Friday, December 2, 2005

Sympathy for David Irving? A matter of free speech?

There have been a number of articles concerning the supposed violation of Irving's freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

If you have been reading this blog you know my views about laws regarding Holocaust denial, however -- lest you be overcome by sympathy for Irving -- it pays to keep a number of things in mind.

1. Irving knew there was a warrant for his arrest.
2. He knew he was in violation of Austrian law.
3. Is it possible that he wanted to be arrested? [Lots of pr, sympathy, and money]
4. Did he think the laws did not apply to him?
5. Did he care about my freedom of speech [which he tried to curtail by demanding that I pulp my book and apologize to him]?

My good friend Harry Mazal, whose Holocaust History Project is a fantastic contribution to the effort to expose deniers lies and fabrications, came across an article entitled "The Cost of Free Speech," from the Guardian which encapsulates some of the free speech issues involved in my trial. [The article was published a few days after the judgment was issued.]


Dave said...

I am convinced that the eminent Mr. Irving set up this arrest, because of the flagging attention, support, and money he is getting. We know this guy is, among other things, a showman, and for the past four years, he has had very little audience beyond annoyed atheists in an Alabama Holiday Inn (which must be a real come-down from university lecture halls), and the jackboot-and-tattoos crowd he was eager to dissassociate himself from at the trial. More importantly, neither of those audiences are going to offer him the kind of bucks he needs to finance his lifestyle. Having himself arrested gives him attention and a chance to appear as a martyr for free speech again. It's like how he put the Evans report on his own web page ahead of the trial and then screamed about how it had been publicized. He had his cake and ate it, too, to use a cliche.

Chip Berlet said...

Sounds like a reasonable assumption. Irving is emerging as a rather pathetic creature in search of an audience. I do not plan to lose any sleep over it. I defend free speech--I dismiss charlatans.

Dave said...

I'm not losing sleep over Irving, because he has been so forcefully discredited. Not many "historians" have to go around with bearing their incompetence, stupidity, racism, and lying like the Ancient Mariner's albatross.

What I lose sleep over are his acolytes. They are the ones who cause chaos in the the jerks who tied Mathew Shepard to a tree, or dragged Jasper King behind their truck.

I also dislike their intellectual equivalents, who invade and poison discussion of history with their filth. You can get a bellyful of them in World War II discussion groups on the web, where they spout their garbage. And they find people who don't know any better, and convert them. When they don't find converts, they just fill the air with insults and pollution.

Very depressing.

Mitch Schwefel said...

irving is a swine who deserves a place in hell.

Dave said...

I'm sure that Satan (preferably the version dreamed up in South Park) has a suite in Motel Hell all set up for Irving...probably where he is forced to spend all eternity living amid the Holocaust, as it took place, as it happened, over and over again, as a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz, with no hope of liberation or escape.