[News] Rock-star Churchill holds court before heading there

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jul 26 13:02:43 EDT 2007

Rocky Mountain News

LITTWIN: Rock-star Churchill holds court before heading there

July 26, 2007

Ward Churchill was in a great mood Tuesday for a 
guy who was about to be fired.

Why not?

If you like political theater - and we all know 
Churchill loves it - this was all the stage anyone could ever hope for.

He didn't just get fired. He got fired in front 
of The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times 
and a team of documentarians and every known 
local TV camera - and with Dan Caplis pacing the 
room holding one of those big microphones in 
which I kept expecting him to intone, "This is Boulder."

And Churchill was there for it all in his T-shirt 
and shades looking every bit the rock-star 
revolutionary he always wanted to be. And loving 
every time someone such as Bill O'Reilly - if 
there is anyone, indeed, like Bill O'Reilly - mentions his name.

Just in case you missed the point: The media - me 
and Bill and the boys - have made Churchill, a 
once deservedly obscure professor, officially famous.

You just had to watch how the timorous CU regents 
reacted Tuesday to understand how low we've gone.

You'd have thought Che Guevara was on trial. The 
regents - who were afraid to hold their hearing 
in open session, even though Churchill asked them 
to - were obviously expecting a riot. It was hilarious.

The regents looked like every uptight university 
official out of a documentary on the '60s. You 
not only had to pass through a metal detector to 
get into the Glenn Miller Ballroom. The regents 
seated themselves as far as possible from any hoi 
polloi, behind a velvet rope and then another 
barrier covered with what looked like a black curtain.

Call it the CU Regents Green Zone, which even the 
most exercised Churchill supporter - or, for that 
matter, Jay Cutler - would have had trouble reaching with a tossed chair.

If you picture yourself - as we can only guess 
Churchill does - as an outlaw professor, standing 
up against the establishment, you couldn't have drawn a better scene.

And after it was all over, and after the regents 
failed to get a unanimous vote to fire him, and 
after not a single chair was tossed, Churchill 
met the news media. He took the time to rip Glenn 
Miller as a "hack" musician - this is the 
essential Churchill, attacking Glenn Miller - but 
also to explain his good mood.

He said he was looking forward to facing a court 
of law instead of a "kangaroo court."

David Lane, Churchill's lawyer, went to Denver 
District Court on Wednesday to file his suit 
against CU. He predicted that, within a year, a jury will hear it.

If you thought you'd gotten rid of Churchill, you 
must not understand the rules of the game.

I read the brief (it's online at 
RockyMountainNews.com), which is just a general 
outline of the case. Lane gave reporters a taste 
of his plan Tuesday while we were waiting for the regents to finish voting.

"No sane person in America could conclude this 
was not motivated by his 9/11 comments," Lane said.

He's right. That's how it began. It's the part 
that CU will have to explain away, if this ever 
gets to a jury. When CU President Hank Brown was 
asked about that, he smilingly ducked and dodged the question.

You don't get that luxury under oath - unless you're, say, Alberto Gonzales.

Someone will have to answer the question about 
what, if anything, Gov. Bill Owens said to whom 
at CU about Churchill. Owens, of course, wanted 
Churchill gone no sooner than he read the words 
"little" and "Eichmanns" consecutively.

The Eichmann line still shocks. It should still 
shock. It will shock a jury, any jury. When the 
Churchill affair began, I was told by lawyers 
that no jury would give Churchill a dime. But 
it's later, much later. The country has turned against the war.

What's clear is that CU should have settled with 
Churchill long ago. Everyone would have forgiven, 
or at least forgotten, by now - even talk radio. 
Now CU faces at least another year of Churchill stories.

This is the case Lane will attempt to make:

"Everything happening here is in retaliation for 
his First Amendment protected speech. I don't 
have to prove it as the main reason. I just have 
to prove that it was a motivating factor."

Then, of course, there's the question of 
Churchill's academic misconduct. If you talk to 
Churchill, though, he insists he has done nothing 
wrong. He can give you chapter and verse - 
presumably with footnotes, which you might want to check - about his critics.

If you read the Rocky on Wednesday, you saw 
authors whom Churchill has cited calling him a 
"fraud" and a "liar" who shouldn't be teaching at 
any university. Which is, of course, what CU ultimately decided.

But who wouldn't want to see this played out in a 
courtroom? In America, where else could it end?

The trial would be a circus. In fact, I think 
that's the only thing you can say about this 
affair without fear of an argument - although, 
wait, that may be O'Reilly's producer on the line now.

<mailto:littwinm at RockyMountainNews.com>littwinm at RockyMountainNews.com


Copyright 2007, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

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