By Adrian Pascua
By Adrian Pascua
OJ didn’t do it.
See? Even today, any mention of the infamous OJ Simpson trial is enough to rouse some tempers, or at least raise some eyebrows.
Little more than a decade ago, the world watched in shock as Orenthal James Simpson was acquitted for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in the criminal court system. Chalk it up to sloppy police work and a wimpy prosecution team.
Even though the Juice was later found liable for the wrongful death of Goldman in a civil case, most, if not all people feel that he got away with murder.
While the Simpson trial is thought to be the trial of the century, the hype slowly died down in past years. The only fleeting references were the occasional Chris Rock quip and the failed “Juiced” reality TV show.
Recently, however, Simpson made headlines again with news of his latest project. Simpson’s newest venture “If I Did It” was to be a book and two-part interview. The Fox Broadcasting Network was to air the interview. Its affiliate, ReganBooks, was set to publish the book which hashed out the details of how the murders would have been committed if Simpson was the killer.
I still can’t decide what’s worse: trying to use murder as a way to gain profit, or OJ still trying to pretend he’s innocent.
I bet the next couple “If I Did It” projects Fox had underway were Michael Jackson’s “If I Molested Little Boys” and Osama Bin Laden’s “If I Was Involved in 9/11.”
Had Simpson’s “If I Did It” two-part interview aired, Fox would have gone down in history as the anti-Christ of the new millennium, or something to that effect-that is if it hasn’t earned that reputation already.
Compared to the rest of Fox’s programming, “If I Did It” isn’t that far of a moral stretch. I wouldn’t waste a second of my life on shows like “Nanny 911” or “Renovate My Family.”
In fact, “If I Did It” was no more than a cheap stunt to salvage the remainder of the season. The interview was scheduled to air during November sweeps week; just in time for the network to boost the ratings since its new shows failed to catch on.
It seemed like the perfect plan. While fewer people would actually buy the book, millions of viewers would have watched the television special. In the same way that onlookers gape at a terrible car accident, people would have been glued to their television sets for the “If I Did It” interview. At least that was how it was supposed to happen.
When news of the interview and book broke to the public, however, a wave of outrage flooded Fox’s headquarters.
Ethical citizens everywhere cried out that the book and interview were immoral. They were just a way for Simpson to profit from the murders. The trade publication “Broadcasting & Cable” wrote that “Fox should cancel this evil sweeps stunt.” Even Bill O’Reilly called for a boycott of any company that advertised during the “If I Did It” airtime.
In face of the public’s wrath, orders came down from News Corp.’s chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, to cancel the interview. “(It was) an ill-considered project,” Murdoch said.
News Corp., which owns Fox, also decided to recall the book. All copies, even those that had already been shipped, were to be confiscated and destroyed.
To most people, the cancellation is a moral victory. Honestly, however, I am torn on the subject.
As disgusted as I am at the idea of the project, I would have been in front of my television both nights in order to watch the complete interview. I probably would have asked for the book as a present.
Somehow, even though it’s a completely “hypothetical” account, the “If I Did It” book would have brought some closure to the Simpson saga. After all, it’s probably the closest thing to a confession of guilt we’re ever going to get from the Juice.