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November 16, 2006
Demeaning Everything That Touches Him

I lived in the Los Angeles area in 1994, when Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman got butchered to death at Simpson's Brentwood home. I watched OJ as he drove his white Ford Bronco all over the area, and I lived through the subequent trial, acquittal, lawsuit, and conviction. When the larger community split along racial lines on OJ's guilt or innocence, I lived through that as well.

All I can say is that a lot of those people will have to eat their words after OJ's new book gets published, but the thought of it brings no satisfaction. Any time OJ makes the news, it demeans anyone connected to the case and the coverage, and this time it comes courtesy of Regan Books:

O.J. Simpson created an uproar Wednesday with plans for a TV interview and book titled "If I Did It" — an account the publisher pronounced "his confession" and media executives condemned as revolting and exploitive.

Fox, which plans to air an interview with Simpson Nov. 27 and 29, said Simpson describes how he would have committed the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, "if he were the one responsible."

Denise Brown, sister of Simpson's slain ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, lashed out at publisher Judith Regan of ReganBooks for "promoting the wrongdoing of criminals" and commercializing abuse. The book goes on sale Nov. 30. ...

"This is an historic case, and I consider this his confession," Regan told The Associated Press.

It's not a "historic case", it's an ongoing circus, and now Regan wants her thirty pieces of silver. The only possible rationalization for giving OJ a podium for his story would be to explain his supposed innocence. Instead, Regan gave OJ a megaphone to play games with the truth and the pain of the victims he left behind when he butchered two human beings in Brentwood.

The premise of the book has OJ describing how he would have killed Nicole and Ron -- had he done it himself. Never mind the question of OJ's guilt or innocence; what reputable publisher would put out a work that purports to critique the technique used in a bloody double murder? Who cares how anyone would have slaughtered Nicole and Ron?

But of course, we can't set aside OJ's involvement in the murder. Daniel Petrocelli, who successfully sued OJ on behalf of Fred Goldman and forced OJ to tell one ridiculous lie after another on the witness stand, proved without a doubt that OJ did it and that the blood evidence could not possibly have been faked. OJ himself now wants to sell his confession, since the coward now has no money and no potential for legal repercussions over his admissions, especially couched in this laughable hypothetical.

Unfortunately, Regan hardly stands alone in her greed to exploit the deaths of two innocent people in this ghoulish literary effort. Fox News will air Simpson in not one but two interviews in the last week of November. NBC turned down the offer, much to its credit, but the NewsCorp network apparently couldn't resist the lure of a Sweeps Month finale.

Undoubtedly Fox and Regan will attract a huge audience, but it won't include me. They can relive the OJ embarrassment, hauling out Geraldo, Greta, and all of their talking heads to dissect the case yet again, but thinking people should refuse to contribute any more to the celebrity of a double murderer. Hopefully, Harper Collins will rethink its relationship to ReganBooks in the same manner that readers will also do.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 16, 2006 4:32 AM

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