The Holocaust Historiography Project

A Note from the Editor

Some readers may already know that we endeavored to get our message through to the educational institutions by mailing out sample copies of the first issue of THE JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL REVIEW to the mailing list of the Organization of American Historians. We rented their list perfectly openly, and made a special promotional offer to the historians on the list if they would subscribe to THE JOURNAL.

The reaction startled even the staff here. We thought we had become somewhat desensitized to the behavior of the neurotic reactionaries who pose as historians in our colleges and universities, but the response to this mailing really left one speechless with amazement that our education system had become so sick. A selection of the responses is published here in our “Letters to the Editor” section, but these were just the ones which were printable. We have on file many others from “academics” throughout the land whose objectivity, open-mindedness, intelligence, and even grammar, would have a hard time surpassing that of a cantaloupe. As Dr. Jim Martin wrote to me on 5 May:

History probably is at its lowest point in national esteem as a respectable school subject on any level, and a decade ago I suggested in a letter to the editor of the National Observer (a weekly paper issued by the same publisher as the Wall Street journal) that history be abandoned as a school subject. I think you may have better luck amassing support from those outside “hire” education, as Charles A. Beard and Thorstein Veblen spelled it.

No sooner had Dr. Martin’s letter arrived on my desk than we had the “massed” media big-guns turned against us. On the same day-13 May 1980-two out of the three major television networks lambasted the Institute, and our newborn JOURNAL. On KNBC-TV (the Los Angeles NBC affiliate) Gideon Hausner the prosecutor at the Eichmann trial and now a member of the Israeli parliament, launched into a diatribe against the IHR, egged on by the interviewer Jess Marlow. Not to be up-staged by their network rivals, the CBS affiliate in the metropolis, KNXT-TV, broadcast a five minute hymn of hate against us, in a monolog by one Bill Stout. We were referred to as “anti-Semites,” “defenders of the Nazi record,” “disgusting,” “peddlers of filth,” and “sewage.”

I called up both stations the next day — my feelings sorely hurt by this unkindness — and insisted that the Institute be given the right to reply through allowing us equal time. Both stations refused. The CBS producer even claimed that the Stout tantrum was not “editorializing” but “news.”

So, if this is the kind of material that network television stations regard as “news” what kind of credence can we place on “news” reporting, “news” footage, “news” interviews? I wrote to the Federal Communications Commission and asked that they investigate formal complaints against the two stations, and suspend their FCC licenses if they do not allow the right of reply.

One thing that Stout (any relation to Rex Stout of Writers' War Board fame?) did enlighten us on was the fact that it was the Anti-Defamation League which had informed him of our activities, and that they had already been on to the Organization of American Historians to demand their humble apologies. Needless to say, the OAH meekly obeyed their spiritual masters, and an apology to the membership and to the ADL and to World Jewry and to the little Jewish man in the dry-cleaners on the corner will be forthcoming in their next newsletter. Such is the power that an illegal organization (it flaunts the law by acting as an unregistered agency of a foreign government) can wield over what is supposed to be an independent, free-thinking, academic group of objectivists.

Director: Institute for Historical Review

Bibliographic information
Author: Brandon, Lewis
Title: A Note from the Editor
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: Fall 1980
Issue: Volume 1 number 3
Location: Page 197
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.