Pistorius trial echoes O.J. Simpson media frenzy

The U.S. isn't unique in its seemingly insatiable taste for high-profile trials — the trial of Paraolympian Oscar Pistorius in South Africa is whipping up a media frenzy just days before it begins.

"World-renowned athlete Oscar Pistorius" (Via TVC News)
"Pistorius, famously known as the Blade Runner" (Via Africa News Network)
"About the psychological makeup of Oscar Pistorius" (Via ENCA)

CNN dubs it South Africa's "trial of the century." Pistorius faces charges of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day 2013. He says he mistook her for a burglar when he shot her in his home.

While testimony from Pistorius and defense witnesses will not be shown on TV, a South African judge ruled in February that the rest of the proceedings will be broadcasted for millions around the world to watch. (Via New York Daily News)

The wide coverage has sparked an outcry from Pistorius's family, who say it's already had enough of the media frenzy surrounding the trial. 


Pistorius's uncle, Arnold Pistorius, spoke Saturday saying"We will not be commenting on any media reports, nor will we be engaging the press on any issues that belong in court. The time for public commentary is over." (Via The Guardian)

A writer at The Washington Post compared the trial's media buzz to that of O.J. Simpson's by drawing parallels between the athletes' status and race, the victim and the evidence. In the end, he chalks it up to fate, saying:

"People might disagree with the verdict in the Simpson case, but he was found not guilty. In South Africa, where a judge, not a jury, will reach a decision, Pistorius's fate hangs in the balance."

Pistorius's trial is set to begin March 3. 
 


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