Think Twice: Michael Jackson cover art

Think Twice: Michael Jackson

By: Leon Neyfakh
Narrated by: Leon Neyfakh,Jay Smooth
  • Summary

  • More than a decade since Michael Jackson’s death, his legacy remains complicated and unresolved. Think Twice: Michael Jackson is an exploration of the King of Pop’s life and impact – and an investigation into why his global influence continues to endure, despite the disturbing allegations against him. In this ten-part series, journalists Leon Neyfakh and Jay Smooth bring you a new perspective on the Michael Jackson story, based on dozens of original interviews with people who watched it unfold from up close.

    Episodes of Think Twice: Michael Jackson contain explicit descriptions of child sexual abuse and may be triggering. Listener discretion is advised.

    ©2023 JP Audio One, LLC (P)2023 Amazon.com Services, LLC, Amazon Digital UK Limited, Amazon.com Sales Inc., and Audible Originals, LLC
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Episodes
  • Episode 1: Is This Scary?
    Apr 27 2023

    It’s 1993 and Michael Jackson is on top of the world: receiving lifetime achievement awards, appearing at Bill Clinton’s inaugural gala, performing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. More popular and powerful than he’s ever been, he uses that caché to create a music video that stands among his most personal and prescient works. Then everything falls apart.

    You can find a list of books, articles, and documentaries we used in our research at bit.ly/ThinkTwiceMJ

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    47 mins
  • Episode 2: All Children, Except One, Grow Up
    Apr 27 2023

    As news breaks of the first sexual abuse allegations against Michael, reporters scramble to dig up any information they can while Michael Jackson’s PR machine battles to control the narrative. Meanwhile, a by-the-book LAPD detective struggles to investigate the case in the midst of the frenzy.

    You can find a list of books, articles, and documentaries we used in our research at bit.ly/ThinkTwiceMJ

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    56 mins
  • Episode 3: Big Boy
    Apr 27 2023

    Michael Jackson’s childhood, or lack thereof, is cited constantly in the conversation around his relationships with children. In this episode, we go back to Michael’s earliest days in Gary, Indiana, where he grows up under the domineering hand of his father while he and his brothers take the local music scene by storm in search of a better life.

    You can find a list of books, articles, and documentaries we used in our research at bit.ly/ThinkTwiceMJ

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    51 mins

What listeners say about Think Twice: Michael Jackson

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Excellent podcast

Leon is well known for his podcast, Fiasco. Teaming with Jay Smooth, they have produced dignified and compelling look at MJ. Great rapport between the hosts, great research.

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Revealing

I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks but this is my first podcast. It's an engaging reprieve from the sole performer format of the former. Having said that, listener beware. In no way is this an objective reporting of the facts. while the folk who compiled this work did a decent job of sourcing comment from a wide range of people, I feel as if their intention all along was to find the man guilty, and they both go so far as to say as much in the final episode. I have no idea who these guys are but I suspect they were never close enough to the actual events to pass comment. There is a serious 'woke' undercurrent throughout the piece, as much as I am loath to use that description. Personally I'm turned off hearing two grown men playing into the current trend of pathetic victim mentality whinging.
If anything I felt the work was a revealing look at how utterly disgusting certain aspects of (largely) American celebrity culture is these days. For instance, to fly the second court case jurors around the country on a publicity tour is downright foul. And I'm sorry but I doubt any sane person has any interest in the obesity challenges of a certain juror who, obviously, relished in becoming a pseudo celebrity by the end of the ordeal.
Lastly, why is it no-one ever asks why the hell the parents of these kids have not been held accountable for their actions, releasing their kids into the care of a man who, aparently, the world has always suspected to be guilty of sexual crimes??? It's simple. Greed and vanity. How about we take a leaf from MJ's songs namesake and take a look in the mirror and take responsibility for our own actions.

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A complex case, beautifully unfolded

I enjoyed this deep dive into both Michael the artist and Michael the alleged pedophile. Gives a voice to the unheard, now we know so much more.

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Brilliant. Intelligent.

Brilliant. Intelligent. Everything you would expect from this team. They've dealt with a very tough subject in a respectful and thought provoking way.

