Saturday, December 6, 2008

OJ - Finally Going To Jail

For the 127th time, yet another example of what makes me absolutely insane about the current state of the news reporting media. The overly arrogant and wrongly acquitted double murderer, OJ Simpson, was sentenced yesterday, basically for being OJ.

No, not because everyone knows he killed two people and got away with it. "Being OJ" refers to his attitude that he has flaunted ever since his acquittal. His arrogance, his aloofness, his oh-so-casual-yet-oh-so-not attitude that he displayed whenever he was in public (which was quite often, considering he was golfing every day whilst looking for "the real killers"). Those things compose the "being OJ" category. After all, that's what compelled him to go busting into a hotel room in Vegas with a bunch of moronic, career criminal thugs in an attempt to get "his stuff back". Yeah, you can't really do that. If someone has your stuff and they're not supposed to have it, common sense dictates that you go to the cops, not to your posse. (Then again, common sense also dictates that you do not nearly lop off the heads of your ex-wife and her friend in the courtyard of her condo either.)

As you may or may not care to acknowledge (because, please, hasn't this man taken up enough of our time as it is?), OJ was found guilty of every freaking charge that was filed against him in relation to this unsuccessful, borderline-IQ-masterminded, property-recovery mission. Yesterday was the glorious sentencing! After reading numerous different accounts and publications from a variety of major media news reporting sources and outlets, I don't have a freaking clue as to how long he was sentenced for.

Everything is different. And not just a little different. Different-different! Maybe I should add them all up and then find the average. Here's what I know (or don't know. I don't even know if I know or not. How sad is that? Thanks a lot, media guys. You're a big help.):
  • New York Times - OJ Simpson is sentenced to at least 9 years in prison.
  • Associated Content - OJ Simpson sentenced to at 15 years. (Eligible for parole in six.)
  • - OJ Simpson sentenced to 16 years in prison. Eligible for parole after 7 1/2 years.
  • Associated Press - OJ Simpson sentenced to at least 15 years in prison.
  • Los Angeles Times - Simpson is sentenced to at least 6 years in prison.
  • E! Online - OJ Simpson sentenced to 15 years. Eligible for parole in nine.
  • Fox News - OJ Simpson sentenced to Up to 33 Years in Prison.
  • McClatchy Washington Bureau - Simpson gets 18 Years "I'm sorry for all of it, " he says.
  • New York Daily News - Simpson headed to prison for up to 21 years.
  • About - News & Issues - OJ Simpson sentenced to 17 years in prison
  • - OJ Simpson sentenced to 18 years in Prison
  • Pro Football Weekly - Simpson receives 15-year prison sentence. Eligible for parole after five.
  • San Jose Mercury News - Judge sentences Simpson to maximum of 33 years in prison. Simpson eligible for parole in nine years.
  • The Associated Press (yes, again!) - OJ sentenced to as much as 33 years.
  • The Press Association - OJ Simpson sentenced to a minimum of 18 years.
  • People Magazine - OJ Simpson sentenced to 17 1/2 years.
  • - OJ Simpson sentenced to long term

What the hell, media guys? Nine. Fifteen. Sixteen. At least fifteen. Fifteen. Up to thirty three. Eighteen. Up to twenty one. Seventeen. A minimum of eighteen. Seventeen and a half. Long term? (Way to take a stand there, MSNBC.) It's not like half of them reported 14 years and the other half reported 13 years. No. Between nine years and up to thirty three years, that's a span of 24 years! You can't even make an educated guess as to what his sentence was when you have such a broad range of choices.

The Press Association wins the award for the worst reporting of this topic with this account of the situation: "O.J. Simpson on Friday was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years by a Nevada judge. The 61-year-old will be eligible for parole after serving five years and faces a minimum prison term of six years." What the hell, Press Association? What the hell is that?

I think there should have just been a standard headline for just this one time. It could read: " If you care, he's going to jail for a long time." Oh, of course I could be more witty, punny, pithy even, but after at least 13 years of having to see that jackass and his smug face in the news every other week, I'm saving pithy for those deserving of pithy. A lot of media outlets must have felt just a bit of that same sentiment, as some crammed the OJ "news" into the headlines with other stories. We have:

  • Auto deal in works....Rest of TARP funds may be used...OJ behind bars
  • Simpson sentenced...More home debt troubles...Bush defends Iraq war
  • Judge shoots down NFL...Simpson heads to jail...Seahawks lose
  • Unemployment soaring....Record foreclosures...Simpson's sentence
  • OJ gets 15 years..."Shocking" job cuts...Ticketed in labor....

I'm not sure who is more pathetic, OJ Simpson or the folks over there at USA Today and what they were calling "Instant Analysis on OJ Simpson's Sentencing." I kid you not, this is what USA Today is passing off as "legal analysis" from a "legal analyst" these days: "With sentencing complete for O.J. Simpson, here are some of the instant reactions from ESPN's legal analyst, Lester Munson:

  • -- "The judge was very angry with O.J. Simpson, that was very clear." And when Simpson tried to explain his actions during the robbery, "He took a terrible risk . . . I don't think that did him any good at all."

