Tag Archives: Lance Ito

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.

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Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Loser

Former Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark, with guns blazing, is rising from the ashes of her humiliating defeat with the 1995 acquittal of O.J. Simpson in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Clark’s resurgence is due, in part, to a wave of sympathetic publicity with a recent airing of an FX multi-part melodrama.

She has narrowed the focus of her shotgun spray of blame that riddled her 20-year-old multi-million-dollar co-written post-trial memoir and taken aim on just the trial judge.

Although never camera or reporter-notebook shy in the years since penning that memoir, Clark is capitalizing on her newfound fame by targeting Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito, who retired last year, with a revisionist trial  history extraordinaire.

The first fabrication that hit my radar was an interview a few weeks ago in which Clark claimed that Ito was the one who came up with the idea for Simpson to try on the so-called bloody gloves that led to defense attorney Johnnie Cochran’s now-infamous line, “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

Despite being in the courtroom and behind the scenes every day, meeting with Ito daily–sometime several times a day, keeping up with the media coverage and reading, hearing and writing a lot about the case in the years since, I had never heard anything about Ito coming up with the idea to have Simpson try on the gloves.

Rather than rely solely on my memory, although I would have  had to be deep in the clutches of dementia to have forgotten something that significant, I checked with a reporter who attended every day of the trial and probably had the best access to all of the lawyers in that case, and, eventually to Simpson himself.

“I never heard any such thing and think it’s an effort to rewrite history,” the reporter said.

I also checked with one of Ito’s law interns who worked in his chambers and was privy to every aspect of the case. Like the reporter, the law intern knew about or had heard anything like Clark’s assertion.

“Uughh,” the law intern, who is now a practicing attorney with her own firm, wrote in reply to my question. “I was there that day and I have no memory of the gloves idea coming from Judge Ito. As usual he had the job of ruling on their asinine ideas. She [Clark] continues to disappoint as a female attorney role model. She really has no moral compass.”

I’m pretty sure I know about the ethics of a judge presiding over a criminal case suggesting to lawyers on either side how they should present evidence. For confirmation, I contacted a judge who sat on the LA court bench during years I worked there, and who has since retired and is currently a private judge.

Such a comment would be very inappropriate for a judge to make, the retired judge said. “Even if it takes the form of ‘why don’t you’ do this or that, it would look like the judge was trying to assist that side. That is clearly unethical.”

To have done so without defense attorneys present would constitute ex parte communication, which is, without a doubt, judicial misconduct.

Given the scrutiny that trial, the judge and the parties got, it’s a sure bet that any such suggestion would have been found out and the judge would have been subject to reprimand, at the very least. Plus, Ito was absolutely assiduous to make sure he did everything completely by the books to prevent a mistrial or be overturned on appeal, should Simpson be convicted.

In other words, Clark pulled that little gem of finger pointing from some orifice other than her mouth.

In another interview, this time on Late Night with Seth Meyers, she said she had never had a judge be so openly sexist as Judge Ito was.  Judge Ito is many things, but sexist isn’t one of them, to which, I dare say, females in his personal and professional life, will attest.

Clark is quoted in Monday’s New York Daily News describing Ito as “unprofessional” and criticized him for allowing the trial to be “turned into a circus” because he allowed it to be televised and for “his infatuation with the media.”

Ho boy.

First, at one point in a hearing on whether to allow cameras, Clark advocated for televising the trial.

“Allowing cameras to remain in the courtroom would give the public the opportunity to see what the evidence actually is and to hear the truth,” she told Ito during a November 7, 1994, hearing on whether or not to televise the trial. “The best way to refute unfounded rumors and wild speculative theories is to permit everyone to see and hear the evidence that is presented in court. … No matter how thorough and fair reporters are, their coverage cannot equal the evidence of witnessing a trial first hand.”

Second, although plenty of antics went on nonstop outside the courtroom and around the courthouse, there was no circus in the courtroom — plenty of video footage exists and the trial transcript proves that. However, Clark herself was one of the clowns Ito struggled to keep reined in.

