Australian Radio Apologizes for Hitler Prank

Talk Show Host Led Nazi Word-Association Game

By JTA

Published August 12, 2012.
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Australia’s public broadcaster apologized after a radio host asked his listeners to play a word association game involving Hitler and fan-forced ovens.

The prank broadcast Aug. 9 on triple j, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s youth radio station, caused Dvir Abramovich, the director of the Center for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Melbourne, to lament in the Sydney Morning Herald the following morning that there seems to be “no aspect or symbol” of the Holocaust that is “not subject to perverse abuse and cheap trivialization.”

Host Tom Ballard initially refused to apologize, saying on Twitter: “If you don’t like the show, just don’t listen.”

But the station issued a statement later on Aug. 10 saying it “apologizes unreservedly for any offense caused.”

Ballard said on Aug. 10 that he “sincerely apologized” for the joke which “offended and upset a lot of people. That’s not what I like doing,” he said. “I like making people laugh and I like making people happy.”


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