Panel - Revisiting the O.J. Simpson Trial 20 Years Later

June 14, 2016 - Malcolm Gladwell 06/14/2016 Views: 939

Malcolm Gladwell, Rory Albanese and Franchesca Ramsey mark the 20th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson trial by examining American perspectives on race and domestic violence. (7:09)

-(cheers and applause)-All right, welcome back.

I'm here with my panel.

First up, Nightly Show contributor Rory Albanese.

(cheers and applause)

And Nightly Show contributor

-Franchesca Ramsey.-(cheers and applause)

And he's the best-selling authorof Blink, The Tipping Point,

Outliers, David and Goliath.

And he has a new podcaststarting this Thursday

you can check outcalled Revisionist History.

-Malcolm Gladwell, everybody.Yeah. -(cheers and applause)

And for everyone at home,join our conversation right now

on Twitter @NightlyShow usingthe hashtag #Tonightly, okay?

Now, tonight I wantedto talk about something

that's been backin the news lately.

It's the 20th anniversaryof the O.J. Simpson trial.

There's already been, like,a special on FX,

and a new documentary on ESPN

which just started,which is amazing,

um, uh, which is out.

So, Malcolm,I want to start with you.

Why do you thing this issueis resonating so much today?

There's two parts. There's thedomestic violence part of it,

-and the racial part.-GLADWELL: Yeah.

You know, I don't think

that this country hada kind of fundamental change

in its attitude towards domesticviolence until Ray Rice.

-WILMORE: Mm-hmm. -I mean,O.J. is... goes on for...

RAMSEY:They blamed her. They blamed her

a lot for...with Ray Rice, though.

GLADWELL:But I mean, it was only after

the head of the NFL, you know,bizarrely gives Ray Rice--

what was it,a two-game suspension.

-And the world goes crazy.-WILMORE: Sure. Right.

That people, like,"Oh, wait a minute.

-This is a serious problem."-WILMORE: And, like, no Gatorade

-or something, right?-(laughter)

ALBANESE: Yeah.And that was only one

of two violent elevator crimesthat happened, 'cause Solange

hit Jay Z in the head that year,too. You know what I mean?

So, there was a lotof elevator crimes, I think,

-that changed things. -WILMORE:Right. Right. Thanks, Rory.

Yeah, well, I'm just trying tokeep everybody on the same page.

-Bringing that page.-Right. -(laughter)

Well, the Juicehas a contribution,

and so does Solange.

-Yeah, yeah, everybody.-Yeah. Right.

We learned that with Lemonade Jay Z deserved it, though.

-We did learn that.-(laughter and groaning)

-WILMORE: That's true.-It is.

-(applause and cheering)-WILMORE: And, uh...

RAMSEY:I still think we are very

misinformed when it comesto domestic violence.

Because you lookat what's going on

with Johnny Depp right nowand Amber Heard.

She has video, she has texts,

and people are like,"Oh, she's a gold-digger.

Oh, she's just tryingto get famous."

And we see this happen a lot.

And so I think that we havegotten a little bit better,

but I do think at the timethey just weren't equipped.

And also, they weren't allowedto bring in those 911 tapes,

-Mm-hmm. -they weren't allowedto have, uh, Nicole's journal.

There was a lot of evidencethere that would have helped

-that they weren't...-There's a lot of time spent

on this documentaryabout O.J.'s fame.

And I remember as a kid,I played football,

you know, I ran track,and, you know,

I wanted to play footballlike O.J. Simpson.

You know...I'd look up to him in that way.

It's funny, 'cause I looked upto Muhammad Ali as a black man.

It's, like, Muhammad Alimade me proud to be black.

O.J. Simpson-- I just wantedto run through the airport.


Yeah. But a lot of time is spenton how much he distanced himself

from the black experience.

They... they say he said, uh,"I don't want to be black,

-I just want to be O.J."-ALBANESE: Yeah.

-And it's funny how...-Now, by the way,

now he just wants to be blackand not O.J.


Now being black isa lot better than being O.J.

Exactly. But I thinkthat resonated with people

during the trial,'cause it was...

the Rodney King situationhad just happened very recently.

-GLADWELL: Oh, yeah.-Well, that's the big factor

why I think so many people inthe black community at the time

were... you know, watching itand cheering when he got off,

'cause it just felt like, well,the system was broken one time,

now maybe it's broken again,but at least this time

-it broke in our favor.-That cheering was

-for all the trials that went...-Yeah, and I don't think anyone

thought, you know,he was innocent.

I mean, maybe a few peopleon the deep web.

You know what I mean?But I'm saying, like...

but I do thinkthere's a component of it,

like, it was a little bitof a payback, and there...

