TV News Takes Break From Trump to Cover O.J. Simpson Parole Hearing

By A.J. Katz 

The iconic football star-turned-actor/pitchman, turned murder-suspect, and now convict O.J. Simpson finds out today if he’ll be granted parole, and released from a Nevada prison after serving 9+ years of a 33-year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia agents at a Las Vegas hotel & casino in 2007.

The legendary 1995 murder trial lasted 8 months. This hearing, presided over by four members of a Nevada parole board, could be done in less than an hour. While the hysteria over this hearing won’t compare to the original trial, TV news was still all over it. This includes ABC, NBC and CBS, all of which are breaking into their daytime programming to broadcast special reports.

The national networks’ legal correspondents will be on center stage today, as well as one of the prosecutors in the 90’s murder trial Christopher Darden, who is contributing analysis for NBC News. Rikki Kleiman is on CBS. She got her start on Court TV during the murder trial. Dan Abrams, then with NBC News, is now with ABC News; Cynthia McFadden, who was with ABC News during the first O.J. trial, is now with NBC.

One TV newser who won’t be involved with any coverage is Greta Van Susteren, who truly became a prominent TV newser and legal expert for CNN during the murder trial 22 years ago.

The members of the Nevada Parole Board:

And here’s Simpson, who joined via video conference from Lovelock Correctional Facility, roughly 100 miles from where the board was situated in Nevada’s capital, Carson City.

At one point during the hearing, the chairwoman on the board said: “We have you as being the age of 90…I mean 70,” a line which elicited laughter from Simpson, his representation and the board members. Perhaps some nerves.

Here are some TV newser reactions to the hearing:

 

One of OJ’s lines where he claims he’s lived “a conflict-free life” got much attention from TV newsers.

Simpson provided interesting media-related remarks:

“I’m at a point in my life where all I want to do is spend time, as much time as I can with my children and my friends, and — and I’m not looking to be involved with the media. I’ve had so many offers for interviews when I’ve been here and in Lovelock and turned them all down. O’m not interested in any of that. I’ve done my time. You know? I’ve done it as well and as respectfully as I think anybody can.”

OJ’s eldest daughter Arnelle then gave remarks for about 5 minutes, calling her father “my best friend and my rock…not perfect but has done his best.”

Then, a victim in the botched robbery, Bruce Fromong provided remarks. The chyron is pretty self explanatory.

2:18 p.m. ET: The hearing has been called into recess. Deliberations to begin shortly.

O.J. Simpson was granted parole by the board at approximately 2:50 p.m. ET. He will be freed from prison in October.

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