Sue, Jew Sue
Gahr sues think tank
Journalist Evan Gahr has filed suit against the Hudson Institute and its president, Herbert London for wrongful termination, breach of contract, defamation, and religious discrimination, and is asking for $1 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
Gahr was fired from the think tank because he called prominent conservative activist Paul Weyrich a "demented anti-Semite" after Weyrich wrote an article blaming the Jews for killing Jesus. He charges that the Hudson Institute violated its contract for employment with him and that London defamed him in an interview last May with the WJW.
London said then that Gahr had been terminated not because of his views on Weyrich but because he acted in an "unprofessional way" by using curse words -- which were replaced by "bleep" -- in an interview with The Washington Post. London also said Gahr had exhibited "bizarre behavior" in a television debate with conservative writer David Horowitz by using stuffed animals as props.
"We look forward to responding to Mr. Gahr's charges in a court of law," said Hudson Institute Washington office director Ken Weinstein.
by Eric Fingerhut and Paula Amann, with reports from Sharon Samber of JTA
SHOW: FOX HANNITY & COLMES
April 27, 2001 Friday
Transcript # 042702cb.253
SECTION: News; Domestic
LENGTH: 1578 words
HEADLINE: The Repercussions Over Reparations
GUESTS: Evan Gahr, David Horowitz
BYLINE: Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes
BODY: THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY & COLMES -- I'm Sean Hannity.
Some say talk radio is dominated by conservatives. Is that true? We'll tell you about the "Lone Liberal" tonight in talk radio. And also, we're going to get into the issue of me going one on one with Doug Hattaway, Al Gore's former campaign spokesperson.
But leading the battle zone tonight: When an ad entitled "Top 10 reasons why reparations for slavery is a bad idea, and racist too," was published, it started a firestorm of controversy across the country. Some universities refused to run the ad, and the author, David Horowitz, accused the schools of violating his First Amendment right to free speech. There is one person, Evan Gahr, who recently wrote an article criticizing a conservative who said the following, "Christ was crucified by the Jews," and David Horowitz fired Evan Gahr. Was there a connection? Whose rights were violated?
Joining us now, the president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, David Horowitz, and from Washington, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Evan Gahr.
I see you came with a prop, Evan. We'll get to that later.
EVAN GAHR, HUDSON INSTITUTE SENIOR FELLOW: OK.
HANNITY: First of all, you have done -- you -- your liberal credentials -- you were a hard-core leftist for years.
DAVID HOROWITZ, CENTER FOR POPULAR CULTURE: Oh, I'm -- I marched in my first civil rights demonstration in 1948, when -- it was on behalf of Harry Truman's Fair Employment Practices Commission. I have a 50-year record in the civil rights movement.
HANNITY: Including with the Black Panthers.
HOROWITZ: And -- well, I -- yeah, that's not quite civil rights, but...
HANNITY: Well, but...
HOROWITZ: I did. I raised a lot of money...
HOROWITZ: ... for a Panther school. I -- my whole career, I've got hundreds of thousands of words that I've written...
HOROWITZ: ... that, you know, in behalf of racial equality and equality for all people.
HANNITY: You believe reparations is wrong, but more importantly, you wanted to stir a debate on a college campus. And if we can't have...
HOROWITZ: Right, I...
HANNITY: ... a passionate debate on issues in a college campus, where can we have one?
HOROWITZ: Exactly. And so I put this ad up. There were -- you know, it's reasoned arguments. You know, how can you tell immigrant Mexican immigrants who are struggling to put bread on the table for their children...
HOROWITZ: ... to pay reparations for an institution that's been dead 136 years, and to pay it to Jesse Jackson and Johnnie Cochran, who are multi-millionaires? So it's not going to work. It's going to sow a lot of bad blood. It'll isolate African-Americans. Bad idea.
