Tuesday, October 21, 2008

N.U.'s Bruce Johansen Gets Egg on Face
With a Twisted Defense of Bill Ayers

Point of order in the attempted defense of Bill Ayers by University of Nebraska at Omaha communications professor, my one-time colleague, Bruce Johansen. Sigh! When are these university employees EVER going to learn to research first, and THEN write? Sheesh.

In The World-Herald today, Johansen pleaded for Ayers' "free-speech rights," painting him as a brave warrior for truth and justice who just happened to have an unpopular view, and the "far right" threw its money around to shut him up.

Wrongaroni. Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist and mad bomber, and the final report of the biggest education project he ever embarked upon, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, admits that the $150 million project had NO EFFECT on student outcomes (see last weekend's posting on this). It was, in other words, another bomb.

But then Johansen threw a bomb of his own, attempting to defend Ayers by dropping the name of fired University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill as another "hate object" of the right. Yeah! Like Ayers, he was a great guy and brave liberal who just happened to have a different opinion about things than they do.

Also wrongaroni. Ward Churchill was fired for fabricating research, falsifying sources, and plagiarizing other researchers. Like Ayers, he has a total goose egg in the credibility department. Read about it here. He sued, and the case is expected to come to trial next March. Hardly anybody thinks he has a chance. But we'll see.

I remember this, because someone once told me that Churchill reported that the U.S. Army killed hundreds of thousands of Native Americans by giving them smallpox-infected blankets on purpose in the 1800s. I believed that for years, and felt terrible. When Churchill’s horrendous charge came out after 9/11, that the people killed in the Towers deserved to die because they were somehow "little Eichmanns," a big academic investigation about him ensued. And it came out that he had MADE UP the small story. His plagiarisms and fabrications went on and on. I was really mad to have been deceived. Hell hath no fury like a researcher who's been lied to.

But Johansen, who's not such a bad guy, really, apparently didn't know all this. So he laid an egg with his attempted defense of one bad egg by pointing to another bad egg. Which just makes N.U. professors look even WORSE, sad to say. And one more thing about your defense of Ayers and his "free speech rights," Mr. Johansen: there are many, many ways to exercise one's free-speech rights WITHOUT hurting anyone or anybody's property. Violence is never right. Hatred and selfish deception are always wrong. Can we agree?

Ayers is a loser, a hater and a criminal. Churchill is a loser, a hater and a cheater. In the marketplace of ideas, Mr. Johansen, I'd say you let yourself get robbed. As for those two creeps: NO SALE!

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