Your response to the Simpson trial—why it counts

The enormity of public response to the double murder trial of Orenthal James (O.J.) Simpson—currently playing itself out in a Lose Angeles courtroom filled with spectators and live-television-coverage paraphernalia—has shocked even media experts. As columnist with The New Times put it, "Not since the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby has a crime so captivated the American imagination" (Kenneth B. Noble, January 23, 1995).

For the cable channels offering gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial, "the national O.J. Simpson obsession" (that's how a Boston Globe writer described it) has meant a ratings "bonanza." But even some of the cable executives have somber moments of wondering why there's such public fascination with the details of a private tragedy. Maybe they feel their success is too easy, too based on the loss and pain of a few people. Ed Turner, executive vice-president of Cable News Network (CNN), said recently that the network can look with pride at its live coverage explain, "when you take a camera and put it in a courtroom and everybody watches, it's depressing" (Frederic M. Biddle, The Boston Globe, March 2, 1995).

Testimony of Healing
One day in September 1992, a cousin's wife ran to my house...
May 15, 1995

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