Media

O.J. Agonistes, Or, If He Did Read the Papers, Here's How He'd Be Apalled By Them

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What's got O.J. Simpson's frogman suit in a twist these days? The sick, sad state of the American media:

"When Paris Hilton was going to jail last week, more people knew about that than knew that we were sending people into space that day," Simpson said in a phone interview from Miami. "It has replaced what is real news. There was always a place for it, but it was [gossip writer] Rona Barrett. Now it is the equivalent of Edward R. Murrow reporting it today."…

"When I was growing up, to watch guys like Walter Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley, I didn't know what they thought of the news," he added. "Legitimate news people are giving their opinions. It is hard to tell the difference between legitimate news people and Nancy Grace and Bill O'Reilly."

More here.

As someone who has taken a fair amount of abuse from Bill O'Reilly (not to mention his viewers), I feel compelled (like a battered spouse?) to point out that the mediascape today is 1,000 times richer, deeper, and more informative than it was in Edward R. Murrow's, or Walter Cronkite's, of Huntley and Brinkley's heydays. And that O'Reilly, for all his bluster, is absolutely a positive force in media (if only because The Colbert Report is literally unimaginable without his precedent).

Question for Nancy Grace: If you're doing a ton of missing persons stories, why don't you do one on Roger Cossack, the one commentator made famous by the O.J. trial who seems to have pulled a Judge Crater?

P.S.: If you think the Three-Legged O.J. Dingo boot ad is strange, I submit that this one featuring another '70s gridiron legend is even more disturbing, albeit on a subtler level (click through for legible version):

NEXT: BeTodah Me-rosh, Rudy Giuliani

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  1. And that O’Reilly, for all his bluster, is absolutely a positive force in media (if only because The Colbert Report is literally unimaginable without his precedent).

    Not to mention that without ORLY how would Colbert acquire a microwave oven?

    Speak that truthiness to power!

  2. Boy, nothing backs up the assertion that modern media is superior than a magazine linking to OJ Simpson’s media criticism.

  3. One show on CNBC basiclly went out and said “we are not going to pretend that we are too good to pay attention to Paris Hilton.”

    There is little that annoys me more than when people shout how we aren’t “paying attention” enough to _______. Like it is impossible for us to learn both about the war in Iraq and Paris Hilton

  4. OJ’s not actually saying that he watched the circus coverage of Paris Hilton. But if he had watched it, here’s the recliner chair that he would have sat in…

  5. There’s the one defense OJ never tried: “A Dingo ate my ex-wife!”

  6. Did Roger Staubach’s entire family need expensive cancer treatments? Because no other explanation justifies that endorsement.

  7. I had a Skittle Bowl. But it wasn’t Olympic size. Maybe that’s why I was picked on so much as a kid?

  8. That’s it!!!! The real killer had three Bruno Magli shoes on…right, left, and middle!

  9. If the middle shoe don’t fit, you must …….

  10. When Paris Hilton was going to jail last week, more people knew about that than knew that we were sending people into space that day … It has replaced what is real news.

    What the hell is he talking about? We send people into space every year. But this was the first time we got to see that perma-smirk bitch-slapped of that skanks face.

    Oh Paris, mmmm your tears are so yummy and sweet. Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness. Yummy, yummy guys.

  11. Staubach’s Skittle Bowl is nothing compared to the size of my Parcheesi.

  12. Like it is impossible for us to learn both about the war in Iraq and Paris Hilton

    It’s not impossible, but you pretty much have to turn off the TV and get online, because there’s nothing on cable news but shit like Paris Hilton. TV is not the internet: time devoted to one subject means less time for other subjects, so when you’re getting nothing but Paris or Anna Nicole Smith or whatever, you’re not getting Iraq.

    And it needs to be said that the amount of sheer ignorance in America about the Iraq war, even at this late stage, is staggering. The media is still routinely treating “al Qaeda” as if it were the U.S.’s main opponent in Iraq, when in fact al Qaeda fighters represent only a small fraction of a civil war involving Sunni nationalists, Sunni Islamists, former Baathists, Shiite Islamists, and tribal groups, all with their own splits, factions and rivalries. Americans aren’t getting this information unless they’re actively looking for it, and most of them aren’t.