Attorneys’ conduct so egregious, including that of Clark — in spades — that Ito, after repeatedly fining them, finally resorted to issuing a court order spelling out what they could and could not do — down to “no eye rolling.” I included the entire text of that order on pages 136-137 in my book, Anatomy of a Trial. Even then, he continued to have to fine them and threaten to hold them in contempt because they refused to behave. The amount in fines Ito levied against the Simpson trial attorneys — on both sides — exceeded that of any criminal trial in the state’s history at that time.

So far as being “infatuated with the media” is concerned, disappointment or even contempt for many of them would be more accurate as he witnessed their excesses and making him the brunt of their exaggerations and misrepresentations.

In that Daily News interview, Clark said, “He sits down for a six-part interview in the middle of the trial about his life. Who does this?”

What Clark is misremembering is (1)  Ito didn’t sit down for a six-part interview and (2) an interview he did do wasn’t in the middle of the trial.

Months before the Jan. 23, 1995, opening statements, a TV reporter asked to interview Ito in connection with the opening of an L.A. museum exhibit of the World War II Heart Mountain Japanese internment camp in Wyoming, which is where a man and woman who married and became Ito’s parents met. After long consideration and conferring with a number of people, he finally decided to do it, but only with the assurance that the subject would not be the Simpson case but would focus only on the exhibit and the issue of Japanese internment. He also insisted on several other conditions, including that the station not promote the interview in advance and would air it only once and that would be during an 11 p.m. newscast.

As described on page 25 of Anatomy of a Trial the station violated every condition, including buying full-page newspaper ads and splitting the interview into six parts, which aired in six consecutive broadcasts.

Then there was this in a June 14, 2016,   Chicago Tribune article:

“Clark said that while she was generally pleased with the FX series, it failed to capture how Ito was ‘entranced by his media moment’ and ‘the steady stream of celebrities coming in and out of chambers’ during the trial. Sometimes the celebs Ito had invited backstage demanded to meet her, too, she said.

“‘I’m actually trying a lawsuit … I don’t need to meet Jimmy Dean,” she said of one encounter with the crooner-turned-sausage king. “I mean, I love your sausage, sir!'”

Did celebrities show up at the trial? Yes, as more and more it became the place to be seen. Many were, themselves, members of the media. And yes, some did meet Ito in his chambers, although I would hardly describe it as a “steady stream.” And one, which became a disastrous fiasco, was entirely my doing,  which I have rued every since.

But Jesus, Jimmy Dean? I saw neither of them. Neither did I hear or know of any who even asked, much less demanded to meet Clark. I don’t know of any who thought she was worth their while. So maybe her bruised ego is prompting her to make such a claim now.

“This is disgusting,” the reporter I talked to about Clark’s glove claim said. “She is trying to sell her books and somehow find absolution for her inept performance 22 years ago. To attack Ito is beyond the pale.”

What does Ito have to say about all of this?

Nothing. Which is what he said during, and has continued to say since, the trial. At least not publicly, which is why Clark thinks she can say whatever she wants without consequence. Given that Ito has consistently refrained from speaking out against his critics, Clark can be pretty sure he won’t now.

While Clark and her ilk have capitalized on their fame from the trial over and over and in many forms and formats, Ito hasn’t. He hasn’t written a book or gone on the rubber-chicken circuit or hauled in huge speaking fees like Clark has and is continuing to do.

I’m pretty sure he won’t speak up this time either. Clark probably isn’t worth his while.

 

Sloppiness Does Miniseries Credibility Damage

Although I took exception with the FX miniseries People vs. O.J. Simpson perpetuation of the mischaracterization of Simpson trial judge, Lance Ito, the creators and cast of the drama got a lot right.

Sarah Paulson absolutely nailed it as Marcia Clark, Sterling K. Brown was certainly a believable Christopher Darden. and Joseph Siravo was credible as Fred Goldman. The rest of the cast, except for Kenneth Choi’s voice in his role as Ito, might as well have been playing characters in some unrelated production.

