Now that the media hordes have moved beyond their obsession with the frivolous (pro football), it’s time to focus on something serious.
That would be … Michael Jackson?
Jury selection in the pop star’s child molestation trial, originally set to resume today, has been postponed for a week. That’s left the 1,000 credentialed members of the media — from outlets as diverse as the New York Times and “Access Hollywood,” from Court TV to journalists from Asia and Australia — with time on their hands, and news holes to fill. To their credit, they have been treating the spectacle as what it is — a spectacle. (In that regard, not that much different from Super Bowl XXXIX.)
On Friday, Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan took note of Mr. Jackson’s courtroom wardrobe choices. (She’s the critic who also recently roasted Vice President Dick Cheney for his choice of attire at an Auschwitz memorial service, describing Cheney’s olive-green parka and fur cap as what “one typically wears to operate a snow blower.”) Of the defendant, Givhan wrote:
For the first day of jury selection, Jackson dressed all in white. The obvious reading of the color choice was that it was meant to convey innocence. But Jackson was not merely wearing a white suit and shirt. He matched his white pants and shirt with a vest cut from white brocade and decorated with gilded charms. The white tailored jacket was emblazoned with a gold armband. Jackson accessorized the entire ensemble with a pair of reflective sunglasses. He looked as though he were dressed to lead a marching band through the streets of St. Tropez.
Dahlia Lithwick at Slate also weighed in on the costume. “No one is suggesting that Jackson wear a pinstripe suit, or trim his Jacqueline Kennedy bob, or even scrub off Joan Crawford’s eyebrows,” writes Lithwick. “That mask is all that is left of him, for one thing. And Jackson probably worries more about tarnishing that image than about spending a few years in jail.”
We haven’t had a chance to check out the assessment of Linda Massarella, deputy West Coast editor of In Touch Weekly, whose beat, according to this report is covering “fashion crimes in the courtroom.” (Where do we sign up for that job?) But Massarella has spoken before: Michael, forget the “fancy-dress-ball look.”
We’re also impressed with the approach to the story