Monday, July 30, 2007

More firing fallout

Gary Witherspoon presents, in the sneering tone we've all learned to love from such folks, the pro-Churchill case at Inside Higher Ed. Nothing new here:
Research misconduct is in the eye of the beholder. Euroamerican teachers and scholars have taught and written for several centuries that Columbus discovered America. That is a more profound and easily provable case of research misconduct.
Commenter JBM fields this one:
The refusal to even admit the documented misconduct in this case only proves the need for outside intervention to effect academic reform. This piece reads like parody.
David Horowitz on Churchill's firing:
"He is an incompetent, dishonest embarrassment," he says bluntly. "They said that he plagiarized, that he had invented historical data. He had appropriated other people's work without attribution. He had lied about his Indian status in getting the job," says a disgusted Horowitz.

Horowitz questions the statement by the chairman of the regents that firing Churchill was not an easy decision to make. "Oh? To fire someone who has been shown to be dishonest and incompetent is not an easy decision to make? ...and by the way, defiant in his incompetence and dishonesty," says Horowitz.
The New York Post comes out in support of Churchill (kidding):
IT'S said that a "picture is worth a thousand words." For more than 25 years, conservative writers have been telling anyone who would listen that our higher education system was broken - that indoctrination was trumping education and our kids were throwing away their tuition dollars propping up vicious relics of the '60s and supporting universities that were increasingly repressive.

Enter Ward Churchill. One could not paint a more perfect picture of a spiteful, out-of-control leftist academic. Certainly his words were shocking - comparing the civilian victims of 9/11 to a Nazi leader was not only shockingly vicious, it was shockingly stupid.
The piece concludes, sensibly:
The academic left decries the "chilling effect" of Churchill's firing, but the only individuals who should feel "chilled" are those professors publicly spewing deranged invective at that same time that they conceal a professional past rife with fraud and abuse. In reality, there was no chilling effect in Churchill's case - only a cleansing effect as higher education scrubbed itself of the man who, more than anyone else, proved that something is very wrong with our universities.
Historian Deborah Lipstadt asks a question many have asked before: "[W]hy didn't anyone look at his credentials, articles, and claims (about Native American ancestry for example) before this whole thing blew up?"

Over at PB, Patti Jo King recounts Carole Standing Elk's nasty 1994 experience with Ward in detail:

We were headed for the door, when suddenly there was a scream that sounded like a wounded animal, and some crazy woman hit Carole from behind. Fern and I stopped to prevent Bertha from stumbling, but Carole faltered forward. Then this woman rushed around in front of us and started punching Carole in the face, screaming at the top of her lungs. . . .

We stood on the sidewalk in front of the club while Sergeant Madden cuffed the woman and put [her] in the back of the patrol car. Carole’s face was bleeding, her glasses damaged, and her wrist was broken, but while the officer was busy with the woman, Churchill came and stood in front of Carole. He is a very tall, big man, and he stooped over and got face to face with Carole, called her a filthy name I would never repeat, and spit in her face.

"The woman," of course, was Churchill's then-frau, M. Annette Jaimes. Where does he keep digging up such nasty pieces of work?

As for the "but-for" argument, jazz bassist Art Eckstein points out in comments at Inside Higher Ed:
At the risk of invoking Eurocentric standards of scholarship and the cult of objective facts, the complaints against Churchill began a FULL DECADE before 2004, and they came from the national American Indian Movement (not a right-wing organization). National AIM complained bitterly to the CU administration at that time that Churchill was (precisely) a fraud, for he was falsely claiming to be an Indian, when there was not the slightest evidence that he was one. The response of the then-Chancellor of CU is typical of how far CU at that time was prepared to go to defend Churchill: “Ethnicity at CU is self-defined.”
The cult of objective facts. That's a good 'un.

(Art Eckstein is actually a professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park.)

More: Morgan Liddick in the Summit Daily News (CO) supplies the Thought for the Day: "A vicious, abusive sociopath will create problems for his institution, given a soapbox and a guaranteed job."

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