All O.J., all the time

For Fox News anchor E.D. Hill, the circus outside the Regional Justice Center on Wednesday morning was almost too much to bear.

As she watched O.J. Simpson attorney Yale Galanter field questions during a live news conference in downtown Las Vegas, she couldn't help but ask: Who are all those crazy people?

It was, of course, hard to tell whether she was referring to the fringe cast of characters who had congregated near the courthouse looking for some TV face time or to the media horde itself.

Ah, O.J. Simpson. For the 24-hour cable "news" networks, he has over the past few days certainly proven himself the gift that keeps on giving.

Simpson, arrested in connection with an armed robbery at Palace Station last Thursday night -- it apparently involved his effort to retrieve some of his own sports memorabilia -- was arraigned Wednesday and released on $125,000 bond.

Although Simpson faces a dozen felonies -- including a kidnapping charge -- it seems clear that District Attorney David Roger decided to toss as many volumes of the Nevada Revised Statutes at the Simpson team as possible, in hopes of forcing a plea bargain or pressuring the defense. (Hey, who hasn't seen "Law & Order"?)

In the meantime, the frenzy continues, no doubt fueled in part by the desire of some -- in the media and public, both -- to see the former football star get his just deserts after he walked a decade ago on charges of killing his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ron Goldman.

As Simpson left the detention center upon posting bail, news helicopters hovered overhead. When his sedan pulled away from the curb, the helicopters followed, providing live coverage as if they were beaming back video of a presidential funeral procession to a distraught nation.

It's a wonder the Simpson team didn't have the foresight to rent a white Ford Bronco for the trip -- fire the publicist! -- which ended a bit later at The Palms.

For now, Simpson is free to return to his home in Florida. He's scheduled to be back in court sometime next month. By then, perhaps, the Anderson-Nancy-Greta-Larry frenzy will have abated somewhat.

How will the nation survive?