Starting at 36:15 here, one of the jurors, Bethany, calls in to KHOW, to correct Caplis and Silverman’s assertion that only one juror wanted to give Ward Churchill a lump sum, to make it clear that the jurors considered CU’s allegations of academic misconduct laughable, and to explain the reason for the $1 award for damages — the short answer being that David Lane never presented any case at all as to what the damages should be, so they didn’t have any evidence to consider. Which is probably because, as Ward Churchill and David Lane have been saying all along, this isn’t about money.

It’s about getting his job back.

Listen to it. It doesn’t get any more delicious than this.

(Cover the kids’ ears.)

I’ve spent the last four years watching a good man get his name drug through the mud for making the eminently reasonable point that you ought not be killing other peoples’ kids. And that if you are in the business of killing other peoples’ kids, they have the absolute right to fight back in any way they can.

I’ve seen the most vicious smear campaign of my lifetime. A horde of shiteating columnists and radio shockjocks have made it their life’s work to destroy one man. They went after his life, his livelihood, his family, and his reputation. There is no level to which they haven’t stooped to ruin him.

I’ve watched Denver’s local media crawl like dogs to eat the shit of their canine superiors in the rightwing national media. There has not been a single article in the Denver media to actually interrogate the trumped-up charges of academic misconduct levelled by the hopelessly biased CU investigative committee. Not one. Like with their coverage of the Iraq war (or for that matter, the preceding sanctions), they have gone to incredible lengths to never actually investigate the shit they were more than willing to eat out of the paws of their presumed betters.

Moreover, in that so-called bastion of higher learning at CU, I can count on my fingers and toes those faculty members who were willing to actually stand up and point out the absurdity of the smear campaign launched against Ward Churchill. Almost to a man or woman, they refused to make any kind of stand for the principles they pretended, every day, to represent. Nothing has been more disheartening than the absolute, unmitigated cowardice of the faculty of my alma mater. I’ve met pedophiles and rapists with whom I’d rather share an occupation.

But, I’ve also watched Ward Churchill, with his family, put their stake in the ground and refused to back up an inch. That’s what courage is, and I’ve been proud as hell just to witness it. In the last round of McCarthyism, there were very few to fight back. I think of Dashiell Hammett, and I think of Ward Churchill.

So this one’s for CU. And for Bill O’Reilly, Caplis and Silverman, Vincent Carroll, and the rest of the Denver media. 

Fuck you.

johnny-cash-finger

Ward wins!

April 3, 2009

WARD CHURCHILL

From the New York Times.

A jury found on Thursday that the University of Colorado had wrongfully dismissed a professor who drew national attention for an essay in which he called some victims of the Sept. 11 attacks “little Eichmanns.”

There’s some inside scuttlebutt here. David Lane got to talk to the jurors after the case, and word has it they had the following couple of salient points to offer:

  1. Up until the reading of the final instructions by the judge, the jurors thought they were to be deliberating on whether or not Ward had committed academic fraud, pure and simple. It’s an understandable error, given the nature of the witnesses.  Their unanimous finding was that Ward hadn’t committed any fraud worthy of the name.
  2. The jurors were disgusted by the repetition of Ward’s protected speech by O’Rourke, including the quotes from the audio that Craig Silverman kept pushing at O’Rourke; they felt this clearly showed the nature of CU’s witchhunt. 

As to the award, Ward Churchill never asked for money. In fact he told the jury repeatedly he didn’t want a cent. What he does want is his job back. And given the nature of this verdict, one has to ask how justice could be served if he doesn’t get it. More to come.

Um, sort of. And in a, shall we say, less than informative manner. Instead of posting an excerpt, I’m just gonna give you the link here. (And, if you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, do click the link for a fine synopsis in the first paragraph of Mr. Roberts’ piece.)

Read the whole thing. Especially the email from Michael Roberts to Craig Silverman, which, I’m guessing, will go unanswered.

