The Michael Jackson trial continued yesterday with testimony from the 18 year-old sister of the alleged victim of sexual abuse, who said she and her two brothers were given alcohol by MJ in the wine cellar of his Neverland Valley Ranch, the entrance to which was hidden behind a jukebox in the Neverland Ranch’s video arcade. “I saw Mr. Jackson pouring wine into cups,” she said, adding that she, her brothers and another boy drank the alcohol with Jackson, who has denied ever giving alcohol to children. She will be cross-examined today by Jackson’s defense attorneys.
Far more interesting, though, is this tidbit related by Santa Maria Times columnist Steve Corbett, regarding something he saw in court on Tuesday:
- Bashir’s film continued with Jackson speaking about how his father, Joe – who hasn’t attended the trial since testimony began – beat and humiliated him when he was growing up.
Jackson cried on the screen.
But when he explained how his father had mocked him for the way he looked, during this terrible moment that he relived in court with a jury watching his deepest personal heartache, his mother did something that I will never understand.
Sitting in the second row, Katherine Jackson laughed.
Maybe she had allowed her mind to wander to happier times. Maybe she was purposely trying to ignore what her son was again telling the world – that he had been abused as a child and that he still lives with the scars of that abuse.
Whatever she was thinking, her behavior seemed to distance her from the pain of the past. Try as she might, though, she cannot distance herself from the pain of the present.
How odd is that? It isn’t terribly unusual for people under stress to laugh at inopportune moments, but this was a doozy.
Meanwhile, journalists covering the case have set up a local restaurant guide website, rather puckishly called “EatMJ”:
- EatMJ was created F.J.B.J.M.J. (for journalists, by journalists of the Michael Jackson trial) to assist visiting journalists in finding food in Santa Maria. The restaurant adjacent to your hotel may be good but you can’t eat there daily for the duration of the trial. EatMJ provides a public forum to post your epicurean hits and misses, aiding others in finding an enjoyable meal.
EatMJ was started by a Santa Barbara based photojournalist who has made innumerable trips to Santa Maria covering the Michael Jackson case since December 2003.
EatMJ is not intended to be a comprehensive list of dining establishments — you already have a Yellow Pages in your hotel room. Please submit a restaurant review if you feel the list provided here is lacking. EatMJ can better nourish its users the more its users nourish EatMJ.
When submitting a restaurant or review, your email address is solely for verification by EatMJ and will not be published. Only your initials and agency will be posted with your review.
Please do not submit major chain restaurants. Everyone already knows how crappy the food is at McDonald’s. Major chain restaurants are only included if they fulfill a special niché (24 hours, Wi-Fi, etc.) Although, in defense of McDonald’s, the location on South Blosser has a kick-ass PlayPlace.
Good to know.
And while the media discuss cuisine, locals are cashing in on the media flood:
- Robert Bischoff, a local cable guy who installs high-speed internet and TV systems, has a plan to capitalise on the attention his town is receiving.
“I was trying to service a customer by the Michael Jackson trial and I had a miserable time trying to find a parking spot,” he says.
“I’m thinking this is a zoo, an absolute zoo, and I got to thinking – why not stand over there and advertise something?
“Basically I’d be out there like all the other groupies. I’d put on maybe a crazy wig or something like that – try to get a little bit of attention – try to get in to the cameras,” he explains.
“I’ll stand up there with your shirt, your company logo and try to get you some media attention.”
….Michael Clayton, owns a building with a flat roof opposite the courthouse.
“I’ve just put a staircase out the back so the media can get up on my roof,” he says.
“I’m running six different spots on the roof for six different medias to video Michael Jackson coming and going and all the other people, the stars that he plans on bringing to defend him.”
He is charging $2,500 per news organisation per day to occupy a space on the roof. “It’s a great Christmas bonus.”
….”To the people who say I’m cashing in on this trial, the answer is – you’re damn right, I am.” [BBC]
It’s the American way, is it not?