Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Is it news if you hear it late?

One thing about not being online is you miss getting the story before everyone else you know. That's hard on a committed news-junkie like myself.

I tried to watch the local evening news. I had forgotten how bad is was - short on nuance and details but you get sport scores. I tried to read the papers when I could get them, but since none of my neighbor subscribe I couldn't steal them. The worse was talking to someone who just read a story online and listen to them give all the details their fuzzy minds could recall.

So I missed some great breaking stories and had some funny reactions to them. For example:

-I knew the the Nuclear Option was coming down, but the way I heard it there was no big bang or mushroom cloud, only a fizzle.

-Or when I heard it said Deep Throat was a guy living in Santa Rosa, I thought it was a blogger I know up there. Then I heard he was in his 90's, so I thought maybe he's not.

-Or when I heard about the Downey Street Memo and I thought is that actor in trouble again.

So I've been playing catch up. Here is one of the finer comments on the Michael Jackson verdict by former sportscaster Keith Olbermann who is given to using sport analogies: Jackson 14, Prosecution 0 - it's a final!
It seems inarguable that the Michael Jackson case hinged on the accuser’s mother - not how she was portrayed by the defense, but how she conducted herself. The comments from Juror #5, “I disliked it intensely when she snapped her fingers at us. That’s when I thought ‘Don’t snap your fingers at me, lady,’” should be inscribed above every courtroom in the country - or at least in every prosecutor’s office.

The Jackson verdict is incredible - not because he was found not guilty - but because we saw a jury, in the highest-profile case imaginable, buying into none of the hype we were relentlessly throwing at it (and everybody else). Not influenced by the irredeemable ickiness of the defendant, nor the protests of his supporters, nor the attempt to smear the accuser; influenced, if they are to be taken at their words, by the laws that require us to believe the testimony and those giving it.

The fondest wish at a trial, of course, is that absolute guilt or innocence might be established. But neither side accomplished that in the Jackson case. Well before the closing arguments, it became evident that both the prosecution and the defense were each trying to fuzz the thing up.

The District Attorney’s office wanted to blur the essential line between the seeming probability that Michael Jackson has harbored, or even acted upon, evil thoughts about little boys, and the actual question of whether or not he ever molested a particular little boy. Just as readily, the defense was trying to blur the sleaze factor to cover not just Jackson, but the accuser and his family - a cloud of guilt that was intended to leave one wondering if anybody had, uh, clean hands here.

It didn’t work. For either of them.

He goes on in the same vein so you might want to check the rest out.

BTW Thank you Earthlink for reminding me how non-blogging types get the news - which is not at all...