C-SPAN is a great channel, but its producers don't seem to have paid any attention to the recent coverage of the Holocaust-denier, David Irving. What on earth gave them the idea to invite him on-air with his nemesis, Deborah Lipstadt? As Richard Cohen points out in the Washington Post, this is one subject where the idea of "balance" makes no sense at all.

To Lipstadt's statements about the Holocaust, there was Irving's rebuttal that it never happened -- no systematic killing of Jews, no Final Solution and, while many people died at Auschwitz of disease and the occasional act of brutality, there were no gas chambers there. "More women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz," Irving once said.

...By dint of maniacal industry, Irving had turned himself into an admired writer on Nazi Germany. He mined the archives for material that others appeared to have overlooked. Some of it was genuine; some of it was false. Increasingly, though, his books gave off the whiff of anti-Semitism and a certain admiration of Hitler. When Richard J. Evans, a Cambridge University historian (and one of Lipstadt's expert witnesses), carefully examined Irving's work, he found it a stew of misrepresentations, falsifications and outright quackery. Irving was authoritatively exposed: a propagandist hiding behind seemingly scholarly footnotes.

This is the man C-SPAN turned to for "balance."

Want more background? Lispstadt has her own blog. Geoffrey Wheatcroft reviewed two earlier books on the Irving-Lipstadt trial in the NY Times. My Washington Times review of Lipstadt's excellent account of the case can be found here.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/03/c-span-follies-c-span-is-great-channel.html|||3/16/2005 08:19:00 am|||||||||