Leave O.J. out of the news

William Kammer

We have O. J. Simpson in the news again, and it’s starting to become irritating. I can’t stand turning on the TV and seeing Simpson everywhere. He already distracted the country for long enough with his murder trial 13 years ago. We don’t need any more O. J. right now. I think we’ve had our fill for a lifetime.

This has been one of the top news stories on CNN, MSNBC and network news programs for the last few days. It started when Simpson was questioned about an armed robbery case, and it has reached a point where he’s being held in jail without bail. The problem is, I shouldn’t know this. There’s absolutely no reason for me to need to know that this is happening.

For some reason, a lot of the American news outlets believe this is what readers, listeners and viewers want to know about. I can’t see any other reason why Simpson being arrested again would seem so important. In a time where we are at war, people are starving and campaigns are running, this little case with a has-been NFL football player doesn’t seem that important.

At some point, the news as an institution need to realize when an insignificant story gets out of hand and received too much attention. There is only so much distraction the American people can take before they forget about what’s important.

Even if some people are going to lose interest in the newspaper or broadcast, that’s a sacrifice that needs to be made in order to keep the people properly informed, which is the job of journalists.

Ethics are a big concern in the journalism profession, and when we report on things like this Simpson case, it lowers our credibility as an institution for public knowledge. If news outlets are using time and space to report on the Simpson case, then what are they leaving out?

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