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Posted December 11 and 14, 2008

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The mistake.

London, Sunday, December 8, 2008

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David Irving comments:

A LETTER before Action has now been sent to The Observer for once again stating that I am an active Holocaust denier. If these journalists keep swimming in their own lies, they may eventually drown in them. High Court action will follow if the warning is ignored. I have warned this newspaper and its sister The Guardian about this lie on several previous occasions.

Incidentally, the newspaper made no attempt to contact me, but appears to have relied solely on reports in the Jewish media, The Jewish Chronicle and Ha'aretz. Big mistake.

Pendennis: The Observer Diary, by Oliver Marre

Does David Irving deserve this platform?

HAVING approached him for Celebrity Big Brother and then decided against including him, Channel 4 still seems determined to give the controversial historian David Irving, once imprisoned in Austria for Holocaust denial, plenty of airtime.

On Tuesday night, C4's offshoot channel, More4, is showing a 90-minute documentary, An Independent Mind, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is publicising it heavily, with a special screening the night before at the Royal Society of Arts, hosted by Channel 4 News's foreign correspondent Jonathan Miller. According to the puff: 'This unique film gives a voice to eight characters from around the world who have fought to exercise their right to free speech.'

What C4 doesn't say is that the film's eighth and final hero is Irving. The timing is fortunate for Irving, if not for the rest of us, since he's currently trying to flog his self-published misery memoir.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews tells me the programme should not be shown. 'Whatever airtime David Irving gets is too much,' says chief executive Jon Benjamin. 'Here, he once again seems to be casting himself in the role of victim.'

The Board of Deputies says that although Irving has a right to free speech, it should be tempered by debate.

As Irving objects to being called a Holocaust denier and is in the habit of writing to newspapers that do so, I've gone in search of a better description. His personal website offers Hitler's walking stick for sale, refers repeatedly to Jews as 'nice folks' (including during a magnificent attempt to ally himself to John Cleese, because the comedian is divorcing his wife, who is Jewish) and carries links to his flattering biographies of Hitler and Goebbels. Any suggestions?

[Looks bad? Jews having second thoughts about publicly censoring Mr Irving:]


Postscript, Sunday, December 14, 2003

Even Irving must know the meaning of 'free speech'

FOLLOWING this column's disclosure that a More4 documentary to celebrate free speech included a contribution from David Irving, once imprisoned in Austria for holocaust denial, there have been two demonstrations organised by Unite Against Fascism and criticism from Deborah Lipstadt, the American historian unsuccessfully sued for libel by Irving when she called him a Holocaust denier.

In last week's article I wrote that Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: 'Whatever airtime David Irving gets is too much.'

The film's director, Rex Bloomstein, has given an interview attempting to condemn this as censorship.

'We certainly have not called for a ban and indeed have had no contact with Channel 4,' counters Benjamin.

'The point is that David Irving has the right to free speech within the bounds of the law and he should realise that his critics are entitled to exercise the same rights.'


David Irving invited on Celebrity Big Brother
Deborah Lipstadt's double-take: Has someone lost their mind?
The Observer: Protests at Irving's audition for Celebrity Big Brother
David Irving's Books
The Deborah Lipstadt Libel action
A film to be directed by Ridley Scott, about David Irving and Deborah Lipstadt and the famous Holocaust denial trial
Deutsche Welle (German propaganda radio) reports: Screenplay writer Ronald Harwood working on a film of the trial of David Irving [sic]

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