The firestorm of criticism flared up, but there were those who believed that Judith Regan could not fail. Someone so knowledgeable, so experienced, must surely know just how far she could go when selecting books for her imprint, ReganBooks. And now, Ms. Regan has gone beyond the limits; she has stumbled.
News Corp. has cancelled the infamous book, the so-called confession of a cold-blooded killer, and the TV interviews are also eighty-sixed. In spite of Ms. Regan's insistence that she wanted to publish this particular piece to draw attention to spousal abuse, several independent booksellers were refusing to stock the thing. Borders, a sizeable chain, was going to donate any profit from the confession to charity, and doesn't that shout out 'keep your blood money'?
It has been noted that Life magazine paid Emmett Till's murderers $4,000 for their story after they were acquitted of the killing that they then admitted to. Somehow, this seems radically different, with payouts in the multi-millions and a certain cynicism on the part of the news organizations and even ReganBooks. Given the fact that Fox News was going to air the interviews as a part of sweeps week, the stink grew increasingly fetid, until the odor of rot and decay became unbearable.
There were plenty of excuses, and assurances that the money from the book was to go to the children. You can be sure that lawyers had sewn up the publishing contract so that not one cent would go to the Goldman family, who have yet to see anything from their successful lawsuit. That big check from ReganBooks to whomever OJ's legal team named as beneficiary is nothing more than a large slap in the face to the families of the murder victims.
The bottom line dictated this decision, far more than questions of taste or ethics. With book vendors refusing to sell the book and local outlets refusing to broadcast the interviews, News Corp. and ReganBooks had no hope of recouping their investment. They thought that they could make a buck, but there comes a time when a corporation will cut its losses and move on to the next money-making venture. Judith Regan and Rupert Murdoch will bounce back. Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, however, are gone forever and their families will never be whole.