A Radical Silence

The networks don't want us thinking too much about lunatic University of Colorado professor Ward L. Churchill.  Make that “former” professor.

He's the fake “Native American” who lied on his resume and got caught plagiarizing scholarly work. He made unsubstantiated comments falsely accusing the government of killing Indians with smallpox, and, most famously, likened 9/11 victims to a Nazi mass murderer.

When the college trustees finally moved on Tuesday to dismiss Churchill, ABC, NBC and CBS ignored the event on their evening programs. CBS did manage to cover it on its morning shows the next day, portraying Churchill as a martyr for freedom of speech.

CBS' Morning News quoted Churchill, his lawyer and a supporter, but no university officials in their Wednesday program. Here's a transcript, with anchor Susan Maginnis opening the segment:


“A professor at the University of Colorado has been fired. Ward Churchill lost his job after comparing some 9/11 victims to a Nazi leader. Jennifer Miller reports”:

Crowd: (In unison) Boo!


That's the reaction Ward Churchill supporters yelled when the University of Colorado's board of regents announced their 8-to-1 decision to fire the embattled professor.

Unidentified Man: Boo!

MILLER: The controversy began after Churchill wrote an essay calling September 11th victims “little Eichmanns,” in reference to the Nazi war criminal. Then three separate committees accused the liberally bent ethnic studies professor of plagiarism, falsification and other misconduct. Supporters say critics are attacking Churchill's freedom of speech...

(Excerpt of people playing drum)

MILLER: ...and beating a political drum.

Mr. WARD CHURCHILL (Fired Professor): I am going nowhere. This is not about break, it's not about bend, it's not about compromise, it's not about negotiating your rights. If you negotiate your rights, you have no rights.

MILLER: So Churchill says he will sue the university for denying his First Amendment rights. His attorney is filing the paper work Wednesday.

Mr. DAVID LANE (Churchill's attorney): To the public at large, the message is there will be a payback for free speech.

MILLER: And Churchill supporters say the university's decision isn't just political, it's financial, a move to keep conservative donors happy.


That's it. No one from the college gets any airtime, nor do any of Churchill's students who were reluctantly forced to listen to his diatribes.

Over on the print side, The New York Times and Associated Press led with the actual allegations. But the Los Angeles Times began its piece this way:

“The University of Colorado on Tuesday fired professor Ward L. Churchill, whose controversial statements comparing victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to Nazis triggered a debate over free speech and scholarship. The university system's regents insisted that their decision was unrelated to Churchill's 2001 essay that called workers in the World Trade Center 'little Eichmanns,' a reference to Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who was in charge of sending Jews to death camps.”

When trustees “insist” on a view, that is the reporter implying that something else is afoot, such as political intolerance.

Churchill's antics are only the tip of the iceberg.

Radical professors have been abusing their authority – and their students – since the 1960s. Much of it has been chronicled by former leftists David Horowitz and Peter Collier, syndicated columnist John Leo, author Ben Shapiro, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Accuracy in Academia, the Clare Boothe Luce Institute and the National Association of Scholars. If anything, it's been getting worse, as Baby Boomer radicals achieve tenure and thus are deemed beyond accountability.

The war on campus freedom did not just happen by accident.  In his 1965 book, Repressive Tolerance, Marxist cultural revolutionary Herbert Marcuse, whose works are still widely assigned, wrote that viewpoints had to be tightly controlled in order to advance the revolution:

“Certain things cannot be said; certain ideas cannot be expressed; certain policies cannot be proposed, certain behaviors cannot be permitted without making tolerance an instrument for the continuation of servitude.”

Primed by Marcuse and others, universities began force feeding students with Leftist ideology while systematically omitting or attacking the foundations of Western liberty, especially Christianity. Conservative faculty were and are routinely denied tenure and committee assignments. Conservative speakers are threatened, shouted down or cancelled, all at institutions that pride themselves on being “open” and “tolerant.”

On most campuses, conservative students know they must keep their mouths shut or jeopardize their future by getting bad grades, regardless of the quality of their work.

In most newsrooms, you'll find the same dynamic. As former CBS correspondent and author Bernie Goldberg told Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday night:

“The networks are clueless as to the craziness, the insanity that goes on in our college campuses. They've never shown interest in speech codes. They've never shown interest in stories about how you can't tell certain kinds of jokes if it offends another student.

Mr. Goldberg is being a bit too kind. The networks are fully aware that campuses are crushing dissent. It's not a story to them because the repression is aimed at conservatives.

Here, however, he nails it: “And what was it in this case that Ward Churchill did? He maligned America. In a lot of places, Bill, that's not such a big deal. However, if he maligned black people or gays or even women, then I think the media would have shown a lot of interest.”

Freedom of speech is a one-way street, fit only for America-hating liberals. The media professionals have been taught well by professors like Ward Churchill.

Robert Knight is director of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center. CMI intern David Niedrauer assisted with research for this article.