Glasgow, April 19, 2000
Jewish leaders attack BBC for Irving Broadcasts
Jewish leaders criticised the BBC yesterday for continuing to give a voice to shamed historian David Irving after he was branded "racist and anti-Semitic" by a High Court judge.
The 62-year-old author of Hitler's War faces financial ruin after losing his libel action against American academic Prof Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books last week.
But since the judgment, which saw him accused of racism and being a Holocaust denier, he has appeared on BBC2's Newsnight and Radio 4's Today programme to defend himself.
Now the Board of Deputies of British Jews has written to BBC director of news Mr Tony Hall complaining about the corporation giving him a platform.
Mr Neville Nagler, the board's director-general, said: "It is surprising that the BBC regards it appropriate to offer a platform for someone whom the High Court has found to be an anti-Semite and a racist."
A BBC spokesman said: "Far from giving him a platform, we challenged him on his opinions and asked the kinds of questions many viewers and listeners wanted to see put to him."
April 19, 2000
Website fact: The stamina of the defence team was aided by a six million dollar fund provided by Stephen Spielberg, Edgar J Bronfman, and the American Jewish Committee, which enabled them to pay 21 lawyers and "experts"; the experts like Evans, Longerich were paid up to £109,000 each to testify as they did (while the defence's star legal team was paid considerably more). Nobody was paying for Mr Irving, who has been fighting this battle for three whole years. Nobody was paying for Mr Irving, who has been fighting this battle for three whole years. Nor did he pay his defence witnesses one cent or sous: they testified from conviction, not for reward. [Help!]