The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: Manna from Heaven
March 29, 2016 9:21 PM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

The Dream Team goes across the country to acquire the Mark Fuhrman tapes.
posted by kittens for breakfast (5 comments total)
What's the deal with no comments? It took me a couple days to get around to watching this episode, but it was very good and the show has been excellent. Has the audience dropped off for some reason?

Anyway, this episode made me very tense. What I've really enjoyed and appreciated is how the show clearly believes that OJ committed the murders (and I strongly agree) but that, of course, there was (is) a serious racism problem with the LA police and people had very, very good reasons to believe that OJ was being framed. And that Cochran was right to use whatever platform he had available in this case to make this problem very clear to everyone. You don't get something like those tapes very often and in the context of this trial, this level of publicity?

Which is why I didn't quite understand why he was so upset that Ito only allowed those two lines. Even if he thought that OJ was innocent, he clearly was highly motivated to fight the systemic problem and so he got those tapes out there, even if the jury didn't hear them.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:16 AM on April 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

I just watched it last night. I'd never heard that Judge Ito's wife was mentioned on the tapes. Did they do the right thing? Should it have been a mistrial? The Vanity Fair fact check mentions that both sides believed she lied in her statement that she never met Fuhrman so that her husband could be assigned to this trial. Everything...just unbelievable fuck-ups all around.

OJ is up for parole next year. I wonder.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:40 AM on April 1, 2016

As much as we all live in walled off, self-selected media bubbles these days, this show has revealed how much worse it actually was twenty years ago. Watching all the insane dynamics (along racial, class, and gender lines), I have this ongoing internal narrative about how Twitter, or Metafilter, or my Facebook feed, or Gawker, or Talking Points Memo, or Reddit, or Little Green Footballs (is that still a thing?) would respond to the major plot points. And even if we try to ignore those voices outside our media bubble, they still make it to the surface. I remember the OJ trial. I remember having a vague notion of wanting to understand why a jury would ever find him not guilty. I also remember having no idea where I would look to find voices to explain it because I certainly wasn't getting them on NPR, CNN or the nightly news. The show does a good job of providing the context for it, but I also think the Internet has given me such a better baseline level of understanding of how sexism and racism and classism work in America. The juice is loose.
posted by one_bean at 6:00 PM on April 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was in my early twenties when the trial happened. The whole thing was a slow motion trainwreck that no one could take their eyes from. Frankly, I think the closest we've seen to a media event like it since has been the Donald Trump candidacy.

Most Americans seemed to agree that OJ did it. But most Americans -- and I'm talking about most Americans here, or at least all young and left-of-center Americans, and not just people from LA -- harbored some deep reservations about the LAPD after the Rodney King incident. What I recall hearing about the Mark Fuhrman tapes was devastating, and I don't remember getting anything like the level of detail the show provided in this episode. (Neither here nor there, but a lot of what we hear in the episode sounds like complete bullshit artistry spun by an idiot who was trying to impress a screenwriter -- I cannot imagine the story about using a little girl as a human shield is at all true, because it's ridiculous. But the underlying sentiments matter a lot.) The tapes changed the conversation. Which is unfortunate for everyone victimized by OJ Simpson, because (as the show illustrated in the scene where Marcia Clark and Chris Darden visited with Darden's friends) there is no realistic scenario in which Fuhrman could have falsified the blood evidence -- even if unrealistic scenarios seem to have been Fuhrman's forte when running his mouth on tape.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:10 AM on April 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wow, now I really wonder what a second trial would have been like.Would they be able to find anyone for the jury since the trial of the century was ubiquitous? Would the lawyers be different? Would there be more public scrutiny? Less?
posted by Monochrome at 2:16 PM on April 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

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