If You Gotta Write About It, Get It Right

Maybe I’m just being picky, but it seems to me that if someone feels strongly enough — or is being paid — to publish a piece about something millions of people know about and that had as much, if not more, media coverage as just about any event in the past century, the writer would at least get the year of that event right. Yet, Jim Kearney in his “Coming Distractions” post published today on  website wrote:

“I only watched occasional moments of the initial live television trial in the summer and early fall of 1996.”

The last day of trial of The People vs. O. J. Simpson was Oct. 3, 1995, not 1996.

At first, I thought Kearney might have been referring to the Simpson civil trial of the lawsuit the parents of murder victim Ronald Goldman sued Simpson for the wrongful death of their son. That trial began in October 1996 and ended in February 1997 with a $33 million judgment against Simpson.

But, perhaps Kearney just made a typo, hitting the 6 key instead of the 5 key, erroneously making the year 1996, instead of the correct year, 1995. While I’m willing to allow that might be the case, it’s hard to not get all prickly after seeing so many ridiculous things reported as fact, not just during the trial, but during nearly 20 years that have elapsed since then. That includes the almost character-assassinating hearsay Jeffrey Toobin reported in his book that is now the basis for a 10-part TV series on American Horror Story.

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