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Personal comments on the Appeal
Some of the personal comments on the Appeal include these below. They are ordered alphabetically by surname.
Claire and I would like to thank everyone quoted for their support and permission in allowing us to use these messages publicly.
"Libel actions - outdated laws - should not be used to stifle free speech. How can one arm of journalism behave in such a way to another that it jeopardizes the very freedom of the profession. My support is all with LM."
"A news organisation, above all, should defend dissenting views, not seek to suppress them."
"I fully support LM's campaign and wish it every success. ITN's action is a new low in standards of public debate. The fact that ITN is a media institution makes its behaviour even more dispicable."
"Journalists - of all people - should never use the libel laws to attack each other. If you've nothing to hide then debate, argue, challenge, refute and the truth will out. Shame on ITN."
"It is absurd that journalists in ITN should be trying to suppress other journalists who are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.
"A disturbing case, which exposes the danger of media coverage and media consensus."
"Nothing is beyond doubt and question. Nothing should be above criticism and dissent. If LM doesn't doubt, question, criticise and dissent, who will?"
"It is a sad comment on the state of television journalism that a once reputable company like ITN should stoop to the rich man's luxury, a libel action, rather than risk open debate."
"Endorse every word of the Appeal. I'm not endorsing Deichmann's article - don't know enough about it - but LM's right to publish it."
"Businesses that profit by spreading news and discussion of news can defend themselves from critics by more news and discussion. Using money and law to damage a critic is bad for truth, bad for democracy."
"Freedom of speech is the one item which when taken away costs us all."
Steven Alan Green
"If journalism is to maintain any kind of standards or integrity, this debate should be held openly and freely, with no legal restrictions.
"Let a million flowers bloom. No one and no organisation has a monopoly of the truth. Only free dialogue will enable us to begin to approach it. It is absurd that journalists - ITN - should be trying to suppress other journalists who are doing exactly what they do."
"LM magazine aids the defence of an informal democracy in a time when it is deeply threatened. I do not agree with everything it says, but find it intelligent, stimulating and informative and would defend its right to exist."
A L Kennedy
"'Sue not that ye be not sued' is a rule that everyone working in the media ought to follow. That ITN is suing Living Marxism is the equivalent of an elephant attempting to trample a fly because it has had the impertinence to alight on its trunk."
"A case of historical importance. A win for ITN will be a blow to free speech."
"As one who has sometimes opposed prevailing orthodoxies, I know only too well how totalitarian this country can be."
"As a former reporter for ITN (1973-7) I deplore their bullying tactics in bringing a libel action against LM."
"What an opportunity for Channel Four to revigorate its reputation as a doughty defender of minority views by withholding a renewal of ITN's contract to make Channel Four news unless it drops this dangerous action."
"Truth cannot be imposed by a court; it can only be ascertained through open debate. Far from being silenced, LM should be supported for its willingness to challenge received wisdoms and to engage in such critical debate."
"Libel laws have crucified investigative journalists over the years. It is time to abolish these laws and replace them with a space in the media for people to answer their critics. Open debate is preferable to a closed society."
"ITN should think again because they stand to be severely embarrassed."
"I hate the idea of a powerful and affluent organisation trying to destroy a small independet-minded magazine. The issues raised by LM are important ones, and deserve to be heard."
"I see no offense in the article by LM and deplore the strategy of silencing that ITN are following."
"I am by no means sure that LM's allegations are all sustainable, but can this not be settled by open debate?"
"Good luck in your mission boss!"
"In a world where government agencies consistently manage and structure the truth, it's the duty of News organisations to smoke them out. ITN abrogated this responsiblity."
"'You should never have your best trousers on when you turn out to fight for freedom and truth' said Ibsen. Time to pull on the worst trousers then."
"I deplore ITN's bullying tactics in this worrying case and applaud LM's dedication to the publication of facts which will allow the public to make up its own mind."
"I believe we were born with a mouth to do more than just suck, spit and whistle."
"It is incredible, given the evidence and the individuals of international status already on your side, that ITN has the nerve to continue. They should crawl away in utter embarrassment."
Philip and Rhona Stokes
"Censorship, the suppression of debate and dissent, and the management of news are all insults to our intelligence and not only unnecessary but do violence to a free society."
"I absolutely agree that such matters should be argued out in the court of public opinion, rather than stifled by libel action."
"Journalists who specialise in criticism, should not see themselves above criticism. The 'offending article' is responsible, well considered, and makes points ITN would do better to consider than to try to censor. Major squashed Scallywag; and lost a great deal of public esteem, and possibly even an election, by so doing. The very prospect of this lawsuit, whatever its outcome, can only bring ITN into disrepute. What else are they hiding, the public will think. If a great big powerful wealthy organisation feels it has to put a small, intelligent magazine out of business, and try to frighten into silence Helene Guldberg, a human rights activist of the highest reputation and integrity - what's going on? Not in quite the same league as the Salmon Rushdie case, perhaps, but working its way up to a real cause celebre. It is important to the public interest, and indeed to ITN itself, that it reigns in its lawyers, apologises, and desists. The article does not blame ITN, or see it as culpable: it merely underlines the importance of veracious filming. Of course reporters are tempted to set up scenes - and organise reality to suit themselves - but the consequences can be dire, as the article most usefully points out."
"Journalists - in whatever medium - have many outlets for getting back at one another without the pathetic use of lawyers. ITN are bullies. LM magazine is a small concern and does not deserve to be clobbered by the big boys of ITN. And besides, LM were right!"
A N Wilson
"No huge moneyed organisation has a right to use its power against those who are genuinely fighting for a better world."