This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 6, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.


DAVID HOROWITZ, AUTHOR, "THE PROFESSORS": It doesn't do to just have the other side. It has to do with respecting arguments, respecting the parties to these disputes, and trying to encourage the students to think through the alternative by themselves. You give them the equipment to do that, you don't impose your prejudices on them. It's that simple.

WARD CHURCHILL, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO: The purpose of a professor is to profess, not simply to impart sterile information. You can go to a trade school to get simply the delivery of the technical data. That's what distinguishes a university from a trade school and a professor from someone who teaches vo-tech.


SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: That just happened moments ago at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill debated David Horowitz. David, of course, the author of the best-selling book, 9/11, let's put up on the screen some of your comments.

"Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians" — meaning the people killed on 9/11 — "but innocent? Give me a break."

You said, "If there was a better, more effective or, in fact, any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns and the sterile sanctuary of the Twin Towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it."

Talk about chickens coming home to roost. Do you even care about families who lost their loved ones in the worst attack in American history and the added pain that your comments would bring to them, being so insulting? Or is that what you want, a reaction out of families?

CHURCHILL: Well, actually, I don't think that has to do with anything — doesn't have a thing to do with the topic at hand tonight, and so I don't think I'm going to go into the question. You're raising another issue, doing a backdoor slide into something I declined to talk to you about on the air a year ago.

HANNITY: So in other words, you don't want to defend your own statements? If you believe so strongly in them — chickens come home to roost, they're civilians, but innocent, give me a break — these were people that attacked. All they did that day was go to work. That's all they did. You insulted them and their families. Why wouldn't you want to defend your own statement?

CHURCHILL: Because that's not the purpose here tonight, and you know it. Generally speaking, however...

HANNITY: What's the purpose?

CHURCHILL: Would you like me to answer the question or are you going to keep butting in?

HANNITY: Go ahead. I'm waiting. Go ahead.

CHURCHILL: Roughly speaking there's no precise answer to be offered, because the proportionality is grotesquely unbalanced. But my feelings towards families here would be roughly the same as my feelings towards families suffering collateral damage, as Rumsfeld calls it, in Iraq. How do you feel about that Sean?

HANNITY: Right. Look, I'm willing to have a debate with you about the war.

CHURCHILL: I'll debate with you about the war, Sean.

HANNITY: Professor, I'm willing to debate you on the war, anyplace, anytime. I'd love to debate you publicly. And as a matter of fact, I'll challenge you to debate me publicly.

But it's interesting to me that you made these incendiary comments about very innocent people, and your only excuse or your only rationale for this is that, well, we had a war and Don Rumsfeld did something wrong. That doesn't justify the pain that you brought to the families to use the term little Eichmanns, to say that chickens come home to roost, that America deserves this, that these people weren't innocent, give me break — these people were...

CHURCHILL: You're breaking up. I can barely hear your tirade.

HANNITY: Will you at least acknowledge these people...

CHURCHILL: You have a bad connection, Sean. You're wasting your invective. I can't really hear you.

HANNITY: I know. You can hear me.

CHURCHILL: However...

HANNITY: Will you at least admit that these people were innocent? Do you have the intellectual honesty to say they were innocent?

CHURCHILL: I cannot hear you.

HANNITY: You can. You don't have the courage to debate me.

CHURCHILL: All you're doing is making an unopposed speech to a national listening audience. I can't hear what you're saying except crackles and pops.

HANNITY: David, you're sitting right next to him. I'll ask David. David will help interpret it for you. Will you ask Mr. Churchill if the people killed on 9/11, if they weren't innocent victims?

HOROWITZ: He wants to know if the people of 9/11 were innocent victims or not.

CHURCHILL: It depends on the people. Everybody in there did not fulfill the full — the same function. How can you compare a technocrat...

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Let me jump in here.

CHURCHILL: ... bringing his talents to bear with a 6-month-old child, for example. And while we're at it, would you like to me tell me how you feel about a bunch of 6-month-old children who were collateral damage to U.S. policy in Iraq? Were they innocent?

COLMES: I want to...

CHURCHILL: Have I heard an apology from you?

COLMES: Ward, it's Alan Colmes. I want to address...

CHURCHILL: Have I heard an apology from anyone offended with what it was that I had to say, which was to try to establish that a fundamental reality is they were no less valuable, no less human, no less immiserated than anyone on 9/11? The only real distinction in that regard is there's a whole lot more of them.

COLMES: Ward, can you hear me? It's Alan Colmes.

I don't know if he can hear me or not. David, let me go to you. The issue that I want to talk about is what you were debating with Ward Churchill. I don't agree with a lot of what Ward Churchill says. But I think the point is the right to say what you believe outside of a classroom.

