Tangled Web of Hate Weaved By Carto, Von Brunn & Co.
|Willis Carto speaks at a David Duke event about five years ago.|
Keep your eyes on the road because it gets twisty.
As Bauer notes on his Dissent the Blog here and here, von Brunn was once employed by Noontide Press, which is currently based in Newport Beach and is part of the Institute of Historical Review, which over the years has been located in Torrance, Costa Mesa and, most recently, Newport Beach.
Two interesting things at the top of the IHR website: notification it is moving seven miles away from its current location but will retain its mailing address. Right next to that is this from director Mark Weber about the assault on the National Holocaust Museum: "We condemn this despicable and criminal attack, carried out by an obviously deranged individual. We are all the more emphatic in condemning such violence because the IHR itself has been a victim of extremist violence."
So what does any of this have to do with the community-college district? Or anything? Glad you asked.
In 1955, Carto founded Liberty Lobby, which was best known for publishing the newspaper The Spotlight from 1975 and 2001. You may have found copies on your driveway at various times over the years. It was the one that promoted white supremacy and denied the Holocaust ever happened.
Carto in 1969 started Noontide Press, which has published books on white racialism and, with David Hoggan's The Six Million Myth, became among the first publishers to deny the Holocaust happened.
A decade later Carto founded the IHR as sort of an umbrella organization over all his publishing ventures. But he was booted out by his own board in the early 1990s over misuse of funds as IHR and Noontide Press was facing bankruptcy. It is believed von Brunn left Noontide Press around this time.
Carto has said he did not know von Brunn, while Weber says he only knew of him. Weber also maintains IHR and Noontide have returned to their "populist" roots since Carto's ouster. I'll let you check out his websites and decide for yourself.
Carto and several Spotlight staff members went off to start a new newspaper called American Free Press. Among his stable of writers is D.C.-based Michael Collins Piper, who hosts a weekday talk program on shortwave radio that has been described as pointedly anti-Zionist.From 1996 to 2000, the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) had a board trustee named Steven J. Frogue, who was also a history teacher at Foothill High School in Tustin. Frogue was controversial locally because there were reports out of his classrooms that he had said some nutty things, such as denying or questioning the number of Jewish deaths caused by the Holocaust. Other than an embarrassing headline or two, he escaped political damage that would threaten his board seat.
But then in 1998 Frogue tried to get the board to use taxpayer funds to cover some expenses for a John F. Kennedy assassination symposium he was organizing as a summer elective course at Irvine Valley College. (The SOCCCD is composed of IVC and Saddleback College.) A war was waging at the time that pitted the conservative board majority Frogue was aligned with against some administrators and faculty members (including Bauer) over who should make decisions regarding academics, the naming of deans and other matters that had traditionally been overseen by the Faculty Senate.
Doing some digging, Frogue's foes discovered that among the "experts" the trustee had enlisted for his forum was Piper, who had just penned a book that attributed the JFK assassination to the CIA and Israel, with an assist from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Among the costs the Frogue-led majority agreed to pick up were the travel expenses of Piper and other speakers--some of whom had been branded as equally as loony.
|Frogue holds up a journal he respected from an IHR-affiliated outlet.|
Subsequent board meetings turned into three-ring circuses--and smelled about as bad. The worst, on a steamy June 15, 1998, night, featured appearances by Piper, trenchcoated National Socialist and admitted child molester Joe Fields, Jewish Defense League wack bags Barry Krugel and Irv Rubin (now dead, from suicide or murder in jail) and other area Nazis, Zionists and the people who love them. Cameras and security guards were everywhere. Frogue looked as if he was in the midst of passing a crome-spiked German helmet up on the dais.
Having covered that meeting, this exchange between opposing audience still echoes in my head:
Student trustee Marie Hill summed it up best: "Every time I get up in the morning and see a story about this district in the Orange County Register, it's like seeing your mother on The Jerry Springer Show."
Frogue was nearly recalled--but damn if Orange County is going to toss out an incumbent. After the controversy died down, he quietly resigned in 2000--before his term was up so his board pals could appoint his replacement. South County was rewarded with the equally odious Tom Fuentes, the former Orange County Republican Party chairman now loathed by much of the SOCCCD faculty.