Now that all the boring stuff of the trial is over and a verdict and vast media attention is within smelling distance, the Rev. Jesse Jackson could not restrain himself from winging to Santa Maria to lend Michael Jackson his inimitable aid and comfort at close range.
After meeting with MJ last night for several hours, the Rev. Jackson (no relation) couldn't help but discuss the matter with AP today, joining various family members, Raymone Bain, and Dick Gregory in the growing ranks of "Jackson spokespersons."
"He is convinced that he'll be acquitted if the jury uses reasonable doubt," said Rev. Jackson. "He declares his innocence in the most private sessions."
I wouldn't be surprised to hear MJ declares his innocence daily into the mirror. I guess we can dispense with that "jury thing" now since he's told Jesse he's innocent.
According to Jesse, MJ feels betrayed by "people he trusted, people he employed, people he sought to be generous toward. I think in some sense he feels betrayed by those he trusted the most, who now seek to destroy him."
The pop star is not bitter toward his accuser or the Arviso family, the Rev. Jackson claims. "He's not embittered by it ... he does not speak toward them in embittered tones. He speaks of the unfairness of the sheriff's" department and prosecutor's office, who have a "kind of 10 year obsession" with him, Jackson said.
Based on the extremely wide reach of the charges against Jackson, especially the kidnapping and conspiracy charges, this is not an unreasonable assumption. But it appears to be based on area law enforcement's frustration with the Jordy Chandler case a decade earlier, where an eminently prosecutable case fell apart when young Chandler refused to testify after being paid more than $20 million-plus by Jackson to, in essence, shut up and go away.
Rev. Jackson also referred to the Nov. 18, 2003 search of Neverland as "a Waco-style invasion." "They came into his house with 75 armed deputies and the media. They kicked over furniture and artwork. They ransacked the house," he said.
"There have been two trials simultaneously," Jackson said. "The courtroom and the newsroom."
However on the latter count, I have found the media in general to be, if anything, bending over backwards to be fair to Jackson, as I discussed here.
I am certain we will hear from Jesse again ... soon.