Can Kobe Bryant Get a Fair Trial?
Celebrity matters. There, I’ve said it. It mattered when O.J. Simpson was acquitted. It mattered when Leona Helmsley was convicted. It matters in the Rosie O’Donnell civil trial, though even as I write these words, the outcome of that matter remains up in the chilly New York autumn air.
If you don’t think celebrity matters, ask yourself why there are cameras staked out for Rosie and her supporting cast on the courthouse stairs day after ceaseless day? After all, the Rosie O’Donnell case, once you subtract out the imposing bulk of Rosie herself, is just a plain vanilla breach of contract matter. If it wasn’t Rosie, you’d just plain yawn.
Why, too, if not for celebrity, this tireless fascination with the Kobe Bryant case and all things Kobeesque? Why are Martha Stewart’s Imclone travails likely better known to you than the contents of your own portfolio? In this star-struck, celebrity-addled culture of ours, celebrity does indeed count. And it counts for quite a bit.
Precisely what it counts for, though, is somewhat harder to say. It’s something like asking if a donkey is better than a dog? Which begs the question, well, for what?
Back to that in just a sec.
Today on “Today” were four jury members from the Robert Durst murder trial. If memory serves, the Durst trial was concluded just yesterday as I write in Galveston, Texas. Galveston, for those of you who’ve never stopped to cogitate upon the matter, is 1,647.84 miles – at least according to MapQuest it is – from New York City. And yet, despite those 1600-and-some-odd miles, the day following Mr. Durst’s acquittal, four of the 12 angry men and women of the jury were in studio in New York on the homey “Today” set.