Peter Pen

Naturally, the best take I have read on the Michael Jackson Judicial Jamboree comes to us via our comrades at Pravda, specifically this comment by Steve Darnell. The gist of the story amounts to “A Tale of Two Jacksons”– noting the (interesting?) involvement of the Rev. Jesse Jackson (“the evangelical corporate ambulance chaser”) as Michael Jackson’s daily spiritual advisor during his trials and tribulations… well, one trial actually, that for his latest round of accused child molestation. (Darnell believes Jesse Jackson is as disgusted as everyone else at Michael’s behavior, but while always willing to see red on matters of black and white, Jesse’s favorite color remains “green”.) Darnell’s take is, while not exactly identical to my feelings on the subject (I actually think Michael Jackson is too deranged to stand trial), not all that different from my own feelings on the subject (and I would submit, most if not all, parents with small children):
According to reports, Michael Jackson, the accused child molester, apparently spends most of his time playing with children at his Neverland Ranch. I’m not a psychiatrist, but I think Jackson really believes he is Peter Pan and that Tinker Bell and the rest of the Lost Boy’s are on some great adventure flying around Neverland fighting Captain Hook.
Why else would he show up in court wearing pajamas? He must have been up all night fighting Captain Hook.
The only problem with Jackson’s fantasy is that Captain Hook in reality is District Attorney, Tom Sneddon. And if Jackson loses his battle with Hook he could end up playing Diana Ross in the cell of a very large, love starved, convicted murderer.
I’m sure there are people out there who believe Jackson is innocent of the child molestation charges leveled against him. I tend to think he is guilty. In my opinion any grown man who has pajama parties with young children in a king sized bed, is a freak of nature and should spend the rest of his life in prison. Even if he is found not guilty.
(emphasis mine).
Well, one thing we’ll say of (Michael) Jackson: if he goes down, it won’t be because he had lousy counsel or because he couldn’t afford to mount a defense. A huge part of his problem (aside from himself– I’m sure his lawyers advised him that disrespecting jurors by showing up late and/or in pajamas was not really a good idea given their power to impose guilt upon him) is a California law allowing prior accusations of child abuse to come in against him. This, of course, is because he had successfully bought off so many prior accusers with huge civil settlements that the state changed the law accordingly: Jackson will be hoist on his own petard on this (if convicted).
I remain perplexed: Jackson is a one-man franchise worth at least hundreds of millions of dollars, and I’m sure hundreds of people owe their livelihood to that franchise. After accusation after accusation against him of this nature, I just don’t understand how his handlers allowed him to jeopardize their investment in him, time after time. This is simply not a man that should ever be left alone with children (including his own). Even if completely innocent, he still opens himself up to shakedowns (which may nor may not be the current case).
We’ll see: Jackson may still be able to invoke the “all-purpose” provisions of California Penal Code Section 4-117(c) (in relevant part, “celebrities are above the law”). But juries don’t take kindly to being disrespected, either. I mean, O.J. never showed up late to court in his jammies. Well, who knows how this will turn out. Of course, if Jackson is indeed convicted, extra precautions will need to be taken, especially if he starts singing “We can fly, we can fly, we can fly…”