Déjà Vu: Newspapers Are Rejecting Paid Ads for My Book

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1994 IHR speech - better pic

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Is it February 1993 again? Because I turned on the radio just now and I wasn’t tormented by every station playing Whitney Houston wailing that abysmal song from “The Bodyguard.” So it can’t be February 1993 again, right? Yet all the same, I’m overcome by a striking sense of déjà vu. Because back in 1993, it was customary for newspapers to reject paid ads for my documentary films.

I never took it personally. Bradley Smith and I were self-distributing those films. We were the quintessential outsiders; we had no clout and no cred. “D&B Productions.” That was original. You might think the initials stood for “David” and “Bradley.”

How the fuck did you guess that, Einstein?

But today, I have a new book, an autobiography, published by a wholly legitimate and media-connected publishing company. A publishing company surprised to find out that even the most cash-strapped papers are refusing paid ads for my book.

So, basically, for me, it is indeed 1993 all over again. Good God, was there even one decent song that cracked the top 100 that year? I’m glad I spent most of it in Europe, where my stubborn refusal to learn Polish gave me a small immunity to the dreadful Euro-pop that would play throughout Krakow.

In honor of it being 1993 again for ol’ Dave, I thought I’d flash back to an op-ed I wrote for the Daily Texan newspaper after the editors refused a paid ad for my documentary about Auschwitz. The op-ed was published, but only because of an exploitable feud among the Daily Texan editorial staff. The previous year, the liberal, pro-choice members of the editorial board (most of whom were Jewish) had forced the pro-life editors to accept an ad from a local abortion clinic. As revenge, the pro-life members voted for my op-ed to run, as a way of telling the liberal wing, “hey – if you don’t believe that we can disallow content based on sincere conscientious objections, then be true to that and run Cole’s piece.”

I was there at the board meeting in Austin when that decision was made, and yes, it was that contentious. My op-ed ran, and it can still be found online here. But I’ll copy-and-paste it below, to save ya’ll the trouble.

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE DAILY TEXAN

                   By David Cole
                   Published February 19, 1993

On Tuesday, January 26th, the Texas Student Board of Operating
Trustees rejected an advertisement submitted to THE DAILY TEXAN for my
video about the Auschwitz concentration camp, “David Cole Interviews Dr.
Franciszek Piper.”  An article the next day in THE DAILY TEXAN gave no
reason for the ad’s rejection.  A former Hillel Foundation board member is
quoted as being ENCOURAGED by the board’s lack of discussion of the matter,
saying that what Bradley Smith (who submitted the ad) wanted out of this
was publicity.  Interestingly, although I wrote and directed the video in
question, I was not mentioned in the article.

For me, that’s nothing new.  I am not only a Holocaust revisionist,
that is, someone who is skeptical about the existence of homicidal “gas
chambers” used to kill Jews during World War Two, but I am also Jewish.
This tends to confuse people who have been told that anyone who dares to
doubt any part of the orthodox Holocaust story is a defacto racist and
anti Semite.  I happen to be neither of those things, and I support my
stand on the Holocaust with years of my own research and decades of
research by others.  But, in fact, the Hillel board member was not entirely
wrong when she spoke of revisionists wanting publicity.

I have the unique problem of being associated with what might very
well be the most often slandered movement in the Western world.  Many
Western countries have gone so far as to pass laws specifically designed to
criminalize “Holocaust denial.”  In my years as a revisionist I have been
physically attacked and called every unpleasant name in the book.  I’ve
been edited out of TV shows and hung up on by newspaper editors.  Now, I’m
not whining; I choose to be a revisionist and I’ve always understood the
risks inherent in stating so publicly.  But that doesn’t make the situation
any less frustrating for me.

I don’t enjoy the bad blood that surrounds the issue.  As a Jew, I
don’t relish being called a “traitor to my people” or a “self hating Jew.”
To me, the process of sorting out truth from wartime propaganda in a
subject as extensive as the Second World War is like working on a
tremendous, fascinating jigsaw puzzle.  Frankly, I’m enjoying myself too
much to give it up, whatever the consequences might prove to be.  But there
doesn’t have to be such animosity.  I ask only to be able to state my case,
and if I’m wrong, I ask only to be told WHERE I’m wrong.  Am I so evil when
I ask that sincere questions about history be met with sincere answers, as
opposed to personal attacks and insults?  I truly believe that an objective
examination of the facts, or lack of them, surrounding “gas chambers” will
vindicate revisionists, myself included.  Therefore, I certainly DO want
publicity.  The sooner the public has access to the facts in this issue the
sooner, perhaps, cooler heads will prevail and it can be discussed without
so much hatred and violence.  It has only been by keeping revisionist
information from the public that those who oppose revisionism can so easily
slander and harm us.  As soon as the public understands that we have a
legitimate point of view, attacks against revisionists, and the censoring
of revisionist information, will be harder to excuse.  That’s why I’m
putting such effort into distributing revisionist videos to the public.

