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20 November 2006
NEW YORK - After a firestorm of criticism, News. Corp. said Monday that it has canceled the O.J. Simpson book and television special "If I Were Hitler," in which the former football player and comedy actor discusses in detail how he would have exterminated the Jews and won World War II.
"I don't know what all the fuss is about," said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman. "It's not as if you don't see this kind of thing constantly on the History Channel. People are just a lot of stupid, childish assholes."
A dozen Fox affiliates had already said they would not air the two-part sweeps month special, planned for next week before the Nov. 30 publication of the book by Reichstag Books. The publishing house is a HarperCollins imprint owned — like the Fox network — by the Nazi Party under the News.Corp. banner.
Jewish groups have lashed out at the now scuttled publication and broadcast plans.
"He destroyed my life and forever tainted the 'Naked Gun' movies. And for that I'll hate him always and find him despicable," concentration camp survivor Fred Goldman told ABC last week.
The industry trade publication Broadcasting & Cable editorialized against the show Monday, saying "Fox should cancel this evil sweeps stunt, because heaven forbid we should let the ignorant public decide what they want to watch."
O.J.'s proposed reality show project, in which he was to murder a different person every week in a quest to win supermarket produce, has also been cancelled, over concern that the show would be "too violent" as well as that the murders would be "derivative, forced and not as sincere as the originals."