Anti-Semitism History Holocaust Holocaust denial

Holocaust denier David Irving has found his calling

Thus far, the first decade of the 21st century not been good to that man who is arguably the world’s most famous Holocaust denier, David Irving.

The decade began its very first year with his crushing defeat in the libel lawsuit he instigated against Holocaust historian Professor Deborah Lipstadt, a defeat so resounding that it accomplished exactly the opposite of what he had intended: It ended with the judge concluding that he was, in fact, an “active” Holocaust denier (not just a Holocaust denier but an active Holocaust denier) Unfortunately, it cost Prof. Lipstadt and supporters a couple of million dollars and a couple of years of her time.

Then, disgraced and technically bankrupt, Irving wandered among the pathetic white supremacists who would still listen to him speak and buy his books, holding the white power ranger equivalent of mutual reach-arounds about how persecuted they are, how misunderstood Hitler was, and how nefarious Jews were. His confidence, such as it was, grew until he overreached and actually agreed to speak to a band of admirers in Austria. Unfortunately for Irving, Austria has very strict laws against glorifying the Nazi regime or denying the Holocaust, and Irving had already had a warrant out for his arrest from the late 1980s for doing just that. Irving was arrested, thrown in jail, and eventually sentenced to three years in prison. I will not reiterate my position in detail about laws in Austria, Germany, and other nations in Europe that outlaw Holocaust denial. Suffice it to say I view them as an abomination, an assault on free speech. But you can’t argue that they made for a bad year for Irving, who spent most of 2006 in an Austrian prison before being released early.

Since then, Irving’s been going back to what he does best: Giving talks to pathetic bands of white power rangers. Unfortunately, his cachet among the white monobrow set has been greatly diminished because during his trial in Austria he “recanted” some of his Holocaust denial, but after his conviction he quickly reverted to form and still manages to attract followers, claiming his recantation was done “under duress.” Most recently, he was seen at the University of Oregon giving a speech to the Pacifica Forum. In general, Irving has been giving speeches that whose attendees are carefully screened through his website and phone system to try to keep anyone from interfering with the neo-Nazi lovefests that they inevitably become. Alternatively, occasionally naive students open-minded to the point of their brains falling out invite him to mainstream venues, such as the Oxford Union, and thereby bring embarrassment upon themselves. Occasionally, he’ll be interviewed by the press and say that Jews should “ask themselves” why they are so hated.

But all that wandering must be tiring for David Irving, don’t you think? All that slinking around to get to his talks and avoid protestors is very draining. Irving could use a home where he could be famous but not have to travel so much. He could use a few months without a major trip. He almost found the solution, too:

Celebrity Big Brother.

Here’s the story:

TV production company Endemol, which makes the reality show Celebrity Big Brother, was condemned this week for inviting Holocaust-denier David Irving to take part in the next series.

Mr Irving states on his website that he received a “top secret provisional invitation” in September asking him to take part in series planned to start on January 2. He was told last Friday that he had not made the final selection.

He met producers for 90 minutes at a Kensington hotel on October 7 and wrote on his website: “They seem very keen, pleased that I am so up front, open and uninhibited. Comes easily to me.”

He also notes that his teenage daughter advised him against accepting, but he told her he was encouraged by the fact that “financially [the programme makers] have made a killing”.

Yes! It’s perfect for him. Where else do washed-up celebrities or celebrity wannabes go in the U.K.? Who else would be perfect to trump up another racism controversy? Too bad we won’t get to see it:

He [Irving] said he was annoyed at the decision not to take him, saying “the fee would have been nice” wondering “who had put the ‘no’ stamp on it”.

Come on, David! Say it! It must have been the Jews! Come on, you know you want to say it! Besides, imagine the possibilities! The producers could include as housemates a couple of Jews. I wonder if there are any celebrities who are Holocaust survivors who might agree to this? See David Irving’s arguments with them over who’s going to clean up the house turn ugly. Imagine the fun!

I’m being facetious, of course. Having Irving on TV every week would have been a very bad idea indeed. It would give him more publicity and revive his fading celebrity status. It might also give him a chance to slip in some of his Holocaust denial on the sly. Given how little so many people know about the Holocaust, it’s easy to plant misinformation. When it comes right down to it, this whole incident looks like a case of a TV producer who had a “what if?” idea that, it quickly became apparent, was a bad idea and David Irving’s tendency to self-aggrandizement and exaggeration. It doesn’t sound as though he were ever seriously considered, but that he was even considered at all does not speak well of the producers of Celebrity Big Brother.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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