Sunday, September 16, 2007

All O.J., all the time

Today I watched CNN slip into madness. It had been building up all weekend, ever since the news broke that O.J. Simpson had been involved in what may or may not have been an armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel room. Still there was room for some other news: an earthquake and ensuing aftershocks in Sumatra, a plane crash with mass casualties in Thailand, the pas de deux between George Bush and General David Petraeus involving troop withdrawals from Iraq.

But then the big news broke: O.J. SIMPSON HAD BEEN ARRESTED! Suddenly all other news stories were irrelevant. Nothing mattered but O.J., O.J., O.J.!!! It was bizarre to watch this story evolve as I vacuumed and shampooed the carpet, read blogs, and chatted with friends. Suddenly it was 1995 all over again, when no other news story could make it through the wall-to-wall O.J. coverage. (My personal theory was that Bill Clinton had murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, since the O.J. circus effectively knocked Clinton's foibles - which, in hindsight, seem so trivial - out of the news for several months.)

The news became all O.J. the moment the arrest was announced. The cycle consisted of a recap of the story, some interviews with various experts, from legal commentators to friends of O.J. (there sure are a lot of those, it seems) to Nicole Brown's sister, followed by updates and breathless announcements of updates to come, followed at the top and bottom of the hour by an announcement of "our top story" - O.J., O.J., O.J.!

So now we are back in O.J. land. Some might argue that networks are simply giving viewers what they want. Others will say that some news directors are just plain lazy, and providing wall-to-wall O.J. coverage is much simpler than trying to fill a half-hour or hour or morning or afternoon with actual news. I guess until this story blows over, anyone who really wants news will have to hunt it down on their own.


hedera said...

I refuse to dignify O.J. Simpson by paying any attention to what he's doing. This is easier because I don't watch TV.

Marc said...

I watched almost all of the OJ trial. You can never have too much OJ. I'm pro sports and pro celebrity, so I can never get too much OJ news.

betz said...

this oj stuff is so odd. it just seems like he would be smarter than this?

Super G said...

What? OJ was arrested! Crap. I need get out more.

Who knows what else I might have missed.