Poor Mister Churchill

The Associated Press presents a sympathetic portrait of Ward Churchill, titled “Churchill Won’t Back Down”. (You can hear Tom Petty in the background.) It’s hard to talk about Churchill sympathetically, of course, without indulging in euphemism. Thus, Churchill is embroiled in a “firestorm over free speech” because he “liken[ed] some Sept. 11 victims to Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi architect of the Holocaust.” It doesn’t seem that the AP’s writer has actually read Churchill’s half-mad screed, “Some People Push Back”: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, which characterizes the September 11 attacks as “medicinal,” but the author nevertheless buys Churchill’s remarkably lame spin that he didn’t mean to condemn all of the terrorists’ victims as Fascist mass murderers, only “some” of them. So far, he hasn’t provided any names.
Of course, the article also describes Noam Chomsky as a “liberal scholar” who says that Churchill’s academic work is “of inestimable value.” That might be true, if your goal is to destroy Western civilization.
My favorite Churchill quote is this one: “I’m struggling desperately to be able to deliver to my students what they signed up for.” Which is, it seems to me, the heart of the issue: the taxpayers of Colorado, the parents who pay tuition, and the students who sign up for courses at the University of Colorado should be assured of some minimal effort at quality control. Churchill, like lots of bad employees who are in danger of being fired, prefers to cast himself as a victim, saying that the campaign against him is a “pretext for a broader campaign to discourage critical thinking.”
Right. Read Churchilll’s essay linked to above. If that’s your idea of “critical thinking,” your contributions to support Mr. Churchill in his next job will be most welcome.

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