Tuesday, September 18, 2007

TMZ & OJ: Harvey does it again

A new twist in the latest, already-bizarre OJ Simpson story is leading us to suspect that the new charges against Simpson will be dropped and that the entire incident was staged to drum up publicity for the Simpson book that's just been released-- and the new, flailing TV show based on the corporate porn-pushing gossip site, TMZ.com:

In 1994, local TV news reporter Harvey Levin almost caused murder charges against OJ Simpson to be tossed out when he presented a video on KCBS TV that allegedly showed prosecutor Marcia Clark searching Simpson's home before a search warrant was issued. Within days, Harvey was forced to retract the story and apologize on air (see Tabloid Baby for the story behind that boner). This week, as Harvey and his boycrew hysterically overcover the latest OJ Simpson story on their corporate porn-pushing gossip site, the erstwhile attorney once again throws a case against Simpson into jeopardy, this time by buying up a crucial piece of evidence:
Associated Press: A profanity-filled audio recording, apparently of O. J. Simpson and others during the incident last week that led to his arrest, surfaced online today.

In the 38-second recording, the voice of a man identified as Mr. Simpson by TMZ.com, the Web site where it is posted, is heard repeatedly telling others not to let anyone out of the room and accusing those present of stealing his property and trying to sell it...

TMZ.Com, the web site that posted the audio recording today, said it was made by (Thomas) Riccio (A sports memorabilia dealer who accompanied OJ Simpson to the room). It did not say how it obtained the recording...

In a brief interview today Mr. Riccio said TMZ paid him for the recording, but he declined to divulge the price.

Whether the Riccio audio will be of use to prosecutors is an open question. Mr. Riccio withheld it from the police for three days before he sold it to TMZ.Com, a decision that may taint it, Lieutenant Nichols said.

“He did not turn that over to us immediately, so that evidentiary value may have been damaged,” Lieutenant Nichols said. “What could’ve been the proverbial nail in the coffin is now floating around on TMZ.com instead. I don’t think we can just download that and bring it into court, but that’s for the D.A. to decide.”
We haven't been watching the TMZ TV show, but we suspect the audiotape was acted out with cheesy animated puppets.

On a more serious note, stay tuned for developments...


Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. It's so ridiculous and unethical that even a news pro, an old dog who chases leads and stories, would find this offensive. (And that includes the fact that no one wants OJ enjoying life as usual from the comfort of his golf cart.)

Entertainment stories purposely twisted into 'news leads.'

Harvey's kind of dangerous, really.


Gawker said...

We love a conspiracy theory, so we're enjoying Tabloid Baby's musings about TMZ and O.J. Simpson. They seem to think that O.J. Simpson and TMZ, the only Time Warner journalism product that pays sources for material, are collaborating—or at least have reached a state of advanced symbiosis—with O.J.'s recent arrest and the audiotapes TMZ has published of O.J. making threats. They note that in 1994, KCBS TV aired now-TMZ head Harvey Levin's tape of prosecutor Marcia Clark searching Simpson's home without a search warrant—a story that he retracted later. We don't quite see how this all pans out or fits together—but we wouldn't put anything past anyone at this point.

Anonymous said...

The tape's not in the right hands, gawker. That's not a theory at this point, it's fact.

Or is it just entertainment?