Tag Archives: ESPN

Fuhrman Joins Defense–Again

Sitting in the Fox press box tomorrow with broadcasters covering O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing will be former LAPD detective, discredited lead Simpson-murders investigator, expert perjurer and N-word user Mark Fuhrman.

Even though Fuhrman testified for the prosecution in O.J. Simpson’s 1995 trial in which he was accused of murdering Nicole Brown, Ronald Goldman, he turned out to be the defense team’s star witness.

Some might argue, but I believe that Fuhrman, along with Deputy D.A. Christopher Darden’s bone-headed Simpson-glove demonstration, were pivotal points that pretty much guaranteed Simpson’s acquittal.

So it will be interesting to see/hear what kind of analysis, which is what he’s purported going  to do, he comes up with.

Frankly, I’m mystified. What’s to analyze about a parole hearing? How the board members arrived at their decision to either grant or deny parole? Simpson’s body language, facial gestures as he makes his request/listens to the board members’ decision.

ESPN is also covering the hearing live and other networks will also jump on this train.

I don’t recall such a proceeding every being covered by the news media like this. I think, to coin a cliche, this is uncharted territory.

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/.

 

 

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Simpson might not be the only one on TV on Thursday

Someone I met recently at a neighborhood party asked me if I was going to be on any media programs in connection with Simpson’s parole hearing on Thursday.

Not only had no one contacted me about such a possibility, I hadn’t thought about reaching out to anyone in the media. I hadn’t even arranged my schedule so I could watch it (ESPN is reportedly going to televise it, and other networks might follow suit).

That changed this evening. The news director of a TV station in a city nearly 200 miles away called and invited me to participate in a segment on Thursday to discuss the trial (the 1995 murder trial in which he was acquitted, not the 2008 robbery/kidnap trial that resulted in conviction and Simpson’s imprisonment) and my book.

The caller was gracious and offered to pay travel expenses. I appreciated that, but declined. It’s a matter of time, not the gas to get there. As an alternative, we’re going to talk tomorrow to arrange a FaceTime session during the day on Thursday.

It should be interesting — or at least I sure hope it will be.

 

Where a Precious Few Are Now

In an apparent attempt to hitch a ride on Sunday’s Academy Awards in which ESPN’s O.J.: Made in America is nominated in the “Best Documentary Feature category, comes this brief on where five of the host of O.J. Simpson murder trial principals are now. I can’t think of any other justification for this little story.

Interestingly, the entry for the Simpson trial judge, Lance Ito, says he “became the most famous judge in the world, but then stayed out of the limelight. He retired in 2015.”

Omitted from that blurb is that during the 20 years between the end of the Simpson trial in 1995 and Ito’s retirement in  2015, he was one of the very few Los Angeles Superior Court judges to continue to allow camera coverage of proceedings in his courtroom. That in the face of judges and collective judiciaries in California, in the rest of the U.S. and in other countries that cited and continue to cite Ito allowing camera coverage of the Simpson trial for an almost universal camera ban in their jurisdictions.

 

Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson tells why Ito allowed cameras in both the Simpson trial and other court proceedings, and the fear and trepidation that kept his judicial colleagues from following suit.

“Anatomy of a Trial” Reveals More than Documentary About Trial

“Whatever you thought you knew about the O.J. Simpson story, this film will make you think again, and more deeply, about the trial of the century and all …”

That’s the teaser for a story, headlined  a story headlined The Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Behind ‘O.J.: Made in America’ on His Oscar Night Plans and Why O.J. Still Matters about Sunday night’s Oscar presentations that includes nominations for the ESPN O.J.: Made In America documentary.

I assert that whatever you thought you knew about the 1995 Simpson murder trial, my book, Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson, will make you think again.

The book is available in digital and hard copy formats from Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0826218229?m=A1UT13HVUXZL25&ref_=v_sp_widget_detail_page. It is also available — signed — from me at www.anatomyofatrial.com/contact.

Lange Exemplifies Cops’ Incompetence?

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of ESPN’s multi-part documentary is that Simpson fatigue hasn’t shut me down. Or maybe it has, partially. I am watching the production, albeit slowly. Parts 4 and 5 to go. I’ve recorded them, but haven’t gotten around to viewing them yet.

I’ve found what I have seen well done and revealing, so far as some L.A. police officers’ relationship with Simpson and their fan-club-esque groupie-ism is concerned.

