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O'Reilly misrepresents Ward Churchill, as he has from the beginning, but Top Dog Dr. Marc Lamont Hill has the facts.

Reported by Chrish - July 25, 2007 -

Bill O'Reilly, in his Talking Points Memo today 7/25/07, reinforced his lies and misrepresentations about exactly what Ward Churchill was saying in his "Some people push back" essay to rekindle the outrage, and to self-righteously declare that it was pure anti-American speech for Churchill to compare 9/11 victims to Nazis. (It's OK to assert as fact, though, that people who comment on liberal blogs are just like Nazis, AND the KKK.) Fortunately Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, American Studies Professor at Temple University, was a guest immediately following and as always his intelligent, eloquent arguments made O'Reilly look like the amateur debater he is.
With must-see video.

O'Reilly contended that the case against Churchill was about academic standards, and his "calling 9/11 victims 'little Eichmanns,' Nazis", instantly disqualified him from serious teaching role.

I guess, then, that O'Reilly's comparison of DailyKos readers and posters to Nazis and KKK members disqualifies him from serious reporting. Good thing he works at FOX and doesn't have to worry about journalistic standards.

O'Reilly said the (protected) free speech argument is bogus and claimed Churchill deserved to be fired because he can't reason. He dragged in Lawrence Summers for the sole reason to make a pretext of precedent, when the two cases are not similar; Summers was an administrator forced into resignation, Churchill a tenured professor fired under false pretenses after a lengthy witch hunt. O'Reilly also misrepresented the ACLU's role in the two cases, saying they held a double standard and are frauds.

O'Reilly gloated that "secular progressives" lost, because "even" college professors have to be held accountable. But apparently not faux journalists.

Fortunately Dr. Hill came in and with very little effort made O'Reilly look dumb. When Hill clarified what Churchill was saying, putting it IN CONTEXT, O'Reilly switched to Summers, and when Hill explained the numerous differences between the cases, O'Reilly made up a hypothetical that he thought Hill would find objectionable. But the principled Hill, too smart by light years for O'Reilly, was not baited. O'Reilly denied that academics are supposed to push the limits of critical thought and said instead that professors should express their thoughts in a clear (unambiguous) way to not be "crazy."

This was a complete knockout by Hill. I wish Howard Wolfson could have had more time, but Dr. Hill is receiving Best in Show for his appearance tonight.

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Editorial comment:

"'Some people push back' - On the justice of roosting chickens" was written shortly after the events of 9/11, and from a perspective unfamiliar to most of us, that of a person of Native American heritage angry over historic events and injustices. I've read it and I get it, which doesn't necessarily mean I agree with it. But for those who have only heard the soundbites and Nazi-screaming, here's the relevant passage about the people in the WTC who were killed that day:


"They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire – the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" – a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it."

Hill's correction of O'Reilly's misinterpretation was succinct and showed understanding of the root anger and frustration that bore this paper:

"When you look at his 'little Eichmann' comment, he was referring to Hannah Arendt, one of the great theorists of our time, and what she was saying is that oftentimes the big bad person that you think is this crazy killer's actually an ordinary technocrat, a person in a building who pushes buttons, who does things without any sort of sensibility of how bad they are. And he's saying that many times the people who were in that building may have been advancing an American global financial empire without any thinking about it. And I don't necessarily agree that we should be indifferent to their suffering - I happen to be a little more sympathetic to the victims and their families than Ward Churchill is, but he certainly had a valid point, number one, and number two, he has the right to say it and we have to defend it."

This congeals the whole issue and I believe Ward Churchill was hunted and brought down for daring to imply that ordinary Americans should examine how their everyday lifestyle has far-reaching and unknown and sometimes horrific impacts on others around the world. Like changing consumption practices, changing lifestyle attitudes would also have far-reaching consequences throughout our economy and the folks at the top like it just the way it is. A lot of complacent Americans do too, but if people of good conscience are stirred to ask how we can live more simply so that others may simply live, why, that's anarchy. Shut up and go shopping.