The little fool

The little fool

: Ward Churchill, the reputed professor infamous for calling 9/11’s victims “little Eichmans,” is in the bullseye of the Rocky Mountain News in a series of investigations that find:

At issue

Did Ward Churchill falsely accuse the U.S. Army of using smallpox as a weapon of genocide against American Indians?

Our findings

His claim cannot be supported by the sources he has cited.

At issue

Did Churchill commit plagiarism by publishing the work of others as his own?

Our findings

An essay he “prepared” for a book was actually taken from a Canadian scholar.

At issue

Did Churchill mischaracterize two important pieces of federal Indian law?

Our findings

His contentions about the Dawes Act of 1887 and the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 are incorrect.

At issue

Did Churchill misrepresent himself as having American Indian ancestry?

Our findings

His assertions that he is descended from Cherokee and Creek ancestors arenít supported by extensive genealogical records.

I’m all for freedom of speech and academic freedom as well. But at what point does the academy become just a refuge for a fool? [via Glenn Reynolds]

  • At what point does an obscure academic become the right’s poster boy for “the left”?
    At what point does Jeff buy a clue and stop doing Reynolds’ crap work for him?

  • Stephen_M

    At what point does Oliver Willis realize Prof. Reynolds is not the sun about which his globulous self orbits?

  • Well, Ollie, it has been a while! But I’m glad to see nothing has changed. You’re still a single-minded paranoid. I didn’t say anything at all about Churchill being a poster boy for the left. I called him a fool. You’re the one who doth protest too much. You read your little imagined battle into everything.

  • HA

    At what point to do you stop embarassing yourself with lame, snarky, adolescent one-liners targeting independant-minded liberals who deviate from the party line?

  • BTW, there is a 70’s song sung by Buffy St. Marie, who is Cree, with the lines (probably paraphrasing here, from my memory):…. ‘Now blankets for guns is a bargain it seems, but the blankets were those Uncle Sam had collected, from smallpox diseased dying soldiers that day, and the tribes were wiped out, and the history books censored.’ So here this strange character was borrowing from folk legend, at least.

  • Kat

    Well, two stupids don’t make a truth. It just proves Buffy is as dumb as Churchill. I guess we can blame the Asians for trying to wipe us out by spreading all those flu strains that kill so many.

  • Tony

    The academy should not be singled out as a refuge for fools. There are plenty among commerce, journalism, politics, the church, the blogosphere….

  • kat

    You reap what you sow and we know that if you indoctrinate people in commerce, journalism, politics, the church, the blogosphere in leftism, you get little lefties as a result. We all know who controls academia.

  • jeremy in nYC

    Tony: exactly. What’s happened, though is that the right has singled out Churchill (among others) for extensive attention, and the left has inflated Gannon/Guckert into a symbol of, well something. And anytime somebody brings them up for criticism, no matter how well-deserved or non-partisan, the other side is going to assume that the writer is jumping on the applicable bandwagon and paying unwarranted attention to people who are, at best, fools of minor importance.
    Which is what I’m sure Oliver meant to say (minus the Gannon/Guckert part, of course, since that’s a matter of national importance eclipsing the War on Terror, Social Security, yada yada yada), if he could just take his engine out of “full throttle partisan attack” for a second and go back to his once-thoughtful ways.

  • “The Academy” has been refuge for fools for a long, long time. Most of them aren’t quite as egregious as this Ward Churchill fellow, but universities have long since been home for certain strains of extreme, self-perpetuating, dogmatist thinking, and no less so than your local Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity station on the radio.
    Oliver’s screaming about “poster boys” and Glenn Reynolds is part and parcel of his habit of invoking straw men to justify his selective criticism and sense of self-righteous outrage.

  • Honestly, who cares what Ward Churchill thinks, does, says, eats, drinks, writes, etc.?
    My radio is tuned safely away from such blather from the right, and I can say with some confidence that I will never find myself part of a captive audience of Mr. Churchill.
    Missing white women and Ward Churchill. Geez. Color me uninterested.
    (Time spent commenting on this slightly undercuts this position, but kindly suspend disbelief)

  • pilsener

    Here’s some small perspective from Colorado.
    In the rest of the country, Ward Churchill became a left-right partisan issue, in Colorado it is an issue about the management of the University of Colorado.
    The buffoon Churchill was department chair, well-paid, fully tenured, and heading for a lucrative retirement in 5-10 years, until a student in New York actually read and reported on Churchill’s sophomoric rantings..
    Now Churchill has been added to football scandals, campus rape scandals, Title IX lawsuits, to provide a portrayal of a mismanaged university.
    The President is gone, the Athletic Director is gone, the Football Coach’s job is hanging, and a lot of people want to know how an academic fraud like Churchill was able to prosper at the top university in the state.
    That’s what the Rocky Mountain News was reporting on.

  • Jeff devotes 20 or so lines to just how horrible Ward Churchill is. Who gives a crap about Churchill? Right wing cranks like Reynolds who like to use folks like Churchill to be “the left”. Who helps them? Folks like Jeff Jarvis.

  • pilsener, you hit on the exact problem without, I think, really realizing it:
    The buffoon Churchill was department chair, well-paid, fully tenured, and heading for a lucrative retirement in 5-10 years
    THAT is the problem… Churchill, by all accounts, was totally unqualified for that position. He was elevated to that chair because of his ideological proclivities. The problem is not Ward Churchill. The problem is the institutional bias in “the Academy,” which is funded by the taxpayer and which certain portions of the electorate are more than willing to completely ignore.
    As for Oliver and his comments in this thread, rest assured that it might be satisfying for him to scream and howl about Glenn Reynolds and how Jeff Jarvis’s 20 lines of legitimate criticism fuels the evil right-wing propaganda machine, but the rest of us can rest assured that no one’s listening, save his extremist fellow-travellers who trade in nothing but hyperbole and rhetorical excess.

  • pilsener

    vincent: “He was elevated to that chair because of his ideological proclivities.”
    Actually, every other professor in the ethnic studies department shares the “U.S. is wrong/bad/evil” portion of Churchill’s proclivities. When Churchill resigned the chair, the new chair promptly attacked “the neocon battle for dominance in academe” in that noted scholarly journal – Counterpunch.

  • jeremy in NYC

    Given that the 2nd comment from “Oliver” indicates that he didn’t read a dang thing anyone said, I postulate that the comment is actually from a “Willis-bot” which is designed to randomly post talking points in comments sections.

  • Franky

    JJ says: “I didn’t say anything at all about Churchill being a poster boy for the left. I called him a fool.”
    If you don’t mean him as a posterboy of the left, then why talk about him? Are you just outraged that some guy holds his opinions? There’s a homeless guy on my street who thinks jews rule the world by satelittes and microchips implanted in our brains. Will you write about him too?

  • If the homeless guy gains tenure at a local university,lies about who he is and what he has done in his life. I’m sure he would. Ward Churchill is a poster boy for what’s wrong in academia more than the left.

  • John

    I believe that we will find only the most delusional of their kind defending this man.
    However, He is not a fool, for he has been collecting good money for his work.
    Also, there is clearly a market for his product, however it will be ultimately characterized.