Category Archives: Kardashians

WAOW Doesn’t Deliver, Milwaukee Independent Does

Neither the Wausau TV station news director nor the interviewing reporter sent me the link, as they said they would, to the Simpson-parole piece they aired yesterday, so I went to their website and found:

http://www.waow.com/category/135525/video-landing-page?clipId=13511186&autostart=true

http://www.waow.com/story/35935004/milwaukee-author-reacts-to-oj-simpson-parole

Anyone who missed it didn’t miss much. What got me most, though, was that instead of using the photo I sent them, which they requested, they used a picture of me that I didn’t recognize.  It took a bit of poking around online, but I finally found it. It was taken by Milwaukee journalist Lee Matz and posted on his news and information site www.milwaukeeindependent.com. The same picture was included in a profile Matz published today. Here are links to the video and the text versions of the profile.

http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/video/video-from-iranian-revolution-to-24-hour-news-cycle/

http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/featured/jerrianne-hayslett-the-news-industrys-role-in-justice/

A huge thank you to Lee Matz and Milwaukee Independent.

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All in the Family–and Defense Team

Does this strike you as bizarre or is it just me?

I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising for a Kardashian to hire a lawyer who’s well-known to his family. Rob’s dad, Robert, was co-counsel with Bob Shapiro on Simpson’s defense team. Nor should it be surprising for Kardashian to go with a lawyer who was on a winning side, which Shapiro was as part of that defense team, which prevailed in Simpson’s 1995 murder trial.

Still… What do you think?

http://forward.com/fast-forward/376637/rob-kardashian-hires-oj-simpsons-former-lawyer-to-defend-him-in-wake-of-rev/

Summer sale on Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson @ Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson — $7.99 (includes shipping with Prime). Or get a signed copy directly from the author — $7.99 plus shipping @ http://anatomyofatrial.com/contact/.

 

So the Question is, M. Jenner…

…why did you wait more than 22 years to say so?  Caitlyn Jenner Says She Knew OJ ‘Did It’” 

Did she think so back when she was a he, sitting in the Los Angeles courtroom next to his then-wife, Kris Kardashian, who was about eight months pregnant with Jenner’s child?

Reading this article, her belief wasn’t a recent epiphany. So, why the long wait to spring the shocker now?

Oh, she’s got a book to sell.

The Wrong and the Right of OJS Episode 4

Most of what FX got wrong in the fourth installment of its People vs. O.J. Simpson miniseries was either minutia most people wouldn’t care about or reinforced misperceptions they already have, or even worse, created misperceptions that those who weren’t born then or were too young to have known about it.

First is the trial judge, Lance Ito’s glee or even giddiness upon learning that the Simpson case had been assigned to him. Just a few months before the murders Simpson would be accused of committing even happened, Ito spoke at a conference I also participated in, in which he said any judge who wanted a high-profile trial should have his head examined. Ito had past experience with trials like that and knew they created headaches no one would want. I had also had some experience in that arena with both the Rodney King-beating and the Menendez brothers-parricide trials.

Ito was much more astounded and flummoxed by the crazy media coverage than “star-struck.” He was a highly regarded jurist and probably one of the smartest individuals I’ve known. His flaw, so far as I’m concerned was his naiveté. He neither welcomed nor craved the media attention.

Of all the TV talk shows that Faye Resnick appeared on in connection with her rushed-to-print book, it was surprising that the miniseries producers chose Larry King Live for its production. When Ito learned that the book was to be released before the jury was seated, he instructed me to contact all the popular TV talk shows and ask to delay booking Resnick until he could sequester the jury. Larry King is the only talk show host who agreed to do so.

Otherwise, the niggling things that bothered me was the lousy casting of Ito’s bailiff, Guy Magnera. I look more like Magnera than the guy that played him in this show.

The preliminary hearing judge in the case was Kathleen Kennedy-Powell, an attractive middle-aged woman, not the old white guy who was cast in that role.

One would have thought that with all the attractive, leggy blonde actresses to chose from the show’s casting director would have had no problem finding one who looked credibly like the defense team’s jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, instead of the gnome who got the part.

On the plus side, Joseph Siravo is a dead-ringer in both looks and passion as Fred Goldman, whose son Ronald was murdered along side Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown.

I understood the focus group’s assessment of Marcia Clark. No matter what her intentions or self-image, she came across as a haughty know-it-all who consistently vamped into the courtroom late almost every morning, even though Ito complied (reluctantly) with her request to start the court day half-an-hour later than the normal time.

