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Character-Assassination 101

Reported by Marie Therese - February 2, 2005

O'Reilly: Hamilton College folds. That is the subject of this evening's [February 1, 2005] Talking Points Memo. As you may know, Hamilton College in upstate New York made a huge mistake in inviting a radical University of Colorado professor to speak on campus. That professor, Ward Churchill, compared those Americans killed on 9/11 to nazis and implied they deserved their fate. He also wrote that the 9/11 killers were justified. That kind of rhetoric is protected speech, but it should not be rewarded by any sane person and inviting Churchill to spread his hateful message is morally wrong because it brings pain to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11.

Now, after our report last night, thousands of YOU contacted Hamilton President Joan Hinde Stewart, and today, she issued this statement.


"We have done our best to protect what we hold most dear — the right to speak, think and study freely — but there is a higher responsibility that this institution carries, and that is the safety of our students. Credible threats of violence have been turned over to the police. Based on the information available, I have made the decision to cancel this event in the interest of protecting those at risk."

Did Hamilton get threats? Well, I'm sure they did. We get them here almost every day. There are a lot of deranged people runnin' around. Was that the primary reason for the cancellation? Maybe. But Stewart had to realize that donations to the college would plummet and so would her job security.

There's simply no way to justify allowing a man who hails terrorist killers to lecture on campus, and this free speech stuff is a canard. Hamilton wouldn't invite the Klan or a serial killer to lecture. The truth is that Hamilton College is home to radical professors, like Nancy Rabinowitz, who sees merit in bringing anti-American people to the campus. This is a troubled college.

That being said, I believe we should all e-mail President Stewart and thank her. We posted the address on billoreilly.com. Being magnanimous in these kinds of situations is always best. Ms. Stewart finally made the best decision, so let's give her some credit.

As for Professor Ward Churchill, well, he's lost his chairmanship at the University of Colorado. Governor Owens wants him fired. And he's under incredible pressure. We'll hear from him in a few minutes.

But I don't think he should be fired. That would send the wrong message to the rest of the world. America's a strong enough country to put up with the likes of Professor Churchill. Punishing him further would just make him a martyr. Churchill's anti-American feelings speak for themselves. No need to destroy the man.

But we would like your opinion on this. Our brand new poll question on billoreilly.com is: Should Professor Ward Churchill be fired from the University of Colorado? Yes or no? And, again, we will hear from Churchill himself upcoming. And that's the Memo.

COMMENT

Above O'Reilly says: "[H]e's lost his chairmanship." Not true. Mr. Churchill voluntarily resigned his chairmanship.

Yesterday O'Reilly clearly indicated that he was skeptical about the "death threats" received by the College and Ms. Stewart, even though both of the Hamilton College students he interviewed repeated that they believed there were threats. The two students were Jonathan Rick and Matthew Coppo. Coppo and his mother, Patricia, were the ones that instigated the protests at Hamilton College and both appeared on Friday's Factor. Yesterday it was clear that Matthew was in some distress. He said several times he believed that there were death threats and was upset that the lecture was canceled for that reason. O'Reilly tried to make him feel better by calling into question the death threats.

During yesterday's show O'Reilly seemed calmer, less over the top than he has been for the last few shows. He was even lauhging a bit, not exuding the cold fury he exhibited on Friday and Monday.

And, he told his viewers that "being magnanimous in these kinds of situations is always best. Ms. Stewart finally made the best decision, so let's give her some credit."

After watching this guy for a year, let me just say that - after he's screwed someone - O'Reilly likes to bask in the afterglow. His "magnanimity" toward the person or persons he's just ruined is like smoking a cigarette after sex.

Watch for further developments on this story, because the police in Clinton, New York, are hot on the trail of the people who issued death threats to Ms. Stewart, whom it would seem is actively seeking their identities. Once caught, will they be prosecuted under the Patriot Act as terrorists?

Yesterday O'Reilly patted himself on the back for being the one to have started the ball rolling on this story. He said "all hell is breakin' loose" throughout the whole country because of his show.

If there is a goddess of justice, the police in Clinton, NY will trace those death threats to one or more Bill O'Reilly Premium Members. Will they crack under coercive interrogation and give Mr. O full credit for their cowardly terrorism of an innocent woman? Only time will tell.

O'Reilly supporters will undoubtedly deny he has responsibility for any of this because on Friday he specifically told his viewers NOT to write death threats and on Monday he specifically told his viewers to be respectable when they wrote their e-mails.

However, yesterday, although he debunked the death threats against Ms. Stewart, O'Reilly aired her picture for the first time. Does that make a lot of sense? In my opinion, he might as well have painted a bullseye on her forehead.

As promised, I am working feverishly to complete the transcripts of these shows. (Life, work and sleep have interfered!) Once completed, they will present, I believe, a case study in the fine art of character-assassination.

The Board of Regents of the University of Colorado will meet Thursday afternoon to decide whether or not to sanction, discipline, suspend or fire Mr. Churchill. If you wish to make a statement supporting the first amendment, here are their e-mails addresses.

NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS AS OF JANUARY 12, 2005

R=Republican
D= Democrat

2001-2007
1995-2001
At Large
R
Dr. Peter Steinhauer (D.D.S.)
7492 Spring Drive
Boulder, CO 80303
303-499-1278 (fax 303-543-2351)
e-mail Peter.Steinhauer@colorado.edu

2003-2009
District 2
D
Ms. Cindy Carlisle
411 Spruce Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303-444-2606 (fax 303-444-0057)
e-mail Regent.Carlisle@colorado.edu

2003-2009
District 7
R
Ms. Patricia Hayes
12575 East Bates Circle
Aurora, CO 80014
303-369-0054 (fax 303-740-8409)
e-mail Regent.Hayes@colorado.edu
 
2005-2011
District 1
D
Mr. Michael Carrigan
555 Seventeenth Street, Suite 3200
Denver, CO 80202
(303)-295-8314 (fax 303-975-5489)
e-mail Carrigan@colorado.edu

1999-2005
District 4
R
Mr. Tom Lucero
P.O. Box 921
Johnstown, CO 80534
970-978-1142 (fax 970-587-0920)
e-mail Tommyjclay@aol.com
* Please send communications as an attachment to his email when possible
 
2005-2011
At Large
R
Mr. Steve Bosley
P.O. Box 270509
Louisville, CO 80027
303-604-2313 (fax 303-604-2313)
e-mail Regent.Bosley@colorado.edu
 
2001-2007
1995-2001
District 5
R
Mr. Jerry G. Rutledge, Chair
2745 Springmede Court
Colorado Springs, CO 80906-3716
719-527-8868 (fax 719-632-7694)
e-mail Jerryrutledge@adelphia.net

2003-2009
District 6
R
Mr. Paul Schauer
7255 South Jackson Court
Centennial, CO 80122
303-770-3872 (fax )
e-mail Regent.Schauer@colorado.edu
 
2001-2007
District 3
D
Ms. Gail Schwartz, Vice Chair
P.O. Box 6578
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
970-925-3013 (fax 970-544-4632)
e-mail Gail.Schwartz@colorado.edu

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