CSotD: Who Cares and also So What?

Matt Golding offers the only Dead OJ cartoon you will ever need, but it sure isn’t the only Dead OJ cartoon you’re being offered.

I suppose it’s because a lot of cartoonists are around 50 years old. My first memory of OJ was that he ruined the homecoming game my freshman year in college, and I became something of a fan but was already old enough not to get sucked into such things too deeply, so when his wife died, my response was “Boy, he sure f***ed up!”

But my son — who is 51 — grew up with OJ an established star and, as a toddler, could pick out Number 32 on the football field and anywhere else. And as he grew up, OJ went from football superstar to airport runner to Naked Gun actor.

OTOH, he didn’t go through any trauma when OJ went from hero to defendant, and he assures me that growing up, plus a few years in the navy, had succeeded in taking the stars from his eyes.

It’s possible that the flood of Dead OJ cartoons are just a case of glomming onto the Headline of the Day in hopes of making a few sales, because, as Golding’s cartoon suggests, nobody really gives a damn anymore.

Leaving us with this

Juxtaposition of the Day

The Onion

Gary Huck

Tim Campbell — Counterpoint

Offered in the order I ran into them; perhaps not the order in which they were created.

But much as these mayflies will be gone by tomorrow, they do offer a reason we should care, and not just because nobody would (one hopes) have ever heard of the Kardashians if the old man hadn’t been on OJ’s defense team.

Well-informed people were already familiar with F. Lee Bailey, Johnny Cochran and Robert Kardashian. But well-informed people became totally irrelevant, much to their own surprise.

OJ’s defense, exemplified by the farcical scene of his pretending that the glove didn’t fit, was our first and most dramatic example of the fact that (A) money buys “justice” and (B) a significant percentage of people will believe a blatant, ridiculous lie if it’s something they want to believe.

Including the notion that, if you put a vial of an anonymous person’s blood in an unrefrigerated police car, it will not simply become contaminated, but will randomly turn into an exact DNA match for the person who just happens to be on trial at the moment.

Josh Mankiewicz says he’d be easily convicted today because people understand DNA better.

Well, they understood gloves back then, and they understood a woman calling 911 because her husband was threatening her, even if it happened before the night she was murdered.

Reliable Sources has a laundry list of bad takes from the current coverage, and it’s well worth reading.

But one of the major takeaways of this event is that people watched CNN’s wall-to-wall coverage rather than waiting for the evening news to sum it up, and one reason we should care about the trial, if not the man, is this:

Trump absorbed the lessons of the glove and got himself elected in a storm of similarly preposterous lies, because people would rather believe things that fit how they want the world to be than accept things that reflect the world as it truly is.

And if they “revere DNA evidence,” it may be because they’ve been inundated with TV shows like the CSI franchise about magical cops who can prove whatever needs to be proven by analyzing whatever fragments of semi-imaginary evidence turns up.

Bob Englehart demonstrates another misconception, which is that juries are required to be ignorant of the case. It’s not true: They simply have to be able to put aside their previous beliefs and render a judgment based on the evidence presented.

F’rinstance, a prosecutor might want to remove the juror who, when the jury was taken to tour OJ’s house, wore a San Francisco 49ers fan jacket, given that OJ played for the team.

I don’t know how you test for political neutrality, and Nick Anderson (Counterpoint) outlines the problem.

If I were prosecuting the Porn Star Payoff trial, I’d use a preliminary challenge on anyone who owns a MAGA ball cap or golden high-tops.

On the other hand, if I were on the defense, I’d be leery of seating anyone who objects to fascism or believes that, when more than 60 charges of election fraud have been investigated, disproven and dismissed, Biden likely won the election.

Voir dire for the trial begins today but I’ll bet it won’t be over by dinnertime.

Trump is not being charged with paying Stormy Daniels to not talk about their sexual encounter(s). He’s being charged with lying about the nature of the payment on the documents for his campaign finance charges. And several similar things.

