10th Media Update: Holocaust Denial on Trial
20 Feb 2000
Dan Yurman
Organization: The World Public Access UNIX, Brookline, MA

10th MEDIA CLIPPINGS UPDATE: Irving vrs. Lipstadt & Penguin Books
18 February 2000 Dan Yurman mdoidaho@yahoo.com


Permission granted to post for non-profit purposes on any public data network, web site, or mailing list. This is an independent index and comments on the press coverage of the trial. The update is posted at the above site in collaboration with Ken McVay's Nizkor Project.

*** Background on the Trial

In her book "Denying the Holocaust; The Growing Assault on Truth & Memory," Emory University Professor Deborah Libstadt accuses David Irving, a British writer, of deliberately misrepresenting the facts regarding the Holocaust. In his writings and speeches Irving denies that six million people died in the Holocaust. He denies that the Nazi's gassed Jews in concentration camps. Irving is suing Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books for defamation in a British court.

Under British law the burden is on Lipstadt to prove she did not "defame" Iriving in her book. Proving the Holocaust, which is the theme of the trial, focuses a spotlight on the issues and the deniers. The outcome of the trial, which is expected to take up to 12 weeks duration, is expected have impacts on perceptions of the history of the Holocaust for years to come.

The cutting edge of the trial, which is being heard before a judge but no jury, will likely be brought to bear on four key issues.

* Descriptions of Irving's extremist views and descriptions of his statements about the Holocaust, [Lipstadt]

* Documentation of Irving's manipulation of historical source material to support his denier viewpoint, [Evans and others for the defense]

* The truth of the real number killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust, and

* Hitler's role in the 'final solution,"which Irving categorically denies.

*** Summary of Press Coverage

The trial began January 11th and has attracted significant press coverage in the UK though much less so in the US. UK papers have published news articles about trial proceedings on a daily basis while US papers have for the most part published updates on a weekly or biweekly basis. The lower visiblity of the trial in terms of the US media response is illustrated by the fact that there has been virtually no television coverage, except for CNN, in the US. Almost all US coverage has been in print media.

Having said that it is important to note there is a large volume of print media coverage of the trial. An index of print coverage lists as of 02.18.00 approaches 300 separate media reports. Now in its sixth week of proceedings, media coverage has been recorded in the UK, western Europe, Canada, the US, and Australia. The courtroom is packed with press and onlookers according to media reports.

*** How to Use this Update

This is one of a series of updates on media coverage of the libel trial taking place in London. The updates will continue weekly, or more frequently, as long as the trial is in progress. The trial proceedings take place Monday through Thursday each week.

The information in this posting consists of pointers or URLs, e.g., web site addresses, which contain news media reports about the trial. This update does not itself contain content from these web sites, only their addresses on the Internet. The objective of this update is to provide the reader with access to information. Ultimately, the decision to read about this trial is up to you. If you are interested, point your web browser to the addresses listed in this article.

*** Online Archives & Sources

-- Lipstadt

Deborah Lipstadt, on the advice on her attorney, has said little to the press. There is no "official" website carrying material from her or the defense team.

--- Nizkor Media Clips Archive "Holocaust Denial on Trial"



These are two online archive of English language media clips include a robust catalog of much of the UK, US, and Jewish press coverage of the trial. You can view each of the files in this directory with any web browser. This is an archive of selected media clips, in text and html formats, mostly from the UK press about the trial. As the trial is taking place in London, this is good source material. US coverage is included when it is available. You can download these clips using the FTP protocol built into your web browser, just point and click, or use a software package like WS-FTP.

--- Web Portals

A web portal is defined as an Internet site with multile media and content about a subject. Portals include specific content but also links to related sites and online discussion forums.




This web site includes a very good selection of US and UK media clips archive in html format. It includes plain English summary updates about the trial proceedings, source materials from the principals, a moderated forum for comments from readers, and a wealth of reference materials and web links about the Holocaust. All materials are in HTML format so you can read them with any web browser.



This site became active in February '00 featuring an overview of the trial with links to various Holocaust-related web sites. News coverage is organized with a variety of sources including UK papers, JTA, US Jewish newspapers and organizations, and the Reuters wire service. There is a moderated bulletin board for discussion of the trial.



