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.'
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Randll Reese Besch - 12/10/2008
Is that the most ugly and evil among us also get to speak. But then so do you and I too including in contradiction and contradistinction of them. Otherwise the 'freedom' is limited to the accepted and approved which you can find in any kind of dictatorship and authoritarian society.
We know that if Irving got the kind of country he wanted he would be the champion of his speech and not of his opponents. He and his ilk use the fact that some people are against free speech for everyone because some of them are bad in many ways and so unwittingly feed their enemy's point about getting their say too. Ironic but true.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews should make their own programs if they want to get their point across. Not to stop others they don't like. That would be the better way instead of selective suppression which is supported in this country.
Lorraine Paul - 12/10/2008
Obviously not admirer's of Voltaire's friend!