TV Series Promises to Perpetuate Myths

Entertainment Weekly asks the question in a web article: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: How accurate is it?

Before it even airs, I know the answer: Not very. Why? The biggest clue is the ten-part series is based on a book that has accuracy problems.

For instance, Jeffrey Toobin’s account in The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson of a visit celebrity Larry King had with the trial judge Lance Ito is pure fiction. It was obvious to me when I read about Toobin’s description of the visit that it was hearsay.

Last year, when I attended the roast of longtime Associated Press special correspondent Linda Deutsch at which King was the keynote speaker, I realized that he was the source of Toobin’s misinformation.

How do I know Toobin’s account was wrong? Because I was present during the entirety of King’s visit with Ito, during which I took notes, and was with King from the moment he got off the elevator on the floor Ito’s courtroom was on, took him to the courtroom and the judge’s chambers and escorted him back to the elevator after the visit. At no time was I not with King and at no time was Toobin even near him, much less present during the visit.

Toobin also misreported his own visit with the judge and violated Ito’s condition when he agreed to meet Toobin, that everything said during the visit was off the record.

It will be interesting to see what else in the TV series is accurate or not. Guess I’m going to have to watch it, much as I’d rather not.

8 responses to “TV Series Promises to Perpetuate Myths

  1. Larry King told Jeffrey Toobin a Tall Tale and Toobin repeated it without verification (King was the only source) in his book.

  2. I looked at the IMDB entry a few days ago and Larry King doesn’t seem to be in it. Toobin himself. is, so his meeting in Judge Ito’s office may be in the series, or rather Toobin’s version of it.

  3. I was listening to a radio show this morning, the hosts had watched the first few episodes of the show and were discussing it as if it were a documentary; stating things portrayed in the fictional show based on a real event as if they were facts, even though most of the things they mentioned are contradicted by items in evidence and/or testimony.

    I’m most concerned that Toobin’s [racist?] portrayal that Simpson ”was an uneducated, semiliterate ex-athlete who could barely understand much about the legal proceedings against him” will be how the fictional show portrays him; because Toobin’s characterization has been disputed by everyone involved in the case.

    • That’s the danger, chi, and why the misperceptions and myths will continue to be ‘truth’ by the vast majority of the public and will likely become history as such.

      • It’s terribly scary how easy history can be manipulated. Thankfully there are credible source materials, such as your excellent book, which present only factual and documented truth.

    • I’m going to be blogging about the episodes on a one-day delay basis. I’m DVOing them at a later time to avoid conflicts with programs I watch and record during prime time.

  4. Goodness, 30 minutes in and this show hasn’t presented anything that meshes with the facts in testimony (their audio recreation of the police interrogation couldn’t have been more inaccurate when compared to the actual audio).

    To sum it up: 30 minutes in, 2% accurate

  5. Well, it is based on an inaccurate book, not necessarily pretrial and/or trial transcripts.

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