“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

OJ and the vicious cycle of publicity

Posted by direwolff on November 15, 2006

Let me start by saying that I’m a hypocrite to what I’m about to talk about by the simple fact that the link I’m going to provide to a story about OJ is in itself publicity for what I’m deriding. However, OJ’s guilt or innocense is of no concern to me and I didn’t follow the case close enough to know what is true or not true in any of the proceedings. Since inherently I don’t believe our legal system cares about this question either, my points here are not support or put down what OJ has done. What I’ll be deriding is the article that was written and I’ll be linking to it giving it the credence it doesn’t deserve.

What pisses me off (today) is when a mainstream media reporter starts a rant about how our society is so bad because it (or as he puts it, “we”) supports the ability for a person he believes to be a cold-blooded killer, to make money from his crime, and does so by affording publicity of the alleged criminal’s works. The title of Michael Ventre’s piece on MSNBC is “OJ isn’t the problem…we are“, though one gets the feeling that he has excluded himself from the very “we” he proscribes. He spends a good bit of this article talking about the aweful nature of OJ’s acts, his belief in OJ’s guilt, and goes through various adjectives for OJ ending on psychopath.

None of this is so aweful, but where I reach a level of disdain is in the sub-text of his piece that says “Our society lets ex-murder suspect profit obscenely from alleged crimes”. As I see it, Mr. Ventre’s article has 13 ads on the first page and 11 on the second, not to mention several links to other areas of the MSNBC site, none of which I presume are provided as anything less than commercial opportunities (unless the MSNBC site has now become a non-profit entity – possible of course, but not likely). Every time someone reads the story, the ad revenue counter goes “ca-ching!”. In other words, Ventre’s article in itself not only helps promote OJ’s book and upcoming TV interview (that’s it, tell a kid they can’t touch what’s in this cabinet and see how long it takes to get to that object), but then goes on to monetize the very issue that he raises his ire against. Talk about throwing “stones in glass houses”. So by Ventre’s perspectives, every one else should monetize OJ’s alleged crimes, except OJ himself, or does he mean that he alone as an author above the law should monetize OJ’s predicament?

The sickness is inherent in what our society values unfortunately, hence why it’s so difficult to get out of the paradox that Ventre’s article falls into by its very being.

Yes, we live in what can some times be regarded as a sick society, but wouldn’t it have been better simply to give no air time to the OJ matter if Ventre truly felt the way he claims? Wouldn’t keeping a lid on OJ’s new book and TV interview have been the high road to take? Why not let those who like to keep up with Fox TV and books about alleged killers fend for themselves, and keep those higher brow folks who prefer to get their news from MSNBC avoid being afflicted with news of cheesy and unethically regarded individuals like OJ? Well it seems that Ventre has kept those folks from that fate by an attitude that at best can be considered hypocrital and at worse reprehensible in the tone of his moral indignation. Can you say Ted Haggard?

“Sorry Michael, but that article was pretty inappropriate for someone who claims to feel as you do.”…not that he’ll ever read my blog ;-)

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