Over the last week or so, I've gotten several requests to do interviews with various news outlets covering the Michael Jackson trial. I guess it's the Conrad Murray trial, but that's not as sexy sounding as the "Michael Jackson Death" trial that I've noticed a lot of news flacks have dubbed it.
Up until today, I'd turned them all down. Primarily because I am not following the trial and therefore have no insight into it. In part, that's because I don't have that much time these days to indulge in the voyeurism of a trial like this. The other part is that I don't really want to see the circus act.
I'm presuming it's a circus act, because frankly life around my late friend Michael Jackson was always a circus act. So why should it be any different in death? That's not meant to be a criticism of MJ or his life, more just objective commentary.
Anyway -- I accepted an invitation from Joy Behar to do an interview for her show last night for the first time. Why? Frankly, because my mother told me to. Seriously, my mom has been watching some of the trial and told me how disappointed she was in the portrait that was being painted of Michael -- presumably of some drug addicted misanthrope who in the end earned a fate that he condemned himself to. No doubt in the ensuing days, cross examinations and all the rest, all the scandals, plastic surgeries and psychoanalysis of all of the above will be dredged up as well.
For what it's worth, I didn't really talk about any of that. And I didn't talk much about the gifted artist MJ either. I talked about the friend -- the mischevious, playful, insightful, aware, trustworthy, loyal, and vulnerable guy that was my buddy. It's a side I spoke about at some length two years ago when Michael tragically died and people seemed to like it.
However that's not the whole truth either. Michael was a deeply complex guy. He was unbelievable complex -- triumphant, tragic, and tortured. From my vantage point, everything you ever heard about the guy -- both good and bad -- was true. And all of it were lies. Who knows who anyone really is? In America, we love to put icons on pedestal. And we love to topple those pedestals too. Michael experienced both with extreme drama.
In this country, we also have an epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Doctors, literally with a license to kill. Michael's story is sadly entangled with this catastrophic tragedy. Was Conrad Murray's obvious negligence criminal? Hopefully a jury will figure out the truth.
Meanwhile, I'll remember Michael for what he was. All of the above. And more.