It took two-and-a-half years, but the University of Colorado finally fired Professor Ward Churchill for plagiarism and other academic misdeeds. Churchill is suing.

From the jump, this case was really about academic standards and behavior. Calling the innocent people killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11 little Eichmanns, Nazis, instantly disqualified Churchill from any serious teaching role.

The University of Colorado is funded by the taxpayers of that state. And they have a right to demand standards for professors making 100 grand a year. By the way, Churchill will get another full year's pay.

The freedom of speech issue is bogus. It's all about performance. If a ball player can't catch the ball, he's fired. If a teacher can't reason, he should be fired as well.

Consider the fate of former Harvard President Lawrence Summers. In January 2005, he said that women may not be as proficient in math and science as men. Summers was pounded into pudding by the PC faculty at Harvard. And the ACLU's Women's Rights Project called on him to rescind his statement. So much for freedom of speech as Summers was forced to quit.

But the ACLU supports Ward Churchill. Can anyone explain that apparent double standard? Summers can't question math and science aptitude, but Churchill is allowed to call those murdered on 9/11 Nazis. Come on.

Once again, the ACLU is exposed as a fraud. Then there's Ward Churchill's demeanor. Here's what happened when a reporter paid him a visit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to ask you about your…

WARD CHURCHILL: Out of my face!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an artwork you got called winter attack. It looks like it was based on a Thomas Mails painting. Looks like you ripped it off. Can you tell us about that? Sir, that's assault. You can't do that. Can I ask you about this? It looks like you copied.

CHURCHILL: I'm going to grab by the arm. Get that out of my face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Well, last night, there was tepid support for Churchill as only a few dozen people showed up at his firing. Michael Littwin, a columnist for The Rocky Mountain News wrote, "It became a story about the left-leaning academia that O'Reilly and the gang are always ready to demonize. And if it was a test, we lost, just as CU has lost."

Well, you're right about the “we lost” part, Mike. You and your little secular progressive crew got hammered because you can't defend the indefensible, although you gave it a nice try.

But the good people of Colorado won, as did the university. Even college professors have to be held accountable for their performance. And all the phony lawsuits in the world won't change that. And that's the "Memo."

Most Ridiculous Item

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." One of our competitors, CNN's Paula Zahn, leaving that network. And I'd just like to say, Ms. Zahn did a nice job with the program. It was very professional.

CNN, in stark contrast to the dishonest at NBC News, is generally a classy outfit. And we enjoy the competition because it is honest. I hope good things happen to Paula Zahn. If they don't, it would be ridiculous.

—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com