Last Friday night,  I was busily channel surfing trying to avoid Donald Trump bloviating. One moment he advocates war crimes, the next he defends his penis size. (Clearly, the two are related.)

On this night, albeit for only 24 hours, O.J. Simpson killed Trump’s stranglehold of the news cycle. The “breaking news” was about a knife discovered at O.J.’s Brentwood estate in 1998 being just finally turned over to LAPD. Now, a week later, the story will likely go nowhere. I wish the same could be said of Trump.

Frankly, between O.J. and Trump it’s a tossup of whom I dislike more. Even though O.J.’s probably a double murderer, I’d have to say it’s Trump. Or should I say “Drumpf,” as it was before his family name was changed?

There are so many reasons to dislike The Donald, one doesn’t know where to begin. At a recent rally in Florida, Drumpf demanded that supporters raise their right hand to take a pledge that they would vote for him. I swear, the still photos looked like a Nazi salute.

Actually, I’ve long contended that Drumpf, as he pompously parades on stage and the imperious way he holds his face, especially his jaw and mouth, is uncannily reminiscent of the fascist dictator the late Benito Mussolini. Newscaster Ted Koppel agrees, adding only that The Donald has more hair. Speaking of hair, if Drumpf were to win in November (biting my tongue as I type) he would be the first president in history who was married three times, put four companies in bankruptcy and wore a comb-over.   

It’s perhaps fitting that it was O.J. who temporarily dethroned Drumpf because the two are strangely connected. How you ask? Let’s go back to June 17, 1994 and the infamous slow-speed Bronco chase. The ratings for that, followed by O.J.’s murder trial for the brutal killings of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, were staggering. So much so I’ve theorized that O.J., in part, was responsible for reality TV. A stretch? Please bear with me.

When TV producers examined the Simpson ratings from programming with very little production costs, they took notice. Also, at O.J.’s criminal trial we became familiar with attorney, and Simpson’s best friend, the late Robert Kardashian. Does that name ring a bell? Kardashian had been married to Kris, mother to their four children and future wife of Olympic champion Bruce Jenner (whom she married one month after divorcing Kardashian) who would go on to become Caitlyn Jenner. (Who supports Ted Cruz, who’s against same-sex marriage.)   

The inexplicable success of the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” led to a deluge of other such shows, including…“The Apprentice. So it could be said, that were it not for O.J., there might not have been the plethora of reality shows, ergo there might not have been “The Apprentice” and ergo Donald Drumpf might not be dangerously close to becoming president.  (That alone should be used to deny  O.J. parole at his hearing in Nevada in  2017.)

As disheartening as the Drumpf phenomenon is, O.J.’s, more than 20 years later, is more puzzling. The country was riveted, and still is to a large degree. (FX’s current dramatic series “The People v. O.J. Simpson” is getting tremendous ratings.)

Another common link between O.J. and Drumpf is America’s fascination with celebrity. After the murder trial where he was acquitted, O.J. was scorned in Brentwood and much of L.A. But let’s not forget all the times at other locales where hordes of people would rush over to get his autograph.

The Brown-Goldman murders and O.J.’s involvement, or lack thereof, became a cottage industry. One of the most “unusual” points of view of this obsession was contained in the book, “O.J. is innocent and I can prove it?”  Veteran private investigator William C. Dear theorized, with considerable evidence,  that it wasn’t O.J. who committed the murders but his oldest son, Jason.

O.J.’s celebrity was so great that, even while in jail, he was selling his autograph. As noted in Mike Gilbert’s book “How I Helped O.J. Get Away With Murder,”  O.J. made $5,000,000 during the year he awaited trial. Simpson bragged that his was the most valuable signature of a living person in America. (As a braggart no one’s more repulsive than Drumpf, except perhaps for Hulk Hogan in his prime.)

And there’s one last comparison between O.J. and Drumpf. On July 20, 1994, Simpson offered a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the “real killer.” It was so patently absurd that late night comedians had a field day. (Much as they currently are with Drumpf.)

In fact, I joked, “Given how much time O.J. golfs it’s obvious he thinks the ‘real killer’ is a caddie.” Frankly, to me, O.J.’s “reward” had the same authenticity as Drumpf’s  “I’ll make America great again.”

For more about William C. Dear, go to www.overlookedsuspectmovie.com. Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and jnsmdp@aol.com.