A Footnote on Ward Churchill

New Criterion, June 2007 | Go to article overview
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A Footnote on Ward Churchill


Who can forget Ward "little Eichmanns" Churchill, the "ethnic studies" professor at the University of Colorado whose odious remark comparing the victims of 9/11 to Nazi bureaucrats sparked a firestorm of eminently deserved criticism? The closer one looked into the case of Ward Churchill, the worse it got. This tenured radical had been battening on the public purse for decades--and for what? A congeries of radical political diatribes masquerading as scholarship in a bogus discipline. Much of what Churchill published was simply fabricated. Much else turned out to have been plagiarized. A university committee went to work to investigate it all and to recommend disciplinary action. On May 16, the Associated Press reported on the committee's findings. Yes, Churchill "committed multiple acts of plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification" and his work was "below minimum standards of professional integrity." Nevertheless, the committee recommended that he be suspended for a year, not fired. Why? Because although his case "shows misbehavior," it does not show "the worst possible misbehavior." Yes, that's right: you can be mad, bad, and dangerous to know--you can lie, fabricate research, plagiarize, and turn your college classroom into a center for anti-American propaganda: all that's just fine.

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