Steven Blum’s discussion of the difficulties of covering Holocaust-denial stories, such as David Irving’s impending trip to Berlin, was right on target (“German preoccupation: Why bother with David Irving?” Aug. 2).
However, in his annoyance at the claims of Irving’s supporters that his “right to free speech” has been violated, he misses the obvious counter-argument.
David Irving was not condemned by a British court for his intentional and malicious distortions of history because someone tried to deny his right to free speech. He was in that position because he himself sued American historian Deborah Lipstadt for libel.
It was Irving who tried to deny Professor Lipstadt’s right to free speech, when she used her scholarship to expose his historical malpractice. The court simply examined the evidence he and Lipstadt presented, and determined Lipstadt’s critique was accurate.
Irving’s supporters are demanding for their hero a right he tried to deny to his critics.