For every big news event there are influential people in the media to give the event an interpretation that serves a particular agenda. These people are called "spin-doctors" because they doctor the story at the first opportunity to spin it in the direction that they want it to go.
The O.J. Simpson case had spin-doctors for the prosecution and the defense, but mostly for the prosecution. Apart from the prosecutors themselves and the defense team, they consisted mostly of TV talk show hosts like Geraldo Revera and Charles Grodin and their guests with special knowledge of the case or knowledge of the law in general.
Talk show hosts like CNN's Larry King and E!'s Kathleen Sullivan as well as many Court-TV hosts who did not take a position on O.J.'s guilt or innocence featured many of the same guests as Geraldo and Grodin. The SUV that Fuhyrman drove on the night of the murders and the shoes that O.J. wore to the recital were issues that only Katleen Sullivan brought to the fore.
Court-TV's Dan Abrams was the first to declare that photos showing O.J. Simpson wearing Bruno Magli Lorenzos "proved" that O.J. was a killer. The FBI agent who authenticated them also said that they could be faked with enough time, the right equipment and the right expertise. These photos surfaced late in the civil trial, several months after the shoes had been identified and shown close up on television from every conceivable angel. The date they were supposedly taken was not confirmed by anyone who didn't profit from their discover. They netted the photographer and his photographer agent thousands of dollars. Yet, Abram's never questioned their validity. His original spin on the shoes is the one that's still in motion.
The first spin doctor in the case was Mark Fuhrman, who claimed that the Bronco was parked on Rockingham with the front wheels turned into the curb and the angle so extreme that it must have been parked in great haste. The second spin doctor was Denise Brown who shouted, "O.J. did it!" the instant Tom Lange broke the news of Nicole's death to her father. Next came the LA's DA office that leaked Nicole's only documented 911 tape in '93 to the media and coupled it with the 911 tape recorded in '89 where no one was identified and pictures of Nicole's face taken on that day. Then came Faye Resnick in her first book about O.J. and Nicole and Ron Shipp under the alias "Leo" in Sheila Weller's Raging Heart painting a picture of O.J. as a time bomb of jealousy and rage ready to explode.
Judy Muller, a commentator for ABC Television News and National Public Radio may have led the parade of anti-O.J. spin-doctors in the media establishment with her "inside story" on O.J.'s cut finger and the blood in his Bronco. She was one of the fist reporters to hear the tape or see a transcript of the interview that Lange and Vannatter's had with O.J. Simpson the day after the murders. She didn't report the questions or the answers verbatim. Instead, she summarized the exchange by saying that O.J. claimed he cut himself on his cell phone in the Bronco. In a tone dripping with contempt she added, "How do you cut yourself on a cell phone?"
If you took Judy Muller's word for what O.J. told Vannatter and Lange about the cut finger you would have to conclude that O.J. was not only a liar but such an arrogant liar that he thought he could get away with such a ridiculous lie. At the time there was no other way to know what the questions and answers were. Now there is because the transcript is widely available.
Lange: Do you recall bleeding at all in your truck, in the Bronco?
O.J.: I recall bleeding at my house, and then I went to the Bronco. The last thing I did before I left, when I was rushing, was went and got my cell phone out of the Bronco.
Like Fuhrman's story of the "hastily parked" Bronco, Judy Muller's story about "O.J." saying he cut himself on his cell phone is the one that stuck with most people because it was that story they heard first and most often before, during and after the criminal trial.
Other spin-doctors included former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, who appeared regularly on every television talk show going that featured the O.J. Simpson murder case. Bugliosi found absolutely nothing wrong in Mark Fuhrman's investigation of the case. He argued that Fuhrman's use of the n-word on the McKinney tapes had nothing to do with perjury. He blasted the intelligence of the jurors in the criminal trial and wrote a book called Outrage listing dozens of reason why no intelligent person could honestly believe that O.J. was innocent of murder or that Fuhrman was guilty of anything worth talking about. He wrote the foreword to Fuhrman's Murder in Brentwood
After Robert Heidstra testified that he saw a light-colored station wagon or SUV heading south on Bundy after the murders, Loyola University Professor Stan Goldman was the first legal expert to turn this story against O.J. He summarized Heidstra's testimony on the spot as a plus for the prosecution. According to Prof. Goldman, Heidstra said that he saw a white Bronco when, in fact it was the Deputy DA Christopher Darden who said that Heidstra saw a white Bronco. By discounting the time of Heidstra's sighting and the direction of travel (away from Rockingham) that conflicted with Marcia Clark's theory of the thumps on Kato's wall, Prof. Goldman left the enduring impression that Heidstra saw O.J. fleeing the scene of the murders.
To his credit, Prof. Goldman also came out forcefully against the legislation enacted by the California State legislature to allow "Nicole's" diary and other hearsay testimony into evidence in O.J.'s civil trial. His protests came too late. The spin-doctors had done their jobs too well in convincing the legislators that bending the rules of evidence was a good thing to do if it helped in some way to punish O.J. Simpson for murder. Jasper