The Wise Old Man at CSU-Northridge

Published: 2012-09-20

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On Wednesday, Sept. 5, I walked into the offices of the CSUN student newspaper, The Sundial, to discuss the rejection of Bradley's ad, a text link that reads: “Holocaust History: the Question of Academic Conformity.” I encountered Nicole Maddocks, the person who had communicated the rejection to Bradley. It turned out that, in spite of her title of “Advertising Account Executive,” she is a student and not in a position of authority.

My gambit was to say that I am a friend of Bradley Smith, am considering submitting an ad to run in The Sundial, and wanted to know how I could avoid a similar rejection. Maddocks said she would get the file. She returned instead with Jody Holcomb, the General Manager of The Sundial. Holcomb is an employee of CSUN, perhaps 35 years old. She did almost all of the talking. We may have talked for fifteen minutes.

Everyone the whole day was polite and never tried to truncate our conversations. I asked why the ad had been rejected. Holcomb said they were concerned with "free speech—but …" etc. That sums up the day pretty well. She said in answer to my question that the decision to reject the ad had been made by the editors of the different departments and herself. They voted unanimously to reject it. I learned in a later conversation that the Publisher of The Sundial and its Faculty Adviser did not vote in the meeting but had advised the student editors to make that decision, as would be her duty if she felt that way.

Getting back to Holcomb's answer to my question as to why the ad had been rejected, she told me that it was felt that there was something in the ad that, if published, would give the impression that the newspaper "supported" the views expressed in the ad. Reference was made to "questionable content." I asked if that meant there were inaccuracies in the ad or in the article it linked to. The reply was that that was not the question. The problem was that the ad was "offensive."

I told the two ladies that the decision was wrong and was based on false information. I said that I had believed the same things about the "Holocaust" until I started to learn what the Revisionists were arguing. I asked Holcomb and Maddocks if they had heard about Jews being gassed at Dachau and Buchenwald. They said they had. I said they should go to the Museum of Tolerance in West Los Angeles and look at the map showing concentration camps in Germany and Poland and learn

I asked if Hillel were to submit an ad on the subject of the Holocaust, would it be accepted. The General Manager replied, very sagely, that it would depend on the content. I asked what other ads had been rejected. With some humor they mentioned ads submitted for strip clubs and wet T-shirt contests and other such things. Bradley has racy company.

that the claim about Dachau and Buchenwald having used “gas chambers” to murder Jews had been abandoned even by those supporting other orthodox gas-chamber stories. (I wish I had asked them to send a reporter to the M of T. I will in the future.) Rather emotionally, I said that good Germans had been executed based on those now abandoned lies. I pointed out that no "reparations" have been directed to Germany for that "error."

I had prepared some eight packets of information on the Holocaust in 8.5 by 11 manila envelopes. I said that I believed they had only heard one side of the controversy and asked if they would accept these packets and read them. They agreed with no hesitation.

I asked if Hillel were to submit an ad on the subject of the Holocaust, would it be accepted. The General Manager replied, very sagely, that it would depend on the content. I asked what other ads had been rejected. With some humor they mentioned ads submitted for strip clubs and wet T-shirt contests and other such things. Bradley has racy company.

I volunteered that talking is much better than emailing. They agreed heartily. I said that writing something can be cold and seem or be hostile. I think Revisionists should try to meet with people in the opposite camp. There are plenty of them! Being in the presence of someone you disagree with is much different than firing missives back and forth.

After I left the Sundial newsroom I stopped by another office to pick up an application to occupy a table on "Cleary Walk," a place near the Library with nine cement tables and seats (bring a cushion). Campus groups can use the tables to distribute material and ask for funds. The public can do the same: groups and individuals. Priority is given to CSUN groups and students but that day there was no one using a table. I don't expect to get permission to pass out Revisionist literature but I will try.

Very luckily, I looked over what I had with me and thought mistakenly that I had lost the page with my notes. I went back to the Sundial offices to find the page or get some of the names etc. The person at the counter went to get Ms. Maddocks. She returned with Mrs. Melissa Lalum, the Publisher and Faculty Adviser. She was a very forceful person but always polite. Her grip was that of a very strong man. All four people were, I would say, polite but wary.

Ms. Lalum made it clear that the decision to reject Smith’s ad had been unanimous. I did learn then that she had advised the editors to go that direction. I Googled her and learned that she had had an important position at the local newspaper, the Daily News, and had resigned with all the other executives and gone to CSUN. A canny woman. I also learned that Lalum is a Jewish name.

Lalum brought the Editor-in-Chief to meet me. She is a student named Ashley Soley-Cerro, a slip of a girl. She answered my questions but Lalum did most of the talking. When we got into the question of the rejection I asked for something in writing making clear their policy. Lalum went in the next room and returned with a one page Advertising Policy. She pointed this section out: "The Daily Sundial will not accept advertising that contains attacks or slurs of a racial, ethnic, sexist or religious nature."

When I started talking about the Holocaust Lalum stepped back a bit and made it very clear that she did not want to talk about it. I can understand that she would not want to get into a long back and forth. I did make the same remarks about the information that most people do not know about the subject. I offered the same packets to Lalum and Soley-Cerro. They both took them with no hesitation or demurring.

Everyone that I talked to that day volunteered that I could call in with any further questions. I was very pleased with the day. I have a personal relationship with some people at CSUN. I have an entre of some kind at The Sundial. Four people at The Sundial have been exposed to revisionist arguments with regard to the Holocaust question. Further on, I will attempt to get the same packets into the hands of all the editors who made the decision to suppress the ad.

Zan Overall

[email protected]

PS: I am a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. I have not maintained contact with Kappa Sig, but there is a chapter at CSUN. At some point I will contact them. I believe they will be obliged to talk to me as an old Frat brother. It will be interesting to see how they respond to my campaign and interests.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Zan Overall
Title: The Wise Old Man at CSU-Northridge
Sources: Smith's Report, No. 193, September 2012, pp. 13-15
Published: 2012-09-20
First posted on CODOH: Sept. 21, 2012, 7 p.m.
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