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THE O.J. SIMPSON MURDER TRIAL : The Name Game: How Many Times Can We Say O.J.?

HOWARD ROSENBERG

February 15, 1995|HOWARD ROSENBERG

I switched to another channel that had no relationship whatsoever to the English Channel that O.J. never swam. Before me was another newscast on which a political commentator was predicting that House Speaker Newt Gingrich would not be running for President, just as O.J. had never run for Speaker. Gingrich, whose mother is as doting as O.J.'s, was soon replaced by some experts speculating about the Oscar Judging (O.J.) concerning movies in which O.J. did not appear.

On another channel I found an old movie starring Dane Clark, no relation to Petula Clark, Dick Clark or O.J. prosecutor Marcia Clark, who probably makes less money than O.J.'s defense attorneys, Robert Shapiro and Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., but more money than the police officers who arrested O.J. and many Americans who have not personally met O.J.

I was running out of ideas, and desperation was setting in. But just as I was becoming convinced that I would never think of a way not to exploit the O.J. trial in my column, my phone rang. The voice on the line was not O.J.'s. It was my editor, who never tackled or threw a pass to O.J.

"You can write about O.J.," he said. "But use restraint. Don't mention O.J.'s name more than 66 times."

"Not to worry," I assured him. "I've got integrity."

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