You attack professors fairly often, David. But often it's what they say outside of a classroom, the fact that they run peace groups, they go to demonstrations, or that they do things that you may not like politically. There's a difference, isn't there, between what they do in the classroom and what they do outside the classroom which is their right as American citizens?

HOROWITZ: Actually, Alan, I make a very clear distinction between what's done in the classroom and what's done within the setup of the university itself and what professors say as citizens, as I said this evening.

I defended Ward Churchill's right to say what he said on the Internet. Just as I would defend, of course, Sean's right to challenge him on that.

What I have criticized is peace studies programs, which are not studies about the causes of war and peace, but which are indoctrination programs in a left-wing agenda, that the United States is an imperialist aggressor, that the military is responsible for wars instead of preventing wars, and that terrorists are freedom fighters. That, I have criticized harshly. But not professors...

COLMES: For example, you criticized Caroline Higgins at Earlham College, who teaches that kind of a class, "Methods of Peacemaking." She studies social movements. She talks about initiatives for change. She even has students visit factories out in the field to study unionizing. To me, that's what education should be. And yet you're critical, because she doesn't take a pro-war position.

HOROWITZ: Well, Caroline Higgins is criticized in my book not because she's a pacifist, which she is not -- she's a Marxist. She's a supporter of communism, in her own words. And she provides in her class no books, no texts except those which reflect those views. So, her class is really a classic case of indoctrination of students in a particular point of view. People who are indoctrinating...

COLMES: Let me go to Ward Churchill. And I think we have audio connection. Ward, it's Alan Colmes. I'm glad you're on our show tonight.

Let me ask you, you've said very controversial things. I don't agree with a lot of things that you say. But are you saying these things in the classroom or are you saying them outside the classroom on your own time?

CHURCHILL: That was not even in my vita, much less in the classroom.

COLMES: That's the point I want to make.

CHURCHILL: That particular articulation. That's the point No. 1.

But, point No. 2 is you have to interrogate assumption and present opposing points of view. And part of what was happening in that is I'm trying to present, to the best of my ability, what I would anticipate the analysis of someone who would engage in this sort of activity would be. And part of that goes to why they would do it. What are the motives? If you don't understand those, it's an inexplicable phenomenon.

HANNITY: Mr. Churchill, Sean Hannity. You're entitled to your opinion. I frankly don't really care what you have to say. It has very little impact on my life.

CHURCHILL: Well, why am I on your show?

HANNITY: But here's the point. When you take the position that this is about chickens coming home to roost and when you say, well, true enough, they're civilians, but innocent? This is where you insult a lot of innocent people and ad a lot of pain into their lives. Do you know of anybody that was attacked and killed in the towers that deserved it? Because that's what you're saying.

CHURCHILL: Nice try. The actuality here is I would expect it to be received with about roughly the same degree of pain and anguish as Donald Rumsfeld or Norman Schwarzkopf standing up, holding a debriefing or a press conference and referring to civilian casualties as a result of U.S. bombing strikes as collateral damage.

HANNITY: Well, nice try for you. But you're claiming that they're not innocent, and I'm...

CHURCHILL: I don't really care what you think, Alan.

HANNITY: I don't care what you think either. But are they innocent...

CHURCHILL: Or Sean. Whoever you are.

HANNITY: Do you want to add pain to people who lost their loved ones? Do you want to add pain to their lives? Do you want to insult their families? Does that make you feel good about yourself? Do you hate America that bad you've got to take it out on families that have already lost their loved ones? Does that make you feel good about yourself, sir?

CHURCHILL: Probably no better than it makes Rumsfeld to stand up and do that along with other U.S. spokesmen every other day of the week.

HANNITY: Is America a good country in your view?

CHURCHILL: If it hurts you, then stop doing it to other people and maybe you won't have a motive.

HANNITY: Well, tell that to Saddam Hussein, who had rape rooms and torture chambers and had mass graves with hundreds of thousands of bodies in it. Perhaps that doesn't impact you. Or perhaps you're just so fixated on your hatred for your own country that you want to ignore the fact that innocent people were slaughtered and dying every day. Maybe you don't want to — you want to ignore those facts. Is that it, Professor?

CHURCHILL: That would be about like Abu Ghraib and the other places that are torture centers under U.S. administered control now...

HANNITY: Underwear on head is not the same as dead bodies in graves, is it, sir?

CHURCHILL: ... the hundreds of thousands of people who have died in order to impose an imperial order on the part of the United States, that you would sit there and flatly deny.

HANNITY: You can't compare underwear on people's heads to dead bodies stacked on top of each other.


