Ex-prosecutor of O.J. is now covering him

first_imgOn the air, Clark’s voice drips with more disgust. She dismissed Simpson’s book, “If I Did It,” as “hideous” and “all a lie.” Indirectly addressing his girlfriend Christine Prody, a Nicole Brown Simpson-look-alike who stood by him in court Wednesday, Clark said: “It made me sick to my stomach. Do you not realize you could be next?” Even with the elastic boundaries observed by TV entertainment news shows, Clark’s history with Simpson makes her a unique figure – and, according to journalism experts, someone playing a questionable role by acting as reporter as well as analyst. Calling on Simpson’s one-time prosecutor to offer opinion is one thing, they said; detached reporting is another. “It’s not hard, no matter where one stood on the murder trial, to question how she could be an independent and fair reporter,” said Bob Steele, a senior journalism ethics faculty member at the Poynter Institute. The TV programs she’s working for represent nontraditional news outlets, acknowledged Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. “Clearly, `Entertainment Tonight’ is a good example of the `infotainment’ culture that doesn’t necessarily abide by what we consider to be the harder and faster rules of mainstream journalism,” Jurkowitz said. But that doesn’t absolve such shows of adhering to key journalistic principles, he said. Steele concurred. “When they’re reporting on legal matters … they should measure up to the highest standards in terms of professionalism and ethics because the stakes are great,” Steele said. Clark said it’s fair to question whether she can be impartial about Simpson; she acknowledged that she constantly feels “terribly guilty that I lost” the murder case. A jury found Simpson not guilty of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. In a subsequent civil case, he was found liable for their deaths and ordered to pay $33.5 million. But Clark said she separates her feelings about Simpson from her reporting for “Entertainment Tonight” and its sister show. Arrested Sunday in connection with an alleged armed robbery involving sports memorabilia, Simpson was released Wednesday on $125,000 bond. His attorney said he will plead not guilty. Linda Bell Blue, executive producer for “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider,” defended Clark’s work. “Marcia Clark has strong feelings about O.J. Simpson. That being said, Marcia is a former prosecutor who knows the law and believes the accused has a right to a fair trial. She would be the last person who wants someone innocent convicted of a crime they did not commit,” Bell Blue said in a statement to the AP. Clark has covered other celebrity cases for “Entertainment Tonight,” including Robert Blake’s unsuccessful prosecution for his wife’s murder. Reporting on Simpson was far different. (Whether her work on the case continues is up to the show’s producers, she said.) “It was like standing outside myself, saying, `Wow, this is what other people saw when I was in trial; this is the other view of him,”‘ Clark said after attending Simpson’s bail hearing Wednesday. She had no doubt about what the verdict should have been in 1995. In Simpson’s new case, she said, she isn’t sure. “The tape is very damning,” she said, referring to an audiotape of Simpson’s confrontation with those he’s accused of robbing. “My attitude is, `Let’s see what else you’ve got.”‘ WHERE ARE THEY NOW? A look at where the players from the “Trial of the Century” are 12 years after O.J. Simpson was acquitted: JOHNNIE COCHRAN JR.: Lead defense attorney for the Simpson “dream team” who uttered the memorable glove line, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Died of brain cancer at 67 in March 2005. ROBERT KARDASHIAN: Simpson friend and former personal attorney. Died of cancer at 59 in October 2003. BARRY SCHECK AND PETER NEUFELD: Simpson lawyers who specialized in DNA evidence. Co-founded the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at New York’s Yeshiva University. The organization is dedicated to exonerating the wrongfully convicted. BRIAN “KATO” KAELIN: Simpson’s Brentwood houseguest and aspiring actor. In 2005, Kaelin appeared in the first three National Lampoon Strip Poker pay-per-view programs and hosted “Eye for an Eye,” a syndicated daytime-TV court show. MARK FUHRMAN: Los Angeles police detective, now retired. Lives in Idaho and is a frequent Fox News Channel analyst. Has written books including “Murder in Brentwood,” “Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?” and “Silent Witness: A Forensic Investigation of Terri Schiavo’s Death.” MARCIA CLARK: Los Angeles deputy district attorney who was lead Simpson prosecutor. Now the legal correspondent for the TV show “Entertainment Tonight.” CHRISTOPHER DARDEN: Prosecutor in Simpson case. Left the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 1995. Now a legal commentator on Fox News Channel. LANCE ITO: Los Angeles Superior Court judge who presided over the Simpson case. Currently hears felony criminal cases in downtown Los Angeles. DENISE BROWN: Sister of slaying victim Nicole Brown Simpson. Now chairwoman of the Nicole Brown Foundation, which was established to educate about domestic violence. FRED GOLDMAN: Father of slaying victim Ronald Lyle Goldman. Relentlessly pursued Simpson for a $33.5 million civil-suit judgment. Recently obtained rights to Simpson’s book “If I Did It,” the ghostwritten account of how he would have committed the murders.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Twelve years after Marcia Clark heard jurors pronounce O.J. Simpson not guilty of murder, the former prosecutor carried her enduring guilt into another courtroom with the ex-football star. This time, Clark was the most startling member of the media pack covering Simpson’s Las Vegas felony arrest. As legal correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider,” she had the chance to tell the world what she thinks of Simpson – and she used it. “Just seeing him back in court again, facing charges. I can’t believe it. It’s just surreal,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press. “He skated on two murder charges, and he managed to get out of other charges of much lesser gravity since then. How did he manage to get himself back in trouble again? “How stupid do you have to be?” last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *