When I was a youngster growing up in Beverly Hills, stardom gave you certain privileges, among them being allowed to get away with things that would have gotten everybody else in deep trouble. If you were a star, your friends and neighbors and co-stars and your studio would stand behind you because they did not want you to be knocked off your pedestal.
In plain words, if that could happen to you, it could happen to them. So we always convinced ourselves that any star who got in trouble was a victim instead of a wrongdoer. The general public seemed to think so too; we just did not want to know the truth about our stars.
Michael Jackson is a throwback to that time, and he has benefited from the fact that a lot of Americans don’t like it when anybody knocks their stars – whether they are pop stars such as Michael Jackson, sports stars such as O.J. Simpson, or movie stars such as Robert Blake. We want them to stay up there on their pedestals where we put them.
It is outrageous, of course, but that’s the way it seems to work, just as it seems to have worked for Michael Jackson. He is being treated as a victim. He isn’t guilty, it’s the alleged real victim’s mother who is guilty. After all, she snapped her finger at the jury and that offended them, so it stands to reason that Michael Jackson must be innocent. After all, he’s a star. She’s just a mother. Stardom trumps motherhood every time.
Here’s a jury whose members decided that he is innocent on all ten counts, yet then hold a press conference, and for all intents and purposes admit they really think he is guilty.
Huh? Am I missing something here? Shouldn’t somebody ask them, “If you really thought he was guilty, why didn’t you find him guilty?” Take juror number one; he says that he believes Jackson is guilty of child molestation but it wasn’t proven in this case. The prosecution, he said, did not provide the evidence the jury wanted.
Just what kind of solid evidence did he want? Did he really think that the defendant slept with little boys night after night and all they did was eat popcorn and watch movies on TV? If he slept with a woman every night for a year, would anybody believe they never had sex?
Now a lot of people have noted that if they had a neighbor in his mid-forties who slept with a child every night they’d be on the phone with the police the minute they found out about it. And he’d be on the way to the slammer. Unless, of course, he happened to be a star
Here’s a case where even the defendant admits he sleeps with children night after night – in one instance sleeping with one kid every single night for a solid year – and thanks to a jury that couldn’t convict him on those grounds alone walks off free to carry on his weird sleepover habits whenever the spirit moves him.
His lawyer says that his client has learned his lesson and will mend his ways. Keep in mind, however, that it is a psychologically proven fact that pedophiles cannot be cured of pedophilia. Once a pedophile, always a pedophile.
So if a jury that thinks Jackson is guilty of pedophilia yet sets him free, are they not in effect setting him free to sin again … and again … and again? After all, if he is what they believe him to be, he simply can’t help himself.
And he has the means to continue sleeping with children and get away with it because he has the means to remain far out of the public eye, protected by a host of retainers and servants who know that their paychecks depend on keeping their mouths shut about their boss’s private life, no matter how sordid it might be.
For Michael Jackson, star power carried the day.
©2005 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc. Cari Dawson Bartley email Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561