YAHOO carries both the Associated Press and Reuters at http://www.yahoo.com/ You can set up alerts for free in the news pages and have them emailed to you. To do this you must register, for free, by creating a "my yahoo" web page with your preferences. Check Yahoo's UK & World News pages for trial coverage. A major package by Yahoo includes pointers to an international Holocaust conference in Sweden and the Irving / Lipstadt trial. Yahoo continues to update this page as media coverage becomes available about the trial.

-- David Irving's web sites

Irving is the plaintiff in the case. There is a very large volume of source material related to the trial at these sites. All sites listed below are accessible with your web browser. Irving's website also carries news reports from the French and German news media in their original languages. Some of the material posted on the web site has become part of the proceedings of the trial.

website: http://www.fpp.co.uk

daily newsletter: http://www.fpp.co.uk/online.html

two year dossier on the action with all the pleadings, etc. http://www.fpp.co.uk/Legal/Penguin/PenguinIndex.html

special trial link: http://www.fpp.co.uk/trial

daily transcripts from the court reporter service: http://www.fpp.co.uk/docs/trial/transcripts.html

*** Update on Media Coverage

--- Jewish Press

Coverage for the U.S. and international Jewish press, including Israeli newspapers such as the Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/ is based for the most part on the Jewish Telegraphic Service, http://www.jta.org/ At least once a week JTA's web site posts an update of in-depth news reports on the trial from Douglas Davis, a London-based correspondent. His most recent report was transmitted by JTA to its subscribers on 02.14.00.

Ha'aretz in Tel Aviv, Israel http://www.haaretz.co.il/ in its second and most significant commitment of ink to trial coverage published three long articles, including an interview with Irving, on 02.04.00. In a single edition the paper committed over 5,000 words to its coverage of the trial.

The Los Angeles Jewish Journal http://www.jewishjournal.com/ has not only run the JTA stories, but also has published several editorials about the trial. See below under the 'US Newspapers' section of this report for a description of the Journal editor's wrestling match with the Los Angeles Times in which he won a five paragraph retraction by the Times over its coverage of the trial. The Journal has also begun a campaign to collect letters of support for Prof. Lipstadt. As of 02.11.00 the Journal's editor reports 115 letters have been received in response to the campaign.

The New York Jewish Week http://www.thejewishweek.com/, one of the largest US Jewish weekies, has published one editorial and one article from JTA. On 02.17.00 it published an analysis by reporter Steve Lipman asking whether many Jews even care about the trial. Said one Holocaust survivor, "How can you deny what happened?"

The Forward at http://www.forward.com/ is the online version of one of America's oldest Jewish newspapers. While it has published only brief coverage of the trial, its home page offers a long list of US, UK, and Jewish press web sites in both countries and in Israel. If you want to read what the rest of the Jewish press in the US and UK have to say about the trial, and don't mind slogging through the web sites one-at-a-time, it is a good place to start your search.

--- Wire Services

Reuters has published two significant stories on the trial, both by reporter Kate Kelland. The first was on the opening day of the trial and the second, an exclusive based on a personal interview with Irving at a London restaurant not far from his home, appeared on 02.04.00. Both Reuters stories have been carried by many European and US newspapers. Also, ABC Television News at its web site http://abcnews.go.com/ has carried both of Kelland's pieces as has CNN http://cnn.com/

The Associated Press carried unbylined stories on opening day (01.11.00) and again on 01.26.00 (Irving's statement about the gas chambers at Auschwitz) and on 02.04.00 being a summary of the coverage of the trial from Ha'aretz. The AP stories on 01.11 & 01.26 appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among others.

--- British Press

The British press has covered the trial extensively. Daily wire service reports filed by the end of each day the trial is in session are available at http://www.lineone.net/ Use that web site's search engine to find current and back issues of the coverage. Seach on "Lipstadt" without the quote marks.

Courtroom trial reports have also appeared on an almost daily basis on the British Broadcasting Corp. website at http://news.bbc.co.uk/ All previous BBC pages about the trial are bookmarked at that site along with the newest coverage, or it can be retrieved using the BBC web site's internal search engine. The content is rich in graphics and features photos of Irving and Lipstadt.

The Guardian and Observer have established a special online section of coverage about the trial http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/irving/ All coverage by these two papers, usually every day the trial is in session, is available at this site. It also offers a special text-only web page for each high graphics version making for easy download or printing. The Guardian's includes special graphics, and features guest writers like Holocaust historian David Cesarani, who also wrote a special column on the trial for the TIMES of London. Access to the Guardian is free, but registration is required.

