Back in April I believe, I saw something about a free episode of The Daily Show on iTunes, so I figured I would check it out. I ended up canceling the download, but somehow my account has stayed subscribed to it or something. This whole time, whenever I start iTunes, it keeps beginning to download that very episode and I always have to pause it and cancel it. I know this is really stupid haha, but I can't figure out how to cancel/remove my subscription. I went to The Daily Show's iTunes page but didn't see anything regarding canceling my subscription or anything. In fact, I don't even think I'm subscribed. All of the other episodes show a price, as in, I have to buy them. I think I'm only subscribed to that one episode, or something weird is going on. Do I have to download the entire thing then remove it?
Under the Store menu is a "Check for available downloads" item, which leads me to believe that Apple keeps a list of all of your un-downloaded purchases. (A free episode/song/app is just a purchase with a cost of $0) iTunes does this check on startup, sees that you've purchased something that you haven't downloaded yet, and starts it.
I'm sure that if you just let the download complete, it will get marked as "successfully downloaded" on Apple's server and iTunes won't keep trying to download it.
So, short answer: Yeah, just let it finish downloading and then delete it afterward if you don't want it.
You will have to ask Apple Support to cancel it for you - there is currently no way for a user to permanently cancel your own downloads.
I resorted to having to download all my outstanding downloads just to clear the queue.