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Bad

"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.

Bad

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Caravaggio_bacco_jackson "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)

William Young
Posted 06/14/2005 07:43:02 AM
Once again, we're left wondering if Dan Rubin has an opinion, an analysis, a conclusion, a point-of-view or an interpretation of this event that is his own.

Oh, and what does the Right Wing of the Blogosphere have to say about this? I tire of the endless quoting of the Leftysphere.
Daniel Rubin
Posted 06/14/2005 07:50:38 AM
i don't understand your seeing this in left v right terms. give it a rest. still wondering what i think of your provocative comments?
Citizen Mom
Posted 06/14/2005 07:57:16 AM
All this proves, yet again, is that rich men don't go to prison. At least Martha did her time in the joint. 
The whole MJ thing is sick and sad. Sick because even *if* he didn't actually molest those kids, his relationships with young boys are wholly inappropriate but in his own eyes will now seem justified.
Sad because I bet there's a gaggle of parents just waiting to send their boys to Neverland.
And it dawned on me during this trial what the purpose of all his cosmetic surgery is! Everyone says he tries to make himself look like Diana Ross but it's not true...if you find a pic of the Disney cartoon version of Peter Pan -- the cleft chin, the doe-shaped eyes, the whole thing. I think that's what he's going for, living at Neverland and all.


MamaQ
Posted 06/14/2005 08:03:40 AM
actually I should clarify to say rich male celebrities don't go to jail. last time i checked, tom capano and that wacko DuPont dude were still in the can.
Dr.Gray
Posted 06/14/2005 11:19:41 AM
You, should not use his name in that manner.Everyone needs to be respected.And,Im sure you have some dirt in your history.Rev.Dr.Kevin Gray.
Sherri W.
Posted 06/14/2005 02:50:25 PM
One small detail confuses me: why is your report of an uncynical take preceded with "Alas"? I didn't think that eternal cycnism was required for anyone to enter the blogosphere: yeah, trends push in that direction, but I didn't think it was actually *required*....
Daniel Rubin
Posted 06/14/2005 02:56:08 PM
Sherri W.: I guess I was sighing, after reading and writing so much that was cynical about the case. Cynicism is definitely not required, and it is refreshing to read the sunny take.
db_cooper
Posted 06/14/2005 05:28:01 PM
"Sherri W.: I guess I was sighing, after reading and writing so much that was cynical about the case. "

At the end of the day, the prosecution, IMO, did a poor job.  Maybe they didn't have a lot to work with - but if that is the case, then why did they bring the charges at all?  Now Jackson can't be tried for these particular charges again.

Reasonable doubt means that sometimes someone doesn't go to jail even if you think they should.  The alternative is far worse.
Dave
Posted 06/14/2005 06:32:20 PM
db_cooper, well said. A juror has already been quoted as saying that he believed Jackson had probably done something inappropriate with children at some point. But was not guilty of the charges brought against him.

The trial is only about a specific set of accusations concerning one child. Regardless of the guy's bizarre behavior, the prosecution selected these charges as their case... and failed miserably.
Sally Swift
Posted 06/14/2005 07:01:27 PM
They freed Jacko in time for my birthday, what a treat. Here's one point from "My Flag Day Birthday" post I haven't seen discussed: 

~~Is Michael Jackson a sick twister? Probably. But he's not your low-profile garden variety pedophile who can lurk around playgrounds-or, say, churches-unnoticed. The pop star is still a huge entertainment icon, and so over-the-top bizarre there's literally nowhere he can hang out anonymously to select his targets -- so how does he get them? This, I bet, is what bothered the jury most. The young victims were brought to him on a platter -- usually by their parents. Who are stone idiots. All of them. They sold their children. Innocent, helpless children -- who should have been "cherished" and protected by their families-not by MJ-in the first place.~~ 

Mark my words, it'll happen again. This kind of perverted celebrity worship is more depraved than Jacko himself.

Eric Scheie
Posted 06/14/2005 11:23:40 PM
"what does the Right Wing of the Blogosphere have to say about this? I tire of the endless quoting of the Leftysphere."

I'm one of those neolibertarian types, and I don't think of myself as being "on the right." But I have to say that this is the first time I've been accused of being part of the "Leftysphere."

Thanks for the link, Daniel. (BTW, I agree that this is not a left or right issue.) 
Sherri W.
Posted 06/15/2005 09:59:32 AM
Daniel: Thanks for the clarification.

db and Dave: Word. I sat on jury duty last summer and I vividly remember how rigorous that standard of reasonable doubt is!

Sally: I've heard similar statements elsewhere. I wish I could remember where, but I even saw a question as to why the mother hadn't been charged for child endangerment or neglect. (I do not know the legal standards which seperate those two cetegories and thus don't know which would be more applicable.)
Daniel Rubin Inquirer Columnist
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Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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