Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Oh, He'll Be Here Alright

So who's the latest to jump on the "I love Michael" bandwagon? Try Wendy McCaw's News-Press.

Tuesday's paper carried an editorial titled: "Our legal system abused Jackson."

The editorial asserts that it was here, in Santa Barbara County, that Jackson "had to endure a legal system that seemed bent on going after him." And who in particular does the News-Press believe was "going after him." It singles out former DA Tom Sneddon and former Sheriff Jim Thomas.

That's interesting, because when Jackson's ranch was searched in 2003 and when the case was tried in 2005, it was Jim Anderson who was the the Sheriff, not Thomas, who had long since retired.

I guess the News-Press didn't have a bone to pick with Anderson.

The editorial argues that the DA's case was so weak, "that a jury didn't find Mr. Jackson guilty of anything."

A jury didn't find O.J. guilty of anything either. Does that mean he was innocent?

Awfully courageous of Wendy and Travis to come out championing the innocence of Michael Jackson, precisely four years after the trial concluded.

* * *

While Santa Barbara County officials can't confirm whether the last stop in Michael Jackson's final farewell tour will indeed take place this weekend at the Neverland Ranch, the national and international news media seem to think it's a sure thing.

In other words, they're deploying their assets to the Santa Ynez Valley. According to my own very knowledgeable source, at least 15 TV satellite trucks are in the vicinity of the Ranch with more on the way. Hotel rooms in Santa Ynez are reportedly sold out this weekend and establishments like the Sandman in Santa Barbara are likely to get the overflow.

You could get a pretty good scrabble game going using only the letters that make up the names of news outlets that have staked out a presence along Figueroa Mountain Road. FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, KTLA, KABC, KCBS-KCAL, SKY News, BBC, KSBY, KCOY-KKFX, and KEYT. Not to mention still photographers, the tabloid TV shows, the paparazzi websites, and all the print and radio people.

By the time Thursday rolls around, the size of the media contingent at the Ranch figures to exceed the size of the contingent that covered Jackson's trial in Santa Maria four years ago.

Drew Sugars, the public information officer for the Sheriff's Department picked a good week to go on vacation. Filling in for him is department veteran Butch Arnoldi.

I've known Butch for years, and I guarantee you when he steps in front of the microphone, he won't be "sugar-coating" (no pun intended) anything.

I'd say Michael is getting the last laugh on the powers that be in Santa Barbara. After all, it's you, me and everyone else who resides here in Santa Barbara County who will be footing the bill for all of the extra law enforcement needed for traffic and crowd control.

Considering Jackson left Neverland shortly after that jury acquitted him, and vowed never to live there again, I find it a little peculiar that he is being brought back here. Is this the family's idea of "Victory?" I'm not aware of many people around here who would have been singing, "I Want You Back."
© 2009 by Craig Smith and