OP-EDS

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January 20, 2004

Jackson makes mockery of justice

It seems as though Michael Jackson is preparing for another great performance as he readies the world for his trial. Jackson, the self-proclaimed King of Pop, is facing seven charges of child molestation and two charges of using an intoxicant to help seduce a child. Whether he is guilty or not, Jackson needs to be put back in place—a high-profile celebrity status and millions of dollars should mean nothing in the eyes of Lady Justice. For Jackson, this trial is nothing but another tour stop, another act filled more with crowd-dazzling special effects than with proper respect for the United States's legal system.

The first signs of Jackson's performance shone through as Jackson waltzed into court last Friday, 21 minutes after his arraignment was scheduled to start. Before formally entering the courtroom, Jackson, wearing make-up and glittery shoes, decided to show his complete disrespect for the judicial system by taking the time to greet fans before entering the courtroom. While most courtroom judges would not tolerate this behavior from any defendant, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville barely scolded Jackson for his behavior.

After the arraignment, Jackson was even bold enough to jump atop his black SUV and start dancing for those waiting outside the courtroom. Jackson's entourage began handing out invitations for a something along the lines of an "arraignment after-party" at Jackson's Neverland Ranch. What's more exasperating, however, is the fact that the always-dramatic Jackson claimed he was repulsed by the police search at the Neverland Ranch and would have trouble returning to it; Jackson's repulsion, much like his nose, must be ever-changing.

Melville was excessively lenient towards Jackson for his tardiness. In addition, Melville should never have allowed over 60 seats in the courtroom to be filled with Jackson fanatics, many of whom wore Michael Jackson paraphernalia, all of whom applauded as Jackson entered the room. The proceeding is, and should be, a proceeding—there should always remain a certain air of dignity and professionalism. Too bad it was turned into a stop on Jackson's newest headlining outing, The Child Molestation Tour.

In many respects, the Jackson case is reminiscent of the O.J. Simpson trial of nearly 10 years ago. However, those who were obsessed with Simpson's trial were, in fact, obsessed with the trial; in this case, however, those who tune in to hear the latest about the Jackson trial are simply obsessed with Jackson himself. Additionally, Jackson and Simpson are different kinds of entertainers. Though Simpson undoubtedly held a certain celebrity status, Jackson is ready to pull out any and all of the tricks he has up his sleeve in order to untangle himself from this mess. And you'd better believe that Jackson is prepared to unveil the most spectacular pyrotechnics, the most outrageous costumes, and the finest backup dancers, because this will be a performance to remember.

Sadly, it seems unlikely that Jackson will receive a fair trial, judging by officials' leniency towards him. One can only hope that both Melville and the jury will be able to look past the "razzle dazzle" that Jackson plans to woo the crowd with. Furthermore, Jackson is well aware that he is the star of the courtroom, and it will be up to the judge to fit Jackson with the shortest leash possible, to keep him in check. Ideally, all citizens are equal in the eyes of the courts, though that won't necessarily be the case in this situation. What with the media frenzy, Jackson's huge pop-star status, and his reign in both the musical world and the courtroom, there will be little chance of his receiving a fair trial.

So sit down, relax, and enjoy the show. Because if you think you've seen all there is to see from Jackson, you'd better brace yourself—you ain't seen nothin' yet.