"INNOCENT" is the first word that appears (not "Not Guilty"). A victory sign flashes, and we are welcomed into this Neverland of the mind, known as Michael Jackson's official MJJSource Web site.
Key dates appear - the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., the freeing of Nelson Mandela, the toppling of the Berlin Wall, and this day, June 13, 2005, when Michael Jackson was cleared of having molested one of his little friends.
"The Truth Runs Marathons" the movable type tells you. The music changes from heralding trumpets to his own song, "History." Then the site crashes from too many visitors.
Took only a few moments last night before the bloggers weighed in:
"We haven't seen the likes of this kind of sick mind since Caligula, Mussolini and Idi Amin," wrote a blogger who identifies himself as a once-abused gay 56-year-old from Manhattan on his site, Proceed at your Own Risk.
Around Philadelphia the reaction online was not much more forgiving.
"What sort of crack are they handing out with Jacko CDs nowadays?" asked Dave at his blog, Life Like Weeds.
Dave was watching Court TV as the verdicts started breaking Jacko's way, and his eye was drawn to a guy with a California license plate "MICL JXN" worn fashionably around the neck. "He took breaks from his Arsenio-style fist pumps only to wipe the tears away - overcome with joy, the dude was obviously channeling his best Man in the Mirror," Dave wrote.
A woman who looks like Martha Stewart came next. She wasn't Martha, of course. Just a fan who released white doves at the reading of each "Not guilty." As if speaking for her, a sign read, "Michael, on behalf of MANKIND We're Sorry."
So are we.
"Not guilty on all ten counts. What on earth will we have to talk about now?" fretted Corrente's Lambert. "Look! Over there! Another White (Southern) Woman kidnapped!"
Other bloggers were taking bets which media circus would pull into town next. The trial of whoever did something bad to the Alabama high school girl in Aruba won.
Pax Romano was first to post a little animation of Michael Jackson moonwalking his way to freedom.
Responding to a Gigglechick post (which couldn't believe the jury couldn't find him guilty on one little count) Lornadoone observed "only in America can you be born a poor black child ... and grow up to be a rich white woman."
Eric Scheie of Classical Values offered some lessons from time served practicing criminal law: reasonable doubt is a high hurdle. "This does not mean Jackson was in fact innocent of all wrongdoing, or that he might not have done what he was accused of doing. All it means is that the jury didn't think the prosecution overcame the presumption of reasonable doubt."
But what was Drudge doing calling for the arrest of the district attorney afterward? CV asked. Not well enough versed in Drudge things, Scheie dug up a Right in Texas post that had the muckraking righty blogger asking prosecutor Thomas Sneddon if he'd go after the kid's family if it's proved they were lying. "It's the smear campaign and the finger pointing against Jackson that scares me. It is entirely wrong for the government to have pictures of your "private parts" just because you have been accused, in the way Jackson has."
All that led Classical Values to conclude:
As I've said before, anyone can accuse anyone of anything.
(And these days, anyone probably will.)
Atrios took time out from Democratic fund raising to weigh in: "Obviously the paramount consideration is whether justice was really done. For all of the other considerations - Nancy Grace's mental health and a quicker exit of the media circus - I'm very glad the verdict was what it was."
And in a post titled "What's Wrong With TV, PSoTd noted that 16 of the 80 cable channels he gets covered the Jackson verdict live.
"One fifth. Ludicrous."
Alas, we found a uncynical take. Buzzstuff, an elegant-looking and heavily caffeinated site, was surprised by the verdict. And reassured.
And Michael Musto, a long-time Jacko watcher at the Village Voice, weighs in:
Celebrity got Michael Jackson into this unholy mess, and damned if it didn't help him get out of it too.
(illustration by Shieldsnet.org)