Friday, March 25, 2005

The Emory Wheel on C-SPAN Controversy

Methinks that the student who wrote the article that appears in today's Emory Wheel could have learned some lessons from the editors at the San Antonio Express News [see previous post]. In doing her "homework", the writer - perhaps seeking "balance" - evidently spoke to Irving. Here are some excerpts:

Prof declines Book TV over Holocaust denier

Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies and Professor of Jewish and Holocaust Studies Deborah Lipstadt has again come at odds with the man who sued her five years ago for portraying him as a Holocaust denier.

Lipstadt planned to see a feature of her book about this court battle on the March 16 broadcast of C-SPAN’s “Book TV.” She granted C-SPAN permission to tape a speech she gave that day at Harvard Hillel, a Jewish organization at Harvard University.

But Lipstadt cancelled these plans when C-SPAN told her that a broadcast of English historical writer David Irving, an expert on the Hitler regime who she has called “a liar and a falsifier of history,” would be stacked with hers on the show.

According to Lipstadt, Irving’s claims that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and that Adolf Hitler had no role in the Final Solution, among other things, implicate him as a Holocaust denier.

But Irving said such notions are part of Lipstadt’s “obsession” with him.

“I am not a Holocaust denier,” Irving said. “I am bored by the Holocaust and I think most of the world is, too.”


After a three-month trial, a British judge ruled in favor of Lipstadt, finding that testimony and documents that pictured Irving as an anti-Semite who distorted facts gave an apt portrayal.

Lipstadt said C-SPAN’s decision to “balance” her views with those of Irving was illogical.

“It would be like airing someone who wrote on slavery and someone who said slavery didn’t happen,” Lipstadt said.

Lipstadt refused C-SPAN coverage of her speech, which was based on her book History on Trial: My Day in Court With David Irving. However, C-SPAN taped a recent speech Irving gave at the Landmark Diner in Atlanta.

According to Irving, [...]


“[C-SPAN] have been totally uncommunicative,” Lipstadt said. “I have no idea what their plans are.”

Lipstadt said C-SPAN had planned to show Irving’s Atlanta speech on the show with or without her appearance.

“He didn’t have to be balanced, but I did,” she said.

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