Which brings us to the subject of my video.  In September 1992, I went
to Europe to investigate firsthand the sites of the alleged Final Solution,
the concentration camps in which Jews and others were interned during the
war.  My first stop was the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, where
the greatest number of Jews are said to have been “exterminated” in gas
chambers.  The Auschwitz Main Camp plays host to over half a million
tourists a year.  During the week I spent working at the camp, the parking
lot was overflowing every day with tour buses filled with school children,
priests and nuns.  Polish soldiers, and tour groups from Germany, Israel,
France, America and even the Orient!

The centerpiece of the camp is a “gas chamber,” displayed as genuine,
and a favorite target for the tourists with their camcorders.  Again and
again I spoke with tourists who said they were filming the “gas chamber” to
show people back home that the Holocaust DID happen, and to answer those
who say it didn’t.  Indeed, this “gas chamber” is one of the main proofs
used to refute revisionists.  Pictures of it have been featured in numerous
books and magazines.  In TIME-LIFE BOOKS’ massive multi-volume WORLD WAR
TWO series, a picture of this “gas chamber” is used to show that gas
chambers did exist.  And, of course, there would be no better way to refute
revisionists than to show them a genuine homicidal gas chamber.  The
trouble is, the gas chamber in question IS NOT GENUINE.

While I was at the camp (with my camcorder) I was able to film an
interview with Dr. Franciszek Piper, Senior Curator and Head of Archives at
the Auschwitz State Museum.  Dr. Piper has worked at Auschwitz for 26 years
and is a respected scholar and the author of many Holocaust books.  Dr.
Piper admitted to me on camera that the building exhibited to tourists as a
genuine gas chamber is, in fact, a building that, at the time of the camps’
liberation by the Soviet Army, was a German air-raid shelter.  After the
liberation it was re-designed by the Soviets and Poles to “look like” a gas
chamber.  What makes Dr. Piper’s revelation even more important is the fact
that, just two days earlier, I had filmed an Auschwitz tour guide telling
me EMPHATICALLY that this “gas chamber” is in its original state.  If
nothing else, my video shows a clear deception; the Auschwitz Museum
officials instruct their tour guides to tell tourists things THEY KNOW are
not true.

Basically, my video deals with a question that I feel is perfectly
legitimate:  if the Auschwitz Main Camp “gas chamber” can no longer be
considered proof of anything in its present state, what proof remains that
this building was EVER a gas chamber?  I feel that my video is exceedingly
fair, and I defy anyone to find a single factual error in it.  At no point
do I attempt to suggest that, just because the Auschwitz Main Camp “gas
chamber” is phony, EVERYTHING about the Holocaust is phony.  Upcoming
videos will deal with the other camps I visited and the “proofs” THEY
exhibit for the “Final Solution.”  I have a sinking feeling that I’ll
encounter the same trouble advertising THOSE tapes as I do advertising
“David Cole Interviews Dr. Franciszek Piper.”

Which brings us to THE DAILY TEXAN.  If my question to Holocaust
supporters is, “If I’m wrong, just show me where,” then my question to the
many newspapers which have rejected revisionist ads is, “Why can’t we have
our say in a public forum, like any other group?”  It is an odd
rationalization we hear from journalists as to why revisionism doesn’t
belong in their paper; usually we are told that the newspaper in question
can’t publish revisionist information because we revisionists are simply
WRONG, and the paper can’t publish false or misleading information.

Now, if I’m not mistaken, journalistic ethics USUALLY dictate that
it’s proper to give readers BOTH sides of any given story, presenting the
facts as both sides see them and letting the reader make up his or her own
mind.  In fact, “point/counterpoint” columns and TV shows, in which people
who hold diametrically opposed views on a given topic battle it out, are
all the rage.  In printing both sides of an issue it is simply taken for
granted that one of those sides may be wrong or partially wrong, but that
the final decision is left to the reader.  As far as I know, revisionism is
the only subject where journalists are expected, ENCOURAGED, to decide what
the “truth” is and act as its guardian, ADVOCATING one point of view and
suppressing dissent, as though it was their job to DECIDE controversies
rather than REPORT them.

