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OJ’s “hypothetical”: “I remember I grabbed the knife”

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Normally, a “hypothetical” would get couched in a lot of ifs and third-person references. In 2006, when O.J. Simpson wanted to sell a book describing the hypothetical manner in which the brutal double-murder of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman was committed, he did an interview with Fox News hosted by publisher Judith Regan to promote it. The interview got buried after massive criticism of the project, but Fox dusted it off last night and promoted it as OJ’s confession. And it certainly appears they weren’t kidding, either:

In the interview, Simpson described Goldman as “a guy that I didn’t really recognize. I may have seen him around, but I really didn’t recognize him.”

At one point, Simpson referenced a friend, whom he identifies only as “Charlie,” who went with him to confront Brown and handed him the knife that would be used as the murder weapon in the scenario.

“As things got heated, I just remember Nicole fell and hurt herself and this guy kind of got into a karate thing. And I said, ‘Well, you think you can kick my ass?’ And I remember I grabbed the knife — I do remember that portion, taking a knife from Charlie — and to be honest after that I don’t remember, except I’m standing there and there’s all kind of stuff around and …” he said, trailing off.

Judith Regan, who conducted the interview in 2006 for the book, “If I Did It,” pressed Simpson: “What kind of stuff?” “Blood and stuff around,” he replied.

It doesn’t sound hypothetical at all here, and didn’t to Regan at the time, either. She spoke with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota this morning, who asked why it didn’t air in 2006 when she first recorded the interview. Regan says Camerota should ask Fox and News Corp, but noted that the families of the victims objected to the whole idea of the interview:

The original prosecutors objected to the event too, and the objections were a little more substantial than Regan credits with Camerota. Everyone involved had concerns about Simpson exploiting the murders to reinflate his celebrity value, or at least to make that attempt, and accused Fox and Regan of exploiting the murders for profit and ratings. That’s why Rupert Murdoch eventually apologized for partnering on the project and shelving the interview and why the publisher spiked Simpson’s book. Fred Goldman eventually seized the manuscript in enforcing the multi-million-dollar wrongful death judgment on Simpson and published it as OJ’s confession, with the word “If” made very small in comparison to the rest of the title, “I Did It.”

One of the prosecutors who publicly objected at the time was Christopher Darden, the man who infamously demanded that Simpson try on the bloody gloves in the courtroom. He changed his mind last night after watching the interview:

In the view of prosecutor Christopher Darden, O.J. Simpson confesses to the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in his 2006 TV interview that aired Sunday night. …

Darden was featured on the two-hour special, “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” as part of a panel of experts who added commentary and analysis intercut with sections of the 2006 interview. Moderator Soledad O’Brien emphasized that Simpson was not paid by contemporary producers of the special.

During the interview, Simpson appears at times delusional, saying that he went to Nicole’s condo on the night she died with a friend he described as “Charlie,” who gave him a knife as he encountered Nicole and later Ron Goldman.

“I think he’s confessed to murder. If I’d known he said this in 2006 I would not have objected to the release of this video,” Darden said. “I don’t think there’s any question of his involvement and that he is the person who is wielding the knife.”

There wasn’t much question about it in 1994 and 1995, either. Prosecutors had a mountain of evidence against Simpson but made several strategic errors during the trial, of which the bloody-glove maneuver was just the most notorious. Simpson’s legal team delivered a magnificent performance of misdirection and distraction, and the obsessive media coverage probably doomed the issue from the start. But it was clear then and has remained clear all along that Simpson committed the murders, and the only question left is the identity of “Charlie,” his “hyopthetical” accomplice.

In retrospect, one might wonder why Simpson agreed to the interview at all, given his wise decision not to take the stand during the trial. The answer is probably that he didn’t have much to lose. Having been acquitted, Simpson could not be retried for the murders (although “Charlie” certainly could get prosecuted for them, if he’s ever identified). Having lost the civil case to the Goldmans, there wasn’t any financial incentive to stay quiet either. The only real damage this will create for Simpson is among his fans who continue to insist to this day that he got framed, a position that will be all but unsustainable with Simpson talking in the first person and in a definite tone about what happened that night. Denial is a strong impulse and so is belief in conspiracy theories, but they both have their limits. We hope.