  13. O.J. has found the keystone to private orbital travel. Launch Paris Hilton into space and achieve a publicity level heretofore unknown. Even Apollo 11 will be eclipsed by Hilton in Space.

  14. TV is not the internet: time devoted to one subject means less time for other subjects, so when you’re getting nothing but Paris or Anna Nicole Smith or whatever, you’re not getting Iraq.

    Thank God it is incredibly easy to access the internet, then.

  15. ProGLib:

    feisty fucking horny astronaut heiress floating in space?

  16. Space Station to be Renamed Hotel Horifornia?

  17. Wow. That really makes you understand, at a deeper level, the significance of Oxnard…

  18. Hate to be the one siding with OJ, but the fact that the media’s uselessness is compensated for by the internet is not an excuse for the media.

    The Hilton bit aside, the media is notorious for overhyping bullcrap— remember the “wave” of shark attacks that left them doing their best Jaws impression (when that year was no worse than any other)or any other of a hundred examples of the media grabbing some dumb story and beating it to death (Scott Peterson, no pun intended).

    And yeah, its easy for them, they get ratings, but it’s still pretty stupid. They deserve criticism for it even though they are no longer the sole news venue.

  19. I have to say that I agree with OJ here. I think. I was away on vacation and the only f***ing thing on TV news stations, the few times I did turn the TV on, was the f***ing Paris Hilton saga (no, not the p*rn vid)! Really, who gives a f***? I thought news was supposed to cater to a more mature crowd, not a bunch of drooling, gossiping, pimply faced teens, obsessed with their favorite / least favorite celebrity.

    Stuff like this should be reserved for Entertainment Tonight or Extra!

  20. Oh, and it should be Hotel Californication, obviously…

  21. Hilton Brothel?

  22. I don’t think that the “Paris Goes to Jail” story is getting its due as an important event. Hilton herself may be salacious tabloid fodder, but the tableau being played out in Los Angeles County is a profoundly important one to modern human culture.

    This is possibly the first time that a rich celebrity at the peak of her notoriety and with a maximally connected family has been held accountable for a minimal infraction in the same manner as any other unfamous person would. While we are a nominally classless society, celebrities minor and major continue to assert their overimportance in myriad minor ways, from skipping theater lines to making traffic tickets disappear.

    This event is an extremely important test of that elevated status and will influence how judges and prosecutors and policemen and theater managers and restaurant managers the world over will behave in the future.

  23. Paris Hilton in Space

    Boldly go where no man has gone before…

    Erm…I guess that wouldn’t apply here, eh?

  24. Gone-orrhea-into-space?

    *this is moon unit herpes checking in on HPV 128. Come in, over*

  25. I’ll think Hilton got the same treatment as everyone else when they toss her in Gen Pop. Bet you she’d join a temperance society after a week of dealing with that, if having her own cell is as traumatic as it appears.

  26. Paris will add a whole new dimension to Extravehicular Activity. Let’s just say she’ll be responsible for the invention of the space suit airlock.

    Paris is a boy’s name by the way. Wonder what’s up with that?

  27. You guuuuuuuuuys. You’re not savoring Paris’ tears. It isn’t that she went to jail. It was all the screaming and crying. “It’s not right! It’s not right!” ROFL Au contraire Paris! It is soooooooo right. Mmmmm weep for me Paris, you spoiled skank. Now that’s hot. Ha ha ha.

  28. Funny that O.J. would make that point today, on the exact same day that Tony Blair made a speech on the exact same issue:

    http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Politics/documents/2007/06/12/BlairReustersSpeech.pdf

  29. Wow — Roger’s really clobbering those pins… from like ONE FOOT AWAY.

    Also, as to the Paris Hilton tangent: I think we ought to be a little bit concerned that people in this country get active jail sentences — 45 days no less! — for DRIVING — without the proper permission, from that most useless of government agencies, the DMV.

