History Censorship and Free Speech

£ "V n March 14, 1994, Phil Donahue became the first of the talk-U show hosts to address the Holocaust deniers, who claim that this event was radically different from what we have all come to accept. Many of the major talk shows had considered doing something on the subject, yet for a variety of reasons had not done so before. Montel Williams had taped a program on April 30, 1992, but it was pulled from major markets because, according to deniers, they looked too good and the Holocaust scholar offered nothing better than ad hominem attacks. I saw the show, and the deniers were correct. If it had been a fight, they would have stopped it.

The Donahue producer promised us that there would be no skinheads or neo-Nazis, nor would the show be allowed to erupt into violence or degenerate into mere shouting. The deniers—Bradley Smith, who places advertisements in college newspapers, and David Cole, the young Jewish video producer who primarily focuses on denying that gas chambers and crematoria were used for mass murder—were promised that they would be allowed to make their claims. I, in turn, was promised that I could properly answer their arguments. Edith Glueck, who had been in Auschwitz, albeit for only a few weeks, also appeared on the show, and her close friend, Judith Berg, who had been in Auschwitz for seven months, was seated in the studio audience. What was promised was quite different from what actually unfolded on the air.

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