OJ Simpson knocks Trump out of the cable news spotlight

OJ Simpson knocks Trump out of the cable news spotlight
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Outside of big breaking news, for the first time since announcing his candidacy for president in June 2015, Donald Trump was not the central focus of cable news coverage for a full day.
 
Making a rare decision to dump almost all political news to cover Simpson instead, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN went wall-to-wall to cover Simpson's parole hearing on Thursday.
 
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The Thursday parole hearing of Simpson comes almost 22 years after the one-time NFL legend was acquitted in the 1994 murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. 
 
The not-guilty verdict was watched by more than 150 million people on Oct. 3, 1995 — which was 57 percent of the country. For context, the first presidential debate between Trump and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBudowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE in September 2016 was watched by 84 million people. 
 
But nine years ago, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery of sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. He was up for parole Thursday and appeared in a Nevada court, a rare live appearance by the former football star.

The 70-year-old Simpson re-entered the American conscience last year well before his parole hearing was even on the news radar. 

ESPN's 2016 documentary "O.J.: Made in America" and FX's re-enactment of the Simpson trial, "The People vs. O.J. Simpson," were both critically acclaimed, with the latter winning nine Emmy Awards. 
 
Audience numbers for the live coverage on the cable news networks Thursday won't be available until Friday afternoon via Nielsen Research. However, most networks went big on their coverage of the event.

Many lawyers who rose to stardom while covering the Simpson trial in 1994 to 1995, including CNN's Jeffery Toobin and Fox's Greg Jarrett, were back on the air to analyze the hearing.

Toobin took issue with Simpson's claim to the parole board that he's led a "mostly conflict-free life."

"After all these years, I thought I had lost the ability to be appalled, to be nauseated, to be outraged by the behavior of O.J. Simpson,” Toobin told CNN's Brooke Baldwin. "But I thought his statements were self-justifying, self-pitying, showing no remorse, no understanding, no sense of reality about his own life." 

He is a deeply delusional and self-obsessed narcissist, Toobin added later. 

"Good luck to America once he's out," he said. Simpson did meet the qualifications for parole and was freed in a unanimous vote by the board. He may leave prison as early as Oct. 1.

Jarrett was no less restrained on television Thursday after a scathing editorial on FoxNews.com called Simpson "an inherent danger to society."

"Simpson has a long and frightening record of violence: beating his wife, cutting his ex-wife’s throat and nearly decapitating her, stabbing Goldman more than 30 times, then later committing armed robbery and kidnapping," wrote Jarrett. 

"Simpson is an inherent danger to society and it is too risky to let him walk free," the former Court TV anchor concluded. 
 
MSNBC recently parted ways with Greta Van Susteren, who as a former civil defense attorney built her cable news career off her coverage of the Simpson trial for CNN.