TALES FROM THE BARSTOOL
By: Clint Lien
"She’s A Witch – Burn Her!"
Whom I kidding? I can’t keep my mouth shut or my
How many witches were burned during the Salem Trials?
There’s no such thing as a witch.
Recently I was watching Fox News – that bastion
of fair-minded reporting and there was Bill O’
Really in his ironically named show “The No
Spin Zone” going on about this university professor
who shouldn’t be allowed to speak anymore, that
he needed to be stopped from “spreading his vile
opinion around the country.” Strong words. So much
for the first amendment, I thought. He continued.
It seems a Professor Ward Churchill from the University
of Colorado at Boulder had written that America
deserved the attack on the towers and compared the
men and women working there to Nazis. What the hell?
What kind of a nut bar would say something like
that, let alone think it, unless he was a terrorist
himself? To back this up Gov. Pataki weighed in
when he found out Churchill was invited to speak
at Hamilton College in upstate N.Y., “There is a
difference between freedom of speech and inviting
a bigoted terrorist supporter." The invitation
disappeared quicker than the shrimp at a buffet.
The college cited real and credible death threats
to Churchill and administrators. Colorado Gov. Bill
Owens called for Churchill’s resignation. He didn’t
ask for it nicely.
If they were saying it on the Fox News channel
it had to be true! Didn’t it? I decided I had to
Google this one and find out more. There was more
all right. I’d been duped again. It seemed there
were two sides to this story after all. The dedicated
bunch at Fox had assured me the situation was clear
– black and white – good versus evil. Sadly it was
not the case.
The first thing I did was find the original article
written by Professor Churchill.
The article is long. You can read it here
if you want. I took the time and did. Everyone should,
so they can really know what all the commotion is
about. The article is well written and easy to read.
It’s also, in my opinion, a pile of crap. He makes
a lot of good points, i.e.: his insistence that
we look closer at “why” the attack occurred. We
all know the reason Bush gave us – “They hate freedom
and love death.” Well, I’m pretty sure that’s not
the whole truth and it would be in our best interest
to examine it a little deeper. Sun Tzu pointed out
the importance of understanding the enemy, and simply
labeling them a bunch of religious zealots does
no one any favors except the enemy themselves.
So Churchill says it’s our fault it happened because
of Desert Storm and we should stop misbehaving in
foreign lands - then the Arabs will leave us alone.
I disagree with most of what he had to say but he’s
got a right to say it and only the willfully ignorant
wouldn’t admit that there is some truth
in what he wrote.
If I’m to believe Bin Laden himself, he stated
the attack occurred because of America’s support
of Israel and America’s entanglement in Saudi Arabia.
We should support Israel and shouldn’t
be in bed with the Saudis. I’m not sure Iraq was
At any rate, I digress.
Bill and the boys at Fox want Churchill’s blood.
They’re not discussing his paper from a factual
point of view. They’re not even discussing his paper
except to repeat and repeat and repeat one or two
clips taken out of context. I am confident that
if a real and sincere debate took place, focusing
on the merits of Churchill’s papers, the work would
not stand up. Instead, what we have is a witch hunt
with the Inquisitors resorting to the foulest of
tricks. The kind of tricks that so many of us were
ashamed of when we saw them happening during the
McCarthy trials. Never mind the facts – just get
If you read Churchill’s article you’ll find a bitter
man who really doesn’t have anything nice to say
about America, but we’d all be served well if the
paper forced even a few of us to ask the question
of why the attacks happened. Churchill was right
to ask the question but I believe his answer to
the same question is wrong. I also believe he’d
probably be better off living in some other country.
He doesn’t come off as liking this one much, but
he has a right to dislike it and its people. It’s
called freedom. You’ve heard Bush go on about it
This is a bad bit of business going on here and
whether you agree or disagree with the professor,
to vilify a man to the point where idiots out there
are threatening his life is absurd to the point
of madness. It’s just plain un-American.
AND, thanks to everyone who wrote in asking me
to continue the column. I’ll take it one column
at a time.
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