Friday, November 17, 2006

O.J. Simpson: My Confession

Edit: Scratch the "IF"

You hear about people like this. You know they're out there; but chances are you don't know one personally.

Well, I'm married to one.

To this day, my husband believes that O.J. Simpson is innocent. He believes that Simpson did not murder his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.

Now and then, since the verdict was read on October 3, 1995, we revisit the topic.

Simpson will be in the news for some reason and I'll ask my husband once again if he's seen the light yet. His answer is always the same: NOT GUILTY.

He truly believes that Simpson is not responsible for the murders. (I think his state of denial has something to do with The Naked Gun movies.)

I don't like to dwell on this irreconcilable difference.

But with Simpson's new book, If I Did It, Here's How It Happened, and the accompanying interview he did to launch the book, scheduled to air on FOX on November 27 and 29, the subject is back on the front burner at our home.

Even with Simpson actually offering his "hypothetical" confession, my husband still thinks that Simpson's hands are clean and the real murderer is out there somewhere.


Not surprisingly, Simpson's book and the FOX special are getting a lot of

Apparently, obsessions die hard, obsessions such as a quest for justice.

Simpson's allegedly fairy tale murder plot book and TV special have the victims' family members upset and FOX News-haters troubled as well.

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 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.

She added: "It's unfortunate that Simpson has decided to awaken a nightmare that we have painfully endured and worked so hard to move beyond."

Regan refused to say what Simpson is being paid for the book but said he came to her with the idea.

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

This is just scratching the surface. There are literally thousands of articles on Simpson's book and reactions to it.

Read the transcript of Larry King's interview with members of Ron Goldman's family.

It's been eleven years since Simpson was acquitted, but interest in the case still runs incredibly high.

(I think it has something to do with the fact that justice was not done, that a brutal murderer walks among us and then has the gall to brag about it.)

Some are disturbed by the lack of conscience and the shamelessness of Simpson, publisher Judith Regan, and FOX.

For example,
Eugene Robinson is outraged by Simpson's If I Did It.

He writes:

O.J. Simpson's forthcoming book, "If I Did It," could launch a profitable new series for publisher Judith Regan and her parent company, Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Let me suggest that she follow up with another snuff book, maybe "If I Shot My Wife in the Head," by Robert Blake, and then diversify into non-capital crimes with "If I Molested All Those Kids," by Michael Jackson.

Anyone who thinks I'm kidding probably clings to the illusion that Regan and the Fox television network have a morsel, a crumb, a mote, an iota of residual shame in what's left of their souls. Sorry, but the evidence shows otherwise.

Of course, many people thought the evidence showed that Simpson was guilty as hell. But Johnnie Cochran isn't around anymore, so maybe Regan and Fox will be showered with the opprobrium they deserve for letting the Juice do this booty-shaking end zone dance on the graves of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

...Only a narcissist of the first order would be compelled to revisit the scene of the crime and walk us through the butchery, knowing that no one would take his use of "if" or "would have" as anything but a mocking formality -- knowing that everyone would read the book as a true confession of his sins. Only a textbook narcissist would have such a warped need to bask once again in the limelight.

Memo to the Juice: Please go away. And take Regan with you. A former "reporter" for the National Enquirer, Regan became a sensation in the publishing world by satisfying humanity's bottomless appetite for slickly packaged trash. Her imprint, ReganBooks, is a division of HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. "If I Did It" will be featured on Fox, also owned by Murdoch, for two nights later this month (after NBC, to its credit, turned Regan down). Fox plans to air a two-night "interview" in which Regan converses with Simpson about his contribution to literature and his theoretical prowess as a psycho killer. It is no coincidence that the "interview" comes amid the November sweeps period, when ratings translate into cold cash.

For those keeping score, that's money for Simpson from the book, money for Regan from the book and lots of money for Murdoch, from both the book and the expected big TV ratings.

...The saddest aspect of this travesty is that Regan knows the book will sell and Fox knows the Simpson "interview" will score huge ratings. They have studied our weaknesses and calculated that sensation always trumps honor.