The story line and conflict, also, are fairly accurate so far as what happened in the courtroom. I don’t know about what went on in any private conversations, except those in Ito’s chambers at which I was present. What bugs me, aside from the misrepresentation of Ito, is so much that wasn’t accurate out of sheer sloppiness that was easily avoidable.

It’s unlikely that I’ll hit everything here, but I can at least offer some examples. A couple of observations I made in previous posts on this blog.

One was early on in a scene in which Marcia Clark was standing on the balcony outside the District Attorney’s office in the Criminal Courts Building. That balcony was only a few floors up, probably the third of fourth floor. The District Attorney’s Office was, and still is, on the 18th floor, one floor from the top of the building.

Another was a completely fabricated meeting Ito purportedly had in his chambers with former movie producer-turned author Dominick Dunne. In that scene Ito is depicted pulling open a desk drawer, taking out an autographed picture TV personality Arsenio Hall had sent the judge and showing it to Dunne as if Ito thought it was some terrific get or coveted souvenir.

Rather than just sloppy, that scene had to be a deliberate fantasy. That’s because the miniseries was based on a book published by CNN commentator and writer Jeffery Toobin. Rather than Dunne, it was Toobin to whom Ito showed a photo of Hall. Toobin didn’t forget about that meeting or just misremembered that it was Dunne to whom Ito showed the picture. Toobin wrote about it in his book — sort of.

Here is my account, taken from my notes taken that day and an audio journal entry recorded that evening:

“Like many of his colleagues, Toobin clambered to meet Ito. Ito said no.

‘He’s a month behind the time,’ Ito said in reply to one request in mid-September of 1994. ‘He’s too late.’[i]

But Toobin persisted.[ii]

‘Just a few minutes with the judge,’ he pleaded on another occasion. ‘Just to say hello, to introduce myself and, as a lawyer, shake the judge’s hand.’

In February Ito finally relented, but said to bring him in at the end of the lunch break so he could limit his time with him. As I escorted Toobin to Ito’s chambers, I delivered my spiel that everything, once he crossed the threshold, was off the record. As usual, all manner of files, documents, mementos and other paraphernalia cluttered Ito’s chambers. As Toobin observed the surroundings, Ito showed him what he thought was an example of how crazily things had gotten with public interest in the trial. It was a note television personality Arsenio Hall had sent him in which he compared Ito’s job to President Bill Clinton’s, saying that Clinton has the second hardest job and that Ito had the hardest.[iii] With a shake of his head, Ito said he found it strange that people, even celebrities, apparently wanting to be part of or to somehow relate personally with the trial, would send the court notes and photographs and souvenirs.

‘You would think these people would have something better to do,’ he said.[iv]

But that’s not how Toobin told it. Nearly a year after the trial, Toobin hit the talk-show circuit to promote his book.[v] In recounting his meeting with Ito, he said the judge wanted to meet him and had ‘summoned’ him for a visit in chambers. Toobin’s tale was not only unethical because he violated the off-the-record condition, he reshaped it, apparently to support his characterization of Ito as behaving like ‘just another celebrity-crazed resident of Los Angeles’ and having ‘starry eyes.’[vi] Ito’s point in showing Toobin the Arsenio Hall note was to underscore how obsessed people had become with the trial. But that obviously wasn’t Toobin’s impression or his memory of how the incident played out.”

Although scenes in the courthouse and trial courtroom appeared to be shot in the actual building and courtroom, Ito’s chambers during the trial were not. In fact, Toobin could have made sure the chambers were a close, if not exact, replication of that office, since he had been in that office. Why he didn’t is a mystery, but it was just all wrong.

Again, despite the courtroom looking like an actual Criminal Courts Building courtroom, the clock and the lack of them, were wrong. The clock in Ito’s courtroom was the basic vanilla style clock found in most schools and other public buildings of that era, similar to this: 

I say “lack of them”, because in the early days of the proceedings, Ito ordered several more clocks that looked like this and put them on the courtroom walls as a hint to habitually tardy lawyers on the case that court began at 9 a.m. When that didn’t work, he started bringing hourglasses from a collection he had in his chambers into the courtroom, which of course made headlines.

