Megyn Kelly continued her smear mongering about radicals infiltrating academia last week with a series of interviews with former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill. Sadly, Churchill – an obviously intelligent man who may well have lost his job as a result of being demonized by Fox – played right into The Kelly File agenda.
I’d love to know what The Kelly File producers told Churchill to lure him on the show. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts, as my mother used to say, that they never mentioned how host Megyn Kelly would repeatedly point to him as (further) proof that American children are being indoctrinated by radicals. But for some reason, Churchill seemed to think he was there for an honest discussion about his opinions and theories.
Churchill had every reason to suspect Fox’s motives for hosting him no matter what he was told. Longtime NewsHounds readers may recall Bill O’Reilly’s jihad against Churchill – and the attempt to use him to malign academia back in 2005. Whatever you think of Churchill’s politics, he’s obviously a very learned man. My heart goes out to him since he has undoubtedly suffered as the result of Fox’s witch hunt. Nevertheless, he should have known better about Fox.
A few months ago, Kelly aired a similar series of interview (which have been re-aired ad nauseum) with “unrepentant terrorist” Bill Ayers. Besides deliberately tying Ayers to Barack Obama, despite a very tenuous connection, Kelly also used Ayers to suggest that terrorists are teaching at a college or university near you. Sadly, Ayers also seemed to think he was there for an exchange of ideas. The result was that he offered up wonky answers in response to Kelly’s showboating questions while failing to confront the elephant-shaped Fox News agenda in the studio.
Sadly, Churchill made the exact same mistakes. Churchill, whose infamy arose after contending that on 9/11, America’s chickens had come home to roost, said his “major point” is that “corporatism is not necessarily capitalist. Corporatism could be fascist. For example, Mussolini was a corporatist.” Later, he said something about “expropriation of wealth” that even I didn’t understand. Those may be excellent points to be made over drinks or at a symposium. But not on Fox News.
It’s not as though Kelly hid what she was up to. In the introduction to the second of her discussions, below, she "asked," with open condemnation:
So did Ward Churchill’s colleagues in academia really not know about his radical views as printed in newspapers and books? Or did they know and accept and applaud it?
Along with Churchill, Kelly hosted Dinesh D’Souza. D’Souza’s main job seemed to be to show Fox viewers how much conservatives love America, unlike those nearly-treasonous lefties who hold so much power. If Fox’s never-ending hate mongering about so many parts of America wasn’t enough to jolt Churchill into challenging Fox’s dishonesty, then D’Souza’s “America loving” record of pleading guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws certainly should. In a recent plea for leniency, he told a federal court, ”I took a short-cut, knowing that there was a campaign limit and trying to get around the limit.”
“America loving” D’Souza wasted no time attacking teachers, Democrats, the left, in general, and President Obama:
There are two remarkable things here. One is, I think, Ward, we are finally in a point of agreement is that a lot of the radicals who started out wanting to bomb things and blow up things decided that there’s a more effective way to promote radicalism. And that is to become teachers. You saw this with Bill Ayers. We see this with Ward Churchill.
…And these are people who can have receptions for a young Obama, they’re people who can go to the faculty cocktail party, they can be at the Democratic convention and they fit in. Nobody thinks it’s odd to have them there.
Then there was this exchange in which Churchill played the clueless witness to “prosecutor” Kelly:
KELLY: Why did you become a teacher, Professor?
CHURCHILL: To teach. To profess.
KELLY: To offer this world view?
KELLY: Were you doing that for years at the University of Colorado?
KELLY: …So it was known that you had these views…
CHURCHILL: Yeah, it’s not everyone’s ignorant.
KELLY: And this wasn’t a problem for your colleagues at the university or elsewhere as far as you know.
CHURCHILL: As far as I know I was probably in the top ten percentile in terms of teaching effectiveness as rated by the students at the University of Colorado, or at least the College of Arts and Sciences which is the big one.
Like Ayers, Churchill did a good job making the points he wanted to make and he was no shrinking violet. But he was operating on a whole different level.
One note: the video was obviously edited. It’s possible Churchill challenged Fox on what it was really up to and that his challenges got cut out of the segments that aired. If so, I hope he raises bloody hell.
Watch the segments below - and don't forget Kelly calls herself a "straight news anchor."
D’Sousa is fully aware that Churchill is an extremist, but he’s happy to tar everyone on the left with Churchill’s comments – and Churchill seems okay with letting D’Souza get away with it.
He has said in his speeches, “This was just a taste of what happens when you do this. You oppress these people, this is what happens to you. You gonna stop? Okay, here’s another taste. You gonna stop now?” What he’s describing is the punitive actions of a parent or authority figure, dictating to the misbehaving child. And I understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t know that I agree with his presentation.
Churchill’s position is that if the USA doesn’t want to have terrorists attack it, then it shouldn’t kill other people’s children. Sadly, this is just as black-and-white a perspective as the one he’s combatting. But Churchill is frankly too angry to see that. I don’t agree with his idea that employees who went to work in the WTC were all “little Eichmanns” who deserved to be killed. I think his level of extremist thinking only gives fuel to people like Megyn Kelly to easily dismiss the thoughts of people on the left. Most people on the left do not agree with Churchill, and tend to find him to be more of a self-promoter than a complex philosopher.
I really don’t know why Churchill agreed to go on Kelly’s show, other than for that same reason of self-promotion. But if he was going to do so, he really should have taken some time to prepare for the gotcha games she was going to play. It’s really not that hard. He should have known she was going to try to pin him on his comments, and he should have had comebacks about her comments. He should have known she was going to try to present him as a wild radical, at which point he should have been able to provide examples of her behavior as a comparison point. Otherwise, he would wind up as we see here – on the defensive and unable to articulate anything other than what a right wing viewer would expect him to say.
Furthermore, it’s worth reminding you that Bill Maher was fired by ABC for his comments about the terrorists, and yet, he was NOT incorrect. It did take some guts and personal courage to hijack a plane and fly it into a buiilding as compared to flying a jet 20,000+ feet and dropping bombs on completely unknown targets. (There was an episode of “M*A*S*H” that involved a pilot who dropped bombs on the “enemy” and flew back to Tokyo after a “hard day’s work.” Hawkeye decided to show the guy some of the victims of the bombings and the pilot’s biggest concern was whether the bomb fragments were American or the enemy’s, to which Hawkeye basically said, “It doesn’t matter to the kid.”) Of course, in the post-9/11 heyday, rational thought went out the window and right to the stratosphere. Churchill’s comments may have been a bit raw but he was largely analyzing from a purely objective view point—not letting an absurd sense of mock patriotism blind his analysis (unlike FoxNoise which allows its right-wing conservative bias to determine its “fair and balanced” agenda—such as how it views Obama).