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Nov 20, 2006

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will spotts

I'm not overly optimistic . . . This is an obvious response to the surprisingly strong negative reaction of the public. I mean, they have already produced the material -- which was IMHO a bad thing in itself, but to back down solely because of pressure can hardly be called a good thing. While I consider this whole project a demonstration of horrible taste and a cynical attempt to profit from a grotesque crime, I am no fan of censorship either.

I suppose it does say something good that people responded to this with outrage.

Michael Kruse

I don't think I would count this as censorship. Fox made a business decision and customers let them know what they thought. O. J. is still free to tell his story all he wants and publishers/broadcasters are still free to chose whether or not to publish/broadcast it. No government entity has said a word. It is moral outrage about irresponible business practices.

Neil

I'm afraid you're right Michael, this was nothing more than a business decision. Airing the show would have been bad for business, so they pulled it.
With several Fox affiliates saying they would not air the show, they would have had to air something else and with it being sweeps week, that would not be good for the ratings. I'll be interested to see what Fox ends up putting in that time slot.

will spotts

Mea culpa -- I misused the word. My intent was not to imply government action or any policy on the part of the publisher. Instead, I was referring to the decision based on reaction. This was not an editorial decision in any sense of the word. (Yes, it was a business decision -- but that is not the same thing.) Very few books get pulled when they're actually printed, and very few movies get shelved when they're finished. They are usually allowed to run a limited course and fail. These may or may not have done so. Instead, a pseudo-business decision was made that simply declared that people would not have the opportunity to view these if they so desired. It is not a victory for good taste; it should not have positive consequences for the publisher or network; it is, on the other hand, a victory for the idea that offense is a reason to silence. We have had numerous real-crime books and movies that glorified crime. We have had too many offensive books and movies to count -- a lot of these crossed all boundaries of taste and civility . . . but they were somehow OK because they didn't get this reaction ahead of time?

Michael Kruse

Good points Will. Check out point post today where I am using the OJ case as an example about markets although without the scrutiny you are giving here.

Denis Hancock

This is a man who should be permitted to enjoy the obscurity he so richly deserves. I wonder how much of an up-front fee he received?

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