Interviews

A Man Whose Brother Perished on 9/11 Reacts to Ward Churchill

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Feb. 23, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, reaction to Churchill from a man who lost his brother on 9/11. Joining us now from Denver Michael Faughnan, who's brother sold bonds for Cantor Fitzgerald inside the World Trade Center. Mr. Faughnan wrote an article entitled "My Brother, the Eichman," referring to the fact this vile Churchill has called the people that died in the Trade Center little Eichmans.

Your brother had three children. Left a wife.

MICHAEL FAUGHNAN, BROTHER KILLED ON 9/11: That's correct.

O'REILLY: How do they feel? How do the kids and his widow feel about this Churchill guy?

FAUGHNAN: Well, I think there's a lot of feelings going on here. Certainly the rhetoric and, you know, the comparison to the Eichman. It's hurtful language. It'd be hurtful to anybody.

So from that perspective, you know, it's difficult to deal with. And we've actually reached out. As you indicated, I wrote a letter to Mr. Churchill and I asked him to step away from the rhetoric and asked if, you know, there was other meanings he has that can help us with 9/11. I invited him to expand on those. But certainly the rhetoric itself is very hurtful.

O'REILLY: Did you get a reply from Churchill?

FAUGHNAN: Yes, surprisingly. He did. He called me. He left me a message and acknowledged my letter to him. It was in the Boulder paper, and said that he intended to respond. And in a sense what I picked up from the message — we haven't spoke live, but inviting a dialogue, which as hurtful...

O'REILLY: See — let me give you some advice, Mr. Faughnan, don't. It's not worth it, you know, for you and your family to engage a guy like this is so misguided and so detached from reality. Now how old are the children that your brother left?

FAUGHNAN: Currently - I better get their ages right. They are 6, 8, and 11.

O'REILLY: All right. So they're kids. And are they aware of this controversy? Are they aware that a professor at the University of Colorado called their father a "little Eichman"? Are they aware of that?

FAUGHNAN: No, I think my brother's wife, she has done a tremendous job of explaining things and shielding them from things that may be hurtful to them.

O'REILLY: OK, good, good.

FAUGHNAN: So I would have to say it's doubtful.

O'REILLY: OK.

FAUGHNAN: But certainly as they grow... As they grow, Bill, they look for answers, as our family looks for answers.

O'REILLY: Oh, absolutely. And — but I just don't want those kids to have to deal with any more stuff than they have to deal with. I mean, imagine being 6 and 8 and 11 and your father doesn't come home from work. I don't want them to have to deal with it anymore.

And the reason I'm saying that you shouldn't engage this guy, Churchill, is because he's beneath you. All right, he's not a person you can reason with.

FAUGHNAN: Well, I mean...

O'REILLY: He's unreasonable.

FAUGHNAN: Well, you know, I think that, as I said, we search for answers. And we'll make that determination whether he's beneath us or not. Certainly...

O'REILLY: All right, that's fine.

FAUGHNAN: Yes, we've certainly called him on his analogies and his hurtful speak, but if there is a message that he wishes to convey to provide his beliefs, I think that, you know, certainly he has stepped on sacred ground with us. And we can tolerate that. We really can. We can tolerate hurtful speak. And we're willing to explore a dialogue with somebody who is trying to give us a belief that he may hold on what happened.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, you're a better man than I am, because I reject - he — I know what he is. I've studied his rhetoric, I've studied his background. He justified the Oklahoma City bombing. He hates America. And I don't think you're ever going to get him to stop hating America.

Now he'll want to rationalize what he said with you. He'll try to, you know, explain it, but to me — but I'll give you the last word, Mr. Faughnan. Once again, we really appreciate you coming on.

FAUGHNAN: Sure. He — you know, he is not going to change. I am not confused. My family is not confused on who my brother was. He was a beautiful man. And there's nothing anybody could say that could change that.

O'REILLY: All right. And I hope the University of Hawaii is listening to this segment and listening to your words because they need to wake up out there. Mr. Faughnan, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

FAUGHNAN: Bill, can I say one more thing?

O'REILLY: Sure.

FAUGHNAN: Happy birthday, dad.

O'REILLY: OK.

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