OJ Simpson made history as an athlete. He made history as a criminal defendant who was acquitted of a heinous and violent crime. He again made history when he lost a wrongful death civil lawsuit filed by the families of the victims of the crime for which he was acquitted. This week, he has once again made history. Only this time, it appears that OJ Simpson has apparently confessed to committing the murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. Apparently, Simpson has been paid to appear in a television interview and in a book entitled “If I Did It.” The publisher of this book described the book as his confession to a violent crime for which he has been held responsible in a civil court.
According to an article in the Arizona Daily Star,
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.”
I believe that Fox television and the book publisher have each crossed the line of any journalistic integrity. While Fox and Regan Books, the publisher of this book have every right to publish the book and schedule and conduct an interview with OJ Simpson, I have every right to tune out this interview, reject the book and express my shock and revulsion. I can only imagine how the families of the Browns and Goldmans must feel having any media organization treat them with impunity. In fact, according to the Arizona Daily Star,
Denise Brown, sister of Simpson’s slain ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, lashed out at publisher Judith Regan of ReganBooks for “promoting the wrongdoing of criminals” and commercializing abuse.
I believe that Fox and Regan Books have consciously decided to set aside journalist morality in a quest to maximize profit. If OJ indeed confesses, will he describe in intricate detail how he inflicted fatal wounds on each victim? Do such comments encourage and sensitize other people to domestic violence and murder? How can Fox justify such an interview except by saying that it will make money? How can Regan Books justify publishing this book? According to Judith Regan, the book publisher,
“This is an historic case, and I consider this his confession,” Regan told The Associated Press.
I simply do not believe that such an explanation justifies giving OJ Simpson a license to profit from the deaths of two crime victims.
Perhaps Fox and Regan Books have a different perspective. I welcome any explanation to understand the justificiation for proceeding with such a book an interview. Until then, my children will certainly not watch this shocking television and I would discourage anybody else from tuning to Fox when this interview airs. I also would discourage anybody else from buying this book because it appears to glorify violence and permit somebody to profit from violent crime. I welcome any other different opinions about this upcoming interview. Please share with me your thoughts and comments.