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Dianne Feinstein: ‘Twas the media that outed Kavanaugh’s accuser

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Is that right? The way DiFi puts it here, you would think Christine Blasey Ford’s name appeared like a bolt from the blue in the pages of the Washington Post on Sunday afternoon. In reality, the press had spent the previous 72 hours murmuring about a mysterious letter in Feinstein’s possession that may or may not contain a serious allegation against Kavanaugh. No one would say what the letter alleged but the Intercept knew that Feinstein knew something about it. BuzzFeed also knew that Feinstein knew something. Under pressure, Feinstein herself announced that she had finally referred the matter to the FBI. After sitting on it for two months. Six days before the Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote.

All of which is a long way of asking: Who do you suppose it was that tipped the media to Ford’s accusations, putting them in a position to “out” her at the eleventh hour?

Tom Cotton has a zany theory.

Democrats outed her. Maybe not Feinstein personally or someone acting at her behest, but someone in the Capitol high enough up the chain to have known Ford’s name. (Given that the Intercept and BuzzFeed are both online-only outlets, I’d guess the leaker trended younger.) And the very obvious reason they did so was because they were frustrated that Feinstein had held this weapon for two months and never used it, even during the closed session of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, leaving him on track to join the Court before the end of the month. A liberal, possibly on Feinstein’s own staff, shoved Ford into the spotlight for reasons of political expedience. Feinstein can babble all she likes about respecting the privacy of victims but them’s the facts.

Also, not to nitpick, but no one “outed” Ford. Unless I missed something, at no point did any media outlet reveal her identity against her wishes. She chose to speak on the record to WaPo over the weekend after Ronan Farrow and outlets like BuzzFeed came knocking, believing that someone *would* end up revealing her name against her wishes before long. But no one (I think) actually did so before the WaPo story came out. Whether Democrats might have been so frantic to stop Kavanaugh that they would have forced Ford’s name into print if she had declined to speak up this past weekend is a fascinating what-if. Probably they would have — which seems to have been Ford’s conclusion too. Again, so much for the privacy of victims.

Charles Cooke wonders if Ford ever really wanted to testify at all:

Dianne Feinstein has not yet submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee the original letter she was sent by the accuser. The Democratic party is almost universally calling for an FBI investigation that it knows full well is not going to happen, and should not happen, and using its absence as a reason for the hearing to be delayed. And, right on cue, certain figures on the Left have begun to play this both ways: Originally, the lack of an invitation to testify was cast as a “silencing act.” Now, the Senate’s broad invitation to the accuser to testify in whatever way she sees fit is being cast as . . . yes, as a “silencing” act. Perhaps there is something else going on here, but sure looks to me as if the aim is to delay, delay, delay — and keep the accuser as far as is possible from being required to take an oath.

Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth have both submitted statements to Grassley’s committee via counsel, notes Cooke. That’s enough for a criminal indictment if facts emerge to show they’re lying; submitting false information to a congressional panel amounts to lying to a federal official just as submitting false information during an FBI interview does. The one and only player in this drama who has yet to send a statement to the committee, as Cooke points out, is Ford herself. That’s curious, although of course not proof that she’s afraid to tell her story under oath. I think she will testify since that’s the foreseeable outcome of her decision to go on the record with WaPo. She knew that her testimony would be demanded after the story appeared and that it’d look very bad if she refused to provide it. She must have resolved to testify this past weekend, with the last few days of will-she-or-won’t-she drama little more than a PR play to frame the upcoming hearing as unfair no matter what happens.

Here’s Scarborough, who spends most of his time bashing the Trump Party nowadays, crystal clear on who it was that “outed” Ford.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham Fires Off Midnight Tweet: “Kavanaugh Nomination is Still on Track – Stay Tuned!”

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Senator Lindsey Graham; Photo: Twitter avatar

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) fired off a midnight tweet praising President Trump and reassured the American people that Kavanaugh’s nomination is still on track.

“Stay tuned!” Lindsey Graham said.

“Great job tonight by President @realDonaldTrump in Las Vegas laying out how strong America has become economically and how much safer we are with a strong military.”

Graham then said: The President is dead right about Judge Kavanaugh being highly qualified, the right person for the job, and also right about letting process play out.

