Bloggers cheer the cancellation of O.J. Simpson's confessional. They also brace for fallout over a Lebanese minister's assassination and try not to laugh at Michael Richards' apology for racist comments.
O.J. killed: Calling it an "ill-advised project," News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has pulled the plug on O.J. Simpson's much-hyped TV and book confessional, after some Fox affiliates refused to air the special. The show, conceived by publishing powerhouse Judith Regan, featured Simpson telling how he would have killed his wife. Bloggers greet the cancellation with huzzahs.
Jack Cluth at The People's Republic of Seabrook celebrates the "(far too infrequent) triumph of decency": "I never thought I'd find myself EVER saying anything positive about Rupert Murdoch, but I applaud him for make the right, and really the only decision." The Florida Masochist suspects less sincere motives: "[T]he network couldn't find companies that would buy commercial airtime. What firm would want be associated with such odious affair? … Even those on top of the world can't ignore the stench sometimes."
African-American blogger Dell Gines denounces the outcry against Simpson as "hypocrisy": "When a brutal murder is exploited by the news media for big ratings and profits it is ok. When active and passive participants write books and participate in 'special reports' for thousands and dollars the exploiting of the deaths are no problem. When the man who most people is guilty attempts to profit off the infamy the public gave him, hell no."
Carl at Simply Left Behind figures everyone wins: "It gets Fox News something to turn its well-oiled rage machine against, it gets other networks talking about Fox (and presumably gets them looking at the Fox schedule and oh by the way, look at all the other stuff Fox will have on this weekend), and it bring HarperCollins, News Corp's publishing arm, into the limelight, just ahead of Christmas."
Regan has taken flak for profiteering but claims she was assured the money would go to Simpson's children. On his National Review blog, David Frum is dubious: "Regan's version of events sound at best recklessly negligent. At worst, it strongly appears that she connived with Simpson's representative to evade the civil judgment against Simpson by paying a large sum of money into a bank account somewhere beyond the reach of US law."
"Guess O.J. Simpson can go back to devoting his full attention to finding Nicole Brown Simpson's and Ron Goldman's real murderers now," quips reader_iam at Done With Mirrors.
Death in Beirut: Lebanese minister Pierre Gemayel was assassinated by gunmen in Beirut. A prominent Christian leader known for his opposition to Syria, Gemayel and his Phalange party have been part of a heated power struggle with the pro-Syrian Hezbollah party. Bloggers consider this bad news.
AllahPundit at the conservative Hot Air writesthat "[i]f the Syrians are behind it, it's both par for the course and incredibly stupid, coming as it does two days before Hezbollah is set to take to the streets to try to 'peacefully' topple the government and four days before that super-keen, let-the-healing-begin summit between Iraq, Syria, and Iran. And at a moment when even people like Tony Blair are urging us to talk to Damascus." Anton Efendi at conservative Across the Bay thinks international dovishness encouraged Syria to move: "All this useless noise about 'engaging' Syria has led to this. It has been interpreted by Syria as a license to kill, to make its move in Lebanon."
Ed Morrissey at the conservative Captain's Quarters compares Gemayel's death with the assassination last year of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, which prompted Syria's ejection from Lebanon: Hezbollah "may have won some respect for their survival against Israel, but they have thrown it away in this ill-timed and ill-considered assassination. Expect severe consequences for this murder … "
Elrod at The Moderate Voice sees a bad precedent in the 1975 attempt on Gemayel's father's life, which sparked a 15-year civil war: "Will the Lebanese revert to civil war again, only this time with new alliances and new external forces? Or will the Lebanese reject violence, as they did after Hariri's assassination, and redouble efforts to create a peaceful multi-sectarian democracy?"
Read more about Gemayel's assassination.
Black comedy: After Seinfeld vet and comedian Michael Richards unleashed a barrage of racial epithets during a Friday performance, he appeared on Late Show With David Letterman to apologize for saying "nasty things."
L.A.-based Tabloid Whore feels no sympathy for Richards: "I don't care what he says, how angry he claims to have been ... when you allow words and thoughts like that to go through your brain, let alone come out your mouth over and over and over again as Richards did that night, you are an idiot racist."
At Huffington Post, Eric Diggins criticizes what he calls Jerry Seinfeld's "calculation": "I would imagine his worst fear was Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton shouting 'boycott Seinfeld!' four days before the biggest shopping day of the year. And let's not forget Letterman got a huge scoop for his show during an important ratings period."
Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.