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WE IN L.A. MEDIA LET O.J. SIMPSON GET AWAY WITH IT - 4.12.24

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SERIES 2 EPISODE 157: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN

A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: In the SportsCenter computer I read something that made my blood run cold. It was one line in a preliminary script for the 6:30 PM SportsCenter for Monday, June 14, 1994. O.J. Simpson’s wife and a man with her had been murdered. The script noted “Simpson is NOT a suspect.” What made my blood run cold was not the news of the murders. It was that phrase. It might as well have been “of COURSE Simpson is not a suspect.”

The problem was, I knew Simpson was a suspect because I had not a doubt in my mind that Simpson had butchered them because I knew what all of us who worked – or had worked – in L.A. media knew – that the O.J. Simpson known to the public, to TV audiences, movie audiences, sports audiences, was an utter fabrication. I knew he had hit his wife. I knew the authorities in Los Angeles had done nothing about it. I knew the sportscasters in Los Angeles – including me – had done nothing about it, though I wondered then and have known since that there was almost nothing WE could have done about it, legally.

I called police source in L.A. and he was emphatic:: “whatever you do, DON’T say he’s a suspect. We’re terrified he’s going to run. This guy has make-for-the-border written all over him. Or off himself maybe. But yeah, maybe…” and he had had to stop himself from laughing… “maybe you want to drop that part about NOT a suspect. Jesus. Not a suspect? HE’S OUR ONLY SUSPECT."

I then had to explain it to executives - representative of the America of 1994 - who were still saying aloud "Poor O.J." There is no comparison to Simpson's fall in American history. And the system of the time was designed to protect him, the way the system of today protects similar scumbags.

ALSO: The Johnson-Trump conference today was Johnson's idea and Trump is not in favor of getting rid of the Speaker. And RFK Jr gets rid of the New York staffer who admitted the campaign is about getting Trump, not Kennedy, elected. But it turns out he's got at least one more saying essentially the same thing.

B-Block (26:30) IN SPORTS: It's amazing that Shohei Ohtani could have so relied on his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara that basically nobody else could talk to Ohtani, and Mizuhara could exploit that reality to secretly steal millions from him. But the FIGURES involved are twice as amazing: $16,000,000 embezzled? 19,000 bets on sporting events in three years? Gambling wins and losses totaling $325,000,000? Also America's hottest new team is the Indiana Fever, and no, there aren't more baseball pitchers being injured this year than the last ten years.

C-Block (41:05) FRIDAYS WITH THURBER: A first-time story, which reads as if it was ripped from today's headlines. In his profile of his boss, discoverer, and the founder of The New Yorker Harold Ross, Thurber told of Ross's assisting, who took advantage of his boss's inattentiveness to money to embezzle the equivalent of one and a half million from him and bet most of it on sporting events. There are so many similarities it sounds as if Ohtani's interpreter used the story as an instruction manual: "The Secret Life Of Harold Winney."

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