Action Report

Lipstadt's bloke
mail A correspondent writes (Saturday, March 19, 2005): "Prof. Lipstadt's blog is now being run by a couple of refugees from Nizkor and alt.revisionism. Dave Gehrig is an old hand, employed to respond to any contentious posts, while it appears from Ms. Lipstadt's latest post today [Saturday, March 19, 2005] that the site itself is actually being run by Hilary Ostrov, who used to run Nizkor with Ken McVay. You're right, she is no diarist.

mail Another correspondent reports (Saturday, March 19, 2005): "Deborah Lipstadt's on line blog has stopped allowing anonymous entries. Their policy changed overnight, curiously -- just after a conversation [we three] had with David Gehrig. We all made anonymous entries in the later half of the blog. Please have a look and see the conversation that led up to the cancellation of the "anonymous" blogging feature. Now you have to sign on as a blogger, which doesn't require any sensitive information, but of course gives them a window to keep an eye on you -- if you choose to use the account.

Due to the quick response from Lipstadt's website, our theory is that she hires people (probably PhD candidates or undergrads for credit!) to keep the content of her website "kosher"-- at least on average. She never counted on her site being used to undermine her attempts to silence you. Well, a blog that won't let you blog won't keep people's interest for long.

In trying to silence debate on her own website, she is tying her own hands. Keep up the good work, I sincerely hope that C-Span doesn't weaken -- we have all called in expressing our support for your interview."


mail David Gehrig in denial   A correspondent reports (Sunday, March 20, 2005): "Gehrig made a tart response to your note [above] about Lipstadt's Blog, and is now engaging in Posting Denial, claiming that he has nothing to do with either Nizkor or alt.revisionism. In fact, a search reveals that he has posted 8,500 comments to that newsgroup over the years, 7,700 in the past five years. That comes out to a little over 4 smart comments a day, every day, for five years. And he seems to sincerely think that his comments are bothersome to you. There's an expression that applies here: Get a life.

The reason this is relevant is that it underlines the metamorphosis of Lipstadt's site. Originally, it was no doubt meant to record her personal impressions, as well as the hoped for ecstatic reviews, as a means of promoting her book (and there's some delightfully stupid stuff in the January archive). Yet the blog has now degenerated into another playpen for her fans from Nizkor and alt.revisionism, as she has ceded control, and perhaps interest, and at minimum demonstrated an inability to respond to criticism. Anyone consulting the Lipstadt blog now should be aware of this.


mail A correspondent reportsd (Sunday, March 20, 2005) 5:10 pm: "All comments have now been removed from Lipstadt's Blog. Since it no longer allows interaction, it is no longer a blog. That didn't take long. . ."

5:13 pm: Another correspondent confirms: "I saw on your web site that Professor Lipsatadt had topped allowing anonymous comments on her blog. Well you might be interested in hearing that she has gone one step further and apparently stopped allowing comments at all. She has also deleted all the comments that had already been left (including one from me which I had posted in my full name)."


mail ..... but since she will not allow anyone to challenge her views, why should she be believed?

Monday, March 21, 2005 [Deborah Lipstadt explains on her website why, unlike David Irving, she will no longer invite comments]:

No More Comments: A Sad Policy Change

WHEN I first created this blog, my blog mentor London's Sashinka, urged me to allow comments. It will give you an opportunity to enter into a conversation with people who are interested in your work, she told me. I was delighted by the idea and enjoyed the early comments.

Then the antisemites, deniers, and kooks came out of the woodwork. They began to post long email message, most of them filled with drivel trying to prove all sorts of absurd things, e.g. Irving is not a denier and he did not lose the lawsuit.

I stopped commenting and left it some stalwarts to engage these people.

Yesterday, I put a stop to the whole thing. I decided that I don't have to provide a platform for these people. Some people told me that they learned a lot from reading their comments. "I knew these people were out there," one person wrote me, "but I never saw them 'up close and personal.' Ugh."

There are, sadly, many places on the Internet to see them "up close." But no longer on this blog site.

posted by Deborah Lipstadt @ 7:27 AM [Monday, March 21, 2005]


mail .... ANOTHER correspondent, Andrea, reports, Monday, March 21, 2005: "I have saved one of the blogs that that contributed to Lipstadt's cowardly closure of her blog-page. She has now, as you know, removed these comments from her website. 'Kooks and anti-semites' indeed!! Reasonable people asking reasonable questions is a better description. But of course, that is what she is afraid of." [Link: The blog that an appalled Prof Lipstadt junked - preserved here for posterity]


Index to the media scandal surrounding Prof Lipstadt's attempt to silence C-Span and the history debate