Look Out! OJ”s Pissed Now!
Posted by thedarwinexception on November 21, 2006
Well, is OJ pissed now! In a show of tastefulness and conservatism usually reserved for more legitimate news organizations, Fox TV, the same network that brought you “When Good Pets Go Bad!” has pulled the plug on Simpson’s book and TV deal. Is this censorship or a nod of respect to the victims families? Or, is it simply that the executives got out a calculator and determined that the promised boycotts of advertisers and the amount of ill will the endeavor would generate simply wasn’t worth the hype? I’m going with the calculator, although the book did climb to the top twenty of the Amazon best seller list before plummeting after yesterday’s announcement.
And where are these books now? It has been reported that they were on trains, planes and automobiles speeding towards their intended outlets when the decision was made to forget about the whole thing. How long before one or more copies ends up on eBay? And how high will the bidding go? And how long before Harper Collins and Reagan resell the rights to the project to some enterprising individual who doesn’t have the same “respect for the families” or the same fear of “ill will” puts the whole thing on some pay per view venue or pay per click internet site? The top twenty placement on Amazon would suggest that there is money to be made on the book – and God knows, if there’s money to be made, there’s someone wiling to make it. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this whole thing. And is that the way it should be?
Should OJ have the right to profit from these crimes? He was found not guilty in a court of law, so the “Son of Sam” laws don’t’ apply to him. Should the law be revisited to include banning profit from crimes if one is found liable in a civil suit? If this was in place, there wouldn’t be a question of whether OJ could receive $3.5 million dollars for having a ghostwriter script a scenario for him He wouldn’t be able to. But the Goldman’s and the Brown’s are really cutting off their nose to spite their face, aren’t they? They’ve been awarded $33.5 million dollars, but have effectively told OJ “we don’t’ want you to pay us.” They’ve blocked his only marketable avenue of making money – his confession. He isn’t getting a lot of calls from Hollywood, and since the “Naked Gun” franchise is dead, how is he supposed to pay the judgment?
Not that the Goldman’s or Nicole’s estate is going to see any of the money he received from this project – the money was paid to a third party “to be put in trust for the children”. Fred Goldman’s attorney has vowed to follow the money trail to ensure this is true, and I think he’ll find that there are no “children” – especially since Sydney and Justin are adults now.
I think OJ’s biggest mistake in this whole fiasco was one little word – “If”. OJ should have just titled the book “BECAUSE” I did it.” or even “SINCE I did it.” or even “OK – You all Got Me – I did it.” That would have taken all the arrogance out of the project off of OJ, and shifted the arrogance back to the public, who could have then felt smug and self satisfied that they “knew all along” he was guilty, and would have made the book and the interview much more palatable. It’s OK if society feels smug and arrogant, but we don’t like our murderers to feel like they are pulling one over on us.
And we definitely don’t like murderers to make money from crimes. That’s “distasteful”. Although it’s somehow ok for reporters, lawyers, judges, parents, sisters, witnesses, jurors, expert witnesses and onlookers to make money from those same crimes. That isn’t “distasteful”. Who didn’t write a book about the OJ case? Is there anyone left? OJ had a whole “dream team” of lawyers on his defense, and there were two lawyers for the prosecution, all of who wrote books. Even the Goldman family, who are so against OJ’s book deal, wrote a book about Ron and the case. Is that distasteful? Is it the fact that OJ would profit from the case that they find distasteful? That can’t be it, since they profited themselves. Is it the fact that he “made up” the scenario describing how he *would* have killed their son, if he did it? And if that’s the reason they find the book “distasteful”, then do they find Mark Fuhrman’s book “distasteful”, because in his book, he posits his own theory of how the murders were committed. Or is it simply the arrogance? And if it is, then we are back to that one little word – “If”.
But there’s a slew of “profiteers” when it comes to crimes, and I think it’s distasteful even when it’s not the perpetrators who are raking in the dough. There’s a new commercial for a security system running on TV. In it, Elizabeth Smart’s father is sitting in a chair testifying that if he had had this particular alarm system installed in his house the night his daughter was abducted “the kidnapper would have never gotten past the first landing on the stairway.” Is that distasteful? Is someone profiting from her abduction? I thought it was in poor taste – and I wondered how his daughter felt about the whole thing. But maybe the fact that she only appears in the commercial in the form of a spread of newspaper articles flashing on the screen reminding us of the circumstances of her abduction answered that question. Yet if her abductor agreed to a TV interview and a subsequent book launch describing her torture and rape “if he did it,” would her father pitch a holy fit? Probably. It all comes down to who is the one profiting. That’s the bottom line.
But, we can all be thankful this Thursday that Fox decided to pull the plug. If only for the saving grace that we won’t have a sequel in the form of a Robert Blake book entitled “Hey! I didn’t do it Either!”