What do these things have in common: Republicans, Holocaust denial, fashion models, a film festival, and an upscale San Diego ‘burb? Oddly enough, they have two things in common – Holocaust denier David Cole, and his partner-in-crime for five years, fashion model Rosie Tisch. Cole, who for twenty-five years has been one of the most notorious Holocaust deniers, because he’s Jewish (a dubious distinction that bought him appearances on “60 Minutes,” “48 Hours,” “The Phil Donahue Show,” and Fox News), and his “supermodel” (I might be using that term generously) sidekick Tisch helped run a GOP “party group” called the Republican Party Animals, which featured such totally not-sexist entertainment as pole dancers and women who light their privates on fire (no, I’m not joking. Read this glowing piece from the Moonie-controlled Washington Times).
After five years of totally proving that Republicans are not sexist, Cole and Tisch had a spat, and she ratted on him to the media.
He wrote a book, she kept on modeling. Sadly, neither jumped off a cliff. But no one ever said the world is perfect.
As much as Cole has played up his Holocaust denial history since his “outing,” Tisch has tried to downplay it, removing the videos they did together, including videos he edited for one of her regular gigs, the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.
Good for the festival organizers for not having a long and convoluted name. Festivals with easy-to-remember names, like Sundance or SXSW or Cannes, never do well.
Cole’s book is available from Amazon, no surprise there, but also – curiously enough – from Barnes & Noble and Walmart. Last week, the organization Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors launched a campaign to get Walmart to stop carrying the book, but Walmart continued its tradition of spitting in the face of anything that represents human decency by telling those pesky Holocaust survivors to stuff it.
Unfortunately for Tisch, a by-product of Cole’s book being sold by major outlets is that people now know her story. And this year, when the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival (oh screw it, I’m just going to write LJIFFF from now on, especially because it sounds like I’m blowing a raspberry) announced that Rosie Tisch would be returning as host and presenter, people who believe that the Holocaust happened took to Facebook to complain.
Is the LJIFFF okay with having, as the public face of their festival, someone who collaborated with a Holocaust denier on far-right projects? Is that the image that this festival wants to promote? Does this upscale San Diego suburb really want to be associated with Republicans, gun nuts, homophobes, anti-abortion loons, and Holocaust deniers?
UPDATE: Apparently not. As of 12 noon on July 17th, LJIFFF producer Fred Sweet emailed me this brief but concise sentence: “Rosie Tisch will not be hosting at our event.”