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Great summary, away from speculations

MJ has been present my whole life. I’m not a fan but enjoy some of his stuff. And he has been such a constant mysterious figure. These episodes provide a nice factual meander along his life story. I remembered some milestones but had no idea of the context. I also value the time spent on the allegations that followed him, handled with pragmatism.
The narrators are very enjoyable as well as the format of the podcast. A smooth dialogue away from judgement.

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Perspective and Collective responsibility

Thank you for taking on the challenge to better understand and make sense of an iconic gifted artist who’s public and personal behaviour continues to polarise and divide opinions. Enjoyed the balance of fact and outcome reporting coupled with a reflective view on the collective behaviour towards MJ his entire life. All of which influenced and shaped him, making it clear responsibility is not his alone to bare.

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  • Miracle
  • 29-04-2023

well done

it's a very well done documentary, apparently this review requires 15 words to complete. I hate capitalism.

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  • Marcela
  • 03-05-2023

Useless podcast

This is another useless podcast about MJ. I listened to couple episodes and had to stop. It is boring and it doesn't serve anyone. I have been a long time fan of Michael and i tell you, I am not conflicted about listening to his music or short films. Because i have done extensive research and came to the conclusion that he was always innocent. Anyone who interviews Diane Dimond looses credibility in my eyes really fast. She was relentless at trying to prove his guilt and failed miserably. It would have been more useful to dig in to the accusations and why was he found not guilty or why he wasn't charged at all. Maybe more people would not have been so conflicted if the real facts came to the surface.

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17 people found this helpful

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  • Onome Abiandu
  • 28-05-2023

Review

Facts don’t lie people do. Using Diane diamond as a source is ridiculous. Michael jackson is innocent and there is a jury system in America. An all white jury acquitted a black due to lack of evidence and no any of lies is going to change that.

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14 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie W.
  • 05-05-2023

Think Twice

I grew up listening the Jackson 5 and have been a fan both of the group and Michael Jackson as a solo artist as long as I can remember. The Ed Sullivan Show was a Sunday evening tradition in our family and I vividly remember how amazed I was when I saw the Jackson 5's debut. Here was a group of brothers who looked like the kids around me, in my neighborhood, singing and dancing on their way to stardom.

What this podcast does is follow Michael Jackson through his public life, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Expertly researched, it goes beyond the tabloids, and presents in-depth interviews with those who directly interacted with Michael. Some of the information was disturbing, but presented in a factual and not sensational manner. I appreciated the trigger alerts.

Jay Smooth and Leon Neyfakh did an outstanding journalistic job in presenting this podcast. I hope to hear more from them.

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  • Kerry
  • 03-05-2023

One minute Michael innocent.. next he's guilty???

it was good at first, and the host said they don't know if Michael is guilty or innocent... they were gonna be unbiased... but then the very last episode they basically alluded that Michael probably was guilty of messing with children... even though it was no evidence pointing that he did

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  • Spencer treadaway
  • 19-06-2023

They were on biased towards his guilt.

They didn't miss any of the evidence that pointed towards his guilt but missed a metric ton of the evidence that pointed towards his innocents. I'm not some die-hard fan. I just wanted to know the truth, and it sent me down a 1000 hour long rabbit hole. Michael was framed and destroyed by these aligations. I'm 90% sure he was innocent.

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  • Guy Whitney
  • 28-04-2023

Finally

This is unflinching but also made with empathy for Michael Jackson. Some middle episodes are even fun. I’m grateful for the makers of this pod. This is what we needed. Thank you guys

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  • Nili
  • 30-04-2023

thank you

I didn't want it to end. But can MJs story ever end? thank u for your serious thoughtful work

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  • SCOTT RICE
  • 04-05-2023

Great Little Podcast

This is a great short documentary-series to fill your work day. Well written and read by the hosts. I would recommend this series to those that either grew up during this time period or are interested in the pop culture of that era in American music.

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  • Stephanie Walden
  • 04-05-2023

Well Done!

Riveting, in-depth analysis of an icon without judgment. Exactly how it should be. They covered the good, the bad and the ugly with a focus on how MJ fought for control over his life and art and the impact it had over both his success and demise. It was a fascinating dissection of the man vs. the myth. I truly appreciated how much care the narrators took in remaining unbiased while giving more than two sides of the story. It definitely made me think twice about my own opinions. I'd like to believe that was their intent. Looking forward to their next collaboration.

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