Reason magazine’s editor Nick Gillespie has an article up wherein he addresses that 1976 “special edition” featuring Holocaust deniers and contributors to neo-Nazi magazines. Let’s see how he acquits the publication:
If you want a preview of just how lame ideological mud-slinging is going to get […] take a look at this pair of articles penned by Mark Ames at pando.com, a Bay Area-based website that, among other things, aspires “to bring more civility into the blogosophere.” The pieces charge Reason with being not a libertarian defender of “Free Minds and Free Markets” but a hotbed for pro-apartheid Holocaust deniers who slavishly do the bidding of David and Charles Koch (cue the monster-movie music, maestro).
Yeah, seriously. A publication that just celebrated “Marijuana on Main Street: The long, hard road to safe, legal pot,” covers the police brutality beat like nobody’s business, and criticized George W. Bush’s “disaster socialism” and his stupid wars for the entire eight awful years he was in the White House, is really a stalking horse for reactionary politics right out of The Turner Diaries.
Those are the (slightly abridged) opening two paragraphs, and the “obviously we’re winning, they are attacking us more” stuff continues for another three paragraphs or so before Gillespie gets to the actual meat of the complaint against that 1976 edition.
(Before we continue, note Gillespie’s juxtaposition of Reason’s more recent positions with a possibly strawmannish claim that the current publication is a “stalking horse” and so on. That’s entirely separate from the issue at hand.)
In the newer post, Ames runs through Reason’s February 1976 issue that was billed as a “Special Revisionism Issue.” He has posted the entire issue, which I had not read before, online here (an incomplete online archive of Reason’s run can be found here at the invaluable unz.org site, which compiles hundreds of titles; we hope eventually to produce our own fully searchable, complete archive at our own site). Ames is correct that some of the contributors to that issue developed an interest in or were fellow travelers with that most pathetic area of study known as Holocaust revisionism or denialism. That scurrilous topic is not the focus of any of the articles in the issue, but the inclusion of contributors such as James J. Martin, who would go on to join the editorial board of the contemptible denialist outfit the Institute of Historical Review, is embarrassing.
Emphasis mine. More: reason.com
It’s a small point in Gillespie’s favor that he admits embarrassment over the association with (e.g.) James J. Martin, but overall it’s pretty much a non-apology if the people featured in that issue had histories of bigotry etc. before Reason invited them. Moreover, the real embarrassment is that nobody at Reason, or associated with the magazine, had the self-awareness to realize that maybe this would be a problem for them. Is it too much to expect an editor to at least have a passing familiarity with back issues?
And so, without further ado…