The Electric Telegraph has a searchable archive of all of its extensive trial coverage. Access is free, but registration is required at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Use the paper's search engine to find the paper's coverage of the trial. The Telegraph has covered the trial on a regular basis since it started on January 11th. Searching the site on "Lipstadt" will retrieve all the paper's coverage to date.

The Times of London has provided daily coverage of the trial by reporters Tim Jones, Michael Horsnell, and others. The TIMES coverage is widely used by newspapers in Canada. UK coverage has also appeared in the Independent, Financial Times, London Times, and the Scotsman, Ediburgh. Until recently the Irish Times carried regular coverage by its reporter Rachel Donnelly. For the past few weeks the Irish Times has relied on wire service reports. The Independent has a graphics intensive site with stunning and beautiful images, but finding clips about the trial using its search engine is not easy. The Scotsman has published coverage from the courtroom about once a week since the trial began.


--- Television

Television coverage in the U.S. so far has been limited to a single broadcast by CNN in its "CNN & Time" program aired Sunday 01/16/00 at 2100 HRS EST. A full transcript of the program can be found at http://cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0001/16/impc.00.html Otherwise, CNN relied on Reuters for its coverage of the 1st week of the trial. As of 02.11.00 none of the major US network evening news programs or prime time news shows have covered the trial.

--- Print Media Editorials & Comments

By far the most substantive analyses of the trial have been in extended columns in the newspapers or in magazines.

The Atlantic Magazine issue for February 2000 features a major piece on the trial by D.D. Guttenplan a former Newsday reporter now based in London. The February issue is on newstands now, and it is also online in four parts. This is the cover story with profiles of the author and the magazine's interest in the trial within as well as the article itself at http://www.theatlantic.com/ The cover story is titled "Holocaust on Trial," and in a sub-head calls to the the readers' attention "In a suit in Great Britain a writer with disturbing views makes historical truth the defendant." Guttenplan has been interviewed about the trial on US National Public Radio (below) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He is writing a book about the trial.

John MacArthur, the publisher of Harper's cites Guttenplan in a guest "op ed" essay published in the Toronto Globe & Mail on 02.05.00 Then turning to his own views he writes about Irving's suit with, as Mark Twain would say, a pen warmed up in hell. "At best this is the voice of a crank and political provacateur, at worst that of a Nazi propagandist." http://www.globeandmail.com/

U.S. News & World Report has a thought piece on 01.24.00 about the trial titled "Debating Degrees of Evil," by Thomas K, Grose at http://www.usnews.com/ A second retrospective review of the trial was co-written by Grose, with reporter Jay Tolson, and posted on USN&WR web site on 02.05.00 for the print edition of 02.14.00. Also citing Guttenplan's Atlantic article they ask rhetorically whether the public cares what passes for a standard of historical accuracy. Only the briefest of notices about the trial have appeared so far in Newsweek and Time.

The Christian Science Monitor http://www.csmonitor.com/ ran an "op ed" piece on 02.02.00 by Prof. Gerald DeGroot, the chairman of the department of modern history, Unviersity of St. Andrews, Scotland. He wrote, "A British libel court is the last place on earth to look for truth." This is the first notice of the trial by CSM.

Slate, an online magazine funded by Microsoft http://www.slate.com/ ran an article on 01.24.00 in the "Culturebox Column" by critic Judith Shulevitz on the writings of Kevin MacDonald, an "evolutionary psychologist" from California State University, Long Beach, CA. MacDonald testified for Irving at the trial on 01.31.00. Several of the UK newspapers covered this portion of the proceedings. For his part MacDonald fired back online by posting his replies at Slate's site.

The issue raised by Shulevitz is whether other members of the "evolutionary psychology" profession, who do not share MacDonald's views about Jews, own an obligation to address them. Shulevitz asks if MacDonald arrived at views which are regarded as anti-Semitic, using methods widely understood as being credible in the field, what does that say about the field itself. As expected, the online discussion about "finge academics" at Slate mushroomed and elsewhere on the Internet. It has attained noteriety with outside media notice by LA Times syndicated columnist Suzanne Fields who wrote on 02.02.00 "Neo-Nazis have short memories."

