Surveying the Land of Opportunity Post-O.J.

T he O.J. Letters . . .

The recent acquittal of O.J. Simpson did not end the flow of commerce stemming from his trial. As evidence of that, the following correspondence has come to light.

Dear Mr. Fuhrman:

Thank you for your letter suggesting that we produce an action series that would be known as "The N-Word Squad," with you playing the commander of an elite corps of Idaho-based, young crime fighters assigned by police to eradicate certain elements of the counterculture. Your proposal is interesting and provocative, and your skill as an actor is, of course, known to all of us.

Quite candidly, though, a genocide drama is not something we would like to pursue at this time. We do hope that you'll consider as an alternative a project that we have been developing with you in mind, one that we believe is better suited to your specific qualifications and unique standing in the community.

"Foreman and Fuhrman" would be an action hour co-starring you and former heavyweight champion George Foreman. This would be a feel-good series that not only would boost the spirits of millions of Americans but also would motivate them to stand up and cheer. Of that, we have no doubt.

For example, Episode 1: Foreman punches out Fuhrman. Episode 2: Foreman punches out Fuhrman. Episode 3: Foreman punches out Fuhrman. Episode 4: Foreman punches. . . .


Dear Mr. Dunne:

All of us here salute your energy and passion. We agree that despite your many articles in Vanity Fair and appearances on hundreds of news programs and 1,423 television and radio talk shows, there may be some Americans who still have not had the benefit of your wisdom about the O.J. Simpson murder trial and Mr. Simpson's subsequent acquittal.

I must say, also, that we are especially honored that you would select us as official limousine service for your exciting new house-call business--to be known as May I Drop By and Bore You About O.J. in Person? Inc.--that you are launching in conjunction with your new 900 number: "In Case You've Been Entombed in Tibet and Haven't Heard, Here's What I Think."

If you'd prefer, instead of a limo we could fix you up a nice van (don't worry, it wouldn't be white) with your requested "Dominick Dude" logo and loudspeakers for lecturing pedestrians and other motorists about O.J. en route to your various destinations.

There's only one thing. By a strange coincidence, all of our drivers are highly sensitive to even the slightest cold draft. So please don't get the wrong idea if they wear earmuffs in your presence.


Dear Mr. Simpson:

We're flattered that you took time from your busy schedule to regularly watch our television series while you were in jail. That you did so affirms our faith in its broad appeal and also your refined taste.

I regret to inform you, however, that we are contemplating no change of hosts at this time. Nor are we engaged in any casting of roles at the present.

Naturally, we will keep your letter and videotape in our files in the event that an opening does occur. In any case, we are pleased that you are interested in what we are doing, and we hope that you continue to watch and enjoy "Masterpiece Theatre."


Dear Mr. Bailey:

Your letter and photograph caused a flurry of excitement in our office. We don't often come into contact with celebrities. As you yourself were kind enough to point out, you are a tower of intellect and an inspiration and role model not only for the legal community but also for millions of other Americans who were fortunate enough to have seen you on television during the O.J. Simpson trial. As you also note, you should be rewarded for showing such great humility while performing so brilliantly on behalf of your client.

In reviewing our files, though, we've discovered that Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King Jr. and a few others are ahead of you on the list right now. However, we at the U.S. Postal Service agree that you deserve to have your likeness on a postage stamp.


Dear Gentlemen:

Your letter reached us at a propitious time. It just so happens that we are making plans at this very moment to reprise the Radio City Rockettes and are presently holding auditions for that purpose. Naturally, we would be pleased to reserve a spot for your group. The Dancing Itos, is it?


Dear Lance:

I hope that I may call you Lance, in that you entered our home through television so often during the O.J. Simpson trial that you seemed less a judge than a close friend. A friend whose low opinion of the media--which you articulated so colorfully in your recent letter of inquiry--is one I share. I also commend your expression of contempt, dear friend, for those "disgusting, self-serving scum," as you describe them, who would seek to benefit personally from high-profile criminal cases. You're right, a curse on them all.

In that same spirit of friendship, I must inform you that we have no plans at this time to revive "People's Court."


Dear Chris and Marcia:

As your literary agent, I'm a bit chagrined by what has happened. When we first discussed the high likelihood of securing up to seven-figure advances for books relying on the personalized journals that each of you kept during the O.J. Simpson trial, it was with the expectation that publishers would be swamping us with checkbooks in hand. After all, Marcia, who wouldn't be dying for details of your struggle to spend quality time with your children while heading the prosecution? And as you recall, Chris, we also anticipated great interest in your personal crisis as an African American having to prosecute a highly popular brother.

Unfortunately, this hasn't been the case. However, I think we can still do this deal if we use a little ingenuity. Now, trust me on this. How would you feel about us spreading a rumor--which, of course, we would publicly deny--that you two are romantically involved?


Dear Mr. Simpson:

In view of your limited mobility and constant pain, we were surprised to learn of your desire to participate in our physically demanding ceremonies. I'm sure you'll understand, however, that these highly coveted positions are filled well in advance and that we had to proceed under the assumption that, should there be a less favorable outcome to your trial, you might be otherwise detained.

Should you reapply in 1996, we will be happy then to give strong consideration to your offer to be one of those throwing out the first ball at the World Series.

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