Why the O.J. Simpson Bronco car chase was a game-changer

A man cheers as the Ford Bronco carrying O.J. Simpson is chased by dozens of police cars during a pursuit through Los Angeles area freeways on June 17, 1994 (Reuters/file)


Twenty years have elapsed since the dramatic O.J. Simpson Ford Bronco car chase, and journalist Jere Hester argues that the media landscape hasn't been the same since

Hester joins guest host Brent Bambury to argue that the slow-speed, high-stakes pursuit kicked celebrity culture into high gear and paved the way for reality television. He also says that as Simpson's murder trial became a national obsession, society reached a turning point that melded fame and infamy into one.

"Two years before we had The Real World on MTV, which was I think really the first official [reality] show, I think what the O.J. case did in a different way was create a hunger for more of this kind of drama," Hester tells Bambury. 

"In terms of a 24-hour case, or near 24-hour case - and this was it before the internet, this was it before Twitter - this was a case that everybody had an opinion on."

Everyone is watching 

If you're too young to remember the events of June 12, 1994, the following ESPN video offers a glimpse at the dramatic police pursuit that gripped a nation. 

Were you among those watching the chase, or the televised O.J. Simpson court case? Do you remember feeling as though it was entertainment, or sensing the spectacle of it all would cause larger cultural ripple effects? 

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