Kavanaugh nomination is still on track. Stay tuned!


Senator Lindsey Graham was referring to the President’s comments during his rally in Las Vegas wherein he praised Brett Kavanaugh.

Graham has certainly changed his tune as of late–usually no ally to the President, he vowed to get Brett Kavanaugh confirmed as quickly as possible.

Christine Ford has accused–without corroborating evidence–Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a drunken high school pool party decades ago.

Accuser Christine Blasey Ford believes she runs the U.S. Senate as she continues to make outrageous demands of how and when her hearing will be held.

The lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee her demands for her public testimony at a hearing–preeminent is that Judge Brett Kavanaugh testify first and that he not be allowed to be in the hearing room when she testifies, reported TGP’s Kristinn Taylor.

Laura Ingraham reported the scheduled Monday hearing where Kavanaugh and Ford were invited to testify may be postponed. Kavanugh accepted but Ford has declined so far to appear Monday.

“Two sources have told me that @SenateMajLdr is WAVERING and may ask to further delay Monday hearing. GOP base will be in full revolt if so. Tune in tonight!”

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The inevitable “celebrities assure Ford they believe her” MoveOn video

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A leftover from yesterday. Not all of the women in the clip are celebrities, please note, just enough to add a patina of Importance to it. What right-thinking progressive would care about a video of average Americans stating their political views without a four-second cameo from Julianne Moore?

A fun fact about MoveOn, the creators of this spot: The group got its name from its efforts to get the country to move on from Republican efforts to impeach a credibly accused left-wing sexual predator. That’s the sort of feminist bona fides I always prize in woke attack ads involving rape. I try to resist Whataboutism, particularly when the matter at hand involves something as grave as what Ford’s alleging, but whenever the left starts sermonizing at Republicans about treating victims of sexual assault properly a variety of leering Democratic ogres waddles out onstage in the right-wing imagination. It’s led by the Kennedys, grinning broadly, drinks in hand, pants around their ankles, but not limited to them. Which is not at all to imply that Kavanaugh should get a pass because Ted Kennedy got one for 50 years: If he’s guilty, he should be borked with gusto and impeachment proceedings begun to remove him from the federal bench.

But it is to say that, despite their alleged wokeness, progressive outrage at sex offenses and judgments about who deserves the benefit of the doubt and who doesn’t remain mainly a matter of political expedience. Hint that you might blow up Roe and you’re guilty as charged. Hint that you’ll storm the ramparts if Roe is blown up and you’re entitled to a robust presumption of innocence. And that’s not just a historical relic; it continues to the present day. Which is why, although her reasoning is nonsense, Kirsten Gillibrand’s not entirely wrong in calling Monday’s hearing a “sham.” It is a sham in the sense that it’s being presented as a fact-finding inquiry when it’s not. No facts or lack thereof will be produced that changes any Democratic votes. This is a political exercise, not an investigative one.

To prove that I’m not doing knee-jerk Whataboutism here, let it be noted that the right has its own core constituency that seems completely disinterested in the facts of an alleged sexual assault when a political prize is within reach.

Worried their chance to cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court could slip away, a growing number of evangelical and anti-abortion leaders are expressing frustration that Senate Republicans and the White House are not protecting Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh more forcefully from a sexual assault allegation and warning that conservative voters may stay home in November if his nomination falls apart…

The pleas are, in part, an attempt to apply political pressure: Some evangelical leaders are warning that religious conservatives may feel little motivation to vote in the midterm elections unless Senate Republicans move the nomination out of committee soon and do more to defend Judge Kavanaugh from what they say is a desperate Democratic ploy to prevent President Trump from filling future court vacancies.

Franklin Graham, heir to the Graham family’s evangelical legacy, insisted yesterday that no one should get too worked up about what might have happened between a pair of teenagers. And that’s your daily news bulletin from “moral majority.”

One other thing. Befitting how rote and thoughtless the true message of the MoveOn ad is — “Ford is telling the truth because I *heart* legal abortion” — the format of the ad itself is painfully familiar. This style of staccato cross-cutting between people repeating each other’s lines to emphasize the message is so stale that even the parodies of it seem old. It’s phoned in, figuratively and apparently literally.

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