Tag Archives: KCBS

Final Violation, Rescinded

Ito press coup

Channel 2 pulls interviews.

No late-night reruns.

11/29/94

After CBS affiliate KCBS-Channel 2 officials violated the terms Simpson judge, Lance Ito, had set before he agreed to do an interview with KCBS reporter Tritia Toyota about camps where Americas of Japanese descent were interned during World War II, Ito learned that the station planned to rerun the interviews — the initial interview had been divided into six parts. Airing them again would also violate Ito’s condition that the interview would run only once. So, rerunning them also a violated Ito’s conditions. At Ito’s request, I contacted the channel’s news director, Larry Parret, and asked him to reconsider. Parret called back later to say that Ito was right and that they would not air the interviews again.

They All Want One Now

Interview requests.

All were harnessed, now renewed.

Thanks goes to Tritia.

11/15/94

Every news organization covering the Simpson case had asked — some more than once — for an interview with the trial judge, Lance Ito, all of which he denied, most with gusto. Until KCBS news personality Tritia Toyota asked.

How that came about and the repercussions are detailed on pages 25-28 of my book,Anatomy of a Trial,  which is now available in as an audio download at Amazon Audible Audio either free with a free month trial subscription to to Amazon Audible Audio or for $17.95 without the trial (http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Trial-Lessons-Learned-Simpson/dp/B00MR600SM/ref=sr_1_1_twi_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416098726&sr=1-1&keywords=Jerrianne+Hayslett).

I also detail the wrath of the news media at Ito for doing the Toyota interview, never mind that officials at the KCBS TV station, where she worked, violated the conditions Ito set and that they had agreed. Los Angeles Times reporter Andrea Ford led the rant in a telephone call the evening she learned that the Toyota interview was to air a few days later. She and all the other news media that Ito agree to be interviewed by them immediately so they could beat KCBS.

Needless to say, Ito declined.

 

Simpson Judge Gets 2nd Chance to Discuss WWII Injustice

The O.J. Simpson murders trial judge Lance A. Ito has rarely agreed to talk to the media for the record or attribution since the verdict in that infamous 1995 trial. But he did so today, about a subject that is near and dear to his heart.

Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain – David Ono hosts special  http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=9139470

“Judge Lance Ito’s family was held there,” Los Angeles ABC affiliate, Channel 7-KABC, reporter David Ono says. “In this Eyewitness News special, ‘Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain,’ I talk to the Honorable Lance Ito and his mother about their family’s remarkable story. It’s a story very few people know about.”

Another aspect of that story and its intersection with Ito’s role as the judge presiding over the 1995 Simpson trial is also something very few people know about. It involves Ito’s effort — and, indeed, his sense of duty — to talk about the heartbreak of Heart Mountain, both to Americans of Japanese with Japanese heritage as a group and to individual Americans with Japanese heritage, such as two people who became Ito’s parents.

He tried to honor his sense of obligation in another Los Angeles TV interview. That one in the fall of 1994 backfired in just about every respect and probably did more to alienate him with the news media covering the Simpson case more than any other one thing to that point and after.

I discuss that debacle in Chapter 3, “Careening Off Track”, of Anatomy of a Trial, which begins:

“As mistakes go, it was a doozy. It began one October morning when I walked into Ito’s chambers.

‘Jerrianne, I would like for you to come up with a graceful way for me to get out of doing an interview,’ he said without preamble.”

How differently things might have turned out for Ito and public perception of him had the KCBS TV management not violated agreed-upon conditions with Ito and had the other media not gone off in a snit because he had granted an interview to one amongst them and not the rest — never mind that the subject of the interview wasn’t what the other news outlets wanted to interview him about.

So now, Ito had a second chance to talk publicly about Heart Mountain and to honor not only his parents, but all Americans of Japanese descent who were held prisoner during World War II in internment camps such as Heart Mountain. Too bad it’s more than 18 years later.
 

A Face(book) Out of the Past

Facebook is great!

Among those I’ve connected with on it is a former Los Angeles TV staffer who, like me, has become a Midwesterner. He won a huge spot in my heart during the 1995 Simpson trial with his humor, affibility and grace. Although it didn’t make it into Anatomy, this guy filed and ‘appeal’ to prizes Judge Lance Ito awarded the graffitied comments members of the media wrote on the L.A. Times ad posted in the Criminal Courts Building ‘listening room’ of the KCBS interview Ito did months before opening statements in the trial. Identifying himself in his appeal as Alex Epstein, aka Jackal, aka Vermin, Epstein asked Ito to reconsider his decision. It’s a funny ‘appeal’ and Ito responded with an equal good humor.

Ito denied Epstein’s appeal, but since he found the appeal “mildly amusing,” he wrote, the Court “on its own motion, issues an alternative writ granting Epstein the title of Epstein the Mild winner of an Honorable Mention.” Ito’s writ was to be served to Epstein along with “one bottle of Clos Du Bois Chardonnay,  which the Court finds to be potable.”

This is but one more example of Ito’s sense of humor and personality and of him as a human being.

I don’t think I would violate Alex’s privacy by posting his Facebook reply to my invitation to friend me. So here it is:

Hi Jerrianne –

How nice to hear from you! Your “invitation” brought back a flood of memories – not the least of which was the appeal. How nutty was that?  Harvey Levin, of TMZ fame, helped me draft it (he was/is a lawyer after all) – and that you agreed to give it to Judge Ito was a minor miracle.  Thanks for your sense of humor. What stresses there must have been on you – you never let it show, and you were such a wonderful, human face to that crazy bureaucracy you worked for.

I’ll never forget however wacky our requests were, you would seriously consider them, usually take a deep breath, and say you would try to get an answer for us!

I will look for your book, because I would be interested in your perspective.

I took my personal videocamera to work (at Criminal Courts during OJ) one day – and after all these years, looked at it – it kind of captured a bit of the atmosphere — but — do you remember when the USC Marching Band came by to play (outside) when the OJ Lawyers made their morning entrance one day?

What ever happened to Diane Arbus’ photos?

Unbelieveably small world. Who would have thought I would wind up in the midwest – raising kids and trying to stay employed in the media world out here. I miss LA, because I have these rose colored memories about so many wonderful, primary experiences (and thank God I was not injured in any of the lunatic stories I covered) – thankful for the good schools and the bubble of normalcy that passes for the northern suburbs of chicago.

What brought you to the midwest? A job took me out here!

Again, thanks for getting in touch – I look forward to connecting one of these days – maybe at a cubs brewers game!

All the best,

Alex