Chris Gray writes from Los Angeles: Here we go again: hacks going nuts about another ‘trial of the century’, with the late Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, standing accused by the Jackson family of giving their son, brother, father, cousin too many drugs that eventually killed him. Wall-to-wall coverage of this historic occasion is brought to us by all major TV news networks and newspapers, filling in on every detail of the last days and moments of Jackson’s life.
Just when we all thought we wouldn’t hear about Jackson anymore, having had to endure all that screaming coverage more than two years ago when he died, we’re now dragged into the nightmare of what was his life once again. The only conciliation is that the judge, bless him, is not asking to play any of Jackson’s recordings in court, sparing us from hearing all those saliva gurgling sounds and sudden screams, caused no doubt by the squeeze of the crotch for which the great artists was so famous for.
The whole point of the trial is to prove Doctor Murray’s professional negligence and his abuse of his position as Jackson’s private physician, by giving him too many drugs and failing to save his life from an overdose. That is supposed to open the way for the Jackson family to sue Doctor Murray and get a huge compensation from his insurers. That is what this whole trial is about. And the question is: why should we all be dragged into this and be forced fed all the details by accommodating hacks, who think that watching endless hours of live coverage from the court that is trying to establish whether Doctor Murray was any good at what he did is a great way to kill off an evening.
Personally, I think the Jacksons are asking for it. Because it would have been much wiser to keep this whole thing under wraps and negotiate a deal with Doctor Murray, or may be even drop the whole thing altogether. Even in his death, Jackson is still generation a lot of money, something like $320 million last year, so is it really a good idea to remind everyone once again how sick and twisted he was, especially considering that he has three children out there who are witnessing this farce unravelling.
Consider this: there was Jackson, a black guy, who actually wanted to be a white guy, pretending that he turned white due to some bizarre illness, who liked to hang out with kids, young enough to be his kids, having young boys for a sleepover practically every night, supposedly spending the night by his side and not on top or under him. And this black guy had had three children from a white woman, who all turned out to be milky white and were seemingly normal, unlike their father. And this whole thing was presented as some average family, with three kids growing up, who were wearing masks all the time because daddy thought they might get nicked.
The last trial, where Jackson stood accused of child molestation, ended in his acquittal. Whatever the verdict, it was still cleat that Jackson was crazy as hell, as a result of years of drug abuse and vanity pampering. For some unknown reason we were all supposed to accept his strange behaviour on the basis that he was a genius.
And now we come to the main question: was Michael Jackson actually any good as a singer? And the answer would be that as pop music goes, he was probably way up there. But then again, you don’t really need to possess any great talents to be a pop star. In fact, you don’t need to have any talents at all and still make it big. So that makes Jackson not such a big deal after all, even though a lot of brothers out there would object to that. And that in turn means that we should all be spared the wall-to-wall coverage of the farce that is now unravelling in Los Angeles. It should be a strictly family affair.