In the wake of much media and public scrutiny, Fox’s parent company, NewsCorp, has pulled the upcoming airing of O.J. Simpson’s tell-all special, “If I Did It,” from the network’s programming lineup and halted publication of his book of the same name. The two-part TV special was scheduled to air Nov. 27 and Nov. 29, during the same week in which Simpson’s book of the same name was set for publication.
Until now, NewsCorp owner Rupert Murdoch has remained silent amid controversy. But today, Murdoch says the initial decision to take on the project proved to be an error in judgment. “I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project. We are sorry for any pain that his has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.”
Prior to Murdoch’s decision, CBS newsman Bob Schieffer made his feelings known, saying that he thought he had already seen the worst news 2006 had to offer. "I thought the congressional page scandal would surely win the most disgusting story of the year award," the journalist said during a recent airing of his "Face the Nation" show on CBS.
"But who knew that O.J. Simpson would write a how-to manual describing the way he would have killed his wife, had he chosen to commit the crime – or so he says. Or that he would get two prime-time hours on Fox Television to promote his book,” he said.
Recent reports confirmed that Lin Broadcasting and Pappas Broadcasting, companies that account for nine FOX affiliates, decided not to air the program. The book’s publisher, Judith Reagan, was originally slated to host the special, in which Simpson offered a hypothetical explanation of the role he played in the 1994 murder of his ex-wife.