November 20, 2003 edition
Forum, decorum and bore 'em; and
talking you way out of trouble.
A decade has passed since Michael Jackson first faced a child molestation investigation. Ultimately the victim refused to testify. The victim's family and Jackson settled out of court (read as "money exchanged hands"). More plastic surgery was scheduled and performed. And apparently more pajama parties and sleep-overs were hosted by Jackson at his Neverland estate.
Now less than a year after a much talked about ABC News Special about All Things Michael, pop chameleon Jackson has gotten his weenie caught in a ringer. Again. As this is being typed into the computer, a plane carrying Jackson has just landed in Santa Barbara, California, so he can surrender to the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department on multiple charges of molesting a child.
So far, only one victim has come forward. However, authorities are encouraging others to to follow suit, if for no other reason to stack the deck and load up charges against Jackson. As the days wear on and court dates draw closer, it will be interesting to see of others do, in fact, come forward to press charges.
Call me sick if you must, but Todd Rundren's song "All The Children Sing" is playing in my head ...
(To read an earlier essay covering the post-ABC New Special mania, check out Under the Microscope on this web site.)
George W. Bush is wrapping up a Schmooze Fest with Tony Blair in Great Britain. An address before the British Parliament was switched to a more docile and friendly audience; that being a select group of academics at Whitehall Palace. Bush took full advantage of this hand picked audience with profuse pontification on the joint British/American war on terrorism. It was a classic example of preaching to the choir.
But what stuck out like a sore thumb (and is a continuing source of embarrassment and irritation, at least to me) was "our" President's continued mispronouncing the word "nuclear." Does Bush think that saying "nuk-u-lar" makes him appear to be more of a regular guy? Do advisors co-sign this mispronunciation? Is Merriam-Webster going to further water down the King's English by listing "nuk-u-lar" as a secondary, yet approved pronunciation?
Excuse me for taking the President's visit to England and distilling it down to one word out of one speech. Call me a nit picker, should you feel it necessary. But I'm not the only one dismayed (or pissed off) at Bush and his obvious lax enunciation.
To prove that I'm not the only one, here is A View From The Fringe and TRIFOCAL REARVIEW MIRROR scooping all other news sources and media outlets. Listen to the following sound bite of one, lone academic in the Whitehall audience, responding to Bush's aforementioned pronunciation SNAFU. First, turn up the volume. Then click here.
Freshly detoxed, rehabilitated and recovered nationally syndicated talk show host Rush Limbaugh returned to the airwaves this past Monday. The return of El Rushbo was a delight for some and detested by others. There is very little grey area in the listenership of the Rush Limbaugh Show: either you love him or you hate him.
There are times, though, that we all like Rush, even if only for an instant. That time is when Rush is "singing our song," whatever the particular political or philosophical song might be. And oddly enough, we continue to listen for that song, even if we have to endure the torture of Rush singing the songs of others. And therein lies the hook.
Hearing a nationally syndicated talk show host pontificate on a stance that we take lends serious credence to that stance, belief or opinion. At least it does in our minds ...
Rush, much like Michael Jackson, has his own weenie caught in a ringer. Allegations of money laundering are flying around newsrooms everywhere, reporters have gotten the taste of blood and they like it. According to the Associated Press, Limbaugh withdrew cash a multitude of times in amounts just below the $10,000 level at which banks are required to report said transactions to the government.
There's talk of Limbaugh being a major player in a prescription drug ring. These large withdrawals of cash, and at the less than $10,000 amounts, certainly causes raised eyebrows and a chorus of "hmmmm" not only law enforcement officials, but also from the masses of Limbaugh supporters and critics alike.
So it's really no surprise that Limbaugh is tip toeing around the topic of Michael Jackson. Normally Limbaugh would be profusely drooling over taking pot shots at such an easy sitting duck of a target But in his own holding pattern over alleged drug ring connections and waiting for the Florida law enforcement system to do something, he has aimed his sights elsewhere. Apparently the statement "innocent until proven guilty" means more to Limbaugh in that it has stuck so close to home.
This return to the Internet with a fresh Trifocal Rearview Mirror will hopefully be the start of regular (hopefully) weekly submissions. Check out What's New from time to time for updates to this section, as well as other areas of the web site. Thanks!
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Text - Copyright © 2003 Jeff Bauer
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Revised - Friday, September 9, 2005