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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Turning on the Juice -- again

Oh, goody! O.J. Simpson is back in the news. And you know what that means: The cable TV news networks – most notably Fox – are back in their “All O.J. All the Time” mode. It’s 1994-95 all over again. And the faces are the same, despite the fact that this case has nothing to do with the infamous double-homicide in Brentwood.

Turn on your TV today, tomorrow or any day until this thing is over, and you’ll be sure to see interviews with Fred Goldman, Denise Brown, members of O.J.’s “dream team” of lawyers from the murder trial (save for the late Johnnie Cochran), even Mark Fuhrman. That’s right -- the racist cop who essentially handed the defense its victory in October 1995 has regained his celebrity status, thanks to Fox, which doesn’t give a rat’s you-know-what about a commentator’s credibility as long as there are ratings to be had. (This is, after all, the network that gave Iran-Contra crook and Columbia County native Oliver North a forum.) And I assume former O.J. houseguest Kato Kaelin is about to get another 15 minutes of fame, though I haven’t seen him yet this time around.

And CNN Headline News is almost no better than Fox when it comes to this kind of trash. The once-reputable but now gossipy news channel has announced it will devote no less than three hours tonight (Sept. 17) to the O.J. story: all of Glenn Beck’s show from 7-8 p.m., all of God-awful Nancy Grace’s show from 8-9 p.m. and, of course, all of the “Showbiz Tonight” broadcast from 11 p.m. to midnight, which will feature various celebrities “weighing in” on the story.

It won’t matter, mind you, if nothing new happens in this case for days or weeks on end. The news networks will keep focusing on it anyway – filling the time with talking heads who have no idea what they’re talking about it while running endless loops of Sunday’s perp walk, the new and old mug shots, the June 1994 Bronco chase, O.J. trying on the glove in court, the reading of the “not guilty” verdicts in the murder trial and so on and so on and so on.

The only thing that has me at all curious about “O.J. 2007” is who will emerge as the new celebrities. The murder case gave us Judge Lance Ito, Fuhrman, Kaelin, Cochran, prosecutors Marcia Clark and Chris Darden, the Goldman and Brown families, defense lawyer Robert Shapiro and forensic expert Michael Baden, among others. In the new case, we already are becoming familiar with the names of auction house owner Thomas Riccio, memorabilia collectors Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong, alleged co-conspirator Walter Alexander and Simpson attorney Yale Galanter. They hardly are household names yet, but I have a feeling they will be before long.

Only time – and cable TV news – will tell.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Shane said...

Shame on OJ. I think he's quilty. What do you think? Will the Juice (O.J. Simpson) be "squeezed" this time? a/ Yes, the glove fits. b/ No, but he's quilty. c/ Can't catch the Juice.
Vote today at http://www.pollicious.com

September 18, 2007 at 1:02 PM 
Blogger Khristin said...

I remember Orange Juice Simpson where he was a prime figure in football in the 70's. OJ has had a remarkable record as an athlete. It is a shame what happened to Nicole. OJ in the media again. It would be a shame if found at fault.

September 18, 2007 at 1:03 PM 

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