C-SPAN’s Shaky Balance

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on April 13, 2005

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-Read the excerpt below from HonestReporting.com's March 16 post.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

…C-SPAN planned to give a notorious Holocaust denier a broad audience to promote his ideology that the murder of six million Jews never occurred. This, in the name of ‘journalistic balance’. Here’s what happened:

Deborah Lipstadt, Holocaust scholar at Emory University…will deliver a talk at Harvard University this evening (3/16), promoting her new book, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving. C-SPAN wished to broadcast Lipstadt’s talk on the network’s BookTV program, but informed Lipstadt that a recent speech of Irving’s (recorded by C-SPAN) would need to be broadcast as well. C-SPAN producers explained their reasoning to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen:

‘We want to balance [Lipstadt’s lecture] by covering him [Irving],’ said Amy Roach, a producer for C-SPAN’s Book TV. Her boss, Connie Doebele, put it another way. ‘You know how important fairness and balance is at C-SPAN… We work very, very hard at this. We ask ourselves, ‘Is there an opposing view of this?’

C-SPAN, that is, sought out an ‘opposing view’ to Lipstadt’s confirmation of the Nazi Holocaust. Lipstadt refused to be cast side-by-side with Irving, on the grounds that Holocaust denial does not merit public debate. Cohen asks the appropriate question: ‘For a book on the evils of slavery, would C-SPAN counter with someone who thinks it was a benign institution?’

Questions

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen asks:  “For a book on the evils of slavery, would C-SPAN counter with someone who thinks it was a benign institution?”

Does Mr. Cohen make a valid point?  Explain your answer.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

Opinion question.  Answers vary.