Following is the brief text that I was going to post here. Then I discovered the latest editorial, by the editor-in-chief of The Cardinal. That made this text unnecessary. But I have decided to post it anyhow. There is a story here, though it is not the one I thought would surface.
The Cardinal at University of Louisville has published the new CODOH ad, “Are You a Student.” There are half a dozen letters to the editor published on-line. For the most part, predictably, they attack The Cardinal and its editorial staff for allowing the ad to be run.
Now the Cardinal staff is going to be under pressure from individuals on campus and off to not allow the ad to run again. If the staff does not bow down to this pressure all those associated with the paper will be charged with immoral behavior. Those who do not want to deal with the implications of the ad will set aside the ideals of journalism and of the university itself. Everything will be put into the taboo against asking the question. Cardinal staff will not find any segment of the faculty willing to stand with them. They will be alone.
I hope a couple professors on the Louisville campus prove me wrong about all this.
Letter From the Editor:
Why you won’t see an advertisement regarding the Holocaust this week
Published: Monday, April 13, 2009
Updated: Monday, April 13, 2009
Over the past week, I have received numerous e-mails, text messages, voice mails and even a poke on my Facebook. To what do I owe all this extra attention? People were upset about an advertisement placed in The Louisville Cardinal by someone attempting to disprove the atrocities of Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
I would like to take a moment of your time to explain that first of all, as editor, I saw the ad the same time you, our readers, did. Although this individual wanted to run the ad again, it was up to me to make the decision of whether or not it would. I decided without hesitation to pull the ad; it will not run again.
Second, let me explain how the paper works. The Cardinal is broken into two groups, the editorial side and the advertising side. This paper is an independent student newspaper, a non-profit organization that makes all its income via ad sales. Those of us on the editorial side do not have anything to do with the ad sales part.
Although, I am sure when this particular ad was purchased, our ad people were under the assumption it was a legitimate request for assistance in a research project, which we get all the time.
And finally, I would like to apologize to anyone who was offended by the ad in question. As the niece of one of the first American troops to enter Auschwitz; I have heard personal accounts of the mayhem committed against an entire race. The genocide has left a scar on mankind, which will never fade. It is important for us not to forget what happened; I know when my uncle thinks back to entering the camp, he becomes emotional. This man, larger than life, the monarch of our large family, cannot escape the memories of what he saw that day.
I am not Jewish; I did not lose anyone in those camps. But I know it happened. The heartrending and hopelessness I sensed through my uncle’s words of the carnage and destruction of human life he and the other troops found left a profound imprint on his soul. But, even as the proud soldier he is, my uncle donated the medals he was awarded to the Patton Museum in Ft. Knox. I have always thought he did not need medals to remind him of that war, or what he experienced during it.
This individual who placed the ad, offered to buy a beer for anyone who can find the evidence he is looking for to disprove this event. I would like to see him spend 10 minutes with my uncle; he would need more than a beer.
I wrote a brief note to Ms. Lynch:
“Ms. Lynch: The Americans did not 'enter' Auschwitz. It was liberated by the Soviets.”
Thinking about it now, I hope it is Ms. Lynch who is mistaken here, not her uncle. I would not want to undermine the admiration and good faith she has for the man.