February 2, 2005
The Michael Jackson trial - jury selection began yesterday - is a metaphor for much of what is wrong with modern American culture.
For at least the next five months, much of the media, and a certain percentage of the population, will be fixated on what Jackson allegedly did to young boys who slept over in his "Neverland" mansion.
I don't plan to watch any of it, or read about it.
But the media will gorge themselves on it as if there is nothing else more important to cover.
We are committing intellectual and moral suicide.
The same distractions, diversions and trivia that blinded us to the 9/11 terror attacks are in place again.
Say this about the terrorists. They are disciplined and focused.
We, on the other hand, are undisciplined and focusing on the wrong things.
Entertainment and news have become synonymous.
The intellectual is ignored.
The salacious is made front and center.
Body parts and bodily fluids are discussed in prime time.
It would have shocked by grandmothers, but nothing shocks anymore and there seems to be an unending search for new outrages.
Michael Jackson is the symbol. But he reflects our inner substance.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.