Campus Project

Published: 1999-11-01

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U Massachusetts

Molly Sherman, advertising director at the Daily Collegian at U Massachusetts (Amherst) accepted our Holocaust Studies ad. When editorial saw the text, it was decided it would be a good idea to run it past the faculty advisor.

The editor rang me up and we chatted for a few minutes. He volunteered his view that the history of a great war is written by the victors. He wanted to know who I held responsible for what happened to the Jews of Europe during WWII. I replied: “The German state.”

When I next heard from Ms. Sherman it was to be told that the Collegian would not run the ad, but would run the last five lines of text that appear in the ad, as an advertisement for CODOHWeb. I agreed I would do that, tho I would have to format the five lines in some way that made sense. I did it, sent it to advertising, mid we had a deal. Better than nothing, particularly in a paper like the Collegian, which is the largest circulation (20,000+) student newspaper in Massachusetts.

At one time I ran small ads regularly in student newspapers, but gradually fell away from them. Of course, a small ad is not as productive as a big ad, everything else being equal, but a small ad at an important university advertising CODOHWeb can bring people to the Website and will occasionally produce a good story.

I drink it might be a good idea for the Project to mix it up a bit anyhow—a 24 Column inch ad, a six-column inch ad, and a 24-page magazine. Give em a right, a left, a left right left!

Committee for Open Debate
on the Holocaust

Read the evidence. Judge for yourself.

Bradley R. Smith, Director
Voice Mail: 619 687 1950
POB 439016, San Diego CA, 92143

The ad running in the Daily Collegian
at U Massachusetts

U California (Los Angeles)

We have a couple secret agents at UCLA who have passed out thousands of copies of my leaflet, The Holocaust Controversy: The Case for Open Debate. They passed out Revisionist Letters, even copies of a little book I published a couple years ago and which I am not promoting because I am going to cannibalize it for a forthcoming title. Now they are set to distribute thousands of copies of The Revisionist on campus over a period of a couple weeks.

HOFSTRA University

Five thousand copies of The Revisionist were to be inserted into a total print run of 6,600 copies of the Hofstra Chronicle the evening of Thursday 28 October. It was the first campus paper where TR would be distributed as an insert.

That afternoon I rang up the Chronicle to see if everything was on schedule and could only reach an answering machine. The message informed me that the paper had received so many telephone calls the system was ‘heavily overloaded,” and that it might take several days for someone to get back to me.

Sunday afternoon I heard from a Hofstra student that on the evening of 28 November a student member of Hillel had been caught removing TR from the Chronicle. It was estimated he had removed about 1,000 copies before he was found out. He was taken into custody by campus security, but released, on Monday, 1 November.

I contacted Acting chairperson of the Hofstra journalism department Robert E. Green, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Greene informed me that he had received a copy of The Revisionist in his Chronicle, as had many of his friends, “to their dismay.”

He noted that the Chronicle is independent of Hofstra University, but: “Had our department had some control over what The Chronicle prints and inserts, your message would most probably never have been distributed for reasons of both taste and historical accuracy.”

At this point there began a lot of bade and forth with faculty and student journalists—too much to report here. I will let the Chronicle itself give you a flavor for how The Revisionist can affect life on the campus.

(See next page [below] for Hofstra Chronicle story.)

November 5. 1999

The Hofstra Chronicle

(No by-line)

Last week’s edition of The Chronicle has made some members of the University community angry, due to an inserted advertisement that questioned whether or not the Holocaust actually happened as history books claim.

The ad, placed by Holocaust revisionist Bradley Smith, was in the form of a magazine and was inserted into the middle of the paper. Smith’s advertisement, called “The Revisionist: A Journal of Independent Thought”, questioned widely held beliefs regarding the Holocaust, including how many Jews died in concentration camps and the existence of gas chambers.

A University student was issued an appearance summons for removing the inserts from issues of The Chronicle shortly after they were distributed last Thursday, according to Public Safety Director Ed Bracht.