HANNITY: You -- the one thing that I noticed about you -- because I've known you for a long time, David, and I know that there's not a racist bone in your body. But you knew when you wrote this -- you knew when you wrote your book, "Hating Whitey," that there were going to be those in America that call you a racist.
HANNITY: You -- you -- you knew that this was coming. A lot of people would do everything they could do to avoid that in their lives. Why did you take that on?
HOROWITZ: Well, because I think this is one of the biggest political problems we have in America today. We live in an atmosphere of racial McCarthyism. It's exactly as it was in the '50s, only, you know, it was communism then, McCarthy. There were, of course, a lot of communists, and there was conspiracy. But McCarthy used it against his political enemies. If you were a liberal, you could be accused of having communist ideas, and you would be dead.
COLMES: You know, I think we talked about...
HOROWITZ: And today, it's racism. You -- people walk on eggshells...
HANNITY: Paint the "R" word on you.
COLMES: All right, David...
HOROWITZ: You walk on eggshells...
COLMES: I want...
HOROWITZ: If I can give one big example...
COLMES: I got to get the other guest in here.
HOROWITZ: Oh, OK.
COLMES: Look, both sides talk about...
GAHR: Are you sure you want me to talk?
COLMES: ... hypocrisy -- before we get to Evan, let me just understand here. You and Evan have a little issue going on here. You accuse the others of violating your 1st Amendment rights for those that didn't want to print your ad. You went to the defense of Jeff Jacoby, when he was suspended from the "Boston Globe," saying his rights were violated. But because Evan Gahr, your other guest here in our Washington, D.C., studios over at Fox News, wrote a piece critical of Paul Weyrich for saying Jews were responsible for the death of Christ, you decided that you didn't want Evan Gahr to publish anymore in your publication. Aren't you...
HOROWITZ: No, I didn't want to...
COLMES: ... abusing his...
HOROWITZ: He -- he, you know, called Weyrich a -- a...
HOROWITZ: ... demented ant-Semite...
HOROWITZ: ... for one phrase...
HOROWITZ: And you know, I don't think -- I think we need to end the time in America when a person who's got a 40-year public career...
HOROWITZ: ... has got to be afraid...
COLMES: But he has an opinion, just like you. But Evan, let me give you a chance to respond to...
HOROWITZ: Yeah, but I didn't fire him...
COLMES: ... what David said here...
HOROWITZ: ... because he never worked for me. You know, and he could have printed...
COLMES: Well, you decided...
HOROWITZ: ... this anywhere.
COLMES: ... you didn't want to publish him. Go ahead, Evan.
HOROWITZ: I didn't want to publish a slander.
COLMES: Let's give him a chance to respond. Go ahead, Evan.
GAHR: Well, first of all, I'm glad to see Drudge back, and I'm glad that Fox doesn't hold grudges. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about David's friend, the demented anti-Semite Paul Weyrich. But basically, I've spent the last week or two being very naive and trying to use logic and basic facts to persuade David, which doesn't quite work. So I've decided he's acted like a big baby. And I can't see the monitor. Can you see the chimp, David?
GAHR: Because David's world view is "Conservative good, liberal bad."
HANNITY: Ha, ha, ha. You're cracking us up here, Evan.
COLMES: No, give him a chance to speak. Evan, go ahead.
HANNITY: I'm rolling over...
COLMES: Let him speak! Let the guest speak. Go ahead, Evan.
GAHR: I can't -- I couldn't tell who was making the sarcastic comment, "Keep cracking us up."
HANNITY: That was Hannity, the sarcastic one.
GAHR: Oh, Sean, remind me, please, Vatican II -- what did that say? Did that say the Jews killed Christ, or that -- did they renounce it?
COLMES: Well, let's be -- let's talk about this in a serious manner because this is a serious issue.
GAHR: Well, OK. I'm asking a serious question.
COLMES: Vatican II did say, and most Christian groups do agree that this phrase, "the Jews killed Christ," is, indeed, an anti-Semitic phrase.
