I am cut to the quick!
Here is a column in a Nebraska newspaper, the Grand Island Independent jumping on the “Oscar Pistorius case is O. J. deja vu-No it isn’t!” bandwagon and recommends two books as memory refreshers. http://www.kearneyhub.com/news/opinion/south-african-murder-trial-looks-a-lot-like-o-j/article_fcfe4252-7f70-11e2-a491-0019bb2963f4.html
Neither is Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O. J. Simpson. How could that be? Could the columnist, George Ayoub, possibly not know about Anatomy?
Not only do I feel slighted, one book Ayoub did recommend is a work of fiction! Although the author of that book, Dominick Dunne, was a dear friend (I still mourn his death of three-and-a-half years ago) and a popping good writer, sowing fiction into such a high-profile trial that was already and continues to be so fraught with media warp and trivial pursuits, was almost a crime itself. It was also a betrayal of his being given full-time courtroom access to the trial.
Dunne wasn’t the only author who defaulted on his stated purpose for wanting that access and covering the trial. Even though his book was fiction, something he readily acknowledged when his book was published long after the trial was over, at least he wrote one. Fatal Vision author Joe McGinniss didn’t.
After occupying a full-time courtroom seat for the duration of the trial that a serious journalist or journalists (because seats were so scarce, many members of the media had to share a seat with fellow journalists) could have used to report to the public on the trial, McGinniss took off for Europe to write about soccer. He said it was impossible to write the book he wanted to — from the perspective of a juror who was sequestered and had no access to any information a sequestered juror didn’t have access to.
Well, duh! He sat in the courtroom and listened to debates over the admissibility of evidence and much more. He lunched and socialized with his fellow media-types.
Not only is my Anatomy of a Trial a behind-the-scenes expose, it covers the disingenuousness of the likes of Joe McGinniss. Not living up to the terms of getting a courtroom seat is just one of losses dealt the public who followed that trial or trusted the news media to inform them about and help them understand the workings of the judicial system.