Monday, July 26, 2004

 

Attention Whores

This item about a two-tiered legal system got me hot under the collar. Considering that most celebrities are nothing but attention whores, I think it serves them well to get a taste of what the profanum vulgus must deal with if they receive warranted or unwarranted attention from the legal system.  I make no speculation on whether Mr. Bryant or Mr. Jackson are guilty of the crimes they are being prosecuted for, and firmly believe that they are innocent until proven guilty. Salaciousness and providing filler time for Greta van Susteren aside, Messrs. Bryant and Jackson are entitled to exactly the same protections and privileges that any person incapable of dribbling or copping Jackie Wilson's moves are. Nothing more. Nothing less. And if that means they slap the bracelets on them, so be it. Obviously Mr. Jackson is not a physical threat to police, and he'd be ill-advised to initiate any confrontation, but he his attorneys will make sure that he is not mistreated at the hands of the authorities. They're well paid to do so. There is no guarantee that Mr. Jackson will not be mistreated by his fellow inmates, and I would suppose that there is little more than a "reasonable care" standard applying in the case of custody, otherwise there would be far more lawsuits arising out of Joe Schmo being locked up and becoming someone's Maytag. Supposedly there is a "celebrity" wing at the LA County Jail, where Messrs. Blake, Simpson and Spector have all darkened the halls. I do believe there is a concept called equal protection under the law, from a little thing called the Constitution. You perhaps remember it from school.

Just as a side note, since I referenced Ms. van Susteren's show, one of her frequent guests in the interminable coverage of Messrs. Jackson and Peterson is an attorney by the name of Gloria Allred, who seems to thrive on publicity. Apart from her injecting herself as an officer of the court in both the aforementioned cases, and adding no value or clarity to the proceedings (consider her current status in the Jackson case), Ms. Allred did one thing that was ghoulish, irrelevant and so craven that it bears mentioning. As you recall, George Harrison passed away at a friend's home in Los Angeles in November 2001. The death certificate had an incorrect address for the location of death. This can be explained in one of two ways, the first being a clerical error (fairly unlikely, but possible) or secondarily as a bit of obfuscation designed to preserve the privacy of the families. Ms. Allred marshalled her publicity hounding skills to a huge extent when this fact emerged, and demanded an investigation by the District Attorney. The question I would ask here is what was the harm in this? Mr. Harrison's death was of natural causes, and there was no foul play suspected.  There might have been some police or coroner presence at the scene, as oftimes happens with a death at a private residence.  Who was injured by the horrendous act of changing the address on the death certificate?  The LAPD even noted that it was no crime, unless it was for purposes of fraud. Quoth the Yahoo story on the subject:

However, Allred lodged a complaint because she believes that, "Celebrities and / or their supporters are not above the law, even if they are acting with good intentions, for example, to protect the privacy of loved ones." Allred added, rather tastelessy, "All things must pass, but not this."

One thing that's long overdue is the scaling back of broadcast coverage of the political conventions. The primaries have long since made the decisions formerly made in the proverbial smoke-filled rooms, and listening to speechifying, of any sort, is in the general vicinity of having a root canal procedure on my list of favorite things to do. The loss of interest on the part of the general public in politics is part of the root cause, however, there is little relevance in watching Senator Claghorn intone  a 45 minutes speech casting the votes of his state for the Kennedy-dictated candidate du jour, thanking the chicken farmers, coal miners, Sushulist Werking Pipples (er, I mean, the great workers of the state) and every other liberal icon out there, all while a bunch of foaming at the mouth conventioneers wave huge signs that have probably been recycled since Adlai was nominated.


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