In the Year of Simpson, the country was caught in the throes of the biggest story ever. No other single news event in our history could match the sheer scope and intensity of coverage given to the O. J. Simpson murder case. But the media did not just report the Simpson case, they were instrumental in creating ita spectacle of such stupendous proportions that it hijacked American culture. In this critical exposé of American media, Thaler presents a riveting narrative about the men and women who gave us the story of the century. It is a sprawling tale of the media grappling with their role as news-reporting entities; seduced by the values of entertainment and tabloidism; and faced with increased competition, fragmented audiences, and frantic pressure to keep both eyes on the bottom line.
The Simpson story is one of exploitation, of media overkill and outright pandering, of huge profitmaking, all of which undermined the trial and fueled tremendous public cynicism about the way in which justiceand the mediawork in this country. For more than a year, America was held captive to the great murder story. In Thaler's analysis, the media, more than any other single participant, altered the workings of the Simpson courtroom and the outcome of one of the most celebrated trials in America's history. From the first coverage of the murders to the final days of the trial of the century, the media were not only telling us what had become of justice in this country, but also what had become of them. This is that story.