The Birth of Crazy TV and the 24-hour News Cycle
Can you even remember a time before American Idol, Survivor, The Amazing Race, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News?
"Twenty years ago this today, OJ Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a friend, Ronald Goldman, were found stabbed to death in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. Simpson, a famous actor, running back and Heisman Trophy winner who was one of the most recognizable personalities in the country, was implicated in the killings and would soon be charged with double murder.
What came next — the slow-speed white Bronco chase, round-the-clock television coverage, a riveting trial and not-guilty verdict that split the country along racial lines — offered the United States a gateway drug its residents eventually couldn’t live without.
“What I realized is, this is entertainment,” said Gerald Uelmen, one of Simpson’s defense attorneys. “This is not news.”
In the years since, the lineage of so many cultural phenomena - the 24-hour news cycle, a never-ending stream of reality television shows and many Americans’ unquenchable thirst for celebrity gossip - can be traced to this nearly 16-month span." This post was excerpted from a Washington Post article. Read more here.