Roger L. Simon

Krauthammer misses the point on OJ

Perhaps Charles Krauthammer was just playing the contrarian for attention (we all do), but considering his background as a psychiatrist, I was surprised at the columnist’s latest piece “Why We Should Let O.J. Speak.” He thinks letting Simpson on the air would have “put this matter to rest.” Au contraire, Doctor Krauthammer, it would have reawakened it. In fact it already did to some extent.

Let’s start here: Almost anyone who would think OJ is guilty already does. Those who are racist or just plain nuts enough to believe him innocent are hardly likely to change because of a television show or book. They are thinking with their limbic systems. Rationality will not get through. After all, it is now years since the crime and not the slightest hint of an alternative theory or culprit has been brought forward either by OJ – who was supposedly devoting himself to “solving” the murders – or anyone else. [You mean Faye Resnick is still walking around free???-ed. So it seems.]

No, rationality is not at play here and is unlikely to appear suddenly from a television show. Very few people will change their minds. As one who attended the trial (and attended many other trials during my crime writing days) I cannot imagine a more open-and-shut case short of someone shooting the judge in cold blood in front of the jury. And other than the jury at the OJ trial, almost everyone in the room knew Simpson was guilty, including his own defense team, several of whom, like Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld were willing to distort the very things they stood for for a few moments in the sun. (I have noticed neither of these two gentlemen on TV during this recent incarnation of the case. Small wonder.) Johnnie Cochran must have thought he was getting some kind of “racial justice” by getting his man off. Actually, Johnnie was making a large contribution to racism in America.

So Krauthammer is way off base here. He seems to forget his McLuhan (“The Medium is the Message”). Simply putting OJ on the tube renders the murderer more powerful. The former shrink also, oddly, forgets his Freud. OJ would be even more of a sexualized celebrity (He already is to some. He has girlfriends!). But most of all the columnist displays a serious lack of compassion for the Goldman and Brown families. That is out of character for Krauthammer and I wonder if he already regrets what he has written. If he had a blog, he could correct himself.

MEANWHILE: The Ghost Writer has been outed (talk about “Six Degrees of Separation”).