CHURCHILL: ... not particularly seemly, in my point of view, and I will oppose it, and I will impose your sanitation of reality — one particular point of view.

HANNITY: Yes. So you're going to compare innocent people killed on 9/11 and you're going to call them little Eichmanns, and you feel good about yourself? You're going to compare underwear on the head of people to bodies stacked upon bodies that are in mass graves, and you think yourself a great intellectual, sir?

CHURCHILL: How about sodomy with a flashlight?

HANNITY: Is that what you think?

CHURCHILL: How about sodomy with a flashlight, Sean? Are you endorsing that? Are you appalled? Have you said anything about...


HANNITY: I'm appalled at mass graves. I'm appalled at human suffering. I'm appalled at rape rooms. I'm appalled torture chambers. I think America has been a force and continues to be a force for good.

You obviously don't like this country, and you insult the families of dead people and try and justify it because of your twisted, distorted political view. That's hatred in my view, sir. You have hatred for your own country.


CHURCHILL: ... all sorts of things. If you, like me, love the country, you would like them to stop doing those sort of things.

HANNITY: I'm not attacking — hang on. I'm not attacking the families of innocent people killed on 9/11 like you did, sir.

COLMES: The fact of the matter is, Ward, we should be angry about what happened on 9/11. We should also angry about what happened in Abu Ghraib and what happens in Gitmo. We should be upset, as you point out, about the way flashlights are used. We should be upset about people who have actually died in U.S. custody. We should be very upset about that. You're right.

But shouldn't we also be upset about Americans who were killed on 9/11, just as much as we are upset about anybody who dies in any situation unjustifiably?

This is Alan speaking. What do you say to that?

CHURCHILL: What I say...

COLMES: Go ahead.

CHURCHILL: What I say to that, Alan, is was there something about what I wrote that made you think I was all calm and quiet? I was very angry, and I'm still am angry. I'm angry at the reasons for it, and I want them stopped. That's the best security you can have.

And looking the thing in the face rather than pretending to innocence, which is impossible, given the nature of the relations of the United States and the conduct of the United States in the world, pretending to innocence and as the aggrieved victims when there's a response to the sorts of things that have been done as a matter of course by the United States, is a perfect recipe for replication, repeating the process. I'm not especially interested in that happening, but apparently Sean is.

COLMES: Let me go back to David Horowitz. Should professors always promote the...

HOROWITZ: Thank you.

COLMES: You're here, too. We understand. Should professors always promote...

HOROWITZ: I was beginning to feel like a potted plant.

COLMES: I see you've got a little crowd there laughing at your jokes. Back to the question. Should professors always promote the government point of view? Government's foreign policy point of view. You're upset with professors that don't do that, but if they promoted the Bush policy, something tells me you wouldn't be as upset about it.

HOROWITZ: Well, that's wrong. And I've made very clear my position. And the debate tonight, by the way, was can we take politics out of the classroom? And my position was we can and we should, and Ward's position was that we can't and we shouldn't.

So, the answer to your original question is that Ward's academic work would lead to the very conclusions that he expressed about 9/11. I mean, that is the nature of his work. And his argument is that you either have to support the government and the status quo or oppose it. And mine is that you can teach — you can teach about these controversies without being a classroom advocate of one side of them.

I would totally oppose a professor who, you know, talked during the election and called John Kerry a traitor and said he would be a bad president and that students shouldn't vote for him, where if John Kerry was elected, he was going to leave the country. Many professors said that about George Bush. And I would oppose either one.

HANNITY: You know, David, I respect your view, and you're controversial when you go on college campuses.

Ward Churchill, I don't even care that you're controversial. But I want to bring this point to you and give you a chance to respond. If you have a soul, if you really care about humanity the way you say you do, then you would retract and you would apologize for referring to the victims, quote, "inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the Twin Towers, as little Eichmanns."

Do you have a soul? Will you apologize for what you said about those people that lost their lives on 9/11?

CHURCHILL: Well, first of all, Sean, I'll take care of my own soul. I don't need your assistance in that particular matter. And I absolutely...

HANNITY: Apparently, you do, actually.

CHURCHILL: And I certainly wouldn't agree with you. Do you ever let anybody that you disagree with finish a sentence without injecting your wit and wisdom?

HANNITY: Answer the question. I asked you about whether or not you apologized to those people?

CHURCHILL: I was answering the question, and your mouth is still running.

HANNITY: That's right. So why don't you answer it and finish it?

CHURCHILL: Are you going to be quiet?

HANNITY: I'm waiting with baited breath. Go. Talk.

CHURCHILL: All right. OK. Good. Starting to sputter a little now. I like it.

