Michael Jackson Press Corps: Bathroom-Line Cutting, Poker-Playing, Over-Eating

With the Jackson prosecution having rested, it seems like a good time to look northward to Santa Maria and examine the behavior of the media corps. LA-based French journalist Emmanuelle Richard is blogging bilingually about covering the trial, fingering Vanity Fair correspondent Maureen Orth as a bathroom-line bully:

It’s always very instructive to observe and listen to these brilliant trial Stakhanovists and to spot familiar media figures. Such as this New York Post columnist, looking so grumpy. Her anti-Jackson diatribes have always seemed hysterical to me. Or this Vanity Fair diva who tends to take cuts in the waiting lines. She was jumping ahead of the bathroom line with a fascinating ease, until famed lawyer Gloria Allred intervened tactfully for the sake of justice.

Meanwhile, in Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi relates this heart-warming anecdote:

It is the first day of witness testimony in the Michael Jackson trial, and I am stuck in the overflow room of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse — a windowless trailer at the edge of the court compound, where fifty journalists are crouched around a closed-circuit broadcast of the trial, poised to catch the word masturbate should it fly out of the TV monitor.

The figures on the screen are tiny and barely recognizable. Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau is the only one who is easy to spot, his mane of blow-dried white hair flowing back and forth across the screen like a cursor.

“Please to tell, veech von ees Jackson?” whispers a European reporter.

“He’s the little dot on the left,” snaps an American TV reporter, not averting his eyes from the monitor.

And some members of the press corps have established eatmj.com, “a gastronomic guide to the Michael Jackson trial,” with local restaurant reviews and listings. Doesn’t sound like a great food town.