Hired Gums


You think you're sick of O.J.? Imagine how the news directors at our local television stations feel. For the past two weeks, they've been chin-deep in Simpsonalia, trying to find some new angle on the most overhyped story in the history of journalism -- the murder trial of the former gridiron star accused of killing ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman last June.

Sadly, when it comes to resources, the news execs have almost nothing original to work with. The courtroom footage they receive from Los Angeles is from that single, awkwardly placed camera. The reporting of "new" developments invariably comes from the same wire stories. In fact, the broadcasts that have come to dominate the tube would be virtually identical were it not for the sudden proliferation of legal consultants, those erudite little chatterboxes anchors turn to for analysis of relevant legal maneuverings. In other words, who's winning.

With sweeps month upon us and mega-ratings hanging in the balance, the jockeying for just the right legal eagle has been intense. To wit: Miamian Roy Black, the famed defender of William Kennedy Smith and William Lozano, was courted by three different networks before signing on with NBC. "They offered the best contract," explains Black, who adds that he got "a few feelers" about joining the Simpson defense team months back but never pursued them.

For the average viewer, however, the multitude of new faces on TV may cause undue confusion. What's more, the calling of witnesses in the Simpson case has signaled an end to the around-the-clock coverage supplied during opening arguments, and thus has caused great instability among O.J. junkies. In the spirit of public service, therefore,

New Times has compiled the following chart. Think of it as a learning aid for the O.J.-impaired.


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