Let's hope the reputation of the judge in the Michael Jackson case is accurate and deserved.
Entertainer Michael Jackson and his entourage did an outstanding job of organizing and promoting events surrounding his recent court hearing on charges of child molestation and endangerment.
Included were an orchestrated caravan to the court site, a well-organized throng of support, a line of limousines and the ominous bodyguard contingent that stood by while the shameless Jackson played to the cameras and the crowd, and managed to perform a dance of sorts on top of one of the limos. One can't help wondering just how someone who was as battered and bruised as Jackson said he was after one arrest could manage to rise to such a physical occasion. But he somehow managed in typical Jacko fashion.
Jackson was at least 20 minutes late for his court showing, perhaps due to circumstances or perhaps intentionally as an act of defiance. The judge in the courtroom, who has a reputation for no nonsense, made it clear: "Not again." But Jackson and Co. had made their point about their efforts to control the proceedings to their liking.
However, as his case proceeds through the court, Jackson and his contingent will be on the judge's territory and in his venue. During the first hearing, there were instances of vocal support by people in the courtroom. We can assume this will be the last of such foolishness.
People familiar with the Jackson judge say he is a far cry from the wimpish Lance Ito who presided in the O.J. Simpson murder trial and that he will tolerate no foolishness. We can only hope that is true and that the judge measures up to the task of lessening the circus scene indoors even though we can be sure there will be gyrations and orations outside.
In today's permissive society, Michael Jackson and his people are going to push the envelope in any way they can to obscure the real goals of the court proceedings. We can hope there will be no violent confrontations, but if there are, the perpetrators should be dealt with firmly.
Inside the courtroom, there should be a serious and business-like atmosphere. The Jacksonites will try to make it otherwise, but they should not be allowed to generate any sort of mocking smokescreen.