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O.J. Trial: The Day Cable News Started

On last night’s Big Story, John Gibson reflected on the 10th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson verdict. “I remember it as the day cable news started — the cable news we know today,” he said.

“Up until O.J., cable news was what the big networks derisively called one of our competitors: ‘Chicken Noodle News.’ It was big network lite, the hardworking kids in Atlanta trying to be big and falling short, except when there was a war or an earthquake.

But the O.J. trial showed people who were interested in investing in cable news that it could be done, that you could ‘sustain coverage,’ as we say, nearly endlessly. The O.J. trial proved that the electronic infrastructure — cameras and satellites and stuff like that — was in place and could go on as long as the batteries were charged and the anchors could talk.

Up until then, there were doubts about cable news. That trial erased all doubts. And in my mind, it clearly was the moment that cable news was born.” More…

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