Monday, November 20, 2006


I'm assuming that everyone has heard that OJ Simpson had a book coming out, and was going to be interviewed on television about it? Well, Fox cancelled the book/television special. No reason was given. The Moderate Voice says that Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch considered the whole special to be ill-considered. Via MSNBC:
In the projects, Simpson speaks in hypothetical terms about how he would have committed the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Goldman.

Relatives of the victims have lashed out at the now scuttled publication and broadcast plans.

“He destroyed my son and took from my family Ron’s future and life. And for that I’ll hate him always and find him despicable,” Fred Goldman told ABC last week.

The industry trade publication Broadcasting & Cable editorialized against the show Monday, saying “Fox should cancel this evil sweeps stunt.”

One of the nation’s largest superstore chains, Borders Group Inc., said last week it would donate any profits on the book to charity.
I suspect that the change of heart had just a wee bit to do with the firestorm of criticism directed at the network and its related media outlets because of the publication. It goes to the bottom line, and the bean counters thought that this might do harm, though the old adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity was probably why this whole project went forward in the first place.

I have a couple of thoughts on the subject.

1) Does anyone really care what OJ Simpson says at this point? He was found not guilty by a jury in the criminal law trial that was best known for its multitude of gifts to the world - the infamous Bronco car chase, "... if the gloves don't fit, you must acquit," and who can't forget the Dancing Itos. Never mind that two people, Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, were heinously slaughtered and a civil trial found OJ guilty. This was the mother of all celebrity trials, and who knows what would have happened had this happened in the present - bloggers would have had a field day with all the evidence and coverage.

2) The book and television special were creating quite a bit of buzz about OJ. The usual suspects were wondering whether this was a confession to the murders - psychoanalyzing whether OJ was confessing because of the burden of carrying around the secret all these years. All the armchair shrinks have a field day and bloggers have a story or two to write about - including myself.

3) Is this really going to change anything? Are we hearing anything new that we haven't already heard? Did OJ really find the real killer while playing golf all these years? Those who think he did it aren't changing their tune, nor do I suspect that those who thought he didn't do it have changed their minds as well.

4) What about free speech. You know, the same folks who would complain about censorship because the Dixie Chicks weren't able to get their advertisements on the air. Are they now going to complain because the Juice got canned? I don't think so.

Not that this is a free speech matter, let alone one of censorship. It was corporate decisions that led to the special being spiked, and there was no government involvment, a predicate for there being a free speech issue.

All in all, this is whole lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing at all.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that the Goldman family and Nicole Brown's relatives still mourn the loss of their loved ones. This latest move by OJ is not going to heal any wounds or salve any consciences, and only serves to reopen old wounds - primarily for the families of Ron and Nicole. Even OJ's lawyer can't believe that OJ went ahead with this book, and the television special.

Quite a few folks are rendering their opinion on OJ and the decision to spike the tv program and book deal. Tammy Bruce wonders whether Simpson gets to keep the advance. Decision 08 thinks News Corp made the right decision and notes that this has nothing to do with censorship. Logic and sanity prevailed notes Sister Toldjah.

Michelle Malkin says OJ is out of juice. Her message to the media? Stop feeding the troll. Three words for Malkin: Not.Gonna.Happen. Someone will pay to publish the story; someone will pay to get the interview; and someone will pay to hear/see Simpson.

Also blogging: AJ Strata, Wake Up America, Scared Monkeys, Blue Crab Boulevard, and Hot Air.

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