Ward Churchill: The Tenured Tonto
Naturally, the hard left can't help but rally to his cause. After all, conservatives led the outrage parade against Churchill early, and you know how evil they are. And Churchill is a first-class America basher, which makes him enormously appealing to the "blame America" contingent. Heck, he's a folk hero to them.
The usual suspects surfaced to defend Churchill once the initial news blasts hit including CommonDreams.org, The Progressive, unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, and attorney Lynne Stewart, famous for passing messages between one of her clients and a terrorist organization. With friends like these ...
In a recent trial-related column, the Denver Post's new liberal columnist, Mike Littwin, wasn't angry with Churchill for his many educational sins. Instead, he blamed the university that fired him: "But however guilty Churchill may or may not have been, he was never as guilty as the University of Colorado." He ended his pro-Churchill column with this golden thought: "Even if a witch hunt turns up an actual witch, it's still a witch hunt."
Churchill's academic fraud and hateful rhetoric has been swept under the academic rug. Free speech is complicated. Reminding people they can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater is easy to digest. But employers have a right to fire people for offensive statements. Heck, hockey player Sean Avery was banned indefinitely by the NHL for making derogatory comments about his ex-girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert.
The worst you can say about the left's embrace of Churchill is that it goes against some of its core values. The left treasures diversity and the protection of minorities. Churchill falsely claimed he's of Native American descent. So he actually took a teaching slot that could have been given to another minority. And his academic fakery is a blow to those who hold up academia as one of our culture's most cherished strengths.
It's a miracle Churchill was allowed to keep his job following his hateful comments. But once the professor's full portrait was revealed, there shouldn't have been a soul out there willing to stick his neck out for him.
Churchill must be taking comfort in the knowledge that he'll always have a home on the far left.