Thursday, November 16, 2006

That Freedom of Speech Thing

Now along comes something that really challenges my support of freedom of speech. Talk about squirm-inducing.

O.J. Simpson's about to unleash IF I DID IT, a hypothetical account of the murder of his ex-wife and the poor schmuck who was with her. Regan Books is publishing it, and naturally FOX, the self-proclaimed moral arbiter of these here United States, is planning to air an exclusive "very special" two-part special with The Juice to promote the book.

All just in time for the holidays.

Of course, O.J. was found not guilty, and there is freedom of speech in the U.S., so yes, he does have the right to say pretty much anything he wants. And Regan Books and FOX have the right to publish and broadcast pretty much anything they want.

And of course as a writer and a liberal and a Trudeau-era Canadian and Montrealer and all that I tend to side for all sorts of rights and liberties including, perhaps most importantly, freedom of speech.

I still believe in it.

But sometimes it's tough...


Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Right Jim, and didn't he squander his millions on reward money searching for the real killer?

5:29 PM, November 17, 2006  
Blogger OmenSpirit said...

I can't see how this is bad. He was found innocent by a jury, legally by the very system we live under. Though public opinion says otherwise.

But remember, public opinion also keeps reality television popular, makes low quality material and very bad music in vogue, and votes people who are obviously inept into positions of power just because they say the right thing.

Though possible repugnant, O.J. has a buyer for what he is selling.

Right or wrong doesn't come into the bottom line of corporate finance.

If no one would buy it, he wouldn't have a market for it.

Freedom of speech cannot be just for those that make sense.

There has to be a limit, yes, but that limit cannot be written in stone, it has to be written in pencil so it can be adjusted to fit specific situations.

It has to be able to bend with the progression of things.

By all rights, OJ is an innocent man, making a profit from a part of his life that people have a vested interest in.

How different is that from Goodfellas and Henry Hill?

Or Waco and the TV movies made?

7:17 PM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger JD Rhoades said...

No one said freedom was going to be easy, man.

10:00 AM, November 19, 2006  
Blogger Kevin Burton Smith said...

Just in case anyone misunderstood -- I think O.J. should be allowed to print whatever the hell he wants, but I don't have to like it. To paraphrase J.D., freedom's a bitch, but consider the alternative.

3:47 PM, November 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, freedom of speech does mean that sometimes incredibly distasteful things come out. In this case, due to freedom of speech and the opinions expressed far and wide about the, umm, inappropriateness of this book, the publisher has shitcanned the project. Boo hoo. Fox also cancelled the related tv special.

Hey, no money to be made, no product to be produced. Simple equation.

4:29 PM, November 26, 2006  

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