Michael Jackson's death: La La Land at its (worst) best
La La Land.
That's what L.A. is often called. And it's usually not a compliment.
And you know what? Sometimes we deserve it. And this is one of those times.
Just take a look at what's making news here this week:
The voice of a heavily drugged, rambling Michael Jackson echoed through the courtroom during opening arguments Tuesday in the trial of his personal doctor.
"When people leave my show, I want them to say, 'I've never seen nothing like this in my life,' " the singer mumbled on a recording that the prosecution said was made on Dr. Conrad Murray’s iPhone.
Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren told jurors that Murray recorded his famous patient about six weeks before his death when he was "under the influence of unknown agents."
Now, this is serious stuff. After all, CNN, Fox and half the world's media outlets are parked outside the courtroom. A man, a famous man, is dead. No news nugget is insignificant. As The Times reported breathlessly Tuesday:
Some fans reported that Jackson's magician, Majestic Magnificent, was present at the courthouse.
Of course, bizarre isn't limited to Michael Jackson. Here's a little tidbit that's sure to further endear L.A. to the "tea party" movement:
The spaces for "Name of Father" are blank. But the L.A. County birth certificates list the mother, who happens to be the young wife of one of history’s biggest and most sought-after drug lords, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
Emma Coronel traveled to Southern California in mid-July, and on Aug. 15 gave birth to twin girls at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, according to birth records and a senior U.S. law enforcement official.
Turns out Coronel, a 22-year-old former beauty queen, holds U.S. citizenship, which entitles her to travel freely to the U.S. and to use its hospitals. By being born in California, her little girls now also have U.S. citizenship.
Oh good, a twofer: Her husband's a wanted drug lord, and now their kids are American citizens.
But look on the bright side, tea partyers: When those little El Chapos grow up, want to go to a U.S. college, and apply for financial aid, it won't be a case of giving assistance to illegal immigrants.
And don't blame lax law enforcement for this. As the story says:
U.S. federal agents apparently kept tabs on Emma Coronel even before she crossed the border at Calexico, through her hospital stay and until she left the country to return to Mexico. Although her husband tops most-wanted lists on both sides of the border, Coronel was not arrested because there are no charges against her, the law enforcement official said.
But what I really want to know is, how did she pay for her hospital stay? A suitcase full of cash? Or does she have insurance? If so, will she and her husband be dunned by a collection agency if they don't pay?
And speaking of law enforcement, how about those L.A. County jails?
FBI agents probing misconduct allegations in the L.A. County Jail orchestrated an undercover sting in which they paid about $1,500 to a sheriff's deputy to smuggle a cellphone to an inmate, sources said.
The revelation is the first public indication that the FBI's investigations into allegations of inmate beatings and other deputy misconduct in the jails have uncovered possible criminal wrongdoing.
The FBI conducted the cellphone sting without notifying top Sheriff's Department brass, enraging Sheriff Lee Baca and causing a rift between the two law enforcement agencies.
So, let's see: Sheriff's deputies are allegedly beating up inmates; the FBI is looking into it; the agency found a seemingly crooked deputy to help them get a phone to an informant; and Baca isn't concerned about that and the beating allegations, he's just mad at the FBI.
Baca's bottom line? "We police ourselves," he said.
Gee, I think that's what Richard Nixon said too.
And, on top of all this, President Obama was in town for a series of appearances and fundraisers.
And yes, you know what that meant: People complaining about traffic tie-ups.
Ah, just another week in La La Land.
Photo: La Toya Jackson enters the courthouse Tuesday for opening statements in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images