(Since when does identifying 'anger', an emotion that most people who are not lawyers are, in fact, familiar with, qualify as 'legal analysis? And if something is "very clear", isn't it thereby unnecessary to state that which is "very clear"? At the very least, leave the "very clear" out, even if you feel so compelled to point out what "angry" looks like. Perhaps USA Today should have had Big Bird do his legal analysis. It seems to be on about that level.)

  • -- On the judge's comment that she began the trial wondering whether Simpson was arrogant or ignorant, and "Now I know the answer, it's both.": "It was not a big surprise for her to say that. She's a judge who has a flair for the dramatic. It was no accident that she said that. She was using notes."

(Wow. A judge not accidentally speaking. Amazing! Of course she has notes! And again with the restating of the obvious "It was not a big surprise...." From what I can tell, my cat could do better legal analysis than this and I don't even have a cat.

  • - Summing up, on Simpson: "I'm not so sure how he went so far wrong here. He has lawyers at his disposal. He is not totally stupid. He somehow went totally off course here."

That is where the guy becomes completely discredited in my book because OJ is totally stupid. If nearly lopping off the heads of two people 13 years ago and then getting miraculously acquitted of the crimes doesn't persuade you to live the life of a law abiding saint but rather that of a smug, condescending, self-righteous a-hole who continues to have run-ins with the law, then yes, you ARE totally stupid. Explain to me how ANY of OJ's behaviors since he "allegedly" murdered those two people are NOT totally stupid! Oh, you can't, because they are totally stupid. And so is he. Man, how do I get a job as a USA Today "legal analyst"? Seems pretty cush to me. Just sit around and state the obvious. End every analysis with "Water? Still wet. Back to you." It would be my dream job

Before OJ was sentenced, he was allowed to make a statement. And he made a statement alright. The statement that he spoke out loud and the statement that his statement made about himself. To quote the great Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon." As he stood there with tears in his eyes and a snot bubble in his throat, he ended up sounding like a little kid who was trying to get out of being punished for something he had been caught doing. He thought that he was trying to make himself sound remorseful and that it was no big deal to anyone who was actually involved, so why should it be a big deal to the State of Nevada? The thing was that his rationale was a bit ramble-y and off topic-y. It was also nothing less than completely pathetic. (Not so tough without your knife, are you?) He threw in things like:

  • "In the past, as we know, as you heard on the tape, Mike Gilbert tried to set me up in a porn video, tricked me into a room with hidden cameras and they still wrote in the newspaper and tabloids, they still had cover stories that OJ did it even though there was no porn video. Even though I didn't participate in it."

(Was he just talking about porn? Did he mention a porn video? Porn? How did porn get thrown into this? I mean, bravo, Nevada court system! Bravo! But seriously. Porn?)

  • "I think 'Hey Mike.' I yelled at him. And I think 'Hey' just like I yelled at Bruce and Beardsley and I've forgiven them. We've talked about it, Beardsley and I the next day, and, uh, Bruce and I hugged, have talked about it."

You hugged?! Oh, my dear Lord, now I have heard everything. You hugged. Oh, my God. Did he expect the judge to get up and yell, "I'm convinced! You're normal and caring! Bailiff! Release this gentleman and get me a mint julep! Or something like that!" Are you kidding me?

  • "My family knew what we were doing. And I don't want to hurt Bruce. I didn't want to hurt any of these guys. I know these guys. These guys have eaten in my home. I've done book reports with their kids. I've sung to their mothers when they were sick."

So he's a sick mother singer AND a book reporter doer! Fab-ulous! What does that have to do with anything? Oh, right. Nothing.

  • "I just wanted my personal things and I realize that was stupid of me. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to steal anything from anybody and I didn't know I was doing anything illegal."

Didn't know he was doing anything illegal? See? Again, my point. Totally stupid.

The folks over at the AP have the entire statement of ramble posted if you're interested. There's about five minutes of video of the ramble below. Somewhere right around the 1:00 mark is when the inexplicable mention of porn arises. And I'll say this: If it wasn't OJ, I wouldn't believe that someone would have actually had the balls to stand up there and play the victim. But because it is OJ, I'm not surprised. He has thought that he was invincible and untouchable for the majority of his life and that sense of self entitlement and self importance only became greater after his acquittal of not one, but two murders. There is no one on the face of this earth who ever has thought or who currently does think more of OJ than he thinks of himself. He is a legend in his own mind. And he's going to have a lot of time to hang out with that legend as he sits in his little cell for....(I forgot we still haven't pinned down an exact sentence)....a while. For a while he'll be doing that.

And please, someone tell me what is up with the dude in the background there.

It's karma. And I've decided that karma is short and has sharp teeth. That's why if you're not careful, it's so easy for karma to bite you in the ass. I believe it was someone wise (or a fortune cookie) that pointed out that karma, while often referred to as being "a bitch", was really not a bitch, but was rather, a virgin. If karma was a bitch, it'd be too easy.

Double murderer finally sentenced to prison. No one cares. Back to you

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