Monday, November 20, 2006

O.J Simpson can get away with it, but can't get too rich from it

What it says in most places:

O.J. book and TV specials canceled,1,1908587.story?coll=chi-news-hed
By Phil Rosenthal
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 20, 2006, 3:46 PM CST

Responding to widespread criticism, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has dropped plans to publish "If I Did It," a hypothetical confession by O.J. Simpson on the 1994 murder of his ex-wife and her friend, as well as a pair of TV specials to promote the book.

"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., said in a statement. "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."

The book was to be released Nov. 30 by ReganBooks, an imprint of News Corp.-owned Harper Collins run by Judith Regan, whose interview with Simpson was to form the basis of two one-hour Fox Broadcasting specials set for Nov. 27 and 29. Both HarperCollins and Fox Broadcasting are News Corp. companies.

So divisive were the Simpson projects that on News Corp.-owned Fox News Channel, commentators went to pains to separate themselves from the book and TV shows after they were announced last week.

"Here's a man many believe did kill those two Americans, Nicole Brown Simpson being mother of his two children, yet Simpson is participating in a project that is exploiting the murders," Bill O'Reilly said on his Fox News Channel program, calling the Fox Broadcasting program "simply indefensible, and a low point in American culture" and asserting "Fox Broadcasting has nothing to do with the Fox News Channel."

At least a dozen Fox affiliates had said already they wouldn't run the special, scheduled for two of the final three days of the November ratings period. The trade publication Broadcasting & Cable editorialized against the show, urging Fox to "cancel this evil sweeps stunt." The bookstore chain, Borders Group Inc., intended to donate any profits it made from sales of the book.

Simpson was acquitted of the double murder in 1995, but the former football star, actor and advertising spokesman was later found responsible for the deaths in a civil trial.
That's the official version. Isn't it heart warming that a big corporation did not want to cause distress? Simpson was acquitted because of things like the prosecuting attorney, Marcia Clark, not wearing any underwear.  The book was widely considered to be his confession. Cool. First he done it. Then he got away with it. Then he confesses to it and rakes in the $$$. His book would have sold 400,000 copies. Not bad for a guy with his education. How many copies of Ulysses did James Joyce sell in the first printing? But Mr. Bad was foiled by a corporation with a golden heart.
The real truth is that Fox news was not so altruistic. This is what really happened folks:
Natasha Roit, a lawyer for the Brown family as well as the Nicole Brown Foundation, said the announcement by News Corp. came within an hour of the family's having declined money from the network.
Roit said New Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting division sought the Brown family's blessing in exchange for the payout, but the family refused. Fox also wanted to be able to say that some of the proceeds from the broadcast would go to the victims' families, Roit said.
"It was millions of dollars," Roit said. "And the Browns told them no. ... They told them resolutely that it's not going to happen."
Representatives for the Goldman family could not be reached for comment. A News Corp. spokesman also was not immediately available for further comment.
Yes, I too am hoping there really is a judgement day.  


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