Film on Free Speech: David Irving Gets a Starring Role

Historians in the News

The filmmaker who included David Irving in his film An Independent Mind [see previous post] defended his decision to do so. In an article in the UK online magazineTotally Jewish the filmmaker presents himself -- rather proudly -- as having bucked criticism and done the brave thing.

The problem is that the guy gave Irving a chance to spout, not just odious views, but misstatements of fact and he apparently did not even know how to challenge them. [That was what my trial was all about.]

It's one thing to argue that people with disgusting views have a right to freedom of speech. They do [unless they engage in incitement].

But since when does a person who just spouts lies and distortions and inventions have to be celebrated?

Obviously such a liar has a right to speak but what person in their sane mind would believe that they have to give them a platform?

Obviously Rex Bloomstein, the filmmaker did.

The film, celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in particular Article 19 which states 'Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.'

Rex Bloomstein has made The Longest Hatred: The History of Anti-Semitism and KZ which tells the story of Mauthausen concentration camp.

Bloomstein told the publication that he"thought long and hard" about including Irving in the film, but said:"In the end, I thought it was right to include him and I would have to accept that the decision would be met with some controversy."

He also said:"Irving is someone who reflects the limits of freedom of expression. He epitomises repellent views which make us aware of the limits of freedom of expression. It would be derelict not to include someone who challenges how we look at that freedom."

This guy does not get it. It's not a matter of right or wrong. It's a matter of judgment.

Why give someone who is simply twisting the truth and lying a platform?

Did Bloomstein, possibly unconsciously so, want to show how brave he is? How willing he was to buck criticism? I think dense is a far more accurate term.

Sometimes, just because lots of people criticize you, does not mean your are right. [With apologies to the originator of the line: Just because I am paranoid does not mean everyone isn't out to get me.]

[For my views on outlawing Holocaust denial see here.]
Read entire article at Deborah Lipstadt blog

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