The Responsibility of a Free Press

by Norman Horowitz

In the 1950s, while I was defending our country in the Air Force during the Korean War, I was an electronics teacher.

During my teaching career, I encountered well over 1,000 students from all over the world, but primarily from the United States. Most of these kids — average age 18 — had never seen a Jew before (that they were aware of).

Here are some of the things I was asked in class by my students:

  • Sergeant, where do you hide your horns?
  • Sergeant, what do you do with the bodies of the Christians after you have drained their blood for your rituals?
  • Sergeant, how come the fucking Jews get to have a day off to celebrate certain holidays?

There were many more, but enough already.  

Fast forward a few decades, and I find myself divorced and living in sin with the wonderful, beautiful, well-educated Dona Carol Harrison, the daughter of a Fundamentalist Church of Christ minister. When discussing anti-Semitism with Carol, she told me, “Norman, you need to understand and forgive these racists because they are just ignorant.”

Fast forward to today: Apparently, there is a smattering of overt hatred of Jews by the protesters that has been picked up by the television journalists.

I believe that it is better for society if the media ignore these nut cases who, as so many in the past have done, blame the Jews for everything that has gone wrong in our country and throughout the world.

Many people will counter that it is wrong to deny these crazies a voice, but the pragmatist inside of me wants to scream at all broadcasters not to carry these messages of hate.

I am not denying anyone their right to express themselves. They can say whatever they wish, but for goodness sake please do not allow these voices of hate to use the amplifier of television coverage.

My friend Reese Schonfeld has given me permission to quote from an article that he wrote a couple of years ago that in my opinion speaks to the issue that appears to be missing from today’s news coverage:

[My] first boss, Bill Higginbotham of the United Press, told me that an interview I had done with the American Nazi, George Lincoln Rockwell, would not include Rockwell’s statement on camera that if he were elected President he would execute 90% of all American Jews, because they were traitors. I thought I had a great exclusive that would demonstrate that Rockwell was a dangerous extremist.

Higginbotham, who was from Missouri, thought that too many of the people he grew up with would agree with Rockwell. He believed that some ideas were too dangerous to be spread to a broad audience. He killed that part of the interview, and he taught me a lesson — you don’t have to print everything anybody says, particularly if it comes from a nut-job. And that applies even if it’s a story that will get you a lot of attention.