University President James Shuart said he felt the paper was insensitive in running Smith’s advertising supplement. “It’s a matter of judgement and of maturity and seasoning,” Shuart said. ‘I think it’s wrong. A mature citizen has a responsibility to show restraint and decorum.” Shuart also said that though he is not Jewish, he has great sympathy for those who perished in the Holocaust. “I have an obligation to say when something is in poor taste,” Shuart said.

“I think [the paper’s] sense of good taste is off the page.” Rabbi Meir Mitelman, faculty advisor to Hillel and the University’s Jewish chaplam, said he was extremely upset that the ad ran in the paper. “{The Chronicle] has no obligation to print all the ads it receives,” Mitelman said. “I fervently hope that the students who are making editorial decisions at The Chronicle do some serious thinking about journalistic responsibility.”

University Relations Vice President Michael DeLuise echoed the comments made by Mitelman. He added that it was not made clear enough that the insert was an ad that was not necessarily the opinion of the paper. “[The paper] didn’t explain it was an ad,” DeLuise said. “{The ad] was helping to ignite hate. I was very disappointed in [the paper’s] action.” Journalism and Mass Media Studies Associate Professor Steven R. Knowlton said that if he were an editor at the paper, he would have run the ad as well. Knowlton, the author of several books on journalism ethics, said he feels that a college campus is the right place to have a discussion about the views of people like Smith.

“I have no quarrel with The Chronicle deciding to accept this ad,” Knowlton said. “I believe truth is better served engaging the Bradley Smith argument on a college campus where there is a history department full of professionals who can dispute his argument.” Knowlton also said that he realized how offensive the ad might have been to the Jewish population on campus. “People like [Smith] are not going to go away,”he said. “I don’t quarrel with [Mitelman or Shuart], they have a good argument. However, eventually the weight of the argument goes the other way ”

Acting Journalism and Mass Media Studies Department Chairperson Bob Greene disagreed with Knowlton. “I think [the paper] showed incredibly bad taste,” Greene said. ‘This man paid.. .to carry an anti-Semitic message in the newspaper, and [The Chronicle] did it.” Associate Journalism professor Ellen Frisina, the faculty advisor to The Chronicle, said she supported the right of the paper to take advertisements from whomever it wants. ‘I understand it was a nearly unanimous decision of the Editorial Board to carry the insert, which shows forethought on their part,” Frisina said. ‘Though I am personally repulsed by the context of the insert, I can support their decision to accept the advertisement.”

Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Shawna VariNess said that the paper stands behind its decision. “Running Smith’s ad is by no means endorsing his opinions,” VanNess said. “We chose to accept Smith’s ad not because we’re in debt or in need of the money, but because we would be hypocritical in denying him a place to voice his opinion, when we ourselves fight so hard to ensure that our rights as a student newspaper are never infringed upon by the University or its administration.”

Senior broadcast journalism major Dory Brown, a Hillel member, said he has no problem with the insert being put in the paper. “I think his views are wrong, but he is entitled to express his views,” Brown said.

Freshman international business major Flora Sousa, said she thought the ad would get people talking. “It will make students think and it is better to get conversation going then to be silent,” Sousa said.

Senior marketing major Ariel Wolkowscki thought it was insensitive for The Chronicle to run the Smith ad. “I thought it was rude for the paper to run it,” Wolkowscki said. “It was hateful, and the Board that the advertisement would serve as a catalyst to start intellectual discussion and debate about free speech and Holocaust Revisionism on campus.

“University officials can continue to condemn us, and they are entitled to their opinion,” VanNess said. “Regardless of who thinks we are morally wrong, we as a paper know that our decision was right and necessary to protect the First Amendment and free speech.”

Interesting story, I’d say. It did not end here. There is still the issue of the vandalism of TR, the back and forth I’ve had with faculty, and stories that are yet to come from it. We’ll see how much of it I am able to get my hands cm, and what I can make of it. Meanwhile, by the time you have this report to hand, TR will have been distributed in the Boise State University Arbiter. And there is other news about both the Holocaust Studies ad and The Revisionist that I will report on early in December.

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Campus Project
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 65, November 1999, pp. 5-8
Published: 1999-11-01
First posted on CODOH: Nov. 22, 2015, 11:02 a.m.
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