Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Hoffman: general public "don't understand" Churchill

In a fawning interview conducted yesterday by KHOW's Dan Caplis, outgoing CU president Elizabeth Hoffman got a chance to show both her fake evenhandedness and her general cluelessness on the Churchill controversy.

After allowing Hoffman to recite her accomplishments as president, Dan asked gently if her comments about a "new McCarthyism" around Churchill were "taken out of context." Hoffman, sounding relieved, agreed, and explained how she meant that there was a new McCarthyism from both ends of the political spectrum:

I see very similiar kinds of attacks coming from the left as well. I worry about the future of intellectual debate in this country if every time someone opens their mouth and says something the least bit controversial [!] everyone who's offended piles on through the internet, the radio, the newspapers--it stifles debate on both sides.
On Churchill's advocacy of violence:
It's a very fine line, Dan. Oftentimes academics are trying to illustrate things by talking about violence without necessarily advocating it themselves. Certainly if we go back to the 1960s with the Weathermen, that was very clearly violence. It was absolutely not only advocating violence but engaging in violence. And that's one of the questions we're asking, is Professor Churchill advocating violence, or trying to help his students understand why other people might advocate violence. These are very, very different questions.
Dan: Would you agree that if Churchill is crossing the line into violence, that would be beyond the boundaries of academic freedom?

Well, again, it's very fine. Is he actually, purposely inciting people to violence, or is he trying to get them to understand why other people, such as the folks . . . the 9/11 terrorists, why they might be engaged in violence. And sometimes, academics have a tendency to say things in ways that perhaps the general public don't understand the subtleties of what they're trying to say.
Her line on a possible buyout for Ward? "We are looking at all options."

Caplis and Hoffman then played kissy-face for the last three or four minutes of the interview. Caplis is married to Aimee Sporer, the "it" girl of Denver TV news in the 90s (he embarrassingly proposed to her live on her newscast). Both Caplis and Hoffman, it appears, still love Aimee. Yurck.

Update: Pirate Ballerina says Churchill for CU president! Absolutely. As part of his buyout Churchill should also insist on a statue of himself in a prominent place on campus. Prospective students and their parents could then see the hero, and hear tales of his brave fight for the freedom to speak truth to power. Yeah, that's the ticket.

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