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The Posthumous Lynching of OJ Simpson

Alex Constantine - April 16, 2024

By Alex Constantine

The death of OJ was reported on Friday, and the cable news shows responded by interviewing only hostile commentators who sided with the prosecution. Not one legal advocate for the defense, or independent journalist with an informed view of the case, was called on to provide an opposing opinion.

Jake Tapper's segment on CNN was typical. Tapper interviewed Bob Coastas -- a career sportscaster -- who said:

"He was not a typical African-American person standing charged with a crime. He had his celebrity, he had his enormous popularity, he had the resources to have a great defense team. But he somehow became the avatar, in the minds of many, for all these other ongoing, centuries-old issues that are very legitimate issues, and he actually benefited from some of that. If I could give him the benefit of any doubt, I would. But someone asked me once, 'do you think OJ did it?' I said, 'yes.' And he said, 'why' And I said, 'because I live on this planet.' The evidence just adds up to nothing else."

These exact talking points made their way to all of the networks without a hint of deviation.

Never mind that a sportscaster isn't qualified to render a legal opinion, or that Costas was a college drop-out. The sportscaster delivered comments that appeared to be off-the-cuff, but were obviously scripted to trigger racial resentment.

OJ wasn't a "typical" black man. White society accepted and admired him. Very unusual. He was a celebrity. This had something to do with the verdict. Popular, rich celebrity rap artists are often convicted of crimes, but forget about them. This isn't a rational argument, go with your gut.

If Simpson was a typical obscure black man, the unpopular kind, he'd have gotten the chair. Isn't this how it is supposed to work? His celebrity status swayed the jury and Simpson was acquitted. Costas had no factual basis to support his viewpoint. He didn't cite data. Neither did the other commentators over at MSNBC who drove home the same bit of conjecture.

OJ was rich. He could afford highly competent attorneys -- a very unusual black man, indeed. Highly-paid lawyers know how to maneuver around the evidence, weave spells that substitute for valid legal arguments. Typical black men can only afford incompetent lawyers. They go to jail. This is universally understood. Stop thinking about it. Listen to your innards.

Costas does, so he opined that some irrational types -- a vast majority of African-Americans, in fact -- sided with Simpson because he was black, not because they have an understanding of the legal system that an atypically wealthy, popular, white celebrity  sportscaster doesn't share.

The cable punditocracy always claims that their conclusions are based on evidence. That is, the evidence presented by prosecutors, as they explained it. But, apart from the gloves that were a little too tight, they don't discuss evidence. They talk about OJ's race, his celebrity status, his highly-paid voodoo attorneys, the jury's apportionment of melatonin, everything but the evidence.

I've gone over it piece by piece. As Cochran stated in his courtroom summation, "the evidence doesn't make sense." He didn't perjure himself. Trained police investigators trampled through blood at the crime scene. Oops. Socks OJ wore the night of the murders were examined by skilled forensic examiners -- twice. Not a drop of blood was found. But the third examination found "copious amounts of blood." If OJ committed the murders, blood would have been found on his socks the first time around. The blood stains on Simpson's car door and Nicole's rear gate actually enlarged themselves a month after the murders.

And where did he ditch his bloody clothes? They were never found. This had to be explained, so conservative commentators speculated that he changed his clothes after returning home, stuffed them in a duffel bag and disposed of them. So he returned home with blood-drenched apparel, walked through the house to his bedroom closet, but not a drop of blood from was deposited on the carpet, or anywhere else in the house. Pardon my skepticism.

An advocate for the defense might have pointed out the many evidentiary contractions and anomalies in the case. But only one side was permitted to speak. Repeatedly, OJ's social status, wealth and expensive legal representation were said to have some material connection to his acquittal. It was the same line of reasoning on every major channel

I have written about the case myself. When I was gathering evidence on Mafia involvement, I received a graphic death threat. It was delivered personally, man to man, by a thug with a thick New Jersey accent and wavy, black, well-oiled hair. A serial killer since convicted set my apartment building on fire. The blaze was set ten feet from my apartment door. So I nearly lost my files on the Simpson case. Maybe that was the idea. Who sent the arsonist? OJ? Probably not. My own independent investigation didn't focus on him. Someone else wanted to burn me out.

Costas, on the other hand, may "live on this planet," he isn't a crazy independent thinker, but he never really looked into the evidence. He moves in the world of professional team sports. He is on intimate terms with the owners and managers of major league football and baseball teams. A Google search for "NFL and the Mafia" turns up several books on the topic. Professional baseball is also rife with organized crime connections. This may explain why he was eager to discuss The Crime of the Century and spit on OJ's casket. Costas recited scripted, racist, psychologically-manipulative commentary on a national network. it reinforced white biases and put blacks "in their place."


RELATED: "The Skunk Man and the First Attempt to Kill Nicole Brown Simpson"


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