    The fact that “driving while license revoked” is criminalized AT ALL is sick and indicative of our society’s lack of interest in personal freedom. At WORST, this should be the subject of further DMV action, not a jailable offense under any acceptable standard.

    Maybe i’m just pissed b/c I had a client go to jail yesterday for 30 days on the same charge. It is, quite frankly, barbaric.

  30. Warren-

    The problem with that, though, is that the reports in the teevee nooze do the whole thing with an attempted straight face.

    So far as I’m concerned, celeb blog The Superficial should get some sort of award for their coverage of the Paris Hilton goes to jail story.

  31. IW-

    If you’re going to make the argument that licensing drivers is an example of the state run amok, you’d do well to find someone else, ie anyone NOT Paris Hilton to hitch that particular rant to.

  32. mediageek,
    Hey whatever. As long as I get to see the ho reap what she has sown. In the words of the great philosopher king of our age:

    Once upon a time you dressed so fine
    You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
    People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
    You thought they were all kiddin’ you
    You used to laugh about
    Everybody that was hangin’ out
    Now you don’t talk so loud
    Now you don’t seem so proud
    About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be without a home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
    But you know you only used to get juiced in it
    And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
    And now you find out you’re gonna have to get used to it
    You said you’d never compromise
    With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
    He’s not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And ask him do you want to make a deal?

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all come down and did tricks for you
    You never understood that it ain’t no good
    You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
    You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
    Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
    Ain’t it hard when you discover that
    He really wasn’t where it’s at
    After he took from you everything he could steal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
    They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
    Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
    But you’d better lift your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe
    You used to be so amused
    At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
    Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
    When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
    You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

  33. Just a few weeks ago, I thought the world had gone bizarro because Larry Flynt outclassed most media pundits re Jerry Falwell’s death. Now O.J. is making spot on predictions? Perhaps this new trend is because our priorities are seriously whacked?

  34. predictions = assessments. Sorry.

  35. The fact that “driving while license revoked” is criminalized AT ALL is sick and indicative of our society’s lack of interest in personal freedom.

    I didn’t know that propelling a 3,000 pound metal object through public space at speeds that render flesh into pulp was a matter of “personal freedom”.

  36. Caged Paris Finds God

    I didn’t know that propelling a 3,000 pound metal object through public space at speeds that render flesh into pulp was a matter of “personal freedom”.

    Many people say that, and I say it is a matter of personal freedom. Consider this:

    How much weight can a horse pull?
    A horse can easily pull a wheeled vehicle that is six (6) times his own weight, however most carriage horses are used at only 25% of that capacity. A carriage horse averages in weight from 1200lbs to 2300lbs, therefore they are able to pull anywhere from 7200lbs to 13,800lbs.

    The first driver’s licenses weren’t issued until vehicles became motorized. I cannot imagine that it is less safe to operate a machine than it is to operate a living animal.

  37. Horses tend to protest when they are being led at top speed into a brick wall….

  38. And spook when something scares them.

    Somebody heading at top speed into a brick wall-using any vehicle- is bent on destruction. No license protects us from nuts.

  39. That should be “there isn’t any license that has the ability to protect us from nuts.”

  40. This caught my eye in the post:

    It is hard to tell the difference between legitimate news people and Nancy Grace and Bill O’Reilly.

    OJ’s difficulty in telling legitimate news people from Bill O’Reilly tells me all I need to know about the worth of OJ’s opinion.

  41. Yet another statement that coincides with OJ’s:

    KYTX station president and GM Phil Hurley shrugs off the criticism, pointing Friday to the big story on cable news.

    “Journalism credibility? I think that’s somewhat amusing when all I see today on the cable news is Paris Hilton, nonstop,” he said.

  42. “Somebody heading at top speed into a brick wall-using any vehicle- is bent on destruction.”

    Absolutely not true with drunk drivers. They’re drunk, not nuts. I you recall, driving drunk is what started this whole mess.

  43. Absolutely not true with drunk drivers. They’re drunk, not nuts. I you recall, driving drunk is what started this whole mess.