COLMES: And you admit, David, that Paul Weyrich should never have said this. He knew all along what he was doing. And all Evan did was try to attack that issue.
HOROWITZ: No, no. What he did was, he...
COLMES: And you didn't want to -- you didn't want to publish him because of that.
HOROWITZ: You know, I -- this is a -- has been a code for anti- Semites.
HOROWITZ: A lot of Jews died because of it. But we have -- you know, we're living in America in 2001, OK? And there are anti-Semites out there, but Jews are not about to be put in ovens in America. And it's the same -- you know, it's the same thing with the "N" word or any -- anything like that. We've got to sort of draw back in this country from destroying people's reputations on the suspicion that they might be anti-Semites or they might be racists because of a remark that they made. That -- that's all. I mean, I think a man has a right not to be labeled a demented anti- Semite because he said in a pastoral letter...
COLMES: But if...
HOROWITZ: All of it was in passing.
GAHR: Pastoral letter?
HOROWITZ: "After the Jews crucified Christ."
COLMES: All right, Evan...
GAHR: What about on his Web site? What?
COLMES: Go ahead.
GAHR: Well, speaking of reputations, what is David doing to mine when he calls me demented and says I committed malicious slander and says that I tried to bully his editor when the e-mails and phone records would show the other?
HANNITY: We got 10 seconds.
GAHR: But again, I mean, it's a little...
HANNITY: We got to break.
GAHR: It's a little -- I can't hear who's talking. It's too -- I'm trying to tame David. If he acts like a pig, I have to wave this, because logic doesn't work. But...
HOROWITZ: I mean, this is just a publicity hound, and that's...
HANNITY: All right...
HOROWITZ: I don't want anything to do with him.
GAHR: What? I'm a publicity hound?
HANNITY: David, good to see you. Thank you.
HANNITY: Evan, thank you. Next time, you got to bring your stuffed animals, David.
Do conservatives have a speech code? Will they refuse to tell the truth about one of their own if the truth is uncomfortable? Evan Gahr thinks so.
Gahr has been fired from his job as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, only a few weeks after calling longtime conservative activist Paul Weyrich a "demented anti-Semite" because of an Easter column in which Weyrich blamed Jews for killing Jesus.
Officials at the Hudson Institute angrily deny that Gahr's termination had anything to do with his statements about Weyrich, saying that the think tank does not apply a litmus test to anyone's views.
Institute vice president and Washington office director Ken Weinstein said Gahr's termination was an internal personnel matter and that his immediate supervisor found it "impossible" to continue working with him. And the group's president, Herb London, said Gahr has acted in an "unprofessional way" by using curse words in an interview with The Washington Post -- words that were not printed, but replaced by "bleep." London also cited Gahr's "bizarre behavior" in a televised debate with conservative writer David Horowitz, in which he used stuffed animals, including a chimp named Louis E. Chimpstein, as props to make some of his arguments.
"The only bizarre behavior is Hudson's apparent willingness to implicitly paint Weyrich as the most righteous gentile since Raoul Wallenberg," said Gahr. "I was the Hudson Institute's golden boy until I publicized the odious words of Paul Weyrich," whom his immediate supervisor, conservative columnist Mona Charen, "considers a friend."
"Is that why after months of praising my work and being asked to write a chapter in her book, she now finds me impossible to work with?"
Charen did not return a call seeking comment.
Gahr accuses his bosses at the Hudson Institute of "carrying water" for Weyrich, and points out that no other prominent Jewish conservative -- or non-Jewish conservative -- has sided with Gahr.
London, who said he had written letters to Weyrich and Horowitz stating that Gahr's views were his alone and not the views of the Hudson Institute, said he was "not in a position to defend Weyrich," but he had "never seen any evidence of anti-Semitism" on the part of Weyrich.
Meanwhile, Gahr is considering legal action.
-- by Eric Fingerhut