Nowhere is that more unwittingly exemplified than Detective Tom Lange’s narrative at the opening of Part 3 in which he describes the crime scene when police first arrived and their course of action.

In describing Nicole Brown whose body was lying just outside the front door of her Bundy Drive home in Brentwood, Lange referred to her as O.J. Simpson’s “estranged wife” and said police had to notify her next of kin, “who was O.J. Simpson.”

Lange was wrong on both counts. Nicole Brown was not Simpson’s estranged wife. She and Simpson had been divorced for two years. As a result, he was not her next of kin. Her parents were.

But if the cops had their facts straight, they would have had no excuse to contact Simpson. They would have notified her actual next of kin and would have had no reason to go to Simpson’s house on Rockingham Drive and tell him his former wife had been murdered–unless they wanted to check him out as a possible suspect, which they obviously didn’t.

If that is any indication, then Simpson’s defense attorneys’ claims of police incompetence appear to have some substance.

Beyond Larry King’s Freudian Slip

The anecdote in the opening paragraph of The Atlantic’s June 16, 2016, O.J.: Made in America Is Vital Storytelling review…

Buried in the fourth part of O.J.: Made in America, ESPN Films’s masterful eight-hour documentary about the O.J. Simpson murder case, is a telling little Freudian slip from the then-CNN host Larry King, whose network had turned news coverage of the trial into an unprecedented 24/7 marathon. He had just met with Lance Ito, the presiding judge in the trial, and King was asked by a news crew if he wanted Ito to appear on Larry King Live. “Sure, we’d love to have him after the show is over. After the trial is over,” he said, catching himself. “It is like a show.”

…might have happened.  I don’t know. But I do know it doesn’t tell the whole story. Whoever the news crew was apparently didn’t know that King had asked for Ito to be on his show before King met him during the trial. The saga of how that meeting came about is documented on pages 65-67 of my book Anatomy of a Trial, for which I’m pretty much to blame.

Learning that King planned to be in L.A. and wanted to attend the trial, I suggested to Ito that he might meet with him to thank him. King’s was the only news broadcast or talk show that granted Ito’s request to delay by one day interviewing Faye Resnick about her rush-to-print tell-all “diary”. King also read the entire statement from Ito on a show he had asked the judge to appear on with members of the media who were unhappy about his courtroom rules and restrictions.

The rest of The Atlantic review about the ESPN documentary seemed OK to me, but then I’ve only gotten through Part 3, so far. So this blog post is based on second-hand information, since I haven’t watched Part 4, which contains the scene described in The Atlantic review’s opening ‘graph.

Few Surprises in ESPN Simpson Documentary

I’m more interested in watching the ESPN-produced documentary, “O.J.: Made in America”, which debuted last night, than I was the FX melodrama series aired earlier this year, primarily because it is a documentary.

Granted, documentaries can be skewed to favor a point of view or even “prove” something that isn’t, but at least documentaries are composed of actual footage and interviews with real people.

While the first part, carried on ABC last night, contained few surprises for me, I was surprised at what Dave Nemetz, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, in “‘O.J.: Made in America’: 8 Things We Learned From Part 1“, said he learned that he didn’t know.

The one thing I didn’t know about was Simpson’s father’s sexual orientation. In fact, I don’t ever recall any mention of his father.

But the rest? That Simpson was a living legend in L.A., that he didn’t want to get political and could talk himself out of trouble, was almost a bust in the NFL, his breakthrough role in TV ads, his mediocre acting ability–at least, in his roles as an actor–and his early encounters Nicole Brown was pretty much common knowledge to those who (1) are old enough to remember, (2) lived in L.A. and (3) paid attention to sports. Maybe Nemetz benefited from none of that.

One thing I did learn that Nemitz didn’t mention was how far back former LAPD officer Ron Shipp and Simpson’s relationship goes. Back to Shipp’s school years. I had thought it was much more recent–dating from when Simpson lived in his house in Brentwood.

While my knowledge of last night’s Part I was based on being old enough and exposed to sports enough and living in L.A., it will be interesting to see what I learn from Part II, which airs Tuesday night, as it focuses on my direct, first-hand knowledge of Simpson’s 1994-95 murder trial and many of the issues that swirled around that.

Stay tuned.

 

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/oj-made-america-part-1-901650