    None of us can comment on whether she was drunk driving. She certainly was at the legal BAC to be arrested. (.08 in CA) I don’t know Paris Hilton’s weight or tolerance level, but using my own weight, 127lbs, I would have a BAC of .08 after two beers in one hour. I certainly wouldn’t be impaired.

    Of course, that’s a whole other issue.

  44. And, yet another comment pertaining to the declining standards of TV news journalism…

    [Dan] Rather, speaking on MSNBC by phone on Monday, said CBS had made the mistake of taking the evening news broadcast and “dumbing it down, tarting it up,” and playing up topics such as celebrities over war coverage. The comments appeared in blogs and in a story published Tuesday in the New York Daily News.

    While referring to Couric as a “nice person,” Rather said “the mistake was to try to bring the ‘Today’ show ethos to the ‘Evening News,’ and to dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience.”

    I hope this ‘trend’ of TV news criticism continues. Maybe one day I’ll be able to watch the news without having to hear about the exploits of the day’s most popular celebrity. Until that day, I’ll only tune in for the weather.

  45. I’ve seen an OJ ad for Dingo Boots that had almost the exact same animation of the “two yutes” as that Staubach ad. Must have been an early version of clip art…

  46. Paris is god

  47. Roger Cossack is doing legal reporting for ESPN. The Bengals keep him busy full time.

  48. We’ll always have Paris.

  49. I cannot imagine that it is less safe to operate a machine than it is to operate a living animal.

    I can. Horses have a sense of self-preservation that motorized vehicles don’t, and they tend to avoid people or things in their way in cases of operator error.

  50. Rhywun | June 12, 2007, 4:42pm | #

    I cannot imagine that it is less safe to operate a machine than it is to operate a living animal.

    I can. Horses have a sense of self-preservation that motorized vehicles don’t, and they tend to avoid people or things in their way in cases of operator error.

    Really? Have you never seen people being trampled by horses? Videos of horses running head first into gates with no intention of jumping / turning?

  51. “Videos of horses running head first into gates with no intention of jumping / turning?”

    You’re almost home jimmydageek. All you have to do now is link an instance of a human in control of a horse while the horse is stampeding.

  52. You got me there, Lamar. However, I’m not really trying to look for such an incident.

    However, I don’t think it’s impossible for a drunk person to lose control of a horse and end up going for a ride that injures him or other people – as Rhywun is claiming (the impossible part)…

  53. I saw a movie once where some Mongols executed a guy by wrapping him in a rug and riding some horses over him. I think it was that Marco Polo miniseries. The one where Spock had a beard.

  54. I found another OJ Simpson ad for those same boots in an old comic book – – I uploaded it here awhile back:

    http://superpunch.blogspot.com/2007/04/old-comic-book-ad-oj-simpson-sells.html

  55. I’ve been gone for hours- hours during which I had a couple of drinks. Hubby wanted to finish his cigar at the sports bar (I’m sure some of you guys are shocked that there are places in which smoking is allowed), but I remembered a phrase from an L.A. attorney friend that made me decline. On the rise. (Honestly, I don’t know much about it except that if I stayed around longer than necessary, I might blow above the legally allowed BAC.)

    Hubby is a doc, and is therefore subject to f’d up licensing requirements. It’s become the household motto that “Miche will take one for the team.” Even if hubby has consumed one beer to my three, (and I never drive impaired), I will drive to protect our livelihoods. You go MADD!

  56. Oh, I almost forgot, I had a horse that would run into fences and try to roll on top of me because she was an ornery bitch that wasn’t broken correctly.

  57. Really? Have you never seen people being trampled by horses? Videos of horses running head first into gates with no intention of jumping / turning?

    OK, picture a drunk/crazy/incompetent person. With which vehicle is that person likely to cause more damage–a horse that at least has a chance of ignoring its operator and preserving itself, or a motor vehicle which has no self-control and does only what the operator makes it do? It’s not a stretch to demand that the operator of the motor vehicle be required to demonstrate some sort of competence in controlling it.

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