11.20.2006

OJ Book DOA

Well, it's clear that the incredible outcry had the desired effect.

good.




thanks to Sheila for the heads up and linkage

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, I'm curious to know the financial fallout from this cancellation. Apparantly the book was to be published "next week," (according to the NY Times) so I assume they've all been printed & possibly shipped to stores. How much is News Corp out from this fiasco?

Anonymous said...

So Miss Snark, I thought you just got done saying Judith Regan was very astute.

Anonymous said...

Good is right.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but does he have to give back the ($1.6 million or so) advance?

CM Allison said...

HURRAY! I for one would never have bought the book; just the idea of putting any money in that man's hands made me cringe. Have you ever seen what happens to a fine leather glove when it gets wet and dries without being on a form? Can't wear one of mine anymore EITHER!
CM Allison

Judy said...

Yay!

LadyBronco said...

I never thought I would cheer a book's demise; but boy am I celebrating this one!

Kate Thornton said...

Bravo. I am surprised and pleased.
I am delighted that even FOX found it objectionable.

Elektra said...

I wonder how the ghostwriter feels about this [serves him right, though, agreeing to it in the first place]?

Janet Black said...

This calls for a celebration. I hope O.J. Simpson realizes this is a public punch in the groin, injury and insult fully intentional.

Jennifer L hart said...

Way to go America. Thanks for the update Miss Snark.

nbevilaqua said...

Isn't that a beautiful thing? Of course now he'll probably have to go beat someone up so that he can get past his pain and find closure. Then back to looking for the real killers!

Nancy

archer said...

The spectacle of Judith Regan wrapping herself in victim's bloody rags and whining about how she did it to benefit all battered women everywhere has lowered my opinion of the human race.

Yasamin said...

wow. thats the first time i have ever seen fox make a decision like that. im shocked.

Rebecca Burgess said...

I have only the greatest respect for Miss Snark, Bella Stander, and their opinions. However, I have to raise the question. Should we be moralizing a book into non-publication? Now before the shitstorm rains down upon my head, I would like to point out that I too find the concept of this book reprehensible. But so what? It isn't the first and it surely won't be the last book written for profit based on an actual murder. Is it only because OJ himself has authored it (and surely we all know he didn't) and that he dares to speculate and or imply (and surly we all know he didn't come up with this concept all by himself) that he did actually kill his wife and her lover? Or is it because Regan and Fox pulled their skirts a bit too high, revealing too blatantly the money machine mentality of big publishing and television?
Again, I'm not defending OJ, nor had I any plans to purchase this book, but I'm a firm believer in, if you don't like it, don't buy it. But I think, don't like it, don't publish it, is dangerous territory.
I'm not sure if anyone has been over to Amazon and read the back and forth going on over there, I doubt their comment moderators can even keep up with all the foul language and jeering, but the way the extremely vocal are acting, you would think this book had become required reading in high schools.

Anonymous said...

Every now and again, something happens that makes you think there's hope for humanity after all.

Janet

Alphabet said...

Why?

Freedom of speech is one thing I'd adduce in favor of this project being revived elsewhere; another is that the man was found not guilty by a jury; another is that the story of someone who is of interest to millions should be available. People don't have to watch, or care.

As for profiting from a tragedy - why shouldn't he? If Jeff Skilling had been found not guilty, wouldn't a huge book deal have been forthcoming?

It just seems wrong to me to celebrate the dictatorial decision of a hypocritical media magnate.

Chumplet said...

That sets a new precedent, doesn't it? Books have been pulled for many reasons, but so far public outcry hasn't been one of them.

I wonder what the free speech advocates are going to say about it, regardless of the sheer audacity of its release in the first place.

Gaiagirl said...

Miss Snark, is this a first in the industry? (I've not come up with another example, but I can't remember what I had for breakfast, either.)

Tattieheid said...

That is good news, interesting to see what happens to Ms. Reagan in the forseeable future.

In this case I think that was the right decision albeit made in the face of public pressure.

Here in the UK I have seen much less controversial works/projects abandoned in the face of pressure from specific sections of the community and that worries me.

I think we may be on the slippery slope towards censorship and need to be wary in the balancing act between conflicting rights and views.

