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Michael Jackson’s Hacks for Hire

When he testifies today in the Michael Jackson trial, former Jacksonlawyer–turned–defense witness Mark Geragos can besure his performance will be admiringly noted by at least a few members of themedia — particularly by the bevy of counterfeit courtroom“reporters” who work out of Geragos’s law office. Taking apage from the Jeff Gannon schoolof journalism, sources say, Geragos & Geragos managed to procure presscredentials for a handful of glassy-eyed Jackson fans who pose as reporters fora pseudo “news blog” called thejusticesystem.net. Throughout thetrial they have filed pro-Jackson pieces — and critical stories about theplaintiff’s family — for the site, including a recent entry thatpaints Santa Barbara DA Tom Sneddon’s case as sinking“into [a] quagmire of libellous quicksand.”

In return fortheir services the ringers have been granted entrée to Neverland andintimate access to the Jacko clan, sources say. But while they portraythemselves as independent journalists, according to courthouse sources themasquerading Menckens frequently blow their cover by chatting up the King ofPop’s relatives when they should be taking notes. Asked whether he hadmade the court and public aware of the close connection between his law firm andthejusticesystem.net, the normally unflappable Geragos sputtered, “What isthis site? What are you talking about?” and then refused to answer anyfurther questions about the ploy. But if he wants to get away with such schemesin the future, he should work harder at covering his tracks. Not only doesthejusticesystem.net’s homepage feature a prominent link to the Geragos& Geragos site, it also shares a phone number (213-625-3900; see green type) and address with the law firm. The site’s editor, Carol Davis, alaw school graduate and former TV journalist, could not be reached for commentat press time.

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