Michael Jackson Verdict

Jeff Alworth

It's a lot to expect the press to cover things like Iraq or the mounting House ethics scandal when you've got the King of Pop on trial.  It appears our long national nightmare is finally over--the verdict is in.

A California jury found pop superstar Michael Jackson not guilty Monday of all charges in his child-molestation trial.

Now, what do you think the chances are we can go back to talking about real news

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Kegger sleepover at Neverland!

  • J. Smalls (unverified)
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    Slim to none. There's lots more faux news in the hopper, I'm sure.

  • (Show?)

    Would be nice, but doubtful.

    The news media seems to want to obsess on things like Michael Jackson, the runaway bride, etc. rather than cover real news.

    They'll fill their time with more fluff rather than news.

    It's all part of the reason why I stopped working in the news media-- they don't care about real news anymore.

  • Todd Hawes (unverified)
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    I think a fair estimate of the odds would be about 1 : 1,000,000.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    I wonder if NOW the lapdog media (woof!) will begin covering REAL news -- like 1700 American soldiers face down in the desert for nothing much at all.

    Three words: Downing Street Memo.

    One more: woof!

  • Jonathan (unverified)
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    Sorry to be a contrarian on this, but the publicity on this has been another nice lesson in civics, hasn't it? Granted, I'm not watching the trash TV-news shows, but surely people who are watching them would not be turning to NPR if there was no Jackson coverage -- they would be watching whatever sensationalistic information was put on in place of it.

    While I have learned only the minimal amount of Jackson-trial coverage that's carried in the NYT and the Oregonian, it seems like this trial has brought various issues up for public discussion: 1. The tragic effect of celebrity; 2. Race, particularly Michael Jackson's odd categorization; 3. The impact of having a "bad" (i.e. potentially lying) "victim," i.e. is there a chance that this kid really was molested, but his history and behavior made it unlikely to successfully prosecute it?; 4. The value of a high-priced legal team (if O.J.'s trial wasn't lesson enough in his criminal triai); 5. The importance of the jury system (thank god commentators don't decide); and 6. How really very said Michael Jackson is, clothes, nose, glasses, and all.

  • dispossessed (unverified)
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    Michael Jackson trial? This is the first I have read about it.

  • eRobin (unverified)
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    The horrible story about the missing teen in Aruba will carry the day. There's that new anti-paparazzi law out of LA to dissect. Then Britney's baby will be ready to be born - Demi's baby - Is Angelina pregnant?

  • DF (unverified)
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    Come on, don't you watch Fox News?: We can all thank the attention on the MJ trial for the failure of the Prez's social security plan!

    The KING IS FREE, Long Live the KING OF POP!

    OK, that last bit was gratuitous, but fun...

  • Terry (unverified)
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    I'll try and be somewhat serious and not to cynical. I like most people know little of what goes on behind the scenes of national news. I find it difficult to believe that 100% of all news people are that shallow. I mean, why would thousands of young people spend years in college to learn jounalism and not ONE or TWO of them be motivated by higher ideals and not be driven to "make a difference" and report the news??? After all, it only takes ONE conscientious person to break a story.

    All I can think of is that there must be "gatekeepers" at critical junctures in the editing process that are to blame for the pablum that makes it to the screen/page. There must be some jounalists reading this that could clue us into the process. Is it really Peter at work? If you'er out there, Please help us understand what is happening to NEWS!!!!! Remember: WMD's = false and DSM = True.

  • (Show?)

    Typically the way it works is that editors, publishers, and (on tv) producers choose what will go in the paper, magazine, or make it on the air.

    Reporters can report on the real news-- but that doesn't mean it'll ever be seen/heard by the public. You also risk losing your job. Typically the first time they think you're being "liberal," you'll get a warning. Next time you're fired.

    Editors, publishers and producers are typically Republicans. A vast number of reporters/journalists are Democrats.

    What is happening is that many of us who went into journalism have left the field. They go into fields such as:

    • public relations
    • communications for a candidate, elected official, non-profit, etc.
    • small community papers
    • online alternative media

    Others, such as myself, work in other areas. I've been spending much of my time doing work online, such as moderating forums or creating/maintaining websites.

    While in Texas, I was lucky enough to work at one community paper with a Democrat as the owner/publisher. I must say, it was the most fun I ever had at a paper. I had free reign over what we printed, and we were quite popular. Another paper I worked at had a Republican editor who tried her hardest to keep her politics out of the paper. She was great to work for. The publisher, though, did allow his politics to get involved.

    I have plans to eventually begin a newspaper in eastern Multnomah County to compete with the Gresham Outlook, but I'm not to that point yet. I'm still working on getting everything in order so that later I can start working on locating advertisers. It was my former editor in Texas (the Republican one) who talked me into it.

