Schizo Coverage of Fan Turnout at Courthouse – MiniBullet #11

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Schizo Coverage of Fan Turnout at Courthouse – MiniBullet #11 March 9, 2005 – One has to wonder if the mainstream media has taken their collective medication when discussing how many people would stand outside of a courthouse for 6 hours – without news of what’s going on inside the courtroom – just to see two minutes of Michael Jackson walking to and from his vehicle. While watching yet one more inane, hackneyed report about “fan turnout” and how that is somehow ridiculously indicative of a “shrinking fanbase,” I had to pen this complaint. The media needs to understand a couple of things here: 1) You can’t really get a whole lot of up-to-the-minute Jackson trial updates by standing outside behind a gate holding up a sign for 6 hours; 2) Whether they believe it or not, Jackson actually has fans 18 and under, who do have to do pesky little things like go to school and mind their parents; 3) When you’re dealing with the cops and school aged kids skipping school to see Jackson, don’t be surprised if you see the results of truancy officers paying little visits to these fans and their ‘I heart Jackson’ signs; 4) They’re normally not independently wealthy or can afford to quit their jobs for 2 minutes of Peace signs and air-blown kisses. Before some of those points are discussed in further detail, it’s important to note that the media’s schizophrenic coverage of Jackson fan participation is absolutely amazing. When there were thousands of people outside the courthouse, fans were publicly berated for not taking this situation seriously. Their actions were then projected onto Jackson. Jackson was publicly chastised and ridiculed for not being somber enough about this crucial situation. There were know-nothing TV shrinks analyzing the video of him standing on top of the SUV, with their false outrage, talking about how he’s making a mockery of the judicial system with all of these screaming fans outside the courthouse. Now, when most fans have long gotten the message that it may not be such a good idea to stand outside dressed up like Jackson for the media to make fun of, all of a sudden the ‘story’ has changed. Now the numbers are supposedly demonstrative of “lessening fan support.” Supposedly demonstrative of “a weakening fan base”. Supposedly demonstrative of “fans losing hope in their idol”. Oh cue the violins! It ain’t that serious, wacko journos. Speaking just for MJEOL, hits to the website have increased dramatically since the trial began. Currently active users at any given time have increased as well. And don’t even get me started on the massive amounts of users at what may be thousands of fansites/forums all over the world. All of the millions of fans all over the world can’t be outside a damn courthouse everyday, screaming at the top of their lungs as Jackson waves and throws peace signs for 60 seconds. It just ain’t gonna happen. This isn’t a concert. They’re supposed to be composed and respectful, AND wild and screaming. They’re supposed to show up in large numbers at the courthouse every weekday AND be able to maintain a job and keep up with school work. These illogical patterns of thinking are rarely questioned, as these scenarios can’t co-exist. Some fans expressed that they “couldn’t give two $hits about the media spinning” their participation. And that was one of the milder media critiques. “They almost never get it right about Michael, why should I care if they are equally inaccurate about our participation?” one wrote via email. Why should fan care? Much like Jackson, sometimes they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. And the media will continue to manifest this schizo attitude about Jackson until it becomes clear that the public just isn’t buying it anymore. And for those in the media attempting to create the story rather than just reporting it, please take your meds…….It’ll relax you. -MJEOL

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