MARCH 22 2005 (3:28 PM) — Court ended early today because the judge had an appointment. In court, the backtracker of the day was Louise Palanker. To listen to media reports, it seems as if it was a tale of two testimonies, as the defense pulled previous police interviews with Palanker. As expected, Court TV’s Lisa Bloom actually claimed that the defense was pulling these facts about Palanker’s testimony, which they stated in opening statements, out of thin air. This is completely ridiculous. Palanker’s own mouth is what may have gotten her in deep trouble while on the stand. Palanker, under prosecution questioning, talking about the accusing family in what some called “glowing terms”. Palanker testified today that she is still friends with the accusing family and she put the blame all on the father. This has become the excuse as to the felonious behavior by the accusing family: blame the father. Palanker’s claims on the stand today were very different from the extremely damaging information she previously told the police about the accusing family. Today on the stand she claims she got a phone call from the accuser’s mother, Janet Arvizo, who sounded like she was in distress and told Palanker “these people are evil.” She also claims that she thought the family was being held against their will. But cross-examination, which Bloom and her panel of guests today seem to be intentionally overlooking, showed a different story. The reports about the defense’s cross-examination is scarce, as usual, so they may have touched upon points as yet unknown by MJEOL. Palanker, based on information known to us at the time of this writing, couldn’t explain why the mother would call her instead of the police if she were being held hostage. The mother never identified from where she was calling, nor did she explain to Palanker whom she was calling “evil”. She apparently didn’t testify that the mother asked her to call the police, nor did she (Palanker) call the police after receiving such a call according to reports. What’s worse is that Palanker made some incredibly damaging statements previously that there were times when the children seemed coached. She admitted under cross-examination she told the cops that the mother was “totally bipolar”, which is a mental disorder. For the record, bipolar disorder is characterized, among other things, by extreme irritability, poor judgment, spending sprees, abuse of drugs, denial, and provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior (see nimh.nih.gov). Savannah Guthrie (Court TV) seems a bit worn down by the Court TV mantra to focus more on the prosecution’s allegations (direct testimony). However, she actually reported some of what the defense brought out under cross-examination:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Well now she’s on cross-examination and we’re hearing about some of the statements that she made to police initially. Some of which were she said to the cops that this family is ‘as wacky as they want to be’. She told the police officers that the mother was bipolar; completely unstable. She made a statement to police evidently that she thought the family was teaching the kids to lie. When asked about that statement, she said ‘well, no, I think I was referring to somebody else who thought that’. She tried to backtrack on that.
Also pointed out by the defense under cross-examination is that Palanker told police that she had given them money for home repairs/construction for the accuser. Under cross, Palanker says the mother didn’t pay the contractor; he was “stiffed”. From another one of Guthrie’s reports:
GUTHRIE: …They also pointed out that the contractor who did some work on the roof for the accuser — and that was one of the reasons why by the way that the comedian gave this $10,000 — was stiffed. He never got paid. And this was of concern to this witness because obviously this was someone she had put the family in contact with, and she wasn’t very pleased that he was not paid.
Jennifer London (MSNBC) also did a short report detailing more of what Palanker said on the stand under cross-examination:
JENNIFER LONDON: Under cross-examination, however, Louise Palanker said she did think that the mother at one time might have suffered from “hostage syndrome”. She also said that she thought the family would latch onto anyone with money or perhaps a celebrity who could help better their situation. The defense hoping that testimony supports their claim that the accuser’s mother made up all of the claims against Michael Jackson because she was out to get his money.
Palanker tried to get out of, or excuse her previous damning statements by claiming she’s just a comedian and may have been exaggerating. Yeah, sure. Many observers aren’t buying that excuse, however. Some observers say her testimony was little “iffy” and it didn’t look good for the prosecution for Palanker to back-tack so much, and so many times, from numerous statements she’d made to police.
MARCH 22 2005 (12:05PM) — Michael Jackson arrived early to court today. Reports say that attorney Ron Richards, who is close to the defense team, talked about what really happened yesterday (March 21 2005) with Jackson’s 2-minutes “late” arrival. And, as we thought, it was no where near as dramatic as the media hype. Sources say Richards appeared on MSNBC this morning to discuss what happened. He says that Jackson was checked into the hospital for his back pains on Sunday night, the night before court resumed. Richards says that Judge Melville was also contacted Sunday night, asked if the proceedings could continue and if Jackson could waive his right to be inside the courtroom until he got better. Reportedly, the judge said he didn’t think the proceedings could go on without him present, but did say he would think about it and rule on it Monday morning (March 21 2005). Richards also reported that it was Jackson himself who changed his mind and decided to come to court, bringing the independent doctor with him just incase. Jackson apparently called at around 8:21AM and told his lawyer, Tom Mesereau, that was coming in but that he was running just a few minutes late. The judge asked Mesereau if it was possible that Jackson could sit through court all day in his condition, and Mesereau informed him that the doctor currently treating him would be in court with him to assist him medically if needed. More importantly, the doctor is not one of Jackson’s personal physicians. He also made it known that Jackson’s back problem IS NOT “mental” and that it is really a physical condition. Of course, most people with sense — and those who have had back problems of their own — knew this. But apparently bobble-headed commentators, pundits and other wacko journos did not. Richards also says that Jackson was never in any danger of being taken into custody at all because the judge knew about this as early as Sunday night and was in negotiations about how to proceed. This is most likely why the judge didn’t say anything about Jackson’s 2-minute tardiness and imposed no sanctions against him. Remember, to fill air time, some anchormen/women have been ranting about how Jackson’s on his “third strike” and how the judge “won’t tolerate it”. You know, the usual drama-queen reports.