Friday, April 27, 2007

The Rocky's Vince Carroll Refutes Churchill's Defenders

Vincent Carroll, the editor of the editorial pages of the Rocky Mountain News has written an excellent article about the charges now being put forth in a letter purportedly written by nine professors who are defending the tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies Ward Churchill. Surprisingly, Ward Churchill's wife Natsu Saito [video] didn't sign the letter (hat tip to PirateBallerina for the letter).
Mr. Carroll writes (4-26-07):

Seven University of Colorado professors have issued a warning to their colleagues who were brave enough to serve on a committee that condemned a plagiarist and fraud. If that committee’s report on Ward Churchill isn’t retracted, the seven promise, they’ll consider “filing charges of research misconduct against the authors.”
This ominous pledge is also signed by two non-CU professors, one from Cornell and the other from Kansas, and alleges five specific “violations” of scholarly norms in the anti-Churchill report.
A last-ditch attempt to turn the tables? Of course, and from professors who in at least some cases share Churchill’s political outlook. But fear not: Even if the committee’s report were as rotten as this gaggle of Churchill defenders contends, it would still provide more than enough basis for the professor’s eventual, much-delayed firing. Indeed, the committee’s conclusion that Churchill is a serial plagiarist is not even challenged. Apparently that is now conceded by all sides.
To fairly assess all five allegations against the committee, I’d have to return to every source cited by each side; that wasn’t possible for this column. But I was nonetheless able to review the source that is the basis for one of the pro-Churchill group's claims. The verdict: It’s a trumped-up charge.
The pro-Churchill professors accuse the investigating committee of “suppressing text from a cited source that contradicts the report’s argument” in discussing an epidemic among the Mandan Indians in the 1830s.
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In the comments that follow Mr. Carroll's article, some Churchill dead-enders are trying to defend their hero-plagiarist by claiming that Wardo is the victim of a witch hunt [video].

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