This whole situation was badly though out from the beginning, hopefully everyone will learn some lessons from this though I doubt OJ will.

John said...

I am truly devastated about this. While I found it distasteful that FOX and Judith Reagan would even speak to the bloody murderer, I sooo wanted to hear OJ admit with a wink and nod how he did it. Then perhaps the idiots who cheered when the verdict was announced would have to admit to themselves they were duped.

MTV said...

Amen!

Christine said...

Wow. First the elections, now the OJ book.

What next? Shall the people use their power for good or evil??

Mwhahahahahaha!

LadyBronco said...

For al the 'Negative Nancys'
boo-hooing this decision ~

There is such a thing as freedom of speech (Thank GOD), but there is also such a thing as doing what is right. Sometimes the two are at odds, and we have to hope that the right decision is ultimately made. In this case, I truly, truly believe that 'right' has won.

There are other people's lives that would have been affected by this tasteless and callous book, and there is absolutely no reason under the sun why it should EVER see the light of day. His kids, most importantly, did not need to see this (and you know that somehow thay would have, eventually).

Common decency is not dead, apparently, and I couldn't be happier!

It gives me hope for us humans.

bebe said...

I don't think this has anything to do with censorship, morality, OJ's verdict in either case or whether he did it.

FOX made two BUSINESS decisions--one to do the book, another not to. Think Murdoch pulled the book because it was the right thing to do? No, he did it because enough consumers thought it was the right thing to do that it would hurt his business not to. There is a difference. There's more to it than the profits the company would have brought in on the book--there's how much it has to gain or lose in regards to its image, when it comes to how they handle the book.

Sometimes, when the big chains and others don't take a book, the book's cancelled at the last minute. This just seems like a really extreme, and highly publicized, example of that.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech? He's not being censored. They're just not going to publish it. This happens hourly in publshing, no? (see your own drawers full of rejection notices.)

OJ was found guilty of murder in a civil trial, let's not forget. And does anyone remember after the criminal case the jury member that said "I knew FROM THE BEGINNING he was innocent..." Yeah, that whole impartial thing sorta slipping by her, I guess. He has the, um, right to make money off of "Did I, or didn't I?" *wink wink* musings, this is America, after all. But let him bring it to Publish America to do on his own. :)

Sheila said...

"Should we be moralizing a book into non-publication?" No - I think it was a financial decision. News Corp would lose money by printing the book and airing the show during sweeps.

Anonymous said...

Alphabet, you must be kidding! This isn't a book about someone being falsely accused . . . this is a book called IF I DID IT, THIS IS HOW IT WAS DONE (or something to that effect). Even if he were innocent, that would be totally disgusting.

shawna said...

I wonder how many copies of the book will go "missing" and become collectors items...

Rachael de Vienne said...

I would rather have seen the book just flop. The true measure of public sentiment is how far people open their purses, and a financial rejection of foolishness is a more potent statement than an unquantified public outcry.

Does Simpson still get paid? One wonders.

The Pixie

Dave Kuzminski said...

Not taking sides here, but if he was truly innocent, then his face has been pushed into the dirt.

roach said...

If OJ really feels he has been censored, he could always take his book to another publisher. *cough*PublishAmerica*cough*

I'm also curious to how this affects any advance OJ might have received.

Judy said...

Bebe: I agree with you. It's about money and image. This decision not to publish is spin. But it's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I would have much rather they published the book have nobody buy it and watch Fox lose all that money, than have the first amendment be co-opted by the tyranny of the majority. Yes, it was a despicable idea from beginning to end, but our freedoms should apply to books you don't agree with as well as those you do. What I would have wanted to see was an accounting of the money, so that the families of the victims would get some of what they were awarded by the courts in the civil case.

Elektra said...

The first ammendment is the right to speak, not the obligation.

Christine said...

I think it had to do with a poll of bookstores - 96% said they would not stock the book. Someone find the link for me, would ya? I can't place it right now.

Borders planned on giving any proceeds directly to charities for battered women.

Money talks, bullshit walks. Proven once again.

Anonymous said...

