IF HE DID IT?
November 21, 2006
“Stupidity talks, vanity acts.” --Victor Hugo
A whole bunch of people are torqued in the publishing and broadcast arenas over the return of O.J Simpson to the public consciousness. Bad taste has a new standard. The coming Fox television interview tied to the promotion/hype of a book by O.J. in which he describes how he ‘would have murdered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman’ -- if he had done it.
There is so much wrong with the latest O.J. chapter it defies reason, logic, or even the contemporary bottom feeder standards of good taste.
A two-part, two-hour TV interview is scheduled to be aired on the Fox network and was conducted by controversial publisher Judith Regan. The show will run just prior to the release date of Simpson's pseudo-confessional tome, "If I Did It," a book published by Regan Books…erasing the thin line between synergy and schlock.
Who deserves rebuke for the Regan ‘speculative’ book written for the erstwhile O.J.? It is a long list (including anyone and everyone who actually watches or buys the piece of literary excrement).
Providing O.J with a forum is reprehensible. In many ways it mirrors P.J. O’Rourke’s observation about giving liquor and car keys to teen-age boys.
ANYone who would profit from the delusional rationalizations of Simpson is not only worthy, but requires contempt.
Little, Brown’s editor in chief, Geoff Shandler said, "It's so outrageous and flamboyant and audacious that part of you almost laughs while the other part of you wants to puke." Many will skip right over the laughing part.
Regan issued a rambling (obviously unedited), eight-page statement in which she claimed she was motivated by a kind of artificial revenge and not by buzz or money. She professed her desire to have Simpson confess his crimes (which he apparently does NOT). Regan also said she was compelled by her own dysfunctional history of domestic abuse.
Judith is a ‘personality/publisher’ who has been a nexus of envy, scorn and jealousy by mostly competitors.
In an online editorial, Sara Nelson of Publishers Weekly said, "Who else has the combination of nerve, foresight and soullessness to publish a book by O.J. Simpson."
Pushing the envelope is routine for publishing companies and Regan has succeeded doing so routinely. However, this time…she may have found the boundary that should not be crossed. When negative consequences exceed profitability that is a bad business decision. Nelson acknowledged in an interview, "Judith Regan is a very smart and very savvy publisher…But this is just different. This is just . . . " Searching for the word she said, "This is just really awful." Duh!
Regan complained about the flood of criticism she is getting noting Katie Couric got a pass for interviewing O.J., Barbara Walters got a pass for interviewing the Menedez brothers, and ’60-Minutes’ didn’t take heat for interviewing Timothy McVeigh.
Dr. Robert Jarvick once said, “Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them…they make things happen.” They also frequently fail.
History tends to remember great achievements and overlook the serial failures [Read]. For Judith Regan her envelope pushing failure may overshadow her previous brave successes.
© 2006 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's