Monday, June 13, 2005

Not guilty ten times over

Well now. I have to admit it caught us by surprise. Not that we had judged Michael Jackson’s guilt or innocence, not we of the media. Heaven forbid. But his absolute exoneration by a jury of what appear to be serious, substantial people did sneak up on his. I thought that the charges were so serious and the allegations of misbehavior with children so persistent over time, that even a jury legally bound only to consider admissible evidence would find him guilty on at least some counts. That, I hasten to add, was not because of the evidence or the quality of the prosecution case, but because of the intense media coverage of Jackson's life and his trial. As it turns out, the jurors were more mature and thoughtful than we thought. And a good thing too. As one lawyer said early on in the deliberations, he may be guilty of something but this prosecution hasn’t proved it.
A shame really, I was coming to like California’s Central Coast with all the virtues I mentioned in earlier entry. This has been far from my favorite news story in a long career, but the backdrop to inconsequence and journalistic disdain has been pleasant living in delightful surroundings.
So farewell then Michael Jackson. I hope you take what’s happened to you as a cautionary tale, and that at very least, you stop sleeping with children. You’ve earned me a lot of money, and made your lawyer, Thomas Meseareau, an even wealthier man.
I have no intention of ever buying one of your records, and I doubt my children will ever do so. They have better taste than that.
Adieu California. Please have me back….but for a better reason.


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