Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Don't Forget to Write: John Sutherland on a Charming Farewell from O J Simpson's Publisher

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Don't Forget to Write: John Sutherland on a Charming Farewell from O J Simpson's Publisher

Article excerpt

The departure of Judith Regan from the publishing imprint that bore her name has been a remarkably untearful event. "Comeuppance" is the book world's verdict. She shouldn't have touched O J Simpson's pseudo confession, If I Did It, with a bargepole. Rupert Murdoch was right to give her the boot. Whether he would have done so without furious intramural protest from his paladins on Fox News is another question. There is some shit, as e e cummings would say, that even the "Fair and Balanced" people won't eat.

Despite the general complacency about the rightness of Regan's dismissal, OJ's "je m'accuse" raises interesting questions. The iffy guy is currently at law about whether he can spend the lavish advance Regan gave him ($1m, apparently). On what grounds can he be said to have broken any contract? The book was bound and ready to go when Murdoch nixed it. Is not the suppression of OJ's book censorship, 21st century-style? ("The hell with morals, protect the brand".) Might publication not be a tactful way of funnelling some money to the Goldman family, still waiting for the $33.5m the civil court awarded them?

ReganBooks no longer exists--it's been dissolved into the HarperCollins mega-parent. But, speaking for myself, I'm grateful for two books that this wicked witch of the book world produced. One is called PostSecret, the other My Secret, both published in the US last year.

The pair originated on the internet, with Frank Warren's PostSecret website, founded in January 2005. …

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