Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Scarborough Country Transcript

Joe Scarborough (Scarborough Country, MSNBC), apparently thinks the Churchill imbroglio is his ticket to a loftier place in the crowded punditocracy firmament. He certainly deserves it--he's certainly as good as anyone else at making a cruel mockery of constructive political discourse. (For a model of constructive conservative engagement, check out Charles Colson's Breakpoint commentaries.)

Scarborough's Feb. 7 deals in part with the Churchill matter. That part of the exchange begins about halfway down, starting here:

Coming up next, Ward Churchill‘s latest outrageous statement. You are not going to believe it.

That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SCARBOROUGH: More shocking comments from Colorado Professor Ward Churchill, who attacks America and says—what does he say on the taxpayers‘ dime? That we need more 9/11s.

That story next.



SCARBOROUGH: Now, as we told you last week, University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill faces possible firing for comparing 9/11 victims to Nazis and for praising al Qaeda terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans. He called them heroes. The university has 30 days to read everything that Churchill has written. And they may want to read this interview from 2004.

He said—quote—“One of the things I suggested is that it may be that more 9/11s are necessary. This seems like such a no-brainer that I hate to frame it in terms of actual transformation of consciousness.”

Now, Denver radio talk show host Peter Boyles spoke to Churchill and the father of a 9/11 victim last week. Let‘s listen to that exchange.


FATHER OF 9/11 VICTIM: My son was an assistant trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was 23, his first job out of college.


WARD CHURCHILL, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO: Well, I would like to do something here. I would like to engage you.

PETER BOYLES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Let me ask him, if I could, before it gets away, Ward, would his son have qualified as one of the little Eichmanns?

CHURCHILL: Yes, he would have.


Yeah, don't give Churchill a chance to contextualize his remark. I'm not sure Churchill could dig himself out, but why take a chance that the TV audience might hear him try and think he managed to do it? Why not lead them around by the nose instead?

UPDATE: For a report on this interview and a link to an audio recording of the interview, see Colorado Talk Radio and Ward Churchill.

(The full Scarborough Country transcript is here.)

Anyway, it's another depressing demonstration that right-wing pundits pretend to loathe the Churchills of the world but in fact depend on them. Without such people, the Scarboroughs of the world might actually have to resort to thoughtful engagement. Again, check out Charles Colson if you want to see what meaningful political discussion looks like. You sure won't get it from Scarborough.

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