Hamilton College folds: That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
As you may know, Hamilton College (search) in Upstate New York made a huge mistake in inviting a radical University of Colorado professor to speak on campus.
That professor, Ward Churchill (search), 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. 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 (search), 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 running 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 (search), well, he's lost his chairmanship at the University of Colorado. [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."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
As we predicted yesterday, the left-wing bomb-throwers took a deep breath for about 24 hours, but have renewed their anti-war jihad. Is that redundant?
Some headlines from liberal print columns: The Boston Globe's James Carroll (search): "Train wreck an election"; The Boston Globe's Thomas Oliphant (search): "U.S. military is the biggest threat now"; The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne (search): "Keep the Euphoria in Check"; L.A. Times' Robert Scheer: "Now U.S. Must Get Out of Iraq's Way." And there are plenty of others.
The truth is that some people don't want the USA to succeed in Iraq. I'm not saying those gentlemen that I just mentioned fall into that category, but the category is a real one and the category is ridiculous.
I—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: email@example.com
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.