‘Wacko Jacko’s’ trial reveals bias in legal system

Last Friday afternoon, every single cable news network became the Jacko Channel, devoting the entire afternoon to Jackson's arraignment and the aftermath: from his arrival at the courthouse (21 minutes late) to his little "victory dance" on top of his limo to his smarmy lawyers' explanation of the gag order. All afternoon long, the same footage of Jackson leaving the courthouse was shown over and over. Then came the legal analysts. Every member of the media seemed to have an opinion on this matter, but nobody objected to the amount of attention it was receiving. To quote one of the commentators, the whole spectacle was "like a car wreck. You want to look away from it, but you just can't."

I couldn't look away from it either, and I also couldn't help forming an opinion. I think he did it, and I don't think he realizes the severity of the charges, and I think he needs to give up his throne as the "King of Pop" and check himself into an institution. This may seem harsh but, if you think he didn't do it, you also have an opinion. And because everybody has an opinion, how is Wacko Jacko supposed to get an "impartial" jury to decide his fate? Truth is, he can't. Jury selection in a high-profile case is just as corrupt as the millionaire defense attorneys who set their fee based on the number of guilty persons they've got off.

Meanwhile, the innocent man on trial down the hall has to hire public defenders because he can't afford a "dream team," and he ends up going to jail for a crime he didn't commit while O.J. Simpson can count on welcoming Jackson, Robert Blake and Kobe Bryant to his golf foursome once their "not guilty" verdicts have been handed down.

The really sad part of this whole legal fiasco is that somewhere along the line this country's most important industry became entertainment. Can you imagine Michael Jackson trading in his sequined gloves and satin shirts for an orange jumpsuit? Neither can I. The American justice system won't let that happen. Celebrities are way too important to us. Just remember this: If you don't want to go to jail, become famous. Start recording that album, working on that jump shot or making that movie. If the system can't save you, celebrity status will.

marianne.gosz@mu.edu