Last night when the OJ Simpson verdict was read, I was hoping for a guilty verdict. But like many,I knew that Simpson was part Teflon, and, in the back of my mind- realized the man could be found not-guilty. So when the news of a verdict was first announced, I started my last Simpson-Watch.
In 1993 prior to the murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson- The Los Angeles Times made me a chat host for its online service- TimeLink, which was on the Prodigy Network. Within a couple weeks of starting to host chats- the Goldman/Simpson Trial was upon us. I did 3 hosted chats a week- with name guests, that still today wind up on the cable media programs as legal talking heads. The Today show even had a segment with me from the LA Times building- What was with that? The first Simpson trial was a circus- and the deflation felt when OJ was found guilty- was enormous. The media had a field day with TV broadcast, and then stars like Kato Kalin, Judge Lance Ito, Johnny Cochran, Marcia Clark, F. Lee Bailey, and Mark Fuhrman- an all-star cast then ( and small cottage industry after the trial). So when the all-black jury deliberated its not guilty verdict in less than a day, reality set in. The public was evenly divdied on TimeLink. Half believed OJ committed the murders- and half thought the police ought to look for the real killer. OJ played golf, mugged for the cameras- he even had the audacity to throw a victory party- 13 years ago last night.
The civil trial was a little different. It didn't have TV coverage like the criminal trial. So when OJ was found liable- all I remember is him walking out of the Santa Monica Courthouse- with a bodyguard. OJ was free to walk this world, and hide his income from the Goldman's and Brown family for the rest of his life.
Fast forward to last night's events- As far as web sites- CNN and Fox News had banner ads stating a verdict had been reached. Only the local Vegas TV stations, had any stories- and both had live feeds of the courthouse seal. By the time the verdicts were read. CNN and Fox News were live, and so were alot of bloggers.
Guilty on all 12 counts- A smile hit my insides- I felt good about the verdict! But like many, my feelings were based purely on the first trial.
After the court session ended- CNN continued live coverage for a little while.
A day later here are my observations- No Drudge Report, No Huffington Report posts on the verdict till well after the Guilty verdict had been read. Fox and CNN both had AP stories- with pictures of OJ in court. But today the story is different. The Los Angeles Times gave it a quarter page below the fold. For a couple hours Fox News.com had a picture and a story, now its just a line item story among the other stories- the same with CNN.
I guess that's the difference in 13 years. Same guy- different crime. Different Media, Lots of new people that never knew about the first case. The carnival has left the town and moved on.... leaving OJ Simpson in jail- and the only thing I wondered is.......well I will leave that for another post, because I still love carnivals- especially the Carney's!
My 3 posts on this Simpson Trial can be found at Buzzfeed