I was in court today, and it’s fairly obvious CU’s lead attorney had been either listening to the Caplis and Silverman show, or had simply turned over closing arguments for them to, ahem, ghostwrite. (Certainly, there were no citations.)

There was reference to “Ward Churchill’s world” which comes straight out of Caplis and Silverman, via Vincent Carroll, the Denver Post columnist who was responsible for much of the media smear. In fact, Vincent Carroll once had a series of columns for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News entitled “Ward’s World”. More directly to the point, however, was Mr. O’Rourke’s highlighting of a quote (maybe two, I’ll update with more specifics later) from a spoken word CD released by AK Press, titled Pacifism as Pathology in the American Left. Not coincidentally, I think, the quote(s) he highlighted were ones that Caplis and Silverman have been long playing on their show, having uncovered them by their extensive research — meaning, y’know, they bought some spoken word CDs on Amazon and had their producer review them.

It is possible, of course, that Mr. O’Rourke went out and tracked down a number of Ward Churchill CDs and just happened across the same quotes on which Caplis and Silverman have been riding four years of ratings. I consider it a wee bit more likely that said quotes were in the packet Craig Silverman handed him in the courtroom this week.

What I find most interesting is that Craig Silverman seems to know exactly how his interjection of himself into the judicial process will appear. How else to explain his ducking of Michael Roberts or his belated, piecemeal admission of the fact that he may, in fact, have been in contact with O’Rourke, which only began to appear after Mr. Roberts began to ask questions? I caught a few minutes of Caplis and Silverman on the drive home from the trial, and heard a third reference (the first two here) to Silverman’s, as I recall, “public and private” conversations with O’Rourke.

I’ll download the Caplis and Silverman audio on the morrow and highlight the significant portions.

No verdict today

April 2, 2009

But trust me, no one is more disappointed than I. Sorry folks.

Tomorrow I will probably be in computer land when it comes back, however, and I’ll update as soon as I know anything.

I’ll be in court watching closing arguments. For near-live updates, see the Daily Camera. It also never hurts to keep track of Westword, especially when Michael Roberts has his teeth in something (in this case Craig Silverman’s ample ass).

Silverman lies again

April 1, 2009

So Craig Silverman seems to be ducking Michael Roberts, but he made reference several times on today’s show to the fact that rumors abounded that he was trying to horn in on CU’s case. You can find hour one here, and hour two here.

Hour one consists primarily of Caplis and Silverman whining that CU had not availed themselves of the irrelevant audio they’d been running of decontextualized snippets of Ward Churchill engaging in entirely protected political speech. However, at about 23:00, they get Churchill’s attorney, David Lane, on the line. When he can get a word in edgewise over Silverman’s braying, Lane handles them with all the aplomb we’ve come to expect. In fact, he even challenges Dan Caplis to a substantive, point-by-point debate on each of the academic misconduct allegations. Caplis accepts, but call me cynical, I figure it to take place just about when them proverbial pigs take up wings. 

Hour two is when Silverman starts spinning. Silverman has been, by this time, alluding several times to the fact that he might have possibly, y’know, maybe forwarded some of their Ward Churchill quotes to CU’s attorney Pat O’Rourke. Understanding that the jig is up, he begins to kinda fess up around 6:40, stating that he emailed Pat O’Rourke a copy of a document with all the quotes that they’d been playing. Which may be true, of course, but it would lead one to wonder why he also handed said document to O’Rourke in the courtroom, driving poor Mr. O’Rourke into a nigh frenzy. Then there’s 13:55, where Silverman notes that he “made sure CU had that available during the end of this trial”, and goes on to sat that he put it out there and told them what to do.

Now Silverman keeps saying O’Rourke didn’t follow through with the material he’d given him. But, as my sources have it, he did, and the jury responded with yawns and irritation.

We’ll see if Mr. Silverman ever clears this up with Mr. Roberts of Westword.

My guess is that’ll happen just about when Dan Caplis takes David Lane up on a substantive debate about Ward Churchill’s so-called misconduct.