Sunday, September 7, 2008

Prepping for Cirque du O.J.

Tomorrow, jury selection begins for the O.J. Simpson robbery case here in Las Vegas. I've already done two somewhat different previews, this one for Newsweek and this one a few days later for the Agence France Presse. They're kind of a case study in the differences in tone, style and substance demanded from different media outlets. So far I can't gauge whether the public even cares, but the Newsweek piece has been up for three days and there's been just one comment. That's saying -- or not saying -- something. I suspect the politics-obsessed nation will largely tune out until the verdict unless O.J. takes the stand.

Indeed, what did draw a ton of reaction for Newsweek, much of it irrelevant to the story itself, was my exclusive sit-in at a focus group in Las Vegas on Wednesday night as they viewed the Palin address. The two groups of swing-state undecided voters, one married women and one unmarried women, had a lot of interesting things to say about Palin and politics, much of which no man could possible get away with. I even heard New Yorker editor Dorothy Wickenden on the magazine's Campaign Trail podcast misrepresent the findings; she said that the participants overall had lower opinions of Palin after the speech when, in fact, even the most critical people had at least some improved view, improved in many cases from a zero rating. You can find my piece here. It's the second part of a women-react package, so scroll down a little bit. It's always nice to scoop the local media on a story of national significance in their own backyards.

So today I've got to read the papers, finish a travel story and get going on watching my DVD sets of Criss Angel's "Mindfreak." And that's all I'm gonna say about that.


Anonymous said...

A group of women watching a speech is a scoop?

Hey Steve, I've got a couple more for you...

I heard from a very good source that people are gambling in those big, bright buildings... They’re stuffing money into slots and betting on sports – even college!

I also heard from a very good source that Las Vegans elected a former mob attorney as Mayor! Can you believe that?

I look forward to reading more about both in Newsweek.


Hello, oh brave Anonymous. Let's see. If the R-J or the Sun had been aware that a major national research firm had decided that Las Vegas women's views on the nation's biggest political celebrity of the moment were worth using to gauge how women nationally feel and were able to get exclusive access to observing the focus groups while they were going on, I've no doubt in my mind both would have pounced -- and put it on their front pages. But they didn't. That, to me, is a scoop -- getting a story that my competitors would have without a doubt wanted and would have exploited.

Oh, and while I love some good sarcasm as much as the next fellow, I *was* the first reporter to write about the mob lawyer running for Vegas mayor for a national publication -- for US News in May 1999.

What else ya got?

Anonymous said...

You got me hooked to read your AFP article when you warned to compare the tone/style/substance.

One thing I did notice "who have copped pleas "
Is that a term that travels well?
I guess so...and I though 'the queens english' still ruled the rest of the world. I guess CSI and Law&Order have a lot to answer for...

And CourtTV is now TruTV...who knew. Guess I've been tuned out



Yeah, that is funny. I actually didn't file it with that phrase, so I guess it is something either my editors or the local editors that picked up the piece used. But that's a good observation I hadn't noticed.