Ward Churchill: The Tenured Tonto

Moving from D.C. to Denver meant less traffic, more sunshine, and a few breathless walks up and down the stairs as my lungs acclimated to the mile high atmosphere. It also put me at the heart of a national tragedy -- the academic fraud known as Ward Churchill. Or as Dennis Miller glibly calls him, "the tenured Tonto."

Naturally, the far left is rallying to his side. Again. And if you need another reason to distrust that side of the ideological aisle, here it is:

Churchill, a former Ethnic Studies professor at the University of Colorado, had his 15 minutes of infamy when word leaked of an essay he wrote after the 9/11 attacks. Referring to Nazi Adolf Eichmann, Churchill called those who died in the Twin Towers "little Eichmanns," because they supported the wicked system known as the U.S.A. Churchill wasn't fired for these monstrous comments, but that's more an indictment of modern academia than anything else. He received a pink slip some time later, after the university investigated his academic bona fides and discovered he had fabricated his credentials, along with other serious misdeeds.

Some news stories never die, and Churchill is making headlines again with his lawsuit against the University of Colorado. He claims he was unfairly canned in July 2007, and blames the media maelstrom surrounding his essay for his termination. Academic fraud? What academic fraud?

Denver residents can't hide from the latest trial accounts. A fine local radio show, "Caplis & Silverman," has been checking in with the case on a daily basis. Even co-host Craig Silverman, a reasonable left leaner who cordially battles with his conservative sparring partner, Dan Caplis, can't muster a defense for Churchill. The program is but one of many local media outlets giving residents the latest information on Churchill's case. It's like a traveling O.J. Simpson trial hit Colorado, but without the Dancing Itos or Kato Kaelin.

Churchill wraps himself in the invisibility cloak known as free speech, but if he had uttered anything offensive to a protected group he would have been fired without a hint of protest. What if he had penned something offensive and indefensible, like claiming high black crime rates indicate a genetic inferiority within the race? His time at the university would have ended the minute that news hit the wires. But if you work in academia, assaulting the U.S. on any level is not only accepted, it's common practice.