« Striking writers may strike out next Dem debate | Main | Tuesday's Business News »

Taking The Low Road

Recently, noted Holocaust denier and general all-around asshole David Irving participated in a debate at Oxford University in England. Naturally, a lot of people didn't like that. (Lord knows I don't like the idea of giving these kinds of people platforms, let alone such eminent ones like Oxford.) And they made their unhappiness known most vocally.

But they took it too far. They invaded the speech, disrupted it thoroughly, and even threw eggs at the speakers.

Yes, Irving should never have been invited. And after the invitation was made, it should have been rescinded. But once he took the stage, the time for trying to keep him out was over. That fight was lost. Boycotts, protests, and other actions were certainly appropriate and, indeed, morally mandated, but not disrupting the actual event.

That's the sort of thing that Irving and his ilk do. They've done it to the leaders of the Minuteman Project. They've done it to Pat Buchanan. They've done it to Ann Coulter. They've done it to Daniel Pipes. And those are just the few that come to mind at short notice.

Alan Dershowitz put it best: the best antidote to bad speech is more speech. If someone is saying something you don't like, refute their arguments. Show others how wrong they are.

But don't silence them. That only gives credibility to their paranoid persecution fantasies, and lets them claim to be "victims."

Deny them any shred of credibility. Don't give them the attention they so desperately crave.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/25628.

Comments (10)

That's the sort of thing... (Below threshold)
mantis:

That's the sort of thing that Irving and his ilk do. They've done it to the leaders of the Minuteman Project. They've done it to Pat Buchanan. They've done it to Ann Coulter. They've done it to Daniel Pipes.

Huh? People who throw pies (or whatever) at Buchanan and Coulter are holocaust deniers? What are you talking about? They may be idiots, but how else are they like David Irving (who, as far as I know, is not known for disrupting speaking events by rushing the stage or throwing things at the speaker).

Or do you mean by "his ilk," "people I don't like?"

I agree with the rest of your post, but that paragraph makes no sense.

Wow. I agree with Mantis. ... (Below threshold)
iurockhead:

Wow. I agree with Mantis. I'd better go lie down for a while.

Mantis: "Or do you mean by ... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Mantis: "Or do you mean by "his ilk," "people I don't like?""

Jay's article was very specifically about the behavior of individuals in response to other individuals being given a public forum to speak.

Given that those behaviors are precisely like the behavior exhibited by those who disrupt Conservative speakers in the US, it's pretty safe to say that "by "his ilk,"", Jay meant those who are prone to disrupt other speakers, instead of answering bad speech with more speech.

However, Jay did not make that as clear as he should have which is a mistake, as it allows mantis and those of his ilk (heh) to attempt to deflect from the obvious truth that in the the US, it's the lefties who are using violence and disruption to stifle speech with which they disagree.

I understood the post. ww</... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I understood the post. ww

Having just reread the pass... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Having just reread the passage, I'll have to admit that I agree with mantis as well that as far as I can determine (and correct me if I'm wrong), David Irving has not disrupted others speech nor called for others to do so.

On that count, mantis is clearly correct and Jay is wrong and my comments were thusly misdirected.

(I'm suddenly having weird flashbacks akin to John Cleese in "A Fish Called Wanda" as he apologizes profusely and "unreservedly" while being "encouraged" to apologize by Kevin Kline who is holding Cleese by the feet, upside down, out of a window.......)

Drago's interpretation is c... (Below threshold)

Drago's interpretation is correct as to what I intended to say. However, mantis' interpretation is a fair one -- I did phrase it poorly. I meant to lump Irving in with those who have disrupted conservative speakers in the US as "generally comfortable with suppressing the speech of those they dislike."

Sorry, I had so much I wanted to write about today, and got a little rushed on occasion. But I think 6 original pieces in one day is a personal record.

J.

"Yes, Irving should never h... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"Yes, Irving should never have been invited. And after the invitation was made, it should have been rescinded. But once he took the stage, the time for trying to keep him out was over. That fight was lost. Boycotts, protests, and other actions were certainly appropriate and, indeed, morally mandated, but not disrupting the actual event."

If only democrats would lean that lesson regarding foreign affairs.

Sorry, I had so much I w... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sorry, I had so much I wanted to write about today, and got a little rushed on occasion.

Hey, you're human, but...

I meant to lump Irving in with those who have disrupted conservative speakers in the US as "generally comfortable with suppressing the speech of those they dislike."

This still doesn't make any sense to me, unless Irving has a history of trying to suppress the speech of others that I'm not familiar with. He's a whackjob, for sure, but from what I understand he simply writes books and speaks in public, he's not known for any form of speech suppression. In fact, the opposite is true in that Irving is the one who has his own speech suppressed. Hell, he was tossed in prison in Austria for most of 2006 simply for speaking and printing his ideas.

I agree with both of mantis... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

I agree with both of mantis' posts, color me surprised.

The debate was on free speech, not on the Holocaust.

I always use that as an example of why I love our Constitution.
In EUnuchstan, it's illegal to deny the Holocaust. I can almost understand why Germany does it, but I still don't like it.

Except for "fighting words" and "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater" sort of stuff, I support all speech. I almost never tell people to "shut up", I try to explain why they're wrong.

Unpopular speech should be the most protected.

Why go and wate the efforts... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Why go and wate the efforts of some chickens by throwing eggs at him they should have poped him in the face with apie like in the old slap sticks




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy