Is It about the Holocaust … Yet?

Published: 2016-09-03

The charge of “Holocaust denigration” has arisen in a telling place: the comments thread following this article on the freedom-of-speech Web site Sp!ked, titled “First They Came for Gawker, and I Did Not Speak Out.”

Children at Auschwitz, 1945

The article had nothing whatsoever to do with the Holocaust, or Nazis, or World War II in the first place unless, like Commenter “Samarkand Tony,” you read something he calls “Holocaust denigration” into the title itself, obviously a riff on Niemöller’s Lament, which begins, “First they came for the socialists,” then goes on through two other groups to finally get to the Jews, the starring victims and perpetual promoters of the Holocaust.

While the article itself, despite never touching on any of our subjects except for the fundamental Freedom of Speech, is pretty hefty, the comments thread was, at this writing, even longer, by far. The comments essentially pitted those who felt that Gawker, the defendant in an “invasion of privacy” lawsuit nominally by wrestling star Hulk Hogan was protected by the right of free speech in posting a sex video of Hogan on its site, against others who felt that it was right and proper that Gawker should be punished for invading Hogan’s privacy with a fine of $140 million. No one said anything about the Holocaust except Samarkand Tony and few responding to him, including me.

Samarkand Tony, you may not be surprised to learn, fell in with the latter camp. But his reading of “Holocaust denigration” into the headline of the article to me portended the very uses of “invasion-of-privacy” lawsuits that I fear. I’ve posted a number of comments to the article, but the one that threw down the gauntlet at Samarkand Tony’s feet is the one that asked, “Do you feel Holocaust denigration is protected under freedom of speech?”

At this writing, no answer from our alert commenter has appeared; possibly he’s thinking the matter over as of course he claims, as everyone else does, to be a proponent of (some) free speech. By the time you see this post, perhaps he will have declared himself on the matter; even third parties might pile on offering answers to my question, to which I say, “the more, the merrier.”

Go to the article and read as much of it as your interest in Hulk Hogan’s private, videotaped sex life with a friend’s wife in the friend’s bedroom might incline you. Then consult what by then will be a very long Comments thread, and see if you can find the Holocaust, or even suppression of (some) speech about the Holocaust, in it somewhere.

It’s in there. And there’s a lot more where that came from.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Jett Rucker
Title: Is It about the Holocaust … Yet?
Published: 2016-09-03
First posted on CODOH: Sept. 3, 2016, 3:37 a.m.
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