CODOH's Revisionist Distribution Prompts Media Furor
Bradley Smith reports on his work at the Eleventh IHR Conference.
Bradley Smith is back in the news. The veteran revisionist activist has touched off a major furor that has received nationwide newspaper and television attention with the distribution at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, of his new 28-page magazine-format publication. He arranged to distribute 5,000 copies of The Revisionist: A Journal of Independent Thought as an insert with the October 28, 1999, issue of the student newspaper, The Chronicle.
Jewish students and faculty, as well as officials of Jewish-Zionist groups, responded with predictable rage when they learned of the distribution. In a letter published in a subsequent issue of the Hofstra student paper, a Regional Director of the Jewish-Zionist
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) complained:
We are outraged that the Chronicle chose to include an entire Holocaust denial publication, The Revisionist, as an insert in the issue of October 28.... [It] contains 27 pages of repeated denials that there ever was a Nazi program to extermination directed at the Jewish people.
While Smith and his Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) are no strangers to generating campus media excitement, the uproar over the distribution of The Revisionist at the large New York City-area university has been magnified by the publication's length, evident intelligence, and earnestness of content. It contains thoughtful, topical and informative writing by several revisionist writers, including Smith and IHR Journal Associate Editor Ted O'Keefe. The Revisionist includes a look at historical fakery by the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, a critical review of Daniel Goldhagen's much-discussed study A Nation on Trial, and a sympathetic look at the work and impact of British historian David Irving. (This same issue of The Revisionist was distributed to Journal subscribers along with the last JHR issue.)
Distribution of The Revisionist represents a new level of CODOH activism. Whereas past campus outreach efforts by Smith often seemed to have prompted debate only about the issue of free speech for revisionism, "Holocaust lobby" officials seem concerned that this new CODOH initiative will generate wider campus discussion of wider historical and social-political issues.
Chronicle editor Shawna Van Ness said that the paper's editorial board decided overwhelmingly to accept the CODOH insert because rejecting it "would be censorship on our part." This has been a consistent policy of the paper, which ran CODOH advertisements in 1997 and 1998.
Smith, who has worked closely with the IHR, has focused much of his attention on campus outreach. Over the years, dozens of student papers around the country have published CODOH advertisements calling for open debate of the Holocaust issue. CODOH also maintains a major revisionist web site: http://www.codoh.com. (For more on Smith's activism, see, for example, "Bradley Smith's 'Campus Project' Generates Nationwide Publicity for Holocaust Revisionism," July-August 1994 Journal, pp. 18-24; "Brad Smith's Campus Project," May-June 1993 Journal, pp. 17-20; "Smith Steps Up CODOH Ad Campaign," Nov.-Dec. 1993 Journal, p. 22; "Smith and Cole Appear on 'Donahue' Show," May-June 1994 Journal, pp. 19-20.)
From The Journal of Historical Review, July/August 1999 (Vol. 18, No. 4), page 6.