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A Superb Hail Mary Summation, But It Ain't Over Till It's Over and They Put Their Pants On One....

oh, shut it, will you?

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, July 06, 1994.

I’ve had ample opportunity of late to dwell about my longtime hatred of attorneys, but I think a certain insight occurred yesterday. While typing away on some project, I was half-listening to the television when each of the networks was covering the Simpson Murder Trial. All three networks have seemingly minute by minute coverage of this case, and each has obtained the services of allegedly famous lawyers to analyze the case. Anyone who can listen to these self-regarding dirigibles of superheated gas without starting to chisel an equestrian statue honoring all assassins of attorneys has no heart. Anyone who can listen to them without laughing aloud has no brain. Myself, I listen in stunned silence.

Setting aside Jerry Spence, a perfumed tonsiled barrister from Wyoming who dresses like the Range Rider and barely stops short of begging Simpson to hire him, a dear friend, putting him aside as a special case, the most offensive personality must be Leslie Abramson on ABC. Abramson, can I call you Leslie? I mean, all you guys talk about OJ whether or not you’ve ever met him. Anyway, Abramsom is the benthic who defended Lyle Menendez and was thrilled with a hung jury, since she hoped to double her $750k fee plus expenses although, alas, that was not allowed. Abramson is supposedly oppressed with the burden of preparing for Lyle Menendez for whom she could not afford to work because she was busy. Follow? Yet here she is intoning for the masses.

Then we have the attorneys hired as commentators evaluating the attorneys on either side of this case. At that point I understood the attraction: they talk about each other in sports cliches: a hard competitor, methodical at the start, but tough on cross-examination. Of course, the opposition is no push over either, what with their winning record and all. It suddenly dawns that the attraction to this is how the two sides will manipulate the system, will fight it out. Will win. It surely is apparent that none of the commentators would be offended if Simpson got off even if clearly guilty: it will be a great game regardless.

I realize that law is an embarrassing place to take or believe in the platitudes of justice, but there is something clearly wrong here. The attorneys are playing for air time, they are condemning the press for tabloid exploitation, but there is not one of them who hasn’t contacted an agent about getting a book published about this, much like Vincent Bugliosi, another commentator, did with Charles Manson and Helter Skelter. The attorneys and the press view each day of a televised case as a game, and score it accordingly. They are pampered and fed softball questions by a press clearly out of it’s depth. And the public is terribly impressed with recondite terms like standing and Nicole Simpson’s bikini photographs.

The LA District Attorneys office has not done well of late, in fact since it started having its trials televised. Now the DA has to compete on television with the generation of flamboyant male defense attorneys who are loud and seemingly drunk , attorneys that grew up with Perry Mason and F. Lee Bailey. By the way, ever since he represented Patty Hurst, and lost it, Bailey hasn’t had much of career with the exception of his own drunk driving charge. Yet here the press fawns all over him, introduces him to the audience with a three minute salutation sufficient for a fictional prince or .... a sports star. Still, they come across on the tube better than the attorneys drawn to the DA office. Underpaid by the standards of the opposition, the DA’s have always been restrained by their job as a civil servant and looked weak on television. Of late, it seems DA's are assigned to cases based upon politically correct criteria, and often lose those cases.

This morning, CBS announced a phone poll for the public to phone in its rating of the attorneys. I blame the media. They keep saying how fascinated we are by it, but I am not convinced. It ‘s easy for them to understand and present, and since they continue to mistake themselves for the public.