By David in TN
September 10, 2012:
During the O.J. Simpson trial, I became interested in the history of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. I have read everything on the subject I could find and have even corresponded with two former members of the office.
Members of the office often refer to themselves as "DAs," rather than "prosecutors."
A book that those interested in the subject should read is The D.A., by Lawrence Taylor (a former member of the office, not the football player). This book follows a Deputy DA around during 1991-92 and shows the culture of the office. There are vignettes of many Deputy DA's. The one of Clark is very revealing.
Marcia Clark joined the office in 1981. The Front Office had their eye on her (a female they could promote and showcase) from the start. She was assigned as second chair to one of the top attorneys, Harvey Giss, for several years. In 1989, she was assigned to the Special Trials Unit, which usually got the high profile trials.
In 1993, after putting the Mt. Olive Church killers on death row, she became part of management. She was constantly being promoted, even though, she claimed, the men were "afraid of a strong babe like me."
In 1994, she asked to go back into Special Trials. About this time, the Simpson case broke. The other deputies in Special Trials were either in trial or about to start one. Detective Vanatter asked Clark to look over their work and she never left the case. Clark got the Simpson case by default.
Garcetti seems to have felt taking Clark off the case would get him in trouble with the feminists.
Although her efforts were almost universally panned and she lost the case, Clark received a 4.2 million dollar book contract. She's hung on as a Grade C celebrity ever since.
May 17, 2015:
Marcia Clark seems to have hit the ceiling in her Failing Upward trajectory. She's had four Rachel Knight novels published but none are listed (on Amazon or Barnes and Noble) for this summer. Her contract has apparently run out.
Mediocre sales and ho-hum plots seem to have ended her run as a novelist.
TNT seems to have filmed one of her novels, but hasn't shown it.
May 21, 2015:
Well, Marcia Clark has written something this year. She contributed a Foreword to a new edition of Meyer Levin's Compulsion [about the Chicago “thrill murder” of a little boy by brilliant but monstrous young Nietzschean “supermen,” Leopold and Loeb].
June 17, 2015
There is an obscure 1996 book titled The D.A., by Lawrence Taylor (not the Giants linebacker). It's a look at the 1991-92 period in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, during the Rodney King imbroglio and before O.J. Simpson. There are anecdotes about the Deputy DAs in the office.
On page 336, we learn Marcia Clark (her again) believed women were better trial lawyers than men. "Men were too objective and 'fact-oriented,' and were taught to repress their feelings and deal with the facts in the abstract. Women, on the other hand, were better at relating to witnesses and juries on an emotional level."
Clark also said: "Men were the more fragile sex when it came to trial combat, Clark felt. It was men who were burned out after a few years of trying cases, not women. She told her male associates, "The oak breaks, the willow bends."
About that time, the state of Florida lost the rape case against William Kennedy Smith, with the female prosecutor doing a very poor job. Inside the office, this was "a source of considerable embarrassment to Clark."
A few years later, Marcia Clark put on the worst performance ever seen by a prosecutor in the Simpson case and was "burned out" enough to leave the office. The $4.2 million book deal probably eased her exit.
I am so sick of Marcia Clark. She has zero credibility. Everything she says, whether as a “factual” or fictional statement, just happens to be a feminist talking point. Women are tougher than men? Better lawyers? Right.
My enduring impression of her is of how she deluded herself, according to the late Vincent Bugliosi, into believing that as a woman, she understood and had rapport with black women, even after the jury consultants for the Simpson trial told her that black women hated her.
According to the US Inflation Calculator, $4,200,000 in 1996 would be equal to $6,333,434.03 today, adjusted for inflation.
Viking Adult, Clark’s hardcover publisher, also had to pay Clark’s ghostwriter, Teresa Carpenter ($100,000? $200,000?), as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in promotional costs. There’s no way they could’ve calculated that they’d turn a profit on such huge upfront costs. They’d have had to sell about a million copies.
Some readers are surely asking, skeptically, “But aren’t publishers in the business of making money?”
Sure, they are. But they enter into certain high-priced deals that are guaranteed losers. Marcia Clark’s claim to fame was in having lost “the trial of the century.” She had neither any previous fame, nor any track record as a writer. She was not witty or brilliant. She was a feminist who had had a moment in the sun.
A look at the top ten New York Times bestsellers this week at Barnes & Noble, shows seven of ten having been written by famous authors, six of whom (all but former Bush II press secretary and current Fox News host Dana Perino) had written previous bestsellers. And in the seventh case, Dana Perino’s And the Good News is, had a first print run of 75,000. Seventy-five thousand is very respectable, but wouldn’t justify a multimillion-dollar deal.
Publishing houses frequently give millions of dollars to friends (e.g., the Clintons) for books that are guaranteed to lose money. They then make the money back by publishing other trash, mostly diet and self-help books. That leaves virtually nothing for quality books.
However, that still doesn’t explain the mystery of Marcia Clark’s writing career. I can only imagine that she had publishing connections that were not publicly known, and that a publishing feminist wanted to turn her into the next amazon feminist.
WEJB/NSU’s Marcia Clark Files:
“O.J. Simpson Prosecutor Marcia Clark Writes a Mystery Novel”;
“Marcia Clark Embraces the Dark Side”;
“Failed O.J. Simpson Prosecutor Marcia Clark’s Second Mystery Novel Tanks”;
“Marcia Clark: The Reading Public Will Not Support Writers of Realistic Crime Fiction; It is Only Excited by Stories of PC, Feminist Detectives and Prosecutors (Like Her!) Pursuing White, Heterosexual, Male Serial Killers”; and
“O.J. Simpson Prosecutor Marcia Clark Still Failing Upward.”