Another inaccuracy was Judge Ito banging a gavel when he called a recess. That never happened. Ito didn’t use a gavel in his courtroom. He didn’t even have a gavel on the bench.

And what was that with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson shaving in jail. Shaving, with a safety razor. A safety razor, which gives a pretty close shave. Then he shows up in court with had to be at least a two-day stubble on his face.

The make up of the jury on verdict day was nowhere close to the real jury. The real consisted of ten women and two men. The TV show has at least four men. Racially, the real jury was nine blacks, two whites and one Hispanic. The TV jury that could be seen on camera included four whites.

Further, when the trial judge dismissed the jurors post verdict, he addressed them as ladies and gentlemen of the jury and alternates. At that point in the trial, there were no alternates. The twelve alternates that began with the twelve regular jurors had become regular jurors during the course of the trial as one-by-one, the regular jurors were all dismissed.

Trivial errors or inaccuracies that few people would know to notice or care about. But if the miniseries producers didn’t care enough to get those kind of details right, how can they have credibility about anything else?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[i].  Author’s notes, September 19, 1994.

 [ii] Id., January 25, February 3, 1995.

[iii]Id, February 3, 1995.

[iv]Id, February 8, 1995.

[v].   Jeffrey Toobin, “Today,” September 10, 1996, http://www.radicalmedia.com/work/today/trans/1996/sep/960910.txt; Francis X. Archibald, “Toobin critiques O. J. Simpson trial,” The State (Columbia, SC), September 29, 1996.

[vi].   Jeffrey Toobin, The Run of His Life (New York: Random House, 1996), 229

Choi Gets Ito

Kenneth Choi as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito in The People vs. O.J. Simpson miniseries is totally unbelievable to me, unless I close my eyes.

Except for the black hair, rimless glasses and facial hair, Choi looks no more like Ito than I, a Caucasian, brown-haired woman, do.

But Choi does capture Ito’s voice. He also either researched something other than the popular media-created image of Ito — maybe he read my book! — or managed to otherwise understand the no-win situation that crashed down on Ito well enough to develop a fairly accurate sense of what the judge was up against in the Simpson trial.

I learned that from a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter.

“According to the actor, though Ito has received a lot of criticism for the O.J. Simpson case, he has tried to stay impartial. ‘I can’t criticize or be judgmental of the person I’m playing,’ he said. ‘I have to do my best to understand him and what he does. I personally think he had the weight of the world on his shoulders as this sort of ringmaster in this circus played out on such a huge scale.’

“Though Choi admitted that the pressure on Ito ‘absolutely’ affected some of his decisions, he also pointed out that Ito was known to be a ‘very good, very smart, very fair’ judge.

“Asked whether or not he thinks that Ito’s decision about the Mark Fuhrman tapes affected the verdict, Choi answered, ‘I don’t know that it affected the outcome.’

“‘The jury heard the two snippets from the tapes, and I think that was enough,’ he explained. ‘The damage was done.'”

I do know this: Choi did not come to his conclusions by talking to Ito.

 

‘Facts’ Wanting in ‘Crime Story’

I fear trying to keep up with all the reviews, observations, punditry about the FX miniseries based oh-so loosely on the 1995 O.J .Simpson murder trial is going to become a round-the-clock effort. My email inbox is crammed with Google News Alerts I set for O.J. Simpson way back in 2008 before my book, Anatomy of a Trial, was published.