  • Krissy (unverified)
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    Me too.. This is the first I've heard of the Michael Jackson trial myself. I feel so foolish for not knowing anything up until the day he was cleared of all charges. Oh mee oh my.. Well, at least I saved myself time I would have wasted on it had I known. He is after all INNOCENT! LOL

  • Harold Cade (unverified)
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    I'm with Jonathan; I think there is a substantive civics lesson under it all. I don't think the OJ trial was about race or that MJ's trial was about celebrity; they were both about money getting justice. The civics lesson comes in when you try to imagine how that could be. I'm assuming that there was no blatant connection to money, like bribes, but how is it that we have ended up with the best justice system money can buy?

    I blame it all on the War on Drugs, and it's offspring the War on Terror. The parallel universe of DEA judges et al., sneak and peek tactics, the erosion of the 4th ammendment and all the other hocus pocus that has become accepted jurisprudence have left prosecutors damned incompetant. When someone has money, they can insist that the trial be conducted without all the smoke and mirrors, and the state just doesn't have much practice playing the game by the rules. Nixon's War on Drugs has gone on so long that conservatives can refer to its assumptions unquestioned. It was horrifying to listen to the debate in Congress, regarding Patriot Act I, when Shrub's henchmen were saying, "We're just asking for the right to do what we already do with drug dealers...". The aforementioned trials are just a good, concrete example of how all that security makes us less safe.

    I was listening to the BBC when the verdict came in and a little later they reported an 8.0 quake in Chile, while they were speaking live with a reported in LA. The presenter asked if the assembled world press would be rushing down to cover it, since they were already relatively close. There was a pause as the reporter didn't know what to say and the presenter laughed and said, "Of course, I was just JOKING".

  • Harold Cade (unverified)
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    I'm with Jonathan; I think there is a substantive civics lesson under it all. I don't think the OJ trial was about race or that MJ's trial was about celebrity; they were both about money getting justice. The civics lesson comes in when you try to imagine how that could be. I'm assuming that there was no blatant connection to money, like bribes, but how is it that we have ended up with the best justice system money can buy?

    I blame it all on the War on Drugs, and it's offspring the War on Terror. The parallel universe of DEA judges et al., sneak and peek tactics, the erosion of the 4th ammendment and all the other hocus pocus that has become accepted jurisprudence have left prosecutors damned incompetant. When someone has money, they can insist that the trial be conducted without all the smoke and mirrors, and the state just doesn't have much practice playing the game by the rules. Nixon's War on Drugs has gone on so long that conservatives can refer to its assumptions unquestioned. It was horrifying to listen to the debate in Congress, regarding Patriot Act I, when Shrub's henchmen were saying, "We're just asking for the right to do what we already do with drug dealers...". The aforementioned trials are just a good, concrete example of how all that security makes us less safe.

    I was listening to the BBC when the verdict came in and a little later they reported an 8.0 quake in Chile, while they were speaking live with a reported in LA. The presenter asked if the assembled world press would be rushing down to cover it, since they were already relatively close. There was a pause as the reporter didn't know what to say and the presenter laughed and said, "Of course, I was just JOKING".

  • 2nick (unverified)
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    Michael Jackson's Trial this is the first one i've Heard but i always knew and believed that Everything that Has a Beginnig it has an End that MJ soon will be set free. Loooooooooooooooooooooooooong Live Michael The King of POP.

  • weinstein (unverified)
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    I was focused on political issues, until you brought the trial subject up.....

  • Terry (unverified)
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    Jenni,

    Thanks for the response about "behind the scenes in media". It sounds like there is a good story in there, perhaps you could make it a feature when you get established. Good luck in forming your new newspaper. I'm sure there are a lot of potential resources right here on blueoregon. Keep us informed.

  • (Show?)

    Didn't Hardy Myers clear Michael Jackson several months ago?

  • (Show?)

    Just as we suspected...

    What is one of the top news stories right now?

    Is it the vote to 25% cut to public broadcasting?

    The vote to cut money to the UN by 50%?

    ...or any other host of important things going on in D.C. right now?

    No. Of course not. Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes this morning, and that is so much more important.

    Now they press will obsess on them even more-- is she pregnant? Is she going to become a Scientologist? What does Nicole think?

  • Louise Collins (unverified)
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    I'm not a MJ Fan and I never really got into his music much, but I don't believe and never have for a second, that Michael Jackson would molest a child. He had his own childhood taken away from him in many ways and he knows accutely what it is like.

    He is a bit strange, but it is clear that he loves his own children very much. He does have them wear masks in public but this is so that people will not recognize them and harrass them as people did to him when he was a child. Yes, he did hang his youngest over the edge of a balcony, but it looked more like he was showing his son to the fans below and he had no intention of letting go of him!

    I think the reason he got all this torment is because he is mentally ill. Some people love to torment people who are mentally ill. They get a big thrill from it for some reason. I don't see why.

    As for the length of time the jurers took to come to an agreement, I believe they deliberately held out as long as they possibly could for the fame and the money they were getting paid for being on the panel. They milked it for all they could get!

    I think it was all very cruel and I'm glad it's over (for now)I prayed for him to be let off. No matter what the scandalists might assert, obviously God knows he wasn't guilty and justice has been done!

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