The ACLU's Last Ditch Effort in Colorado to Save Ward Churchill's Job

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 20, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

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MICHELLE MALKIN, GUEST HOST: In the "Factor Follow Up" segment tonight, the ongoing drama of controversial professor Ward Churchill may finally be coming to a close. Churchill says he expects to be fired on Tuesday when the University of Colorado regents meet to vote on his future at the school.

But now the ACLU, surprise, surprise, is waging a last ditch effort to save his job, saying that "lynch mob furor" over his comments comparing the 9/11 victims to the Nazis is a real reason people want him fired, not plagiarism and other extensive academic misconduct he is accused of. Joining us now from Denver, Ward Churchill's attorney, David Lane.

David, thanks for coming.

DAVID LANE, ATTORNEY FOR UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO PROFESSOR WARD CHURCHILL: Thanks for the invitation.

MALKIN: So what is it that has been boiling up that makes Ward Churchill think that he is going to be fired on Tuesday? This process has dragged out for months and months and months.

LANE: Months and months and months and months. And of course he's going be fired. This has been a staged production since day one. I take issue with one thing you said. And that is the drama may be coming to a close. The drama has not yet begun, because this is a staged production.

The real drama starts possibly on Wednesday of next week when we file our First Amendment retaliation lawsuit. We're no longer in kangaroo court. And the real drama will start in a real court.

MALKIN: Well, it seems more like Kabuki theater to me than kangaroo court.

(LAUGHTER)

MALKIN: . because the idea now that the ACLU is picking up on as well that this all has to do with the 9/11 comments is totally specious if you look at the copious record here of his fellow colleagues, OK?

This is not the right-wing fascists going after Ward Churchill. It's fellow academic researchers in his own area saying that he plagiarized their research, that he mischaracterized basic facts about Indian history, about his own ethnicity. — This has nothing to do with those comments about 9/11. Isn't that correct, David?

LANE: No, that is completely incorrect. That is 100 percent incorrect, Michelle. It has everything to do.

MALKIN: So Thomas.

LANE: I'm sorry?

MALKIN: So Thomas Brown, one of the professors that is accusing him of saying that his remarks about the Army "perpetuating genocide" are wrong, what is he, some sort of tool for the conservatives going after Ward Churchill.

LANE: No, no, no. No, everybody has their own agenda.

MALKIN: These are longstanding accusations. And this is what the university is worried about.

LANE: Exactly. That's the point. There has been a professional rivalry between Brown and Churchill for years. The same with LaVelle, the same with a lot of the people that have been stepping forward dumping on Churchill. That's why I'm done with the staged production here. Let's see what a jury of citizens in the state of Colorado says.

If a jury of citizens in Colorado agrees with the University of Colorado, I've got no gripes. OK? But let's see what an actual jury in an actual courtroom with an actual adversary proceeding that's not a stacked deck against Ward Churchill has to say about this whole incident.

I take these cases on a contingent fee. So for me to be gambling my time on something like this means I think I'm going to win. So...

MALKIN: Well, that's very generous of you. But on the other hand, of course, your taking on this case gives you a boost in publicity. I mean, you are now attached to Ward Churchill, as opposed to any other schmuck who is in the tenure system...

LANE: For better or worse...

MALKIN: And you know and I know, David, that getting fired or kicked out of a university is very, very difficult. I mean, the tenure system is a joke here.

LANE: Oh, of course it is.

MALKIN: So the fact that they're taking these things as seriously as they are at the University of Colorado speaks to the nature and the quality of the charges against him.

LANE: It requires — no. It goes the nature and the quality of the politics against him. All it takes is a vote of the regents and a tenured professor is gone. They're making quite a show of trying to be fair and impartial. This has been scripted. This has been in the works for months and months.

I have no doubt they're going to fire him. And it's based — in fact if you read all the reports generated by all the investigators, you will acknowledge that each report has said this is all motivated by his 9/11 comments. There would have been no investigations. There would have been no action. There would have been nothing but for his 9/11 comments. That's why I'm so eager to take this into court.

MALKIN: And so then the point is, David, that those comments were a red flag. And it's not just the 9/11 comments. It's comments he made supporting the fragging of American troops, the undermining of police and sabotaging and vandalism when law enforcement officers are doing those jobs.

Those red flags cast light, long overdue light on the fact that this guy has been engaging in academic misconduct as these reports showed for many, many years without consequences.

LANE: No, no, no. It shows...

MALKIN: We'll see what happens on Tuesday, David.

LANE: . that the politics are stacking up against him at CU.

MALKIN: Thank you.

LANE: But we'll see what a jury of his peers says. Thank you.

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