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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

The Stash Is Safe

Monday
June 13, 2005

"Well, if we're going to bet, why don't we make it interesting?"
-C. Montgomery Burns, on The Simpsons

In what may go down at the most memorable court case of the decade, Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges in his trial today in Santa Maria, California.

We filled the conference room in the Certified HR Services Building, where we watched the proceedings on DirecTV on a widescreen TV. The lead-up went on and on, and then finally the verdicts came out. Not Guilty, Not Guilty, in all 14 times.

Bubba and I had predicted an acquittal, as did Tom Bean, Bubba's agent. Brent Hatley and Co-Co predicted a conviction. Why did I predict acquittal? Lack of evidence. Not to mention lack of credibility by the alleged victim's mother. As much as Jacko creeps me out, the accusers' track record of filing frivolous lawsuits put me in one of those situations where I wasn't pulling for either side. It's like a Florida/Michigan football game, only much more twisted and baleful.

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera didn't have to shave off his trademark "Key West butt tickler" moustache.

But if there's one saving grace out of all of this, it's that journalist (and I use that term VERY loosely with him) Geraldo Rivera didn't have to shave his trademark moustache, which he had promised to do if Jackson lost. I've always been someone fascinated by bizarre bets or promises like that (which may stem from being a fan of pro wrestling as a kid and seeing hair vs. hair matches and the like). So sleep well tonight, Geraldo: your 'stash is safe.

If I'm going to mention memorable trials, the ultimate "do you remember where you were when it happened?" verdict for me was the O.J. Simpson criminal verdict in the Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman case, which came down on October 3, 1995. I was a freshman in college at the University of Evansville, and I heard the news in my dorm room at Hughes Hall. I remember the Sig Eps across the intersection going out in front of their house and cheering wildly, which is a reaction I still quite don't understand. But whatever the case, the memory of everyone packed in the conference room, past "closing time", watching the Jackson verdict today, will be something I won't soon forget.

As for Michael Jackson, I have but one piece of advice: stop sleeping with children.


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