The king is free, long live the king

26 Nov 2005

So Michael Jackson is a free man...

I have to say I am a bit surprised by this verdict. Not so much because of the acquittal, but because of the acquittal on all counts. I always thought he would be found guilty of something if only to send a clear message to other misinformed individuals out there:

“47-year old men should not have sleepover parties with children”

But I was wrong.

So I gladly join the legion of commentators and other impromptu analysts who declared him guilty before any evidence was put forth. “Trial by Media,” I think Michael''s suporters called it.

Nancy Grace of CNN Headline News seemed on the verge of tears Monday night as she talked about the verdict that contradicted her own predictions. In fact, her entire career as a CNN commentator seemed to hinge on the outcome of this trial.

Geraldo Rivera promised to shave off his mustache if Jackson was found guilty. ...Oooh welll !!

I don’t know about you, but I’ll gladly send Michael to the can for a few days not to see that mustache again.

But while many were re-examining their positions and their careers, Michael’s own website www.mjjsource.com was in obviously jubilant mood:

"Innocent," were the words flashed on it Monday night followed by this "Martin Luther King is born," "The Berlin Wall falls," "Nelson Mandela is freed," and …drum roll please,… "June 13, 2005, Remember this date for it is a part of HIStory".
Well, talk about a hyperbole!!!

Anyway, now that all this is done and the American Celebrity Machine is off looking for the next scandal, what are the lessons of this “event” (because that’s what it''s been labelled out here in MediaLand...…)?

1-The notion of a fair trial in the Great U.S. of A is a fallacy

The American system of justice as many past examples has shown has many flaws one of the most blatant being its reliance on the jury system and on the abilities of the lawyers. If the legal minds can be purchased, (and the price is always very steep) the chances of the accused regardless of the facts or his/her actual guilt are enhanced. It is all about reason winning over justice. For you law students out there, it’s Montesquieu kicking Thomas Paine’s behind.

2-Every tragedy presents an opportunity

Now, I don’t pretend to be enlightening you with a novel idea here, but in a system where economics almost always trumps everything else, there is always somebody making a profit somewhere.

For the length of this trial, because of the TV bans, Edward Moss a California actor played Michael Jackson in re-enactments shown here in Canada on MuchMore Music. He had a steady gig for more than 16 weeks. Poor dude now has to go out there and try to get an audition.

Fox News, CNN, NBC, CourtTV, People Magazine and all the other media outlets who were churning out articles and interviews on this case have to go out there now and try to find the Next Big Thing that will be shown to audiences panting for dirty laundry; anybody’s dirty laundry, properly packaged with the right number of commercials for Nike shoes and Campbell soup.

3- Leave them kids alone

I know, it sounds like something Chris Rock would say, but the brotha is right most of the time. “Leave them kids alone”. Unless they’re your own, don’t touch ‘em, don’t kiss ‘em don’t do anything remotely nice without a signed document from the parents or legal guardians. Best way to stay out of jail unless you just want to give away all your money to some rich lawyers.

Let’s hope Michael has learned his lesson.

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