You have to defend everyone's right, including those who say, print or publish something that you find disgusting. It's the way it works.
Enter the coupling of Judith Regan and O.J. Simpson. A match made in free speech hell.
My friend and former colleague, Roxanne, has a Dear Judith Regan post up, which was the beginning of a blog swarm over the outrage. It was a call to action to get Ms. Regan to donote ALL OF THE PROCEEDS of O.J.'s book to organizations that help women escape abusive relationships. But 10 minutes ago, MSNBC announced that the book and the Fox program has been canceled.
Ms. Regan has taken so much heat that she felt compelled to explain. In fact, just last week when I did my first post on the subject, Fox had this URL publicizing the event: http://www.fox.com/oj/. It's now been nuked, referring instead to the Fox homepage. Frankly, the public deserved an explanation, because what was to be broadcast next Monday on Fox was nothing short of an outrage. The heat was on. Regan was put on the defensive.
IN the past few days, since the announcement of the forthcoming book and televised interview "If I Did It," it has been strange watching the media spin the story. They have all but called for my death for publishing his book and for interviewing him. A death, I might add, not called for when Katie Couric interviewed him; not called for when Barbara Walters had an exclusive with the Menendez brothers, who killed their parents in cold blood, nor when she conducted her celebrated interviews with dictator Fidel Castro or Moammar Khadafy; not called for when "60 Minutes" interviewed Timothy McVeigh who murdered hundreds in Oklahoma City; not called for when the U.S. government released tapes of Osama bin Laden; not called for when Geraldo Rivera interviewed his dozens of murderers, miscreants, and deviants.
Nor should it be.
"To publish" does not mean "to endorse it means "to make public." If you doubt that, ask the mainstream publishers who keep Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in print to this day. They are likely to say that there is a historical value in publishing such material, so that the public can read, and judge for themselves, the thoughts and attempted defenses of an indefensible man. There is historical value in such work; there is value for law enforcement, for students of psychology, for anyone who wants to gain insight into the mind of a sociopath.
But that is not why I did it. That is not why I wanted to face the killer. That is not why I wanted to publish his story.
I made the decision to publish this book, and to sit face to face with the killer, because I wanted him, and the men who broke my heart and your hearts, to tell the truth, to confess their sins, to do penance and to amend their lives. …
WHY I DID IT
JUDITH REGAN EXPLAINS PUBLISHING O.J.'S NEW BOOK