I do not have a means of checking the quotation from the Newsnight e-mail preview quoted in the following comment by “will” but have no reason to disbelieve it. In fact, in light of the post from Adloyada that follows, I have good reason to believe it. The comment from Will first:
Newsnight on Iran’s Holocaust Conference (from their e-mail preview)
In the face of international condemnation, President Ahmedenijad has hosted a conference in Tehran entitled “Review of the Holocaust”.
We’ve been speaking to some of the delegates who include the former Republican congressman and one time Grand Master of the KKK David Duke.
In Washington? No, he was a congressman in the Louisiana state government.
(Willful misrepresentation by Newsnight?)
& all Republican’s are closet KKK men? Well see who Duke overcame to win his state seat
In 1989, he ran as a Republican for a seat representing Metairie in the Louisiana State House of Representatives. He defeated fellow Republican John Treen, the brother of David C. Treen, the first Republican to be elected governor of Louisiana since Reconstruction, by a narrow margin of 51-49 percent. Duke’s victory came despite visits to the district in support of John Treen’s candidacy by President George H.W. Bush, former President Ronald Reagan, and other GOP notables.
– Wikipedia entry on David Duke
Now follows the post from Adloyada, who writes:
The BBC Radio 4 PM programme broke new ground this evening in offering David Duke airtime to justify his participation in the Iranian Holocaust conference on the grounds of “free speech” without alerting listeners to his Ku Klux Klan background, his convictions for fraud and his publication of virulently anti-semitic propaganda. It also gave an even more extended airtime opportunity to a leader of the Iran and Hamas supporting Neturei Karta, without letting its listeners know that the man was anything more than the rabbi of “an anti-zionist orthodox congregation in Vienna”.
Read the rest of the post to learn just how unrepresentative of Jewish Orthodox opinion Neturei Karta are.
I also note that the 2003 BBC article about David Duke that Adloyada links to seems to get his history wrong in just the same way as the email “will” quotes. The article says:
David Duke – who once held a seat for Louisiana in the House of Representatives
– I freely admit that the political system of Louisiana, which involves a “jungle primary” unlike any other in the United States, confuses me. But so far as I can see David Duke has never won office in the US House of Representatives. He has held office in the Louisiana State House of Representatives. There is a difference, you know. Oddly, a later sentence in the same article gets that aspect of things right:
Duke hit the Louisiana political scene in 1988, winning a seat as a Republican in the Louisiana House of Representatives after running on a “white rights” ticket.
But, wouldn’t you know it, that same sentence describes his party affiliation in such a way as to make the Republicans look as bad as possible. First off, Duke didn’t hit the Louisiana political scene in 1988 as a Republican – he first hit the Louisiana political scene in 1975 when he ran unsuccessfully for the Louisiana State Senate as a Democrat. He later ran for President, again as a Democrat. (And again unsuccessfully, in case anyone’s wondering.) Of course the BBC does not mention the official “reproval” from the Republican party nor the fact, quoted by “will” earlier, that the elder Bush and Ronald Reagan campaigned against Duke.
I would not bother quoting this old article at length were it not for the fact that the BBC seem to be making similar inaccurate statements now, possibly having got their “facts” from their earlier article.