When I was a child, and this is childhood wisdom that probably all of us have had, my grandfather used to tell me when I would do something untoward to someone else, he would give something of the same treatment to me and ask me how I liked it. And if I didn't like it, he'd say, "Now you understand why you don't do it to other people."

That I think is a lesson that needs to be learned. Other people are not so much toilet paper or expendable commodities to be used up for the benefit, amusement, whim, edification, whatever of Americans.

If America is going to treat other people that way, in that demeaning and degrading and dehumanizing way, then they have no basis to be surprised when it comes back to them.

HANNITY: Professor — professor — professor.

CHURCHILL: I'd just as soon see everybody stop.

HANNITY: Professor, the people that died on 9/11...

CHURCHILL: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: ... were innocent in spite of what you say. This is not about chickens...

CHURCHILL: No more or no less innocent...

HANNITY: Professor, are you going to shut up for a second and let me talk?


CHURCHILL: No. I don't think so. You invited me. I didn't invite you.

HANNITY: Professor, you called them, you said and referred to those innocent people that died that brought no harm to anybody, you were the one that said they deserved it. You were the one that said they weren't innocent. And you're the one that said that they're little Eichmanns. That's your mean-spirited, hateful, insulting of them. You're the one that started it with them.

If you don't like American policy, take it out on the president. Call him any name you want. Call the vice president any name you want. If you don't like Sean Hannity's opinion, call me any name you want. But for goodness sake, Professor, have the human decency to leave the families that lost innocent loved ones alone instead of using them as pawns for your own political purposes.

That's where you don't have a soul, sir. That's where you don't have a conscience. That's where you don't have any decency in you. Right there.

CHURCHILL: Right after your apology to the Iraqis who have lost loved ones, Sean. And that predates what it is you're talking about. I'm still waiting for your apology.

HANNITY: Listen, I'm going to tell you right off. I am proud that America — hang on a second.


CHURCHILL: One-sided. This is...

HANNITY: I am proud — let me finish this.

CHURCHILL: ...more important than anybody else.

HANNITY: I am proud that America liberated the Germans from Nazi Germany. We beat back the forces of fascism, Nazism, imperialism, totalitarianism. We freed the people of Iraq. And now we're beating back the forces of terrorism in our time, evil in our time.

Your twisted world, you have it backwards. You think that the liberators are somehow guilty. You hate your own country. You insult innocent people. And you get away with it on a college campus. And for the first time, you need to look in your own soul and say, "How dare I attack families that have lost everything?" Lost innocent loved ones. That's where you're wrong, Professor.

COLMES: We only have a moment left here. The issue here is — this is Alan. We're going to finish up here in just a second. The issue is this. Are you doing this on a college campus, Ward, or are you saying this separate from your classes, away from academia? I want to be clear here about the venue, because I think we're conflating what you do in class versus expressing your view as an American.

CHURCHILL: Well, I think I'm on a college campus right now. More than that, I'm on national TV. I understand myself, I have a right to it. And although Sean has a rather peculiar point of view on things, thinking that draft-dodgers inflicted all this damage on other human beings, you know.

COLMES: Right. But you are sticking to a syllabus and curriculum when you're in the classroom. You're not infecting your students, as conservatives would say. You are sticking to a syllabus. Correct?

CHURCHILL: Well, there is a nice little subjective twist that's presented as objective fact, that my point of view is infecting people.

COLMES: That's not my view.

CHURCHILL: As opposed to your own, perhaps. Yes.

HANNITY: He's a liberal.

CHURCHILL: We're a mutual contamination society here.

COLMES: Well, I'm actually the one here, Ward, that's defending your right to speak, although I don't agree with everything you say. I'm the one who defends your free speech rights.

And this is, David, why we need a First Amendment and why we need — because for very disturbing points of view, not easy points of view. We shouldn't be passing legislation like they want to do in Ohio about what you can or can't say in a classroom.

David, I've got 20 seconds. I'll give you the last word. Thanks for being patient.

HOROWITZ: Thank you. That's not what they're passing in Ohio. The issue is professional speech in the classroom. You have heard Ward's curriculum. There are a lot of professors who believe that it's OK to conduct an ideological discourse, if you like, in the classroom. And I think that's not OK.

COLMES: Well, we've got to run here, David. I'm sorry. Passing legislation about it is what the real problem is here.

HANNITY: We've got to run. David, your book is terrific.

HOROWITZ: No. No, no.

HANNITY: Thank you.


COLMES: Thank you. Ward, thank you. We appreciate you both coming on. And we toss...

HANNITY: I'll toss it. Thank you, David, for being with us. Your book is terrific. Professor Churchill, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

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