Cherokee Churchill?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 19, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Factor follow-up" segment tonight, there is no question the University of Colorado (search) is trying to get rid of radical Professor Ward Churchill (search). He's an embarrassment to them.

And he justified the killing of some Americans by al Qaeda (search) on 9/11. That's the root of his problem.

Now Churchill may have secured his position at the University in the first place through an affirmative action program. He said he was part Native American.

In the course of its investigation of Churchill, university asked for proof of his heritage. And Churchill produced an ID card, but now there's a twist.

Joining us from Denver is Craig Silverman, a radio talk-show host on KHOW. The Cherokees now say what?

CRAIG SILVERMAN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, the Keetoowah Cherokee (search) band in Oklahoma says they gave him an honorary membership and they revoked it back in 1994.

Ward Churchill says no, it wasn't honorary. I gave them proof, and they established that I had genealogical heritage with the Cherokee people. And that's the dispute.

But everybody agrees that the Keetoowah Cherokee is a sovereign nation. And now they have now officially said he's not a member. Ward Churchill is saying it's not official until I get officially notified. I think this is a good issue in the short run for Ward Churchill, because he can claim, hey, I was never officially notified. Therefore, I thought I was an Indian recognized by the Keetoowah Cherokee tribe.

O'REILLY: Yes, but it's all bunk unless Churchill can produce the evidence that he gave the Cherokees in the first place to convince them that he was 1/16 Cherokee.

SILVERMAN: That's right.

O'REILLY: If he can't produce that evidence, it's all a bunch of baloney, isn't it?

SILVERMAN: Right. He was willing to produce the evidence back then...

O'REILLY: Yes, where is it?

SILVERMAN: ...but now he's saying it's unseemly. You're treating me like a dog or a horse. And his attorney is talking about Nuremberg tests. And when we had Japanese internment.

But remember, we're not talking about a detriment. We're talking about ethnicity used to gain a benefit. And that's what Ward Churchill's career has been all about.

O'REILLY: Has it been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Churchill secured his position at C.U. through affirmative action?

SILVERMAN: Right. Our show, Caplis and Silverman, we did an open- records request. We have the affirmative action form filled out in the late '70's in which he said he had both genealogical heritage with an Indian people. And he also was recognized by a tribe, neither of which appear to be true as of the late '70's.

O'REILLY: All right. C.U. has a new president coming in August. And this is, of course, a continuing embarrassment for the university. When do you think this is going to wrap up and they're going to boot him?

SILVERMAN: Well, it's at a standing committee on research misconduct. There are basically four allegations. Being an Indian is part of it. Not the best part. Plagiarism, making up historical facts, misinterpreting the 1887 General Allotment Act (search).

They're meeting with Churchill and his lawyer on Tuesday. They've decided they have enough to go ahead with the investigation. Then they referred on to another committee with a recommendation of censure or termination or nothing.

O'REILLY: All right, so the next meeting is next Tuesday.


O'REILLY: And then they meet with Churchill and his lawyer.


O'REILLY: Now that's not an open meeting. That's a secret meeting, right?

SILVERMAN: We'd like it to be open, but it appears as if it will be...

O'REILLY: Yes, they're never going to give you a break on that.


O'REILLY: And then they'll decide whether to go forward from there.


O'REILLY: Talk about a nightmare of bureaucracy. How long are they going to drag this thing out?

SILVERMAN: Oh, it could last a couple years.

O'REILLY: It's unbelievable.

SILVERMAN: It could last a couple of years. But you're right about the new president, Senator Hank Brown (search), a conservative Republican. I don't think he wants to put up with Churchill's nonsense.

O'REILLY: No. No, but are they still afraid of getting sued? Is that what they're afraid of?

SILVERMAN: Well, they are. And they're also concerned about the faculty there. You know, a lot of people at C.U. are concerned about academic freedom. I don't feel this involves academic freedom. And if they can demonstrate that he's a plagiarist, then even professors might turn against him.

O'REILLY: OK. We'll keep track of it. Thanks very much as always.

SILVERMAN: Thanks, Bill.

O'REILLY: We appreciate it.

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