Georgia State University's "The Signal" ran CODOH ad

Published: 1998-09-10

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran an article (15 Sept.) headlined: "Ad sparks annual controversy." The story reports on the first reactions to the ad having run at GSU. Written by Ernie Suggs, it reports that the ad challenges the ADL to a national televised debate "on such issues as whether gas chambers were used to exterminate Jews and if The Diary of Anne Frank is fiction, not fact" The language of the debate challenge is not presented quite accurately in either case, though it's close. Heidi Berger, the Metro Campus Program director for Atlanta YAD, the Jewish Young Adult Agency, is quoted saying:

"... this [to promote open debate on an historical controversy] is ethically wrong. For a university that talks about diversity [that is, ethnic diversity, but not diversity of opinion], allowing an ad to run like this doesn't reflect well on them."

Signal editor Jennifer J. Smith told Suggs:

"It is a noble thing not to offend anyone, but the implication of picking and choosing what you are going to run based on what you like and identify with scares me very much."

Mark Budnitz, a law professor and faculty adviser told Suggs "This was not a freedom of speech or debate issue [Suggs doesn't ask and Budnitz does not say why it is not]. This is just a bunch of scurrilous charges that are creating bad feelings among the student body." Suggs doesn't ask and Budnitz doesn't say which "scurrilous" charges are being referred to and why they are scurrilous or why a challenge for "open debate" should cause bad feelings among university students. By not making it clear what Budnitz is talking about, the Journal-Constitution readers can not understand what is being argued. This is inadequate.

Jim Scott, vice president for student services at GSU, told Suggs:

"the paper is partially funded by the university through student activity fees but we can't tell the paper what they can print and what they can't print. We sort of leave it to their judgment..."

In all, this is a fair story but too slight to give readers a real sense of what the "argument" is about. Using e-mail, I've submitted a letter to the editor of the Journal-Constitution in response to the Suggs article. (Thanks to David Irving's Online Newsletter for first bringing this story to our attention.)


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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Georgia State University's "The Signal" ran CODOH ad
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Published: 1998-09-10
First posted on CODOH: Sept. 8, 1998, 7 p.m.
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