Friday, March 18, 2005

This is NOT "Fair and Balanced"

C-Span wanted to commit an incredible stupidity by "balancing" a televised lecture by Professor Deborah Lipstadt with a speech by reprehensible holocaust denier and self-proclaimed "real historian" David Irving, best known for accusing Lipstadt of libel in British court, a case he lost spectacularly. The idea that things always have to be "balanced" by an opposing view is just asinine and has led partly to the conservative insanity gripping this country. Trying to be fair, broadcasters have tried to "balance" what they perceive to be liberal views with conservative views, even when the conservative views are, as in this case, insane.

Professor Lipstadt has always refused to be used in this way, and she has removed her permission to allow C-SPAN to tape her lecture. For C-Span to try to "balance" the truth with the fantasies of a holocaust denier is beyond the pale, and it is and has always been to Lipstadt's credit that she avoids such situations.

"I called the producer at C-Span and told her that this was a man who was a Holocaust denier, and this idea of using both of us made no sense to me," Professor Lipstadt said.

She and many of her supporters believe that including such a figure in an account of her views would be as wrongheaded as accompanying a story on slavery in the United States with remarks from someone who said that slavery never happened.

"I told C-Span that I assumed that if they weren't going to tape my lecture, they also wouldn't use David Irving, but they said no, they were committed to having him on," Professor Lipstadt said yesterday. "This is a man who's said that Holocaust survivors are all liars, and that more people died in Senator Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers."

Complete article here.

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