Monday, September 14, 2009

The Harvard Crimson -- Don't Ask, Don't Tell Journalism

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This release was sent to the national press,
on campus and off, this date.



Bradley R. Smith, Founder
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro, California 92143

Desk: 209 682 5327

14 September 2009

The Harvard Crimson -- Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Journalism

On 09 September the Harvard Crimson published a letter from its own staff titled Obligations of the Press.” The letter addressed an advertisement run by Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) that asked two questions.

The first question asked why General Dwight Eisenhower, in his 550-page book Crusade in Europe, did not mention the WMD (gas chambers) that the Germans used to “exterminate” millions of Jews and others.

The second question asked for the name, with proof, of one person killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. No Harvard academic has offered a reply to either question.

The letter from The Crimson staff observed that “the advertisement offended large segments of the campus,” and that “we believe this item should never be found in the pages of a college newspaper.”

Why? Because the questions “promote hate and could actually jeopardize the psychological and emotional well being of others in the Harvard community.”

What others? Was the psychological and emotional well being of the Palestinians at Harvard jeopardized? The Lebanese, the Syrians, Egyptians or the Iraqis? How about the Koreans, the Japanese, the Chinese? The Brazilians, Argentinians, the students from Liberia and Uganda?

How about students of German decent at Harvard? Who at the Harvard Crimson has ever expressed concern about the psychological and emotional well being of Germans? Let’s not joke around. If the accusation is against Germans, it’s good to go. Decade after decade for more than half a century. It is taboo to question the gas-chamber accusation. Not to deny it, but simply to question it. Issues of psychological and emotional well being be damned. No time for that. We’re talking about Germans here.

Following the lead of Harvard faculty, which is only natural, the Crimson staff writes: “We hope to see The Crimson and other college newspapers refrain from printing similar content going forward.”

The staff of the Harvard Crimson has stated it clearly. The “obligation” of the press with regard to the gas-chamber question is:

Don’t ask. Don’t tell.

Some of us feel a different obligation. Ask. If you get an answer you believe is reasonable, tell others. That is—do ask, do tell. It’s called a free exchange of ideas. It’s a concept that makes the same promise to those who believe what The Crimson staff believes about the gas-chamber story that it makes to those who question what The Crimson staff believes about the gas-chamber story. That promise is to shine the light of day onto the question and to reveal what is there without fear or favor.

Light has no interest in fear, no interest in favor. The one interest of light is to reveal clearly that which it is bathing in its own essence.

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