Sunday, June 10, 2012

Better late than never

For some reason Ward Churchill decided that right about now would be a good time to reply to a two-and-a-half-year old article on his case by Ellen Schrecker, "Ward Churchill at the Dalton Trumbo Fountain," that appeared in the inaugural (2010) volume of the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom (Ward's reply is in volume three (2012) of the same journal).

In her article (which PB mocked at the time) Schrecker, a member of the all-powerful Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), actually does criticize Churchill, a little, but ultimately excuses him with a boys-will-be-boys flippancy: "Churchill did not have to be dismissed. Plagiarists and charlatans remain on other faculties."

Yes, yes they do. Anyway, you know Churchill wasn't gonna let that go by, whether she concluded that his case was "tainted from the start" or not. But why it took him so long to respond I don't know, unless he was saving the piece for the Colorado Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in his case Thursday and allegedly will render an opinion within (God) several months. Getting them to add this rebuttal to their post-orals reading would be quite the feather in Wart's cap, so to speak, wouldn't it?

The piece is crap, of course, with a few nuggets sprinkled in. In the first four pages, for example, Wart calls the Denver Post "openly reactionary;" implies Schrecker is a McCarthyite; and flatly says that she's a race-baiter.

Actually only about half the piece is a direct attack on Schrecker; most of the rest is an attack on the national AAUP, which has repeatedly failed to officially support Ward at critical points in his travails over the last few years. It's pretty funny, because Ward is right: the AAUP pussied out on him, and has generally pussied out in dealing with radical academics from its start.

Doesn't make Ward any less of a liar and a cheat, of course.

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