Monday, September 17, 2007

What Happens In Prison, Stays In Prison

O.J. Simpson is being charged with armed robbery. Everyone is having a ball with the "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" quote. While people will laugh at him and make jokes to co-workers, I feel nothing but sadness. What his life was, and what it is now, it just a shame. Does he deserve every bit of it? Well, yes. He (allegedly) killed two people. But there is a reason he has become a cartoon of his former self.

The Simpson trial was a warning sign to celebrities everywhere. Mass media was changing and its power was growing. We can see this change when we look at the lives of Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan, or even Princess Diana. The pure ferociousness of tabloid journalists (and their readers) has altered the way public figures have to live their everyday lives. Most of these celebs are innocent. However in this case, Simpson is not. But it is the way we championed the media's coverage of him that is the problem. The way we covered murderers is now the same way we cover pop stars. When this new chapter of Simpson's life came out, it was nothing but gossip. Jokes are being made and nobody is shocked. Mass media didn't create O.J. the murderer, but it did create O.J. the clown. It has been impossible to be O.J. Simpson for the last decade. Again, did he deserve it? Yes. If we could only limit this kind of coverage to murderers and the like, then everything would be fine. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Beware, Michael Vick, because this is what can happen to you.


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