I agree with Robinson's assessment that If I Did It is a truly sick project.

It will be seen as Simpson's confession, just as publisher Judith Regan considers it to be.

The exploitation of the cold-blooded 1994 murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman will bring in lots and lots of cold hard cash for the profiteers.

Judith Reagan has come under such attack for her role in enabling Simpson that she felt the need to write a lengthy explanation to justify it.

It appears exclusively on
The Drudge Report.

She insists that her involvement in the project is tied into the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former husband. It's a very odd, rambling, true confessions sort of essay. Regan gets into some detail about her personal experiences of being married to an abusive man.

I think that was completely unnecessary.

This part of her statement about the media makes sense:

In the past few days, since the announcement of the forthcoming book and televised interview If I Did It, it has been strange watching the media spin the story. They have all but called for my death for publishing his book and for interviewing him. A death, I might add, not called for when Katie Couric interviewed him; not called for when Barbara Walters had an exclusive with the Menendez brothers, who killed their parents in cold blood, nor when she conducted her celebrated interviews with dictator Fidel Castro or Muammar al-Gaddafi; not called for when 60 Minutes interviewed Timothy McVeigh who murdered hundreds in Oklahoma City, not called for when the U.S. government released tapes of Osama bin Laden; not called for when Geraldo Rivera interviewed his dozens of murderers, miscreants, and deviants.

Nor should it be.

“To publish” does not mean “to endorse”; it means “to make public.” If you doubt that, ask the mainstream publishers who keep Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf in print to this day. They are likely to say that there is a historical value in publishing such material, so that the public can read, and judge for themselves, the thoughts and attempted defenses of an indefensible man. There is historical value in such work; there is value for law enforcement, for students of psychology, for anyone who wants to gain insight into the mind of a sociopath.

There is some validity to those arguments. Many others have profited by giving the most monstrous members of society an opportunity to have a voice. But then Regan strays into inappropriate, really bizarre CYA territory.
But that is not why I did it. That is not why I wanted to face the killer. That is not why I wanted to publish his story.

I didn’t know what to expect when I got the call that the killer wanted to confess. I didn’t know what would happen. But I knew one thing. I wanted the confession for my own selfish reasons and for the symbolism of that act.

For me, it was personal.

Then, she gets personal; and I mean personal.

We don't need to read about how going to confession as a young girl creeped her out.

Regan doesn't need to reveal any of her own melodrama.

What's happened in her personal life is irrelevant to whether or not Simpson's book and the FOX interview is fit for public consumption.

She's obviously on defense and I can understand that.

The anger that's being thrown her way is palpable. (I wonder why.)

True, publishers and TV producers give forums to bad guys. Their motives for doing so are often based more in profit than principle, in making money rather than revealing some truth.

However, I think that all that bubbling rage should be directed toward the REAL bad guy in this story -- O.J. Simpson.

Rather than get all bent out of shape over Regan and FOX, why not be horrified that Simpson spends his days on the golf course, that he's been a free man for eleven years, and Brown and Goldman are dead?

What bothers me about all the fresh disgust is it seems people have been content to give O.J. a pass as long as he doesn't boast about his crimes and profit from them. There's something wrong about that.

The upset should not ONLY be about the book or the TV special. It should be about the fact that Simpson got away with murder.

And, from a purely personal standpoint, that my husband thinks he didn't.


TheBitterAmerican said...

Can Fox broadcast a "hypothetical" execution, too?

Mary said...

That's a great question!

RJay said...

Wasn't Simpson found liable for the deaths in civil court.

How about Judith Regan giving Clinton a book deal.
"If I Had Sex With That Woman."

Mary said...


I bet Clinton would have fun writing detailed descriptions of his "hypothetical" confessions of his dalliances.

And yes, Simpson was found liable in the civil suits, making his "confession" not so hypothetical.

RJay said...

Have you seen this?
The OJ Boycott Site

Mary said...

Thanks for pointing out that site, RJay.

Obviously, the public outcry has worked.

At least FOX and HarperCollins have dropped Simpson's "confession."

I'm sure there will be some other takers.

Simpson might sell it himself.