There were huge riotsafter Rodney King.

You know what's going onright now in Brooklyn

in, uh...and not just in Brooklyn,

-People are making pickles-but throughout the...

-in a walk-up apartment?-No. No, no, no.

What's going on now is...

-So wrong! -Well,if that's what's happening.

That is one thing happeningin Brooklyn right now.

-That is a horrible...-All right, that's a fair...

-That is a horrible thing.-There's a whole series of cases

where people aregoing back through, uh,

-murder cases, serious criminalcases from the 1990s, -Mm-hmm.

and overturning them, because...

-they were completelyfraudulent. -Hmm.

The cops brought infraudulent evidence,

the vic...the accused was railroaded.

It is notan uncommon occurrence,

-Mm-hmm.-particularly in that era,

for there to be massivemiscarriages of justice.

So at the time--I mean, I think O.J. did it--

but at the time, to say,look, I know tons of cases

where peoplehave been unfairly...

black people have been unfairlyaccused of murder in this city

and have been framedfor all kinds of crimes

they didn't commit.

I mean, that's a plausibleresponse in 1995 in L.A.

-and in New York.-It was kind of similar, like,

when Leo won the Oscarfor The Revenant.

-Like, he didn'treally deserve it. -Yeah!

But he had made a bunchof really good movies before,

so you were kind of like, "Eh...all right, you know, it's okay."

Yeah, it'sa totally legit parallel.

-No, that's a le... -Kind oflike a... like a body of work.

Hey, it's like Scor...

-(whooping, applause)-look, it's like Scorsese

with The Departed, you know what I mean?

-It wasn't as bad. -It was,like, you know, you win some,

-you lose some. -How do youput up with this every night?

-I don't know. It's like... -I'mnot saying they're justified,

but I think that that'swhat some of the people...

GLADWELL: The Leo parallel.I hadn't thought of that.

WILMORE: Yeah, where peopleare thinking about how racist

the LAPD has been for years,and going,

"I'm relating thisto the Oscars."

-(laughter) -ALBANESE:But it's not just the LAPD.

I mean, and it's not's not like we fixed it.

I mean, it seemslike there's still a lot

of just absoluteand utter racism

-in the police. -Do you thinkthere is a problem with fame?

-Like, with people...-GLADWELL: Oh, yeah.

uh, judging famous people

and having a problemseparating that?

I remember, uh, years agoI was interviewing some guy

-who was an experton interrogation. -Mm-hmm.

And he had... he gave me a...we went over together

a transcript of the onlypolice interrogation of O.J.,

-Mm-hmm. -which wasthe next morning, right?

He only talks to the cops once.

And his whole point was,the interrogation,

if you read it closely,makes no sense whatsoever.

-Mm-hmm.-They are so in awe of him.

-Yeah. -Wow. -They...they don't let him talk.

They interrupt him as he's aboutto say incriminating things.

He contradicts himself--they totally blow it off.

They're just like,"I'm with O.J.

This is fantastic.I can't..."

WILMORE: He's like, "Yeah, andback when I killed Kennedy..."

-"No, O.J., stop that."-Yeah, yeah, yeah. -"Shh!"

-It's astonishing to read...the transcript. -Uh-huh.

And you realize, it is...people had huge blinders on.

Well, also, L.A. is obsessedwith celebrity, obviously.

That's, like, the town where allhorrible celebrity things occur.

And-and on top of that--it is-- and on top of that,

um, it seems, too, that,like, could you imagine

if that happened now,with selfies and Instagrams

-and everything else?-And Snapchat.

How many cops would be in theinterrogation room with O.J.?

Like, we didn'teven have that then.

But they were obsessed,they were completely obsessed

with him the entire him.I really think race became

a factor 'cause Johnnie Cochranworked it in.

But to me, the...the fame thing is really...

They were all obsessed with him.Everybody was...

-He... he was one of the mostfamous guys in the world. -Yeah.

I mean, he still is.Now he's just a...

like Cosby, he's justa horrible famous person.

You know? But it's, like...

But no, but he...he was at the time.

Tough to forget. And The Naked Gun movies were very good.

-Yeah.-(cheering, applause, whooping)

The end of the day.

For some people,that's all that matters.

We'll be right backright after this.

YARD: If you live in the New York City area

or are planning to visit, grab some free tickets

to The Nightly Show.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Thanks to my panelists,Rory Albanese,

Franchesca Ramseyand Malcolm Gladwell.

Thanks for watching.Goodnightly, everyone!

-(cheering, applause)-Yeah!

MAN: Ooh, sorry.