The ad for my video is not racially offensive or factually incorrect.
Might it upset Jewish people? — perhaps, and for that I’m sorry.  I find
it ironic, however, that if I had made a video debunking the post-World War
Two atrocity stories about the Japanese (in war crimes trials that were
every bit as “fair” as the Nuremberg trials, Japanese “war criminals” were
convicted and hanged for cannibalism and other atrocities, and these
“atrocities” were confirmed by “eyewitnesses” and “confessions,” just like
at Nuremberg) there wouldn’t be this outcry and I might well be hailed as
a hero by various “multi-cultural” student groups for fighting against
vicious racist lies!

However, because my video casts doubt on a story that is of great
emotional importance to the Jewish community, Jewish groups, using whatever
means they can, try to prevent public access to my video, I want to make it
clear that I don’t blame these groups for trying to censor me; it is in the
nature of ANY advocacy group (religious, ethnic, ideological, etc.) to do
what it deems necessary to protect what it sees as its own interests.  The
people I have very serious problems with in this matter are newspaper
editors and publishers, who have a different responsibility; to RESIST
special interest group pressure.  On this count, THE DAILY TEXAN has
betrayed its responsibility to its readers.

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Comments
One Response to “Déjà Vu: Newspapers Are Rejecting Paid Ads for My Book”
  1. Syd Walker says:

    Hi again David. More fascinating food for thought.

    Your 1993 letter to The Daily Texan raises interesting issues. In the letter you exonerated interest groups that pressure media to restrict free speech which they deem to be against their interests, but argued the media has a responsibility to resist such special interest groups.

    My own view is somewhat different.

    I don’t think it’s feasible, desirable or necessary to insist that privately-owned mass media carry editorial material against its wishes.

    Ads are a slightly different issue. In locations where one newspaper is dominant. one could reasonably argue that paper has a responsibility to run all legal advertisements. If not, it’s effectively imposing censorship on the population it serves. The same argument applies to other forms of mass media.

    The situation for publicly-owned media is different again. In Australia we have two publicly-funded broadcasting services: the ABC and SBS. Neither of them EVER provides fair coverage of revisionist views re WW2. If ‘Holocaust deniers’ are ever mentioned, it is to vilify them. No right of reply is ever forthcoming.

    I find this infuriating. A publicly-funded broadcaster should, in my opinion, be willing to present all rational views to the public, at the very least providing critics of mainstream views with an opportunity to respond.

    However, I believe that in the long-tun, the only real defense against media bias and disinformation is media diversity. I can’t force Rupert Murdoch, or the Managing Director of the ABC, to promote my opinions. I can’t muster any enthusiasm for trying to do that. I do, however, insist on the right to use opportunities available to me to self-publish, and/or to publish or speak via other sympathetic media.

    In that context, I don’t agree at all that the Jewish Lobby – or any other partisan/sectoral group – has the right to try to silence views it finds odious. As odious as I find the view of many Zionists, I never try to silence them. In fact, I find many people’s opinions despicable, but I don’t try to impose my opinions on the world via censorship.

    I see the attempt to criminalize heterodox opinions about history and/or current affairs as a fundamental assault on the Socratic tradition, which has taken numerous batterings over the millennia but still persists as an ideal (and thank heavens for that!). It is foul play to try to silence opinions and exclude them entirely from pubic discourse. In our era, it is not ‘normal’ behaviour for any lobby group to attempt this. It is quite unusual – and as your own material indicates, it’s the result of careful strategic planning at an international level.

    Most ethnic lobby groups don’t try to censor historical views they dislike. To take one example, the Aboriginal people of Australia have as good a case as any to pursue this approach. Mass murder of Aboriginals on the “Frontier” of European colonization is still denied, or trivialized, by many Australians. To their credit, the Aboriginal response has been to argue the facts – not to try to criminalize their opponents. They are succeeding, slowly, insofar as the historical evidence supports their case. It’s noteworthy the ABC and SBS are happy to carry (both sides of) this debate.

    Ultimately, I believe this is really about power.. the power of a narrative that has helped the organized Jewish/Israel Lobby to extract extraordinary concessions, wealth and political support – and the power of the Jewish/Israel Lobby to enforce its preferred narrative.

    One might take the point of view that power itself is also a natural goal of any and every lobby group – and that Jewish groups are merely “victims” of their own success. They push for censorship because they stand a real chance of imposing their will.. when most other groups would never even dream of trying it on.

    That’s a point of view, but I don’t share it. It’s far too close to Might is Right for my liking. Every adult can and should behave in a more civilized manner. Bullying is not OK – and when it occurs, there will necessarily be a backlash. There is a better way for all of us.

    Having said that, we can occasionally indulge in fantasies of absolute power. One of mine is to preside over a trial such as the Zundel case, and impose on the plaintiffs, by court order, the requirement to read ‘On Liberty’ by John Stuart Mill and submit to an oral examination (no crib sheets allowed!) on exactly why they disagree with JSM’s analysis in Chapter Two.

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