Rupert Murdoch has fired Judith Regan.
Word came tonight, meant to be buried as a weekend begins, just as Rupert's NewsCorp Christmas party was getting into swing, with Bill O'Reilly whispering in the ears of grudging production assistants about loofahs, and Sean Hannity telling yet another associate producer that he really does know Charlie Daniels. The brilliant, toxic editrix, who made writers out of Hannity and Howard Stern alike, went too far with her scheme to create and promote the OJ Simpson If I Did It, Here's How It Happened book and informercials.
We told you the firing was in the cards:
She embarrassed the boss.
On Nov 18, we asked What came first? OJ Simpson or the manuscript? and brought up the possibility that the "ghostwriter" for the Simpson book--Regan's former lover and murder trial witness, Pablo Fenjves--had concocted the book, then sold it to Simpson:
"Consider the 'evidence': Fenjves has made a living by using his imagination and, he was involved in the Simpson case, he works in the imaginary crime genre, he conjures crime scenes for the small screen, and he writes in other people's voices. This sounds to be right up his alley. And Regan, the genius packager, could have seen this as a way to right all those wrongs she wrote about in her own very disturbing Drudge Report "confession"...
On Nov. 20, it was reported: "O.J. Simpson says his ill-fated 'If I Did It' book was not a confession and that the title wasn't his idea. In a telephone interview Wednesday with WTPS-AM radio, Simpson said that he told the writer he had 'nothing to confess.'"
Earlier that day, wrote: "Rupert Murdoch is a very forgiving boss. He'll shrug off scandal, he'll laugh off journalistic crimes, he'll ignore breaches in social etiquette, he considers 'ethics' to be a county outside London. But he does not like to be embarrassed in front of his friends or become a mockery to his colleagues on that Mister Burnsian level of power. The fact that he gave up all those ratings and all those book sales from Judith Regan’s brainstorm... means that Regan embarrassed him greatly with her scheme..."
Had she played it right, had she been more respectful of the public's intelligence, had she not come up with that unhinged and obviously cynical explanation of her motivations, and had she not so lied so blatantly in claiming that she didn't pay Simpson, Judith Regan might be clinking glasses with Mike Darnell in Century City tonight.
But she'll be back...