Posted by: David Kiley on November 20, 2006
So, Rupert Murdoch issued an executive order. Kill OJ. The head cheese at News Corp. decided he’d had enough. Fox affiliates were refusing to run the Fox produced documentary on O.J. Simpson tied into HarperCollins’ publishing of the notoriously titled O.J. Simpson memoir “If I did It” about how he might have gone about killing his wife and friend/flunky Ron Goldman. Might have? Ha! Fox’s Bill O’Reilly was excoriating his own employer almost nightly over the affair. Night-time Fox nutball, judge, jury and executioner Sean Hannity was criticizing as well.,
So Murdoch pulled the book from Fox owned HarperCollins and the show from Fox Network. And, so it seems, he pulled the rug out from under ReganBooks chief Judith Regan who is at the center of the multi-million OJ deal.
By the way, if OJ’s contract looks anything like the publishing contracts I have signed, he gets to keep his money.
But the question is…is this a humiliation for Regan? I’d say so. For some time, Regan has been a combination of Paris Hilton (famous for being well-known), Zelig (popping up in the strangest of episodes, such as the derailment of Bernard Kerick’s nomination for Homeland Security chief when it became known that Kerrick had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny, that Regan and Kerrick were shacked up in a city-owned apartment near Ground Zero provided to Kerick as NYC police chief)and part Tina Brown (she must have at least some editing skills, but its over-estimated because of her celebrity).
There have been awful lot of books printed. It’s inconceivable that some won’t get out. It will be a huge undergound seller. The documentary, featuring Regan interviewing Simpson, has also been cut. That will get out too in some form. Youtube.com? The Fox owned Myspace.com?
The question is who, besides Simpson, will profit from the distribution of this crud when it leaks out into the free mediascape?
Regan has been taken to the woodshed, first in the public square and then by Murdoch. She claims that she went after this project out of some mission derived from alledly being battered in her own past (her past and reputation leave some doubting the truth of her story). It would be nice to think that she might have to repay some of the money she gave to Simpson. But I doubt that. It would be nice to think that she would pays some kind of price for a really awful exercise of judgement. But I doubt it. The book and documentary won’t officially be aired or sold. But it will get out. And it maye be more of a sensation than if it had rolled out the conventional way.
Is Regan crazy? Crazy like a Fox.