A cadre of lawyer-commentators has descended on the Michael Jackson trial in California. The New York Times says such commentators have been a fixture at widely publicized trials at least since William Kennedy Smith was acquitted of rape in Palm Beach, Fla., in 1991. The tribulations of O. J. Simpson, Kobe Bryant, Scott Peterson, and now Jackson, says the Times, “have brought this traveling band of analysts to the media bivouacs that spring up around America’s celebrity show trials.” Among the crew this time are Anne Bremner, a Seattle lawyer; Jim Hammer, a former prosecutor in San Francisco; and Bob Massi, a civil litigator from Las Vegas.spectacles. Jim Moret of “Inside Edition,” was the studio anchor for CNN’s coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial. Diane Dimond of Court TV, who is not a lawyer, is among the nation’s foremost experts on Jackson. ‘s personal and legal issues and is reporting around the clock from a tent pitched in the driveway of the Santa Maria courthouse. Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, has shown up for big moments in the Jackson trial, A Loyola colleague, Stanley Goldman, is the legal affairs editor for Fox News.
The Jackson trial’s tight security offers a platform for television commentary inside the courthouse complex at a spot dubbed Hyde Park, after the speakers’ corner in London. Peter Shaplen, a freelance television producer who has served as media coordinator for the Peterson and Jackson trials, set up a microphone outside the courtroom for analysts to use during the three short breaks in the testimony each day. “Hyde Park feeds the beast,” Shaplen said. “But I also think in an odd way it makes the coverage better. If you can hear commentary from people who just came out of court, highly qualified people, it improves the coverage across the board.”