Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Taking "Balance" Too Far

Hat tip to for their alert about C-SPAN's bizarre idea of fair and balanced programming. They were set to broadcast this evening Emory University's Deborah Lipstadt, a Holocaust scholar, giving a talk at Harvard University promoting her new book, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving on their BookTV program. Want to take a guess what the brain trust over at C-SPAN wanted to do to provide balance? Yep. I'm betting your guess is accurate.

...a recent speech of Irving's (recorded by C-SPAN) would need to be broadcast as well. C-SPAN producers explained their reasoning to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen:

'We want to balance [Lipstadt's lecture] by covering him [Irving],' said Amy Roach, a producer for C-SPAN's Book TV. Her boss, Connie Doebele, put it another way. 'You know how important fairness and balance is at C-SPAN... We work very, very hard at this. We ask ourselves, 'Is there an opposing view of this?'

In case you're not getting it, let me fill you in. David Irving is a Holocaust denier.

C-SPAN, that is, sought out an 'opposing view' to Lipstadt's confirmation of the Nazi Holocaust. Lipstadt refused to be cast side-by-side with Irving, on the grounds that Holocaust denial does not merit public debate.

Good for her! It will probably mean fewer book sales but I completely agree with her stance. And because of it, I think I'm going to go order her book.

The action here folks is to contact C-SPAN and tell them how you feel about their programming philosophy. Email comments to:


At 11:02 AM, Blogger RomanWanderer said...

Balance, huh? According to that logic, every bad news item on CBS should be counterbalanced with good news, no exceptions.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

"You know how important fairness and balance is at C-SPAN... We work very, very hard at this."
Do you mean, they actually allowed the Holocaust scholar to speak?
How extraordinary.
A gesture worthy of true liberals.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Good frickin' grief. This is where leftist conceits like relativism and equivalence lead to.

At 12:33 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

I just read about this a little bit ago. They are using redicules reasoning. In the post I read earlier they brought up the point that if they were to discuss the evils of slavery would they have a pro slavery person on to counter balance.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Esther said...

haha, RW.

felis, no, the author chose not to appear instead.

exactly, patrick...

gindy, yes, I saw that point and almost included it but figured the alert was short enough... I had to leave something good for those who clicked on the link. :)

I'm still stunned they'd do something like this. I'm really surprised at C-SPAN.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

CSPAN has a built in audiance of Jewish conspiracy theorist. I just assumed they needed something for them. I would like to see a poll done on CSPAN viewers.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Esther said...

The ADL picked up on this too:


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