When performers fail to perform

The lack of interest that Steven Malcolm Anderson expressed about the Michael Jackson case reminded me of my own complete lack of interest until yesterday.

What changed?

Perhaps it was the realization that for once, a well orchestrated media circus backfired. Maybe "fizzled" is the right word.

Picture yourself as an ordinary American on that jury. I might be wrong, but they sure looked like ordinary Americans to me. For God knows how many weeks they sat there day after day. (I didn't follow the case so I don't even know the amount of time involved.) And what did they see? A relentless media-created circus outside, with chanting protesters for and against Jackson, and a prosecutor who according to most of the accounts I've read, was doing his damnedest to try the case against Michael Jackson in the media.

Why, I'd be willing to bet that after a while, the jury might have started to pity Jackson. After all, they knew that whatever their verdict, once it was over they'd get to pack up and go home. But Michael Jackson is forever mired in his own permanent media circus, only this one involves his stage-managed prosecution by the latest penis-waving ringmaster in one more media circus ring. On top of this, the jury is reminded that they are a jury, that there still exists the presumption of innocence, and a standard called "resonable doubt." Jackson's lawyer, of course, was apparently smart enough to do this in a low key manner -- which the media charged had been a "lackluster" performance.

A huge "victory" was therefore awarded to the prosecution in advance of the verdict.

The jury, however, obviously had what some might dare to call a smidgen of common sense:

"I feel that Michael Jackson has probably molested boys," Hultman said on CNN. "To be in your bedroom for 365 straight days and not do something more than just watch television and eat popcorn, that doesn't make sense to me.

But that doesn't make him guilty of the charges that were presented."

Most jurors believed the accuser's mother took advantage of previous sex abuse allegations against Jackson, and put her son up to lying.

Juror No. 10, an unemployed mother, said the accuser's mom left her stunned at times.

"What mother in her right mind would allow that to happen?" she said. "Just freely volunteer your child to sleep with someone. Not so much just Michael Jackson but any person for that matter. That's something that mothers are naturally concerned with."

The circus backfired all right. A jury that could recognize the distinction between actual guilt and the prosecutorial burden of presumption of innocence might well have been able to perceive that they were supposed to be more than performers in a circus.

How dare they?

AFTERTHOUGHT: Is it possible that Michael Jackson's defense lawyer deliberately underplayed his role in the hope that this would "send a message" to the jury? Or am I being cynical again?

posted by Eric on 06.14.05 at 09:14 AM


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» A Normal-Looking Jury from The American Mind
From my brief look at the Michael Jackson jurists post-trial I don't think they were some braindead morons who would... [Read More]
Tracked on June 15, 2005 12:03 AM


Dear Eric:

THANK YOU!!!! for the links. Bless you and Coco (and Puff, in Heaven).

Funny again, I've written much more interesting comments here in Classical Values, even only in the last day or two. That one was more or less a "nothing" comment, relatively speaking. As to my own Up With Beauty, yes, I do need to start writing in it again. We still have some memory problems, and we still haven't resolved my e-mail problems. At least, those who jump to that link will get to see what I've written so far on spectrumology.

Back to your post here: You are quite right about the prosecutor hamming it us for the media vs. Michael Jackson's defense attorney's low-key performance. That reminds me of what Camille Paglia remarked back during the election campaign of 2000, contrasting Al Gore's debate tactics vs. Bush's low-key performance: "This is like Zen!" The style of Camille Paglia!

You are quite right that I take no interest in the "celebrity" of Michael Jackson or in popular culture generally. But, by comparison, I can tolerate him far more than that other Jackson, the "celebrity" who goes around screaming that today's Negroes are still in the age of Jim Crow -- while deprecating Jews and homosexuals. What a fake, phony, fraud that politician (who has never yet, to my knowledge, been elected to any office) is.

More important than all of that: Be absolutely sure to read Dean Esmay's commentary on the Drudge Report. His style! The style of the very title of his post on that!

Jackson lost something. Any one taken to court does whether they win the case or not.

The media however lost much more.

They did not get the rioting in LA and perhaps a few other places that they were aiming for.

Uncle Bill   ·  June 15, 2005 11:07 AM

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