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Marianne Paskowski

Should Fox Air OJ Special?

November 16, 2006 2:08 PM

On Nov. 27 and 29 Fox will air a two-part special featuring OJ Simpson whose book “If I Did It,” goes on sale Nov. 30. Publisher Judith Regan will interview OJ who was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her boyfriend Ron Goldman. The book discusses how he would have gone about murdering them, if in fact he had.

Distraught family members appeared this morning on “Good Morning America,” charging that Fox and Regan Books, both owned by News Corp., were “promoting the wrongdoing of criminals.” Well, let’s not forget, he was not proven guilty, but I, too, think it’s audacious of him and News Corp. to stir up such painful memories for the families, especially during the holidays.

All this in the name of sweeps month? God, I have to wonder how low TV will stoop next, all in the name of ratings. I’m sure advertisers will boycott this special en masse, and I’ll be there with them.

How about you?


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Comments (13)

Fern Siegel:

OJ was found guilty -- in a civil trial. And legally, you are not allowed to profit from a crime. So how he can cash in on book sales is a big question. The second is how Fox commentators can squawk about political morality, given the parent company's callous disregard for even the basics of propriety. Then again, whether it's the holidays, sweeps week or an ordinary day, some things are beyond the pale. This is one. Like you, I hope advertisers will just say no.

John Golden:

As a fan of Fox News and several weekly series on Fox, I must agree with you. This appears to be nothing but an attempt to garner warm bodies during the November "sweeps" rating period. I wouldn't watch it on a bet but I have several friends who followed the trial every day back when it dominated the news.

I remember when it first broke I couldn't believe O.J. Simpson could have done such a thing. I talked to a friend of mine who is a board certified psychiatrist who thought O.J. was guilty from the git go. I was amazed that my friend, who is black, wouldn't give O.J. the benefit of the doubt. But, my friend said when he lived in L.A. he had heard several stories about O.J.'s behavior and when this happened, he put 2 and 2 together and said yep, it's possible O.J. did it. After I watched the trial, or at least as much as I could stomach, I came to the conclusion my friend was right. Why O.J. did this I can't say but I truly believe he did it. BTW, I not an attorney but won't any money he makes on this book and TV special go to Nicole and Goldman's respective familities?

1. none of the money is going to the goldmans so get that out of your head. 2. we need to stop murderers from profiting. fox needs to be stopped. 3. we need to contact all fox advertisers and let them know how we feel and let them know if they continue to advertise on fox we arent buying. 4. if we boycott fox advertisers now this will not get on the air.


One thing about FOX is that network is so diverse in broadcasting. It seems like they want to touch every part of the human spectrum. In their bi-polar, split borderline media and entertainment personality they hit all facets of the human experience and keep those advertising dollars rolling in.

I gotta say, the free speech in the satirical cartoons of The Simpson, Family Guy, American Guy, King of the Hill, through middleware of Trading Spouses, Nanny911, to faster paced dramas of 24, Prison Break, other comedies (e.g. Married with Children) to that FOX News network of tough talking Hannity and Wiping Post Colmes, culture warrior O’Reilly, intellectual Hume, Wirily Wallace and all those news babes caught passing along the message from above on how to spin the election win of the Dems.

Can we expect any different means of gratuitous exploitation from a company that can hit every nerve, and sinew, inspire critical thinking in pointing out absurdity while scrubbing the truth to shine for the powerbrokers of the moment? They must have their fingers on the pulse of America and can play us all.

They even got us talking about them – they are so good and so bad!

Janet Stilson:

Here's one for the history of TV books -- demonstrating how truly sordid and tasteless the medium can be.

Marianne Paskowski:

Thanks all for your comments. The publisher said that all proceeds from the OJ book sales would go to the victims' families. But how do we feel about the ad dollars, if there are any, going to Fox? Personally, I don't think this is what the government intended when it gave Fox, an over the air network for free, to profit from such a blatantly attempt to grab ratings during the sweeps season.

If Fox gets any ad dollars, I think that money should too, go to the victims of the families. Agree? Hopefully, I hope Fox just drops the whole mess. The wannabe network already gained enough publicity. As Cliff said, we are afterall, all talking about it.

Marianne Paskowski:

To Harold Sharpe,
Sorry I didn't single you out earlier, but I don't agree that all Fox advertisers should be boycotted. Only the ones who sign on to the O.J. show, if they do. That's what we need to stop. I understand your outrage about Fox, but as Cliff pointed out, there's something called the First Amendment, and Fox pushes the envelope, mostly in a humorous way. But there's nothing funny about this. I can't understand why O.J. would dredge this all up. Can you?