To which I would add that he’s already found out how financial fraud plays in New York State.

But I’d also point out that OJ’s acquittal shocked the hell out of nearly everyone, and an acquittal in this case would surprise a whole lot of people, including Josh Mankiewicz.

Though one must be cautious, I suppose. The New Yorker turned down Ward Sutton‘s proposed cover illustration, despite Dear Leader’s current scramble for cash.

Note that, in 2008, the magazine was willing to publish Barry Blitt‘s satiric commentary on the fears and rumors around a Black candidate with a Muslim name.

I certainly don’t think the difference reflects partisanship on the New Yorker’s part, but it may reflect a growing pragmatism. Or not. Please don’t sue me.

Still, I’d note that David Hume Kennerly, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer who served in the Ford White House, recently resigned from the board of the Gerald Ford Foundation over their decision not to honor Liz Cheney with the Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

I’m not only old enough to remember OJ as a college player, but I’m old enough to remember how Jerry Ford became president.

It was a long time ago. Things don’t work like that anymore.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

Once upon a time, “gagged” was only as real as the judge’s conflict of interest.

We had a different definition of “fair” back then.

Perhaps you had to be there.

12 thoughts on “CSotD: Who Cares and also So What?

  1. I remember it differently. Being a freelancer in those days, I got to watch most of the trial, and while I was, frankly, hoping he was innocent, I believe he was acquitted because the prosecution was incompetent, and the L.A. cops were racist bullies, accustomed to using force on Black defendents, and not using “Black” to describe them while doing it, so accepting their testimony at face value was hard to do. While it would be a stretch to say I thought he was innocent, I was nonetheless happy at the trial’s conclusion, believing that the bad guys lost because they didn’t follow the rules. (Ah, but they got him back a few years later by convicting him for the murder in another case in another state that had nothing to do with it, but sometimes you get them for murder, someimes for stealing your own trophies. Justice is blind when it has to be.)

  2. Agree the prosecution blew it, but I’m not that crazy about jury nullification. He obviously did it and there were many other opportunities to punish the cops that wouldn’t put a murderer back on the street.

  3. It does make me wonder just how things would work out if Donald Trump were treated in the exact same manner that Abbey Hoffman was treated during the Chicago Seven trial. No doubt it says a lot about me that, while I was enraged at Hoffman’s treatment back then, I’d probably applaud it being done today.

    1. Why single out Abbie? Bobby Seale was the one bound and gagged (and eventually severed from the trial) for insisting on the right to defend himself.

    2. Did you watch Sorkin’s movie “Trial of the Chicago 7”? I really liked Sacha Cohen’s Abbey Hoffman.

  4. OJs aquittal was an echo and maybe a reaction to a rich white guy walking free.

  5. A little added perspective; this is just one additional reminder of how society (especially governance) is a failure:
    o.j. still owed $100 million to the Goldman family when that sphincter died!
    REF.: rollingstone: culture/culture-news/o-j-simpson-goldman-family-debt-1235003649/
    Additional reinforcement: the orange MAGAt is not in prison yet for all his obvious crimes. For years he has kept using other people’s money to delay and avoid any punishment.

    Mike wrote: F’rinstance, a prosecutor might want to remove the juror who, when the jury was taken to tour OJ’s house, wore a San Francisco 49ers fan jacket, given that OJ played for the team.
    I reply: I remember, decades ago, when a guy said he wore a t-shirt to jury duty on a murder trial that said, ‘kill ’em all, let god sort ’em out.’

    1. There’s an adage prosecutors have…”You can’t win a case with jury selection, but you can lose it with jury selection”. There was a mountain of solid evidence presented to that jury. It didn’t matter.

      1. If that were the standard, I wouldn’t have anything to comment on.

        And jokes about his initials were all around in his football days, some of them clever, some of them dumb. Six guys carrying out a juice box would have been kind of funny.

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