Feb. 21, 2005

The Justice of Roosting Chickens: Ward Churchill Speaks

The Justice of Roosting Chickens: Ward Churchill Speaks

The Governor of Colorado has called for his 'termination.' Fox's Bill O'Reilly has attacked him consistently for weeks. He says he won't apologize and he won't back down. We speak with Ward Churchill, the professor at the center of the controversy over free speech and academic freedom on college campuses."

RUSH TRANSCRIPT AMY GOODMAN: Governor Owens made the same call on the O'Reilly Factor.

BILL O’REILLY: This is such an embarrassment for your state, which is a changing state, but it's a traditional state, and this guy's embarrassed Colorado from Trinidad up to Greeley.

GOVERNOR BILL OWENS: Absolutely.

BILL O’REILLY: And over to, you know, Steamboat Springs. Everybody is --

GOVERNOR BILL OWENS: You have been here.

BILL O’REILLY: Yeah. They're like appalled.

GOVERNOR BILL OWENS: It is embarrassing.

BILL O’REILLY: How could this happen?

GOVERNOR BILL OWENS: And that's why we're trying to deal with it. Now obviously you know tenure laws and you know the First Amendment and we respect the law and we respect the First Amendment, so we're trying to address this, and the Regents are, by going through that Rule-of-Law process to make sure that when they make the decision, and I'm hoping it's to terminate him, that they can have it withstand court scrutiny.

BILL O’REILLY: Do you think?

GOVERNOR BILL OWENS: I mean, how far have we gone in this country that you're able to call for more murder, call for more 9/11s, say that the United States should cease to exist and that we sit around and we're going to have to spend probably several years going through a process to -- so that this guy can't speak as a professor of the University of Colorado.

BILL O’REILLY: And he's also making a $100,000, or close to it.

GOVERNOR BILL OWENS: He is.

BILL O’REILLY: Of taxpayer money. One more thing. I have, or, I'm revising my opinion based upon this new information that he thinks more 9/11s are necessary, but last week I said, look, don't fire him, because the message it sends to the enemies is, we oppress people we disagree with. Our country is strong enough to put up with even him, but now he seems to have gone over another line. You know, if he is calling for the murder of American citizen, you simply can't have him.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Bill O'Reilly and Colorado Governor Bill Owens on The O'Reilly Factor, February 7th. That same week, the University of Colorado Board of Regents voted to review all of Churchill's speeches and writings in order to determine whether there's cause for his dismissal. And two days before Churchill was scheduled to speak, Hamilton College withdrew the invitation citing security concerns. Interestingly, the panel that Hamilton had originally asked Professor Churchill to be on was titled, "The limits of dissent." We turn now to Professor Ward Churchill, joining us from Boulder, Colorado. Welcome to Democracy Now!

WARD CHURCHILL: Hi, Amy.

Continued.......

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