FOX made two BUSINESS decisions--one to do the book, another not to. Think Murdoch pulled the book because it was the right thing to do? No, he did it because enough consumers thought it was the right thing to do that it would hurt his business not to.

Personally I don't believe Murdoch cared much about the consumer outcry. No, I think what got him in the wallet was the number of Fox affiliates that were refusing to air the TV special. Not to mention the station that said they'd air it -- but commercial free, with public service announcements for battered women's causes in their place. Hard to nab high ratings during sweeps if your affiliates won't play along. I'm sure that colored his decision to suddenly take the moral high ground.

Christine said...

Ok, no link, but here's a quote I did find.

"In a survey conducted by AbeBooks of 979 booksellers, 96 percent of the respondents claimed they would not stock the book. "

Daisy said...

Call me crazy, but I think this counts as a victory for free speech. No, really; it proves that when something truly despicable comes along, the market has the power to regulate it, without the law having to get involved.

Oh, and how could it possibly be okay if he was innocent? He's the one publishing an account of how he would have murdered two innocent people, one of whom was the mother of his children, and using it as one last, sick grab at fame and fortune. His face hasn't been pushed in the dirt here by anyone but himself.

Anonymous said...

Not taking sides here, but if he was truly innocent, then his face has been pushed into the dirt.

He was striving to make a profit from a pair of murders. Whether he's innocent or not, that's horrible.

Other books deal with famous murders, but I don't consider them to rise to quite the same level of crass, because they are generally quasi-journalistic and strive to present an engaging story to the reader.

This book claimed to be a man telling the world (hypothetically) how to get away with murder.

Maybe the book should be published, but I think stores have every right to refuse to stock it, just as they have the right to refuse to stock books about how to build pipe bombs.

The stores don't want to shock their customers into a boycott.

Virginia Miss said...

I credit all the booksellers out there who refused to support the project. Kudos! For once, good taste prevails.

I'm not sure exactly who, but someone out there must have lost a ton of money on this. Miss Snark, would you enlighten us on what happens now?

Anonymous said...

Everyone here talking about the first amendment needs to read the it.

The First Amendment that is, not Simpson's book.

a naughty miss said...

Umm, it's not censorship if a publisher decides not to publish a book. It's called a business decision. If the government prevented a business from publishing a book, that would be censorship.

Now, everyone get out a #2 pencil. We're going to have a quiz...

Anonymous said...

I've always been impressed by OJ's tireless efforts to find his ex-wife's and Mr.Goldman's real killers.

Or so that's what he said he'd do. I don't have the exact quote, but it was along the lines of "I won't rest until...blah-blah-blah."

Eleven years and counting, Mr. Simpson.

angie said...

"I would have much rather they published the book have nobody buy it and watch Fox lose all that money, than have the first amendment be co-opted by the tyranny of the majority."

Again, this really has nothing to do with freedom of speech. There is nothing to stop Simpson from selling this book elsewhere, self-publishing, or putting it up for free on the internet. In other words, no one is stopping the man from speaking freely. What's been stopped is his ability to profit (any more than the sizeable advance he's already received) from this book deal.

This is ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS. While it wouldn't have hurt my feelings one bit for Fox to lose a butt-load o' cash, neither does this decision step on my 1st Amendment toes. Deep breaths, people. Deep breaths.

Anonymous said...

What's dictatorial about it? And what on earth does this have to do with freedom of speech?

The government didn't ban this book. A publishing house decided not to publish it. Free speech doesn't even apply to private companies. No publishing house has any obligation to 'support free speech' by publishing absolutely anything that anyone wants to say, and there's nothing dictatorial about them deciding not to publish a book.

Is it dictatorial and a violation of free-speech rights every time any publisher turns down a book? If not, why is this different?

I hope to God he has to give back the advance, but I somehow doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous-O.J. was found liable in the civil trial not guilty. You can only be found guilty in criminal court. The difference is you need to find someone guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" in a criminal trial. But you only need to prove by a "preponderance" of the evidence, or, it is more likely the accused did it, than unlikely. It is far more easy to get a decision in a civil trial, hence you can only be found guilty in criminal court.

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little said...

I would have much rather they published the book have nobody buy it and watch Fox lose all that money, than have the first amendment be co-opted by the tyranny of the majority.

