When the story about the arrest of OJ Simpson in Las Vegas first hit the media, my first response was "here we go again." For days, we were bombarded by the media with stories related to the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, the recent arrests, or the publication of the book, If I Did It. The queen of afternoon talk television, Oprah Winfrey, devoted an entire show to the OJ book, and Larry King even had two shows devoted to the case, but there were hundreds of radio talk shows, newspapers, journals, providing instant interpretations of the OJ phenomenon.
Who can forget that OJ Simpson, ex-NFL football player and successful actor, was charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman? He was found not guilty of the double murder in criminal court but liable in civil court. Recently, he has been charged with ten felonies in connection with the alleged theft of sports memorabilia in Las Vegas. This case was front page news all over the United States and the world. Like Paris Hilton, the public is interested in anything having to do with OJ Simpson. What is it about OJ Simpson that continues to draw the attention of the public after 13 years?
Perhaps there is not a single reason but multiple reasons. A large number of people may believe that he is guilty and should be punished and they are watching to see if he finally gets the punishment he rightfully deserves. Blacks have always been somewhat ambivalent about OJ and were delighted to finally see a black man beating the system, as this does not happen often in America. However, there are still others who view OJ troubles as a good thing, an opportunity to make some big money. With good reason, they view OJ as the cow that keeps on giving. Perhaps money is one reason.
Barnes and Noble, citing a lack of interest, had first decided not carry the book in any of their nationwide stores, but they changed their mind after OJ's recent arrest. Like the Goldmans, the moral arguments went out the window and they are carrying the book in all of their stores. Turns out to be a sound business decision, as the book is now number three on the New York Times Best Seller List behind Bill Clinton's Giving. The book is doing so well that the publisher is printing 50,000 more copies.
The case has been covered by every news organization and audiences are tuning in to learn more about the story so advertisers are elated. For the media and the Las Vegas tourism industry, the arrest and pending case against "The Juice" could be the biggest thing since Siegfried and Roy. London Market Watch estimates that close to 50 million and higher will be generated by the media covering the trial. This will include housing, food, rental cars, plane tickets, and this does not include overtime for law enforcement. There will be a couple of thousand national and international reporters and film crews camped out to cover the trial. There will be legal fees, parking fees, pretrial motion coverage, appeals, foreign press coverage, satellite hook-ups. All things pertaining to Simpson remain among the most bankable "news" stories in America and around the world.
First, there is Kato Kaelin, who became an instance celebrity, even wrote a book. He continues to make a living off his fame as a witness in the Simpson case. Simpson's most famous "house guest" recently starred in a commercial for Ask.com.