Fox Stars Revolt Over 'Appalling' O.J. Interview

Nov. 20, 2006 — -- Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly's harsh words are usually reserved for his guests, but now he is attacking his own network.

O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera -- among other Fox personalities -- are taking to Fox's airwaves to condemn the network for running two nights of interviews with O.J. Simpson about his new book

The book, which Fox also has a hand in publishing, is titled "If I Did It," and is a detailed, hypothetical account of how he would have killed his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

The first interview is set to air on Nov. 27.

"I don't think any two people could be murdered without everybody being covered in blood," Simpson says in a commercial promoting the Fox special.

Rivera expressed his outrage at the book and interview on "Good Morning America."

"I think this project, whoever created it, is just about as low as you can go. This is an appalling idea involving a lowdown and dirty double [murderer] who's allowed to cash in on his crime," Rivera said. "Everybody in the world knows [O.J.] did it."

Boycotting the Book and Interview

The Goldman family has set up a Web site where tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition to boycott the show and the book.

Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman's father, wants to pressure advertisers and booksellers to back out.

"I would hope that the message from people in this country is sent to his publisher, is sent to Fox that this is disgusting, despicable," Goldman said in an interview with CNN's Larry King last week.

A local Fox station is not airing the Simpson interview at all.

Instead, WWCP in Altoona, Pa., will show a program on St. Jude Children's Hospital, and a special on domestic violence.

"We are going to take a financial loss, but you know some things are not for sale," said station president Frank Quitoni, about his decision to not air the Simpson interview.

Publisher Judith Regan, who conducted the interview with Simpson, says she did not pay Simpson for the interview.

In a statement, she said, "I wanted, as so many victims do, to hear him say 'I did it and I am sorry.'"

Regan said that she had been a victim of domestic violence years ago.

Rivera isn't buying Regan's statement.

"If Judith wanted to exorcise her own particular ghosts, I think there's a more effective way of doing it," he said on "GMA."

Will Simpson Profit?

Along with the moral issue comes a financial one: Will Simpson profit from the publicity?

"It hasn't been adequately explained. … How is O.J. profiting off of this?" said Wall Street Journal editor Christopher John Farley.

Of course, in a work of fiction, a confession would be meaningless, making the decision to put Simpson on television all the more controversial, critics say.

While Rivera may not boycott the Simpson interview and book like his colleague O'Reilly, he wants America to know that Fox's decision to pay Simpson. disgusts him.

"It's a free country. Do whatever you want. Just know that this is an appalling idea," he said.