The Jan. 16 edition of Broadcasting & Cable mentions a book I’ve written, and I resent the flippant tone (“Literary Leftovers,” page 12).

Here is the exact quote from a story about how journalists’ books aren’t selling well: “But some are much weaker. Michael Jackson’s near-stalker Diane Diamond’s stomach-churning title Be Careful Who You Love hit the checkout scanner just 5,000 times.”

My book is not selling as well as I’d like, and I have no argument with you reporting that. But I am not a “near-stalker” of Michael Jackson, as your staff reported.

I am a journalist who has followed the Michael Jackson case closely since first breaking the news in 1993 that Mr. Jackson was under investigation for pedophilia.

If your editorial staff had bothered to do any research, they would have found that, after the mid ’90s, I did absolutely no stories about Jackson. None, zilch, nada—which seems to fly in the face of the label your publication decided to bestow upon me.

In November 2003—10 years after my first assignment covering the entertainer—I once again was the first to break the news that Mr. Jackson was again being investigated for child molesting. Court TV and the NBC Today show both hired me to cover the Jackson criminal trial.

I appeared on myriad other television programs as well, including Larry King Live, Nightline, Inside Edition, a two-hour ABC special on Michael Jackson, and several documentaries in Europe and Asia.

Those producers apparently thought I had enough expertise on the subject to provide informed analysis.

As for your staff’s conclusion that the title of my book is “stomach-churning”—again, if they had done the tiniest bit of fact checking, they would have discovered the true meaning. It comes from Michael Jackson’s lyrics in “Billie Jean,” where he reveals, “My Momma always told me, be careful who you love.”

In every interview I’ve given, I’ve explained that it is both a caution that Mr. Jackson probably should have paid attention to and it is a caution to the general public about whom we love, adore and bequeath with the reward of celebrity.

While I’m sure your staff thought the line about me and my book sounded catchy and cute, it was just plain unfair and ill-informed. I expect better from a publication such as yours.

Oh, and by the way, a quick Google check would have revealed to your staff that they also spelled my last name wrong.

Diane Dimond

New York

November

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