You'd have a point if it were the government that came down and said You Must Cancel This Book, or if the question of whether OJ were allowed to write a book were put on a ballot such that he would have pen and paper taken from him if the majority voted "no."

But that's not what happened.

Fox, a commercial entity, decided not to run it. That's a business decision it is free to make. Publishers and networks are no more obligated to buy and produce a story than we are obligated to buy it in the bookstore.

It's rare that I'd side in any debate with Rupert Murdoch, but he's got as much right as I do to decide what to do with his money and resources.

Again, the concepts of censorship and "tyranny of the majority" are to important to dilute by misapplying them here.

Snowfie said...

The first ammendment has not been co-opted. With the freedom of speech comes the freedom to NOT speak. FOX has invoked it's right to NOT speak in the face of public pressure (many people invoking THEIR right to speak in prostest of this book), not government pressure. No one has censored them, they instead chose to censor THEMSELVES.

Fox had the choice and they made it, no one took that choice from them.

The first ammendment has NOT been co-opted.

snowfie said...

Also just want to note that OJ is well within his rights to publish his own tell-all himself so his first ammendment rights are not being voilated either. He doesn't need Fox to publish him. Especially in the internet age, NO ONE needs ANYONE to publish them. If he wants to tell the world his deepest darkest secrets then he is still free to do so.

Freedom of speech does not protect a person's right to make a profit for one's words, only for one to speak them.

Kim said...

There is no censorship involved in the pulling of this book. I want to say that they (Fox and Murdoch) did the right thing, but I'm not so sure they did. I also don't think it was a completely 'let's do the right thing' mindset either. I think it was nervousness. On one hand, I like to think no one would buy the book, but we all know that there would be a market for it somewhere. But, I think the chatter gave HC a case of cold feet and they'd rather err on the side of not losing money.

If OJ really feels the need to regale us with how he would do it (nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more) no one will stop him. What I want to know is why would anyone CARE how he would do it? Ugh. We know what happened, and I don't give a damn how anyone else would do it. Anyone sitting around thinking this crap up makes my skin crawl.

The only thing that would make the publication of his book more palatable would be if the royalties went to the Goldman family, who are still waiting for their judgment to be paid. Everyone focuses on the children and yes, it's terrible that they would have to be exposed to it all over again, but let's not forget that Ron Goldman had a family as well. And OJ has yet to pay one lousy dime of the millions he owes them.

KLCtheBookWorm said...

The first thing I thought when I heard about what this book was to be about was "Nicole Simpson is dead and he STILL abusing her."

It was appalling to hear Regan try to justify it in the name of battered women.

Grendel's Dam said...

roach stole my line. My first thought when I heard the news was: "Orenthal dear, let me tell you about PublishAmerica." His book is sure to earn out its $1 advance. If he is innocent (is anybody pretending that any more?) he can do his own PR and not have to deal with Ms Regan selling the book as a "confession." Maybe both OJ and PublishAmerica can redeem themselves?

katiesandwich said...

Yeah... I have no idea how deciding not to publish the book is censorship. Censorship would be having the government say, "No one is allowed to read this material." That has not happened. I'm against censorship. I'm all for this book not being published.

Hey, if he's looking for a self-publishing company, he can have the special offer I got in the mail today from Xlibris. "Get published for only $349!"

randomsome1 said...

People seem to be confusing this with a free speech case. This has nothing to do with free speech. No one's stopping O. J. from getting a livejournal or myspace account and posting his entire story in whatever format he desires. He can say whatever he damn well pleases. That doesn't mean anyone has to publish it, pay for it, etc. That doesn't mean he has the right to profit from a pair of murders that he's been legally deemed responsible for. No matter what Judith Regan may have thought.

Yahzi said...

PublishAmerica and OJ - a match made in... um... what's that place opposite to heaven?

:D

I am so curious to know if PA would publish his book. One the one hand, think of the publicity! On the other hand, think of the publicity... Would the existing PA authors (who are after all PA's customers) stand for it?

I agree with the person who said this is a victory for free speech. It is not enough to exercise your rights; you must also fulfill your duties. Had OJ written either a confession or a denial, that would have been one thing; but a sniggering leer is not the same thing as a principled statement. We don't have to tolerate abusive speech.

shelby said...

