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Jewish World Review July 28, 2000 / 25 Tamuz, 5760

Michelle Malkin

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Consumer Reports

Stop milking The Juice -- BARBARA WALTERS thinks she deserves a pat on her silk-bloused back. Did she save a life? Expose some injustice? Take a lonely stand for truth or faith or freedom?

No. All she did was invite O.J. Simpson to appear on her yammering women's TV show, "The View," which garnered considerable publicity. Then, when her staff and viewers finally convinced her what a disgusting spectacle it would have been to host America's most reviled football star /suspected murderer, Walters disinvited O.J. -- a move that garnered even more publicity. Newspaper headlines heralded the decision. Walters' studio audience cheered on cue when she announced her disinvitation earlier this week.

ABC's exalted interviewer should bury her famous face in shame. What was Walters thinking when she booked O.J. in the first place? Perhaps she envisioned a cozy coffee klatch with O.J. and her "View" mates, all blithely swapping souffle recipes and skin care tips with the man whom a civil jury found guilty of the brutal murders of his ex-wife and her friend. Perhaps Walters thought she could score a confessional revelation or some other news-breaking tidbit.

Nah. Walters, the doyenne of fluff journalism, was thinking of only three things: Ratings, ratings, ratings. She abandoned The Juice reluctantly, a result of nagging peer pressure rather than a genuine desire to put honor above Nielsens. Not that we should expect much from this morally-stunted celebrity chaser. This is a grown woman, after all, who considers Monica Lewinsky a "brave" and "fascinating" gal pal.

There are some news organizations on the O.J. bandwagon, however, which should know and act better. Take Fox News. The 3-year-old cable network supposedly offers the American public a conservative-friendly alternative to the sycophantic mainstream media (like the NBC's Today Show, which also welcomed O.J. for an interview this week). "We report, you decide," the Fox News Channel's slogan boasts. I've been a fan of many of the Fox News shows and personalities, but I've decided to stop watching most of them. The network should change its slogan: "When O.J. talks, Fox listens."

O.J. with Zahn at Fox
On Tuesday, Simpson appeared on "Fox News Live" in the afternoon and on "The Edge With Paula Zahn" in prime time. The network's website hyped the interviews, which coincided with Simpson's hype campaign for his own Internet pay site endeavor (which we will refrain from advertising here). Teases and cross-promotions were endless. Fox proudly directed visitors to an archive of Internet videos of past O.J. appearances. "Juice Explosion," one clip was captioned. "Bitter Juice," decried another.

In October, Fox News rushed to put a 911 call on the air in which Simpson reported having trouble with a girlfriend he claimed had a drug problem. In June, the network had a field day when Simpson called in to "The Fox Report with Shepard Smith" and insulted Denise Brown, his ex-wife's sister. Over the past two months alone, a half-dozen different FOX shows have devoted hours of "news" coverage, including: "O.J. Simpson Goes on the Defensive, "Fallout Continues from O.J. Simpson-Denise Brown Confrontation," "The O.J. Simpson Trial: Six Years Later," "Can O.J. Simpson Prove His Innocence?," "Personal Story: O.J. Simpson's New Job," and "O.J. Simpson Gets Angry."

Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch should just make their tawdry relationship permanent and give the low-life Simpson his own show.

Fox News president Roger Ailes tried to put a hard-nosed reporter's spin on the most recent O.J. appearances: "(I)f he won't answer questions, then I won't waste the time." But why waste air time probing Simpson for warped answers that serve only to perpetuate lies, hate, and denigration of the two dead, defenseless victims? This is not investigative sleuthing; it's the journalistic equivalent of dumpster diving.

While Simpson promotes his latest venture on yet another trashy publicity tour, the families have yet to collect a penny of the $33.5 million civil judgment against Simpson for the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. They will be waiting a long time. Simpson, however, won't remain in financial bankruptcy for long. He's cashing in on the moral bankruptcy of media organizations that greedily embrace evil as infotainment.

JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.


07/24/00: Silencing Jeff Jacoby
07/21/00: Score another one for TV execs who want to keep us brain-dead
07/17/00: Can somebody say McStupid?
07/12/00: Beware of Ugly Building Syndrome
07/10/00: The miracle of a lead pencil
07/07/00: Partying on the people’s dime
06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
06/23/00: Kids in a public school daze
06/21/00: Fed up with Fannie and Freddie
06/19/00: D.C.'s gag order for Christians
06/16/00: Dads, daughters, and PETA's spoilsports
06/13/00: Tune out Eminem's pitiful "poetry"
06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line" (or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes

© 2000, Creators Syndicate