Was It A Mistake Not Broadcasting The 2005 Trial Live ?

SmoothCriminal1995

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Now hear me out.
I was talking to my girlfriend about this tonight and I don't think we would be in this situation now if they would have broadcast the trial live, like the OJ trial, I don't think public opinion would be against Michael as much as it appears today.
The best example of this was "pyjama day", the media were fixated on MJ's PJ's and the testimony from Arvizo but they didn't talk about how Thomas Mesereau destroyed the credibility of the prosecution in the cross examination. Imagine if that would have been on TV how much that could have changed public opinion.

If people had witnessed this trial for themselves instead of being fed biased coverage from a biased media, maybe these allegations that we are currently facing wouldn't be getting the seemingly endless worldwide coverage they are right now.
Who knows if the public would have been more in Michael's favour in 2005, he still might be here today...
 

ChrisC

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Could they have shown the identities of the children involved though? Probably not. I think that would matter.
 

elusive moonwalker

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Who would have sat through the whole trial on t.v? Only the fans. 99.9% of people would have heard about it from the news reports so they would still only have known what the media wanted to them to know via soundbite clips. It was enough of a circus already and all you would have had was the footage of arvizo saying he did this to me. Just like now
 

fraroc04

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It would have helped filter out a lot of the bullshit that was being told. That's probably the reason why it wasnt televised.
 

Blondie

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I was frustrated at the time that you kinda had to go out of your way to watch the full reconstruction videos. I was the only one watching them and had to constantly tell people what was going on, people who didn't know anything but pretending they were following it all. I would have liked to have seen Janet Arviso being shown in reality, so people could see how erratic and weird she was. I also feel like if it had been televised we'd be seeing clips of Wade doing the rounds right now.
 

Moonstreet

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Looking back now, yes it was a mistake. I went to Santa Maria in April 2005 and was in the court on one day. Seeing how that one day was reported in the news , how much each news outlet put their own bias on things was insane.

Yes there were the reconstructions but back then the majority of people got their news from main stream media TV.

The fans in Santa Maria were amazing, they would take notes in court and then go to the Santa Maria library and put them online , mainly on the old MJJFORUM but then they would spread to KOPBOARD and then by word of mouth through text messages and phone calls.

I remember asking my manager for time off work to go back to Santa Maria for the verdict. He didn't believe me that the end of the trial was near and that the jurors would be sent out in a few days to decide the verdict. He said he was watching Sky News before he came to work that day and they didn't say anything like that. I told him I was getting information direct from the court via the fans who were there and he wouldn't believe me, he couldn't understand that mainstream media were not reporting what was actually happening.

Contrast Santa Maria in 2005 with Johhny Depp in 2022. Everyone could see the non verbal actions of Amber Herd, everyone could hear the exact words spoken in the testimonies and the exact questions the lawyers asked. It was played out in real time before the eyes of the world. Yes some of it was painful to hear and yes it was heartbreaking watching him sit through all of it. The actual real time footage was shown on main stream tv so while yes there was bias from the various analyzers, people had access to the real time footage.
 

Hiker

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I think it works both ways, meaning if it was broadcast, media would have brutally analysed every facial expressions, every micro movement. I don't know what would have been worse. As someone who did not pay any attention to media, I will never understand how can they treat another human like that, especially someone who gave so much.
 

mj_frenzy

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There is the notion that the courtroom should be a public forum, thus it should let people be aware of what is going on inside.

If Michael Jackson's trial was televised, then people would have seen in real time the arguments that both sides (prosecution, defense) were presenting inside the courtroom, and they would also have observed their body language.

Also, people would not have relied so much on media's reports about the court activity, knowing that certain media have specific agendas and these media would try to portray the court proceedings in their favourable way.

Additionally, the court participants (witnesses, lawyers, etc) would have performed in a more professional way, knowing that the court proceedings were being televised.

But if the trial was televised, then it would also become a media circus, and also the trial would turn into a soap opera for the people to watch it comfortably in their living rooms while eating pop corn.

There is also another thing if the trial was televised.

The porn week would have been an extremely uncomfortable situation for Michael Jackson knowing that this would be also in public view.

The porn week was called in that way because it was the week in which porn magazines seized from Neverland were being projected onto huge screens inside the courtroom.
 

dethorro

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Having closely followed the recent Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial, which was highly publicized in part due to the fact that it was streamed to the whole world, I do think it would have been to Michael’s benefit to have his trial also be broadcast on TV.

In the Depp-Heard case, the public could see Heard’s testimony crumble in real time, instead of reading about it in some possibly biased newspaper article.
 

DangerousGal91

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Perhaps I'm biased since cameras are illegal inside court rooms in my country, but I don't think it would've helped had they been allowed. The media was always vicious towards Michael even when presented with facts. Remember when a container of Benoquin was found in Michael's possession after his death? The media spun this as "definite proof that Michael Jackson bleached his skin", even though Benoquin is not a skin bleaching cream.

And all the nonsense the prosecution came up with? How Michael supposedly "totally used his personal [legal] porn stash to groom kids" without any evidence whatsoever? The media also blindly copied that. People who hated Michael Jackson would've still hated him, called him a liar, etc. and taken clips out of context.

So no, nothing would've changed. The mainstream media hated Michael Jackson and would've spun everything around for their own amusement, personal gain, and money. Especially the tabloid rags, do not underestimate their destructive power.
 

mj_frenzy

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Thomas Mesereau was asked about that in a radio interview.

He replied that if they would have broadcast the trial live, then a serious problem would have arisen for him.

Prosecution witnesses would have seen (on TV) what other witnesses had already testified inside the courtroom.

This would ruin his cross-examination strategies.

Here is the part from that interview:

 

KOPV

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To broadcast or not to broadcast, I see benefits and issues that could come from it.. I do think it should have been filmed by the parties involved though with a clause of no release during the trial. This would have at the vary least gave media entities to think twice about what they are reporting about considering the full thing is filmed.
 

fraroc04

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As much as I respect Tom Meserau's point of view, I do feel like if the trial had been televised like OJ, the media wouldn't be able to convienently ignore the fact that each graphic, selacious testimony was being promptly laughed out of court with each cross examination.
 

SeriousEffect.

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Watching it via CourtTV I would say the coverage was pretty fair, they parties from both sides of the fence on for most segments since that always allowed for arguing. Nancy Grace ate crow, that was a nice moment to see.
 
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