O.J.: Made in America
Part I (2/10)
Part II (8/10)
by Tony Medley
(approximately 3 hours)
Not for children.
wonderful tools for revealing truths hitherto unknown. They are also
wonderful tools for people bent on mischief to twist facts to fit their
biases. They can be misused by the documentarian by what he or she
chooses to show and chooses not to show.
Katie Couric is now
the poster child for deceptive editing for the disgracefully deceitful
editing she made on her recent gun control documentary. She first
defended it, but when even her fellow lefties were against her, she
backtracked and apologized, but only because she was between a rock and
a hard place.
I have only seen
parts 1 and 2 of this ESPN films 30 For 30 Special, but just from these
two parts it is apparent that director Ezra Edelman is leading the
viewer down his primrose path.
To start off with and
to give Edelman some credit, however, my guest at the screening has
always maintained that O.J. Simpson did not kill Nicole Brown Simpson.
After viewing this screening, she told me that she had now changed her
mind and is convinced that O.J. did, indeed, murder Nicole.
So Ezraís notion is
not to support the idea that O.J. is innocent. Rather, it seems to me
from watching these two episodes, Ezra is attempting to justify the
juryís reaching a decision of Not Guilty when the overwhelming evidence
points toward guilt just because O.J. is a black man and this is a way
of fighting back against what Ezra perceives is unfairness toward blacks
by the American system of criminal justice.
He does this by, for
example, presenting a bunch of ďfactsĒ that could tend to justify the
riot of black people after the Simi Valley not guilty verdict in the
case against the LAPD policemen who violently beat up Rodney King in
1991. In order to incite outrage in the viewer, Edelman shows the
beating of King approximately 10 times. But the far more vicious attack
a few days later by the rioters on white truck driver Reginald Denny,
which includes a nauseating shot of a rioter dropping a huge rock
directly on Dennyís head and leaving him unconscious and bleeding in the
middle of a busy street, is only shown once.
He also shows other
incidents of LAPD misconduct in the black community, but never shows any
actions by the LAPD protecting black people. If you see this film, you
come away with the feeling that the LAPD is arm in arm with the KGB and
the Gestapo. But Ezra conveniently neglects to mention that the mayor of
Los Angeles during this entire period was a black man, Tom Bradley, a
former LAPD officer.
Worse, most of the
old clips he uses are of horrible quality. I canít believe that he
couldnít get clips from the Ď60s and later that werenít sharp and clear.
He must have had some sort of ulterior motive to show such degraded
clips, but I donít know what it was. The film would have been much
better with higher quality clips.
He also puts down
O.J.ís phenomenal success outside of football, especially with his Hertz
commercials, and his likeability, implying that in so doing he was
abandoning the fact that he was a black man. Apparently Edelmanís idea
is that blacks should not strive for success in American society because
thatís just sucking up to the white man.
this as being ďa history of race over the last several decades.Ē It is
nothing of the sort. It is a biased, one-sided presentation without any
context or contrary view.
All his talking heads
(and there arenít many of them) are either blacks with an agenda or old,
white, male leftists who expound at length. Edelman doesnít have the
integrity to show someone like Thomas Sowell, who undoubtedly has a
different viewpoint. Why? Is it because Edelmanís goal isnít to present
the truth, itís to present his point of view as a fact without any
Edelmanís editing is
not only biased, itís sloppy. As an example, whenever these talking
heads appear, they are only identified once. Whenever a documentarian shows a
talking head, that head should be identified with a graphic. And it
should be done each time the head appears, not just once, because
most viewers canít remember who is who throughout a long film.
Part 1 is such an
opinionated set up it is agonizing to watch. Part 2 deals with O.J.ís
relationship with Nicole and shows O. J. as a brutal, violent person,
despite his outward charm. I found Part 2 very interesting. However, I
cannot rate the whole series because I have not seen it in its entirety.
If I am correct in that the whole point of this is to justify the juryís
Not Guilty verdict, I would not rate it highly because it looks to me as
if it is little more than propaganda. But I donít know what comes in the
next three episodes.