David Eppenstein:

I have always enjoyed how quick we Americans are to abandon our constitutional rights...as long as we think its somebody else's rights that are being abandoned. First, I am a lawyer, a criminal lawyer that spent 10+ years doing pro bono homicide defense before retiring. I never thought OJ did it, at least not personally. From the earliest stages of his case it became readily apparent that without a script and somebody to help him read it OJ was a bumbling idiot. The present situation regarding his book only confirms this to my mind. That being the case I can only say that OJ is too stupid to have committed such a crime and not get caught. There was an enormous amount of blood shed in this case so much so that it is virtually impossible to believe that the person(s) that committed this crime didn't walk away covered in it. The fact that no blood evidence was ever recovered from OJ, and especially from the interior of his car which he never had a chance to clean or dispose of is very telling. So if OJ didn't personally committ the crime did he pay somebody to do it for him? This case was so high profile that I can't believe any expense or detail was spared examination by the prosecution. One detail they certainly would have looked at was OJ's finances. Had there been any recent large cash withdrawls from any of his accounts? No such evidence was ever revealed so the assumption is that there was none and it is unlikely that OJ was able to find somebody that would do his dirty work for free.
What I have always suspected, and without much to go on except the infamous glove, was that OJ was there. My guess is that he arrived shortly after the crime was committed; realized what had happened; realized his public jeopardy; panicked, and ran. Or, worse, OJ arrived on the scene and witnessed the incident ,which was probably a random street crime, and, coward that he probably is, did nothing until the murder(s) left. Once the crime was completed he went to the scene and did what he knows how to do best, run and avoid contact.
OJ went to trial before a jury that listened to all of the evidence and not just the parts that appealed to their prejudices and he was found not guilty. OJ is now paying the price for his moral offenses, public rejection. OJ's civil liability is of no real meaning since civil cases are based on a much lower evidentiary standard and the public attention the case received made the outcome almost a certainty. None of this has stopped anybody, however, from labeling OJ a murderer and as long as we are doing that then we have no right to complain about anything that OJ says or does. Free Speech is a right that we all enjoy, what good for the goose is good for the gander. So if OJ wants to write a book that's his right. If certain media types want to publish and broadcast this fact then let them. The really beautiful thing about Free Speech is that we are also free not to listen to it and in a free enterprise commercial context not listening and not purchasing is the most effective form of public comment. Now let's get real. Is there any doubt that this book won't be a bestseller and that the ratings for OJ's Fox interview won't be high? We, the public, love gossip and scandal and it is hypocritical of us to condemn the sources that feed our dirty little pleasures. How does the saying go? Let he who is without....well you know the rest. I've never watched Fox and probably never will and I won't be reading a book that OJ couldn't possibly have written.

John Golden:

In your reply to Mr. Sharpe you asked the question, why would he bring this sordid affair upi? For one reason, I believe. For attention,... it's like I always heard, there's no such thing as bad press. He is trying to sell a book and he's being mentioned on the talk shows and has a prime time show being aired in the sweeps. I know that I for one will not watch so I won't even know who the sponsors are and I will certaiknly not buy his book. I just hope that most American's think as I do and do not watch and don't buy his book.

Susan Danylik:

We may be talking about this horrible situation. Fox does have the right to air whatever they like, but the people have the right to boycott the advertisers who suppose this type of programming, as well as not allow Fox to air in our homes. You are the company you keep!


I think it is a disgrace and the most disrespectfull thing that this murderer could do to the families and where is his respect and compassion for his children or has he forgotten that that was their mother. I feel that FOX should be ashamed of itself for even thinking of airing it I will no longer watch the fox channel. This book should become a huge bon fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marianne Paskowski:

To David Eppenstein:

Your comments beg the question, "What exactly free speech?" Case in point, is it OK in say a crowded theater to should "fire," and have everyone scramble for exists, trampling and possibly killing people in their haste to escape? That's example is not free speech because it's a lie that could hurt other people.

Marianne Paskowski:

To Susan:
Of course has the right to air this, whether we like it or not, and we have the right to close our eyes to what we think is sordid business. Interesting, in today's Daily News, two newspeople from Fox's sister network Fox News Channel spoke out against the decision for parent News Corp. to air this special and publish this book.

Anchor Bill O'Reilly said he would boycott any advertisers who participated. Fox News Channel reporter Geraldo Rivera said he will bash this project every chance he has. Now that's free speech to me.

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