Ward Churchill Blames O'Reilly for Being Fired From University of Colorado

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Kelly File" segment tonight: You may remember it took the University of Colorado years to fire radical professor Ward Churchill. He's the guy who said some of the 9/11 victims killed in the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon deserved to die. Remember that?

But that's not why he was fired. A University of Colorado investigation found his academic record to be insufficient. So Churchill sued the university. What does he have to lose, right? Trial underway right now, and I am a big part of it.

Click here to watch the segment!


DAVID LANE, WARD CHURCHILL'S ATTORNEY: The media was out of control. It was an absolute mob mentality. They fired up the right-wing media. Bill O'Reilly was all over Ward Churchill. Rush Limbaugh all over him: "Fire Churchill." Bill O'Reilly, same thing.

Just looking at this transcript, Governor Owens, you would agree Bill O'Reilly is known to be an extremely conservative individual?

BILL OWENS, FORMER COLORADO GOVERNOR: Mr. Lane, I wouldn't regard him as extremely conservative. From my perspective he'd be a conservative individual. From your perspective perhaps extreme.

LANE: From my perspective he's way out there. From your perspective he's mainstream.


O'REILLY: All right. So I'm involved with this trial. With us now, attorney and FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly.

Now, this is what happens when you hire a bomb-throwing attorney like that, who's been on the program a number of times. And he just turns it into a circus because he doesn't want to deal with the real issue.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I found it very amusing, personally.

O'REILLY: Of course you would, Kelly. Of course you would.

KELLY: Listen, you're in good company. He said you were with President Bush and Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. All of you were out to get Ward Churchill.

O'REILLY: Well, I'm not going to deny it.

KELLY: Of course, now…

O'REILLY: But what difference does it make?

KELLY: You weren't the only one commenting on Ward Churchill. Listen, his point is, the university saying we fired him because he plagiarized various works and he committed some ethical breeches, they have to say that, because they can't say that they fired him for saying the awful things he said about the 9/11 victims, because technically he has tenure and he might run into First Amendment problems. So his lawyer's trying to prove they really did fire him because he said those things.


KELLY: It had nothing to do with plagiarism, and the pressure was on in the media. Look what Bill O'Reilly was doing.

O'REILLY: The university took its own sweet time paying him every step of the way, by the way, while they investigated his academic record. And they found out that there was fabrication, plagiarism...

KELLY: Seven times plagiarism.

O'REILLY: ...academic misconduct. So that's what the trial is about. It's not about this guy and what I said about him. Who cares? The University of Colorado has got no love for me.

KELLY: It's relevant because his theory, Ward's theory is that the university is lying about the reason it fired him, and that, in fact, they fired him because he said those incendiary things, and that people like you then got all over him and got all over the university for it, and they bowed to the pressure.

O'REILLY: Look, I know that the court has to hear this nonsense because of the appeal process, but all the university has to do is present their findings. That's it. And say, look, look, he plagiarized here. Yes, so this is just a dog and pony…

KELLY: I'm sure they will. But listen, what he's going to say is they didn't begin looking into any of that until Bill O'Reilly, Bill O'Reilly, Bill O'Reilly.

O'REILLY: That doesn't make any difference.

KELLY: And this was a pretext.

O'REILLY: But it actually happened. The university has the right to fire him. Now...

KELLY: And we're looking at his lawyer's opening. Not the university lawyer's opening…

O'REILLY: Right, but again, he's trying to turn it into a circus. He's trying to convince the jury that there's...

KELLY: I bet the jury doesn't like you.

O'REILLY: They probably don't. They probably don't. But that doesn't have anything to do with the trial. I mean, it has to do — did the guy fabricate? Did he plagiarize?

KELLY: Look at all the ones who were on the side of the defendant, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity.

O'REILLY: Ward is a good guy though. I'm sure that the jury is going to love the fact that he — tapes are introduced about him saying that, you know, the guys that get killed and then gals that got killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon deserved to die. The jury's going to like that.

