Professor [Shahid Alam] Compared Terrorists to Founding Fathers
Fox News: The O'Reilly Factor
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "The O'Reilly Factor" is on. Tonight, 60 minutes from now President Bush will deliver the state of the union address. We know what he'll say. We'll give you a preview. Another nutty professor, this one in Boston. He thinks the 9/11 killers are like America's founding fathers. And the pope is in decline. We'll analyze his future and how he has confronted the evil of terrorism. Caution, you're about to enter a no spin zone. "The Factor" begins right now.
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. Coming up in just a few moments, we will analyze the president's state of the union address, which is less than an hour away.
But first, the "Talking Points" memo, an update on the Ward Churchill situation. The Colorado University board of regents will meet tomorrow to decide what to do about the professor who compared Americans killed on 9/11 to Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi.
After thousands of complaints, Hamilton College in upstate New York cancelled Churchill's appearance there. And apparently, the man is getting threats all over the place.
So today, a reporter for the New York Times called to ask me if I felt responsible for those threats and anything that happens to Professor Churchill.
Now I knew this was going to happen. I told you last night that the left wing media would be angry that "The Factor" could influence the national discourse. I don't know what The Times will publish tomorrow. Maybe nothing. But I won't be surprised if you, "The Factor" audience and I are blamed in certain circles for the unfortunate plight of Ward Churchill.
I say unfortunate, because I don't want to revel in the destruction of any person, even one who has said the vile things Churchill has said. We've held him accountable for his rhetoric, but we don't want him any harm. I even said the man shouldn't be fired from his job because a country as strong as we are can tolerate even him.
But all of that doesn't matter to the left wing media. This isn't about Churchill. This is about power. And many on the left hate, hate the fact that FOX News has it.
An interesting footnote, elements within The New York Times have viciously attacked me, both personally and professionally. And I get death threats all the time, but I don't blame The Times. There are kooks all over the place.
And what does Churchill and his sympathizers expect? We're in the middle of a war on terror and he supports the enemy. That