Here are some excerpts in one from yesterday:

Excerpt 1)  “…three categories: those who remember all the details of the trial, those who don’t know anything at all, and those who (like me) remember enough to be delighted by the references and cameos, but have forgotten enough that the bizarre truths become freshly frustrating. But it’s exactly this story’s bizarre nature that makes Ryan Murphy’s ambitions new anthology series refreshingly not like a Ryan Murphy series at all. It is, perhaps surprisingly, understated and played straight (almost), being based off of Jeffrey Toobin’s nonfiction book The Run of His Life. The facts speak for themselves,”

So much flies in the face here, such as:

  • “those who remember all the details of the trial”   Who the heck can do that? I was there every day and even I can’t remember every detail. I took notes when court was in session and during every meeting I had with the trial judge, Lance Ito, which was daily and generally several times a day. And I kept daily written and audio journals.
  • “those who … remember enough to be delighted by the references and cameos, but have forgotten enough that the bizarre truths become freshly frustrating.”   Many of the ‘bizzare truths’ weren’t. They were misrepresentations of events, people and/or intentions. There were, indeed, bizarre truths about and related to the trial, but they were not reported by the media.
  • Ryan Murphy’s ambitions new anthology series”   Anthology?
  • Jeffrey Toobin’s nonfiction book”   Not nonfiction. Nonfiction-fiction hybrid.

Excerpt 2) “Speaking of parody, there are a few winking moments included in the series that work through a knowing hindsight, like Judge Ito’s (Kenneth Choi) preoccupation with celebrity…”

Judge Ito’s (Kenneth Choi) preoccupation with celebrity…”  Not!   I am well aware of how he was portrayed by the news media. Most of it was misrepresented to flat out not true. The best way to understand Ito and his ‘preoccupations’ is to read Anatomy of a Trial.

 

Excerpt 3)  “…the trial essentially being conducted to the public nightly through Larry King Live.”  Again, Not! Ir boggles my mind how people can make such specious and ridiculous assertions. King having members of the media who were covering the trial, legal pundits and people associated with the trial participants, no matter how faintly, on his show was a far cry from conducting the trial there. Saying/writing such a thing is just ignorant.

Everybody’s Gotta Say Something

The second coming of the misinformation onslaught has begun, thanks to that vast purveyor of misinformation, Fox Entertainment Group. The first of a 10-part miniseries, The People vs. O.J. Simpson, debuts tonight on its FX network.

This drama will contain a representation/misrepresentation of non-courtroom conversations and events involving the lawyers, relatives and others related to the 1994 murder case of O. J. Simpson and the defendant.

My interest is how it portrays court officials, including the trial judge Lance Ito, and media coverage. That’s because I was the Los Angeles courts’ director of public information at that time and present in the courtroom, the courthouse and behind the scenes before, during and following the 1994-95 trial.

The FX series has conjured up lots of reminiscing by people who were there — and not — with lots of mis-remembering. Here’s something that popped up online today:

In his New York Post Page Six column, Richard Johnson writes that “Judge Lance Ito was a virtual Hollywood groupie who couldn’t resist rubbing elbows with stars — including Richard Dreyfuss.”

Johnson goes on to ‘relate’ a conversation Dreyfuss had with another Post staffer about the day Dreyfuss attended the trial “as a curious bystander.”

“Ito spotted Dreyfuss and invited him into his chambers, where he showed off some of the gory crime-scene photos from the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman,” Johnson writes.

“'[Ito] said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a special guest today,” and introduced me to the courtroom,’ Dreyfuss recalls.”

I kept a voice-recorded journal during the trial, which I had transcribed and used as a reference when writing my book, Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson.   Here’s what I recorded the day, Sept. 14, 1995 — nearly nine months into the trial — that Dreyfuss sat in the courtroom:

Thursday, September 14th.

Today Mr. Dryfuss was in the courtroom, a rather sleepy Richard Dryfuss, I caught him dozing a couple of times. I told Judge Ito. [Earlier Ito had asked me, Did you see who was out there? And I said, ‘No’.  He said , ‘Richard Dryfuss’.  I said, ‘Oh, well, what is he in one of the special guest seats?’ He said yes. ‘But, I am taking your advice, and I am not going to go out to meet him.’   I said, ‘Good, you will avoid a lot of criticism.’  I told him later that he had been dozing and he kind of gave this little whining noise like  ‘what, he wasn’t riveted to my every word?  I said something about, ‘Don’t take it personally.’  It was really dry, boring stuff going on there.

One thing this journal entry doesn’t do is convey Ito’s wry sense of humor and subtle sarcasm. What it and the trial transcript do, though, is prove two aspects of Dreyfuss’s assertion wrong.

