American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Denial" (2016)


Professor Lipstadt's Post High Court Verdict Press Conference


Male Reporter: Can I ask -- Can I ask, do you have any regrets about bringing the case?

Professor Lipstadt: I don't know how to say this often enough: I didn't bring the case. Mr. Irving did -- although I'm not sure he realized when he agreed to a trial by a single judge, that it would mean a written judgment. This judgment is going to stand against him forever.

Now, some people are saying that the result of this trial will threaten free speech. I don't accept that. I'm not attacking free speech. On the contrary, I've been defending it against someone who wanted to abuse it. Freedom of speech means you can say whatever you want. What you can't do is lie, and then expect not to be held accountable for it. Not all opinions are equal. And some things happen, just like we say they do.
Slavery happened.
     The Black Death happened.
          The Earth is round.
               The ice caps are melting
                    and Elvis is -- is not alive.

                                     [And the Holocaust happened!]

Female Reporter: Miss Lipstadt...? You've conducted yourself with dignity throughout the trial.

Professor Lipstadt: Thank you. But I know what that means. That's code in England for "I've shut up," and I don't promise to shut up in the future.

Female Reporter: Miss Lipstadt -- Miss Lipstadt, how convinced were you that this trial was going to have a good outcome for you?

Professor Lipstadt: Well, before I came to London, I was -- I was definitely not convinced that a court of law was a good place to investigate historical truth. But, I underestimated the value of a team, of real teamwork. And it turns out it's not a bad place as long as you have great lawyers with great passion. And, my God, did I have great lawyers.

Male Reporter: Miss Lipstadt, if you could say something now to David Irving, what would you say?

Professor Lipstadt: I wouldn't say anything to David Irving. I would say something to the
survivors and to the murdered. And I would say, "You were remembered." "The voice of suffering was heard."

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.