Remember my wondering a few days ago if Chi Trib or S-T would report pseudo-Indian, accused plagiarist-college progressor Ward Churchill speaking at DePaul? Then noting the next day that nothing had appeared? Well there was a reason for that having nothing to do with editorial assignment. It was that reporters were not allowed. Nor were tape recorders. American Thinker showed what amateurs can do on a website with its reporting of the Churchill talk by a non-reporter, a lawyer however, and so one expected to get things straight. He had to finagle his way in at that and did not feel free even to take notes (!) on Churchill.
He came up with this, in which Churchill is reported explaining away his “3,000 Eichmans” comment on the 9/11 victims and otherwise arguing his various positions. The reporting is detailed and arresting; so much for amateurism, since people who can observe and listen and write clearly can do this work. “We know you can write,” Daily News managing editor Daryle Feldmeir told me when I was hired without newspaper experience in 1968. He had clips of mine from several magazines. “But we don’t know if you can give us 500 words on deadline.”
The best part of the American Thinker reporting, by Chaya Gil, a Chicago attorney, is the ambience of it, where DePaul is shown as being so concerned about trouble or even publicity as to bar reporters — even Gil, who is apparently known at DePaul. That being the circumstance, it’s not surprising that Churchill was misquoted, as he said back in Denver: what he said was in an email to him was presented by Gil as directly from Churchill. It was about Hitler exterminating the wrong people and thus incendiary. Churchill apparently reads The American Thinker and made a point to refute this allegation.
Thinker got to someone who had recorded the talk secretly, hiding the machine in his shirt or somewhere where the recording was muffled, and that recording finally, after much careful listening, backed up Churchill on this one point. Newspapers can’t do this as quickly in hard copy. But the upshot is that people who care about DePaul and Churchill and what happened have thorough reporting in difficult circumstances with honesty in admitting mistake and info about DePaul and it’s Toonerville Trolley administration.