OK. Now we have a kind of a hysteria right now in the media about beating up — men beating up women, OK, based on the Chris Brown-Rihanna — is that how you say her name?

KELLY: Yes, Rihanna.

O'REILLY: OK. I think this is a good thing for the media to cover because I think there's far too much of this in America, and I think that anybody who's in this environment has got to get out of it. So when the media covers Oprah and people like that cover, it gives people courage to get out of it. However, there is another case of some cable TV housewife, a 40-year-old…


O'REILLY: We mentioned it last night.


O'REILLY: Who whacked her boyfriend.


O'REILLY: But you are saying that there's a double standard here. What's this woman's name? Bensimon?

KELLY: Kelly Bensimon.

O'REILLY: Bensimon.

KELLY: And she's this New York socialite. She used to be a model. She's six feet tall. She's a big-time horse rider and, apparently, a big-time boyfriend beater, because according to her 30-year-old — she's 40 — her 30-year-old boyfriend says she whooped him a good one, and that this wasn't the first time. And that she had the courtesy to take off her engagement ring before she let him have it but that she gave him a fat lip and she openly cut his face. And he had black eye. And he said if anybody else — "If the shoe had been on the other foot, if I had done this to her, I'd be in jail for a felony. Why did she just get charged with a misdemeanor charge?"

O'REILLY: What do you think about that?

KELLY: I think two things. No. 1, I do think there's a double standard, that when the woman hits the man, police take it, perhaps, a little less seriously.

O'REILLY: Because men are physically stronger than women, right?

KELLY: Generally, although I don't know in her case. She's a big girl.

O'REILLY: Six foot.


O'REILLY: And the guy is kind of a wimp. Would you say that?

KELLY: That's what my male friends are saying. You couldn't block that punch?

O'REILLY: Do we have a picture of this guy?

KELLY: But I have to say, you know, wimp or no wimp, he didn't deserve to be hit.

O'REILLY: No, no. I'm not saying he deserved it.

KELLY: He says it happened repeatedly. She was beating on him. And just like Rihanna, he wants to get back together with her.

O'REILLY: There he is, there he is. Yes, he looks like metrosexual. You know what that is?

KELLY: You mean he looks like a girly man to you?

O'REILLY: No, I'm not going to say he's a girly man. But he looks like a guy who drinks a lot of lattes and does the machines in the gym rather than the free weights.

KELLY: Somebody who can relate to that. That doesn't mean you deserve to get hit.

O'REILLY: You don't deserve it. But if the police have to make, or the prosecutor has to make a reasonable determination of crime, right?


O'REILLY: Now, if you have the model, 6-foot and angry, and you have a guy, I think the strength quotient is about the same. If you have Chris Brown...

KELLY: Right.

O'REILLY: ...and a 19-year-old singer, it isn't.

KELLY: I agree. And the other...

O'REILLY: That's why I'm saying I don't — I'm not buying the double standard. It's — it's force potential.

KELLY: No, I think there's a double standard. I mean, come on, Bill. You're telling me that the New York City cop looking at this case is going to look at that male victim the same way he's going to look at Rihanna? He's not.

O'REILLY: But a prosecutor has to take that into consideration.

KELLY: Let me get to the second point, which is the most important one. And that is, I think the most important thing they look at is the extent of the injuries. And Rihanna got the hell beat out of her.

O'REILLY: Right.

KELLY: I mean, he brutalized her in that car. Hence, the felony charge. This guy, yes, he had a fat lip and a cut on his face. That's bad. But, when you're judging assaults in New York City...


KELLY: ...that does not necessarily amount to a felony. I think probably they made the right call on him. And I do think this is a felony. By the way, Chris Brown's lawyers are arguing this, too, should be a misdemeanor, the charges against him for Rihanna, because she hit him first.

O'REILLY: Well, I think it's the potential for destruction has to be taken into account. So I don't have any problem with either of these things. But you know, it's too bad this stuff has to happen, you know?

KELLY: And in both cases the victim went back to the person who assaulted them.

O'REILLY: Yes, I know. All right. Ms. Kelly, thanks very much for being with us, as always.

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