The Borowitz Report: Michael Jackson's 'Great Courage'

Former South African President Nelson Mandela said today that he gained strength during his many years of imprisonment by thinking about Michael Jackson, adding that the King of Pop continues to be a source of inspiration for him today.

"When you are behind bars with no hope of release, you need to find strength wherever you can," Mandela said in an exclusive interview with a Danish magazine. "Personally, I found strength in Michael Jackson."

The former South African president said that while imprisoned in the 1980s, he drew emotional sustenance from following Jackson's recording career. "It took great courage to leave the Jackson Five and go solo," Mandela said. "I thought to myself, if he had the courage to do that, I, too, must have the will to go on."

Even to this day, Mandela said, Michael Jackson is "a constant source of inspiration," adding, "When I am not drawing strength from Michael Jackson, I am drawing strength from Martha Stewart."

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Jackson received kind words from another international icon today, the boxer Muhammad Ali, who told a Norwegian newspaper that he, too, draws inspiration from the platinum-selling recording artist.

"When people ask me where I get my strength from, I tell them that I look at the man Michael Jackson looks at when he looks at the man in the mirror," the former heavyweight champion said.

Elsewhere, with enlistment levels falling, the Pentagon said it would focus its recruitment effort on people who had not read a newspaper in the past two years.

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The Borowitz Report: Michael Jackson's 'Great Courage' | News