Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Re: Foxtel Warms to David Irving

Foxtel pulls plug on Hitler doco
Imre Salusinszky | August 29, 2007

FOXTEL chief Kim Williams is "acutely embarrassed" his network put to air a documentary about Adolf Hitler written by Holocaust denier David Irving.

The Australian has learnt that an episode of The War Files, broadcast on the History Channel on Saturday, was a condensed version of Irving's book, Hitler's War.

Irving, who is banned from entering Australia, scripted and produced the documentary, which he sells to supporters on DVD for about $50. Mr Williams has pulled the series and ordered an investigation. "My reaction is one of dismay," he said yesterday. "It has been stopped and will not be transmitted again. I can only express regret on the part of Foxtel that it slipped through our normal editorial processes."

The slip-up was first noticed by former Hawke government minister Barry Cohen, who wrote to Mr Williams.

"What struck me, as someone who has had a lifetime interest in this period for highly personal reasons, was that the documentary film was not unduly critical of Hitler, particularly with regard to the mass murder of Jews, Poles, homosexuals and gypsies," he wrote. "In fact, it was barely mentioned. The impression given was that he was a kindly old gentleman who made some unwise military decisions."

Mr Williams replied to Mr Cohen that "there can be no excuse for such an offensive program seeing the light of day" and offered "an immediate and unreserved apology".

Mr Cohen said yesterday Mr Williams had "handled it as well as anyone could possibly do".

Irving served a 10-month prison sentence in Austria last year for associating with neo-Nazi groups. In 2000 he lost a libel action against Penguin Books. The judge said Irving was an active Holocaust denier.


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