That brings me to the clocks. Ito’s courtroom had only one clock on the wall when he first got the case. After the attorneys, particularly Clark, didn’t seem to grasp the concept of time, he ordered three more — I was there the day they arrive and he had them installed. They didn’t look anything like the one in the miniseries, either. He also didn’t have his collection of hourglasses on the bench in those early days, either. He brought them out from his chambers, one by one, as another ‘subtle’ hint for the lawyers to be on time and to quit their delaying tactics.

 

 

Sensationalizing Kardashian Name? Really?

This says a lot:

Khloe Kardashian Reacts to The People v. O.J. Simpson: “They’re Kind of Sensationalizing the Kardashian Name In It”

”They’re kind of sensationalizing the Kardashian name in it, but I think to bring the younger audience in. I’m not upset about it, but there was some scene of the kids chanting ‘Kardashian’ when my dad was reading the potential suicide note. I even called Kim, because I was 10. I’m like, ‘Did that happen? I don’t remember any of this happening? She goes, ‘Absolutely not did that happen!'”‘

High Profile Doesn’t Include Victims

What makes a trial high profile? Why do so many people become obsessed with some trials and not others? Among the obvious answers can include celebrity, money, glamour, sex, racial issues, unusual and/or heinous aspects of the crime, and others.

All of that and more has been the topics of many court-media conferences and workshops I’ve attended and participated in and court-media courses and workshops I’ve conducted.

It occurred to me as I watched episode 3 of the FX dramatization of the 1995 Simpson trial that almost never are the victims in a case the reason a trial becomes one of great media interest. With rare exception, those who lost their lives or suffered because of the crimes the defendants are charged with committing become invisible in media coverage of trials.

Why is that, I wondered. My thought is it’s because the victims are not why large numbers of people are captivated by or even particularly interested in trials — and the media know that.

So what the media deliver is what they do know will result in high TV ratings and print circulation and that is sensationalism, whether generated by celebrity, or whatever.

To their credit, the Goldman and Brown families have crusaded to keep Ronald and Nicole in the public eye and consciousness. The families a many crime victims, despite tireless efforts, have not been as successful.

3 Down, 7 to Go

So much of the FX dramatization of the 1995 Simpson murder trial has been private conversations that my take on the miniseries so far is pretty much as a spectator.

Perhaps having spent most of my waking hours in the downtown area of Los Angeles as the main city and county administrative centers, a couple of scenes caught my eye.

One was the balcony Marcia Clark stood to feed her nicotine habit. My assumption is it was a balcony of the Criminal Courts building because City Hall could be seen across the street and the District Attorney’s office complex is in CCB (since renamed the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center). What jarred me was that the balcony Marcia Clark was on looked like it was about two and no more than three stories from the ground. The DA’s office complex is on the 18th floor. I can’t think of anything on the second or third floor that would have accounted for Marcia Clark being there.

On the plus side, Sarah Paulson became a more believable Marcia Clark in this episode. Not being part of the attorneys’ conversations, which made up the bulk of this episode, I focused more on the actors’ portrayals.

The more I see John Travolta in this show, the less I see Robert Shapiro. Travolta doesn’t look like Shapiro, is much larger than Shapiro, doesn’t sound like Shapiro and just isn’t the same presence as Shapiro. Or more accurately, Shapiro wasn’t the same presence that Travolta is. Travolta comes across to me as a larger-than-life character. Shapiro wasn’t.

Bruce Greenwood, except for being a bit smaller, is a dead ringer for Los Angeles Superior Court Criminal Division Supervising Judge James Bascue, not the Gil Garcetti character he was playing.

I’m still trying to figure out why David Schwimmer was cast as Robert Kardashian. Nothing about Schwimmer looks, sounds like or reminds me in any way of Kardashian. The character Schwimmer is playing looks like a lost geek who has no idea what’s going on.

And what was that ChinChin restaurant scene all about? Just as all of the promos featuring Kardashian’s ex, Kris Jenner, seemed like the maximum exploitation of what has become The Kardashians, scenes of Kardashian’s children seemed like nothing more than yet another way to capitalize on that brand.

Thinking about it later, though, perhaps it was a vehicle to showcase what the series makers’ effort to portray Kardashian as a principled person and loyal friend and not as vapid as his progeny appear to be.

The best performance so far as being the character he was portraying, in my opinion, was Sterling Brown as Christopher Darden.  My sense of Darden during the trial was that he was introverted and Marcia’s foil.

Kato Kaelin’s line, “Fame is complicated,” made me laugh. It was unbelievable to me that Kaelin could have formulated such a complicated thought. So was the sort of big personality he was imbued with. He always struck me as just quirky.

We’ll see how upcoming episodes play out. I do have to keep in mind that, like all dramatizations, fiction is sure to be mixed with fact. What bothers me about that is an unwitting public, unable to know one from the other, tends to believe that it’s all true.