I too am wondering about what the financial outlay of HC is now. Miss Snark, could you shed light on what kind of money is likely out due to this deal? Also, what is the likelihood of, say, review copies showing up on ebay? Just curious.

TMack said...

CM Allison said...

[snip] Have you ever seen what happens to a fine leather glove when it gets wet and dries without being on a form?

YES! And, I've been shaking my head rigourously for over a decade, wondering why the prosecutors weren't prepared for what should have been a very straightforward rebuttal to the "If it doesn't fit you must acquit" histrionics. Smoke and mirrors don't alter the basic physics of leather, water, and cyclical temperature changes.

lottery ticket said...

Dave - Would you still think he was "pushed in the mud" if the book were titled (as it surely could have been) "If I Killed Your Mother, Here's How I Did It"? Do we know of another case where a person is accused of the murder of the mother of his children and then writes an "if I did it, here's how?"
Simpson's face has been wallowing in mud for so long, I doubt he notices anymore.

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little said...

Thank you, the reasonable Snarklings. Last night before all these comments showed up I was despairing that anyone at all actually knew what censorship was.

Just to add to the educational content here: There is a phenomenon called, or called something like, "the chilling effect," in which a business decision to self-censor is actually a response to unconstitutional censorial pressure. If the decision not to publish the book / run the interview had come from Murdoch's fear that Fox would catch hell from the government for doing so, that would be a censorship issue of this nature.

But that's not what happened either.

You know, I have this website--an interactive fiction website--and once upon a time, as part of my moderator duties, I had to delete a whole bunch of waste-of-space posts that abused the whole purpose of the site.

I actually had people telling me I'd violated their First Amendment rights by doing so.

The right to free speech is not the right to a free platform.

Thank you.

(word verification: "huvqrse" - the vehicle in which the dead body of public memory of what our founding fathers held dear is tragically carried to its grave)

Leslie said...

wow. thats the first time i have ever seen fox make a decision like that. im shocked.

Don't be. Murdoch played both sides quite adeptly. Had there been no affiliate rebellion, he would have happily published the book and run the special - but he also covered himself by allowing his Fox News commentators to bloviate self-righteously about the "indecency" of the whole spectacle. So now he can take credit for the decision *not* to publish and everyone will applaud his "integrity."

Anonymous said...

Those of you who posted that Murdoch's decision was business based are correct. Think about the trickle down effect. Whose name has been bandied about in relation to every article? HarperCollins. How many books does HC publish in a year? Lots. This was and still is one of the most sensational trials in history. It has rallied the American Public like nothing else in decades.

Murdoch is a smart man. You don't become the head of gazillion dollar corporations by being an idiot. Fox channels aside, he knows that everytime someone walks into a bookstore, they're going to see that HarperCollins logo, and they're going to equate it to the publisher who had the gall to profit off of a horrific crime. What happens is that the consumer has this in the back of his mind, while shopping. Faced with the choice to buy similar books, even, let's say, cookbooks, one from Harper, the other from Simon&Schuster, guess which book he picks up? S&S, because he doesn't like Harper's responsibility to its consumers.

And then there's all those expensive ads by all those bible-belt-owned companies that advertise on Fox's channels that would take their business elsewhere.

Murdoch nipped it in the bud, taking a several million dollar loss now, letting it blow over, and probably counting his lucky stars that that's all the company has lost.

J.H. Bográn said...

Hurray!
Common sense and dignity prevailed! Here's another link from MSNBC news on the same subject:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15818960/

mamalujo1 said...

Nice to see the better angels prevail, no matter what the reasoning.

But let's all admit it-we WOULD pay to see him actually confess (at least as long as the money went to charity or his kids and not to him)

Am I right?

Anonymous said...

I believe that the more the man talks, the more public opinion castigates him. And talk he should; his hypthetical version mentions an accomplice - - someone that could possibly be found out tried and convicted for the murders. . . someone that could possibly really spill the beans if the net tightens.

tinkerbell said...

You did your bit. Nice one.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sure people are going to start noticing the publisher's name on a cookbook (or anything else). Right.