One was Dreyfuss’s representation of himself as ‘a curious bystander.’ Dreyfuss, like other recognizable faces that showed up in the courtroom, such as James Woods, Steve Garvey, Jackie Mason, Anita Hill, Jimmie Breslin, might have been curious, but of greater importance was an obsession of many celebrities. The Simpson trial became THE place to be seen. Dreyfuss (or someone for him) called the courtroom to see if he could get in. A couple of courtroom seats were held in reserve throughout the trial for Ito in case he got requests from people he wanted to be sure got into the trial. His parents, for instance. One day it was a cancer patient who had written him a letter and told him that watching the trial on TV was a distraction for her and help her endure the terrible side effects of cancer treatments. At his invitation she and a caregiver sat in his ‘special seats.’ He also invited her to rest on the couch in his chambers during proceedings recesses. The media didn’t report on Ruth Archey attending the trial or Ito offer or his chambers couch.

To my knowledge, Ito didn’t contact, rub elbows with or invite any of the ‘celebrities’ who showed up in the courtroom to attend the trial.

The other incorrect assertion was that Ito introduced Dreyfuss to the courtroom. The court reporter made an official transcript of everything that was said in the courtroom during that trial from the minute Ito took the bench until he left. My search of the transcript for the entire month of September 1995, turns up no mention of Dreyfuss, much less Ito introducing him to the courtroom either by name or as a “special guest.”

Ito didn’t even speak to Dreyfuss in the courtroom, so it’s not likely Dreyfuss would have visited him in chambers, and even more unlikely Ito would have shown him crime-scene photographs. One reason is that the crime-scene photos were trial exhibits and as such in the custody of the courtroom clerk which she kept locked up in a closet. Another reason is that of all the occasions I accompanied courtroom visitors to Ito’s chambers, which included some members of the media at their request, I never saw Ito show them trial exhibit photos.

So, where did Dreyfuss get that from? Who knows, but my guess is it was a false memory. That is a common phenomenon.

My younger brother swears he was with me on a late-night caper when I was 16 years old and he was 12. I sneaked out of the house while everyone else was asleep and drove the family car to a nearby town hoping to find a boy I had a crush on who hadn’t called me on the telephone that evening as he had promised he would do.

First, why on earth would I have taken my younger brother in my confidence, especially when we weren’t exactly BBFs, much less taken him with me in such a situation. In fact, I actively avoided him and wanted as little to do with him as possible as was typical for any teenage girl with a ‘little’ brother. I was 16 and he was 12, for crying out loud.

Second, although he was younger than me by four years, he wasn’t my ‘little’ brother. That year, the year he turned 12, he grew nine inches, so was not only no longer smaller than me, he was an unbelievable clutz — like a puppy that hasn’t grown into its giant paws. No way would I have risked being caught because any noise he might have made. In fact, it took me what felt like forever to sneak down the stairs without stepping on any creaky ones, tiptoe to my parents downstairs bedroom, get the keys off my dad’s bureau, creep through the house to the back door, easy out and close it and get in the car without waking anyone. So, I would have brought my bull-in-a-china-shop brother with me? And trusted that he wouldn’t tell anyone, even when my dad remarked the next morning when the entire family was in the car to go to church that the car was parked on the opposite side of the driveway from where he had parked it the day before and that the gas gauge showed a quarter-of-a-tank of gas less than it had the day before and concluded that someone must have taking it for a joyride and that he was so thankful whoever did at least brought it back instead of stealing it or leaving it in a ditch somewhere?

I don’t think so.

It’s not beyond belief that Dreyfuss saw and read so much about the Simpson case — some of which included fabrications, like some parts of Toobin’s book did when it was published a year later — that his memory inserted himself into stuff that didn’t happen.

Memories such as this one Johnson’s Page Six report and other fantasies that are sure to be vomited up in this “Everybody’s Gotta Say Something” second coming of misinformation onslaught with FX’s “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” drama are equally if not more frustrating and maddening as those I endured 21 years ago.

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.