The Jackson verdict and its ramifications

Monday’s verdict in the Michael Jackson case delivered a blow to our government and our culture from which I’m not sure we’ll ever recover. And I view that as a good thing.

Jackson is finally free, or is he really? The prosecution lost their case, but did they really? When the real trial takes place in the media, these questions become harder to answer.

As I watched coverage of the verdict, however, I was struck by one reality. The verdict was a stunning indictment of prosecutorial “reach” that had gone to seed. With each “Not Guilty,” eyes across the globe were opened to the notion of a witch hunt. This case will be analyzed and re-analyzed for weeks and months, but the analysis that really matters is that the institutions of government and the law took a broadside. Unlike what happens on TV, with popular shows like “Law and Order” and “CSI,” the government and its henchmen didn’t come out as stars this time, and the growing cynicism in America had another growth spurt. After all, if they can do this to Michael Jackson, what can they do to me?

As for Jackson, he’s forever branded a pervert, especially by those who have difficulty with anybody who’s different. Whether he can resurrect his career is something we won’t know right away. I certainly hope so. For all his weirdness, the guy is incredibly talented.

And, I predict, the media won’t learn any lesson from this. We’re far too busy digging our own grave to see what’s happening above ground.

And so it goes…

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