Media Watch: The Sharyl Attkisson approach
Saw this one coming a mile away:
DENVER – A professor who was fired after comparing some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi sued the school Wednesday, saying officials retaliated against him for exercising his right to free speech.
Ward Churchill was ousted by the University of Colorado’s governing Board of Regents after three faculty committees accused him of plagiarism, fabrication and other research misconduct.
Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, had triggered a national outcry with an essay comparing some World Trade Center victims to Holocaust organizer Adolf Eichmann.
The Regents said his dismissal was based on other writings and that his firing was unrelated to his Sept. 11 comments. The academic investigation did not include the Sept. 11 essay but began after university officials concluded it was protected by the First Amendment and that he could not be fired for writing it.
Churchill has denied the research misconduct allegations and called the investigation “a farce” and “a fraud.”
His lawsuit, filed in Denver District Court, charged that after the essay came to light, “the university vowed to examine every word ever written or spoken by Professor Churchill in an effort to find some excuse for terminating his employment.”
In light of things like this, and this, I’d say the fired Churchill has an uphill battle on his hands. I don’t see him getting anywhere with this lawsuit. He’s probably hoping that the University will settle with him. They say they won’t, and I hope that in the heat of the battle they don’t back down from that.