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, a UK writer, has published two articles about the trial and public perceptions about the Holocaust. On 01.27.00 he wrote in the Guardian quoting the late Chaim Bermant that ..."Holocaust museums ... [have] a perverse view of Jewish experience, perpetuates Jewish fears, and has a pernicious effect on Jewish life." A flip comment by Wheatcroft about "Holocaust chic" generated a spate of protest letters from readers. Wheatcroft returned to the theme of the Holocaust in a column published 02.05.00 in the National Post, Toronto, CA, calling the trial an "agonizing and odious controversy." http://www.nationalpost.com/

Thomas Friedman, a columnist for the NY Times, wrote on 02.08.00 about Syria's offical newspaper calling the holocaust a "myth" at the height of the peace talks with Israel at the same time Austria brought a neo-Nazi to power. He said these two events "have a lot in common," and he tossed them into the same pot with the Irving libel suit. "History," wrote Friedman, "has a weight, and lifting it always has a price. Nobody gets into the 21st century for free."

To illustrate just how far and wide the reach of this trial is consider a long column published 02.10.00 by author Allan Levine in the Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA, Free Press. Levine also links the election of Austria's Joerg Haider with Irving's lawsuit. Levine said that both men could be dismissed as cranks, but to do so would "be a grave mistake." And in a corner of the midwest the Toledo, OH, Daily Blade editorialized on 02.13.00 "Win or lose Mr. Irving has found a forum for himself in a London courthouse." http://www.toledoblade.com/

Michael Shermer, the editor of Skeptic Magazine, wrote on 01.17.00 that the trial "tests the limits of free speech," and argued against laws that make "Holocaust denial" a crime. http://www.skeptic.com/

Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for the Guardian, wrote on 02.05.00 "can truth and justice survive an onslaught of such denials?" Lyn Gardner, also a writer for the Guardian, published a column 02.09.00 on the impact of bigotry and hatred in children's songs and stories. The article was prompted by the fact that David Irving was accused during the trial of racism over a song he used to sing to his baby daughter.

Martin Mears, a leader in the UK legal community, wrote in the Times London http://www.the-times.co.uk/ on 02.12.00, "the spirit of intolerance has no room for the notion that that the truth is mighty and will prevail or that bad ideas are best defeated not by penalties and prosecution but by the force of better ideas."

Waldo Proffitt,the former editor of the Sarasota, FL, Herald Tribune http://www.newscoast.com/ wrote bluntly on 02.17.00 ,"Nearly all the people of my generation think anybody who denies the reality of the Holocaust is either off their rocker or grossly prejudiced against Jews."

--- U.S. Newspapers

Opening day U.S. coverage of the trial from London included the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/ Los Angeles Times,http://www.latimes.com/ and Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/ The New York Daily News, considered by some to be a tabloid, shifted gears carrying a long and serious article by Ellen Tumposky on 01.16.00 http://www.nydailynews.com/

The Chicago Tribune, like the other major papers, had been silent since the 11th of January, the opening day, but then published a major update on 01.25.00 and again printed another long article on 02.04.00. All three 'Trib reports are by Ray Mosely direct from the courtroom. The Times Picayune, New Orleans, and other papers, have published condensed versions of Mosely's reports.

In the U.S. the Atlanta Constitution began covering the trial with in-depth reports from London-based correspondent Bert Roughton, Jr. These can be found at http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/ Atlanta is Lipstadt's home town where she teaches at Emory University http://www.emory.edu/ Roughton's reports have been supplemented by wire service reports and have also been republisehd in other Cox newspapers.

These and many other stories were blasted off the Atlanta paper's pages by the combination of unseasonable snow and ice storms in America's deep south arriving simultaneously with the occasion of the Superbowl championship football game held in that city 01.30.00. Two weeks later on 02.14.00, in response to a reader's complaint about the continuing lack of coverage, an editor responded in that day's edition that the trial was not newsworthy. The editor wrote that reports by Roughton would be printed "when developments warrant coverage."

Many US papers are relying on wire service copy including the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Minneapolis St. Paul Pioneer, Ft. Worth Telegram, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the New Orleans Times Picayune, among many others. Most of it is sandwiched in with other world news. So far there has been no coverage in USA Today.

--- LA Times Reports & Retracts

The LA Times coverage of the trial, reported by Kim Murphy of that paper, and published 01/07/00, generated a bitter response in the Jewish community in Southern California. In licking the heart of the Holocaust trial the Times found itself poisoned by its own verbiage.

The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles ran three special articles on 01.14.00 criticizing the LA Times story including one by noted Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum and another by the Journal's editor-in-chief.

Berenbaum called the LA Times article "misleading, inaccurate, distored, and uninfomed reporting,." and that was just the headline. http://www.jewishjournal.com/cover.berenbaum.1.14.0.htm

Journal editor Gene Lichtenstein wrote that the LA Times coverage "inflamed some members of LA's Jewish community." http://www.jewishjournal.com/gene.1.14.0.htm No other US coverage has attracted such a negative or strong response.

On 01.31.00 the LA Times printed a five paragraph retraction of its coverage of 01.07.00. The Times' editors said the original story had factual errors. Jewish Journal editor Gene Lichtenstein commented in an editorial printed 02.04.00 on the Times' retraction and again on the original article. Overall, he said, "it was not a stellar performance." http://www.jewishjournal.com/gene.2.4.0.htm

--- Voices

National Public Radio (Real Audio required to hear these programs)

National Public Radio (NPR) reported live on 01.11.00 from outside the courtroom on opening day of the trial. Irving has made himself available to the press at will, but Lipstadt, on advice of her lawyers, has made very few comments to the press, and all were taken before the trial got underway. http://search.npr.org/cf/cmn/cmnps05fm.cfm?SegID=69035

D.D. Guttenplan, author of the February 2000 cover story in the Atlantic about the trial, was interviewed by NPR on 02.04.00. He says the trial has been moved twice to successively larger courtrooms due to the growing press gallery and that Irving plays to it as much to the judge presiding in the case. http://search.npr.org/cf/cmn/cmnps05fm.cfm?SegID=69996

--- Internet Lists

In what has to be a curious sideshow to the trial, plaintiff David Irving got involved in an online shoving match with a group of academics who are medieval historians. Posting on the mediev-l list hosted by the University of Kansas, Irving accused historian Gordon Fisher, and others, of criticizing him behind his back. http://www.ukans.edu/~medieval/melcher/20000201/msg00302.html

This set off a cascade of messages pro-and con about Irving, his virtual time travel from modern to medieval history, and an accusation of "cowardice" made against Irving for allegedly threatening one of the academics with legal action in a private email note. An exasperated list moderator finally got the message traffic under control and returned to its charter. For the moment, Irving is not in Kansas anymore.

*** Search Engines

If you want to search for coverage of the trial on your own, here are some suggested search engines to use.

EXCITE at http://www.excite.com/ offers a news clipping service. It is free, but registration is required before you can set up news tracking. The performance of this free service with US papers is hit-or-miss. It does well with some sources, but not well at all with others. Excite does a good job of indexing the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Jerusalem Post, and Ha'aretz.

NORTHERN LIGHT at http://www.northernlight.com/ got off to a slow start indexing the US and UK press. Nothing showed up in its new, and apparently still experimental, "Alert Service" for the first three weeks of the trial. On 01.25.00 a stream of citations began to appear. Many articles from the UK press are included in the engine's "Special Collection," which can be retrieved for free or for a fee of from $1-3 per article. Northern Light is a good search engine for web-based material collecting "hits" from newspapers covering the trial into topical folders which makes reviewing your results much easier.

SNAP at http://www.snap.com/ offers a European news page. You still have to search the individual sites, but at least it organizes the URLs for you. Many European news media are relying on Reuters in the UK as well as the French and German wire services.

LYCOS offers an alternative web browser called Neoplanet at http://www.neplanet.com/ which encodes many web sites in the news category and has a remarkably efficient news web crawler, at Lycos http://www.lycos.com/ for turning up clippings on the trial. Neoplant uses the Microsoft Internet Explorer graphics engine to run, so you have to istall that software first to make it [Neoplanet] work.

COPERNIC is commercial software that crawls the web, and can hit most US and UK news web sites. You can download a free trial version, with limited fucntions, at http://www.copernic.com/ The full version is a mere $30(US). It can be used to check the major dailies in the US each morning, and major online news sites later in the day. It depends on the dailies for their indexes, so try searching on "holocaust" rather than "Lipstadt" or "Irving" to get the best results.

BULLSEYE is free software that crawls the web and successfully hits most US news wire services as well as some UK web sites. You can download a fully functional version (V.2.0) from http://www.intelliseek.com/ A "professional version" is expected in the future.

Summary: no search engine or meta web crawler is substitute for going to each major media web site and checking it directly.


*/ -------------------------------------------------------------
*/ Dan Yurman dyurman@world.std.com Eagle Rock, Idaho 43N
*/ The mountains are high and the Emperor is far away. 112W


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