February 01, 2005

Churchill Update

Because I'm sure you just can't get enough of this story, the latest on the Churchill imbroglio (I love using "imbroglio" in a sentence, hackneyed as it is. It is second only to "boondoggle" in my lexicon of "words I love but that have been beaten to death by journalists, damn them all").

While still a professor, he has stepped down from his position as department chair. Official college statement here.

NY Times article here. Predictable statements from predictable sources saying predictable things.

Frankly, the entire trajectory of this story has been predictable, except for the resignation as chair thing. If I had been laying odds, I would have put money on Colorado using the "academic freedom" argument to keep him in his post. Most likely some nervous admins figured the best way to deflect the heat was to bump him from chair and keep him on staff--demonstrating their committment to both "academic freedom" and "common decency."

But then, I'm cynical that way.

And just a note to academics looking to "shake things up" on campus by inviting "controversial" speakers: do your research. And here's a good rule of thumb: even though it's 2005, it's still not cool to compare dead innocents to dead Nazis.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at February 1, 2005 10:26 AM

"Innalecksuals" like Mr. Churchill rather remind me of a bully at the zoo, poking a large bear or cat through the bars with a sharp stick. They like to taunt the animal, see it roar and howl, and they are smugly confident that the pestered and angry beast will never be able to retaliate. They can say hurtful and provoking things, and no one can ever, ever respond in kind, because to do so would be... oh, I don't know--- squashing their dissent or something. The bully is safe, protected by bars and tenure and the tradition of dissent.
Only sometimes the hurtful things are so vile, that the bear doesn't really care about the bars, and smashes them to bits...and then the bully is really, really surprised.
I'll bet Mr. Churchill is scratching his head in surprise and wondering how what he said could have made people so very, very angry. He didn't really MEAN it, he was just having a little fun.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at February 1, 2005 01:21 PM

Ward posted a statement yesterday here. It's really amusing to watch him waffle. He obviously believes his own tripe, and is being forced to semi-recant by the administration.

My favorite quote:

"It should be emphasized that I applied the "little Eichmanns" characterization only to those described as "technicians." Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage.

Incoherent *and* evil.

Posted by: Eric Brown at February 1, 2005 02:36 PM

Out of curiosity, does anyone know where the original Churchill essay in question was published?

I've come across the essay several times, but each time it cites a different source.

Anyway, I'm wondering if part of the problem he is experiencing is because he was coming to NY.

Posted by: di at February 1, 2005 05:20 PM

Di -

The link to the WSJ Opinion Journal piece will refer you to darknightpress.org, where you can read the essay in its entirety. A note there says that the article appeared in a publication entitled "Pockets of Resistance," Issue #11.

The most amazing thing is not that such a pretentious piece of crap journal had managed to produce 11 issues, but that Churchill didn't even wait 'till the rubble cooled before launching his half-baked polemic.

When he speaks of "chickens coming home to roost," he leaves out the future breed of chicken--the ones that will refuse to pay exorbitant amounts of money to attend supposed "institutes of higher learning."

And yes, I'm sure that his being invited to speak in NY was part of the problem, but apparently the college in question has also recently had another "radical chic" pr boondoggle (whee! love that word!), trying to hire a Weather Underground murderess as a faculty member.

So the stage was set for this confrontation long ago.

I do find Churchill's wide-eyed protestations of "it was years ago!" quite precious. Perhaps someone should let him in on the fact that immediately post-9/11 the real world was a bit too busy to drop everything and harken to a nutball. The revisionist history is charming as well as funny--if by funny you mean amazingly offensive. Oh, so he didn't mean the janitors, just the bankers! Like that somehow makes it okay.

Soulless bastard.

Posted by: BAW at February 1, 2005 10:02 PM

So, it seems to me the man is surprised that an essay he wrote for a non-mainstream publication was brought to light.

Kinda like your parents finding your hidden stash under your bed and calling you to task for it.

Ah, I see.

I'm very familiar with Hamilton College. A great deal of their local reputation relates to its willingness to give voice to radical points of view and actions.

That Churchill was invited to speak wasn't contrary to the college's past actions. In some ways, it was unusual that the Hamilton administrators cancelled the speech.

Not defending either party in this situation.

Just disgusted from the whole thing. Mostly because I think Hamilton College could have pulled off Churchill's visit if it was located in a different state.


Posted by: di at February 2, 2005 08:14 AM

The Governor of Colorado sent a public letter to Churchill asking him to resign. The Board of Trustees is holding a special emergency meeting to discuss the problem of Professor Churchill today. Be interesting to see what comes of these.

BTW the letter is located on the website of a Denver TV station and the notice about the meeting of the Board of Trustees is located on the website of the University of Colorado.

I would say off hand that the man is toast. Wonder what affect this will have on his wife and her classes. She appears to be of much the same mind as he is and I would imagine that sooner or later the same will happen to her. There is a notice of a conference at which she is a featured speaker as is a Wiccan, a Pagan, a Psychic, and a bunch of feminists who appear to all be of the definite wingnut variety. The subject of the conference is Alternative Feminism and what the future holds for it. Sounds different!!

Posted by: dick at February 2, 2005 01:33 PM