Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Harvard Crimson prints Holocaust Denier ad
The Harvard Crimson is, supposedly, run by undergraduates (although I've heard that they have paid adult staffers who make the real decisions).
In any case, it looks like they ran an ad for a Holocaust denier.
Now, newspapers from time to time get ads from crackpots that are either grossly unprofessional or borderline offensive / racist. Some people have money and axes to grind.
So the decision to run this ad makes me think of a few things:
1. Perhaps the students really do run the day-to-day operations, because no adult professional would run this ad - it's horrible publicity for the paper, encourages intellectually dishonest conversation, would piss off Jewish donors / readers, and this isn't worth the few hundred dollars in ad money. The apology then, came from an adult - the folks with the real power.
2. It doesn't surprise me that students would choose to run it - most college folk see things in moral absolutes, and Israel / Judaism is no longer the cause celebre it once was. Maybe they thought they were doing a favor to an underdog / upholding free speech. The decision by a paper to run / not run ads, however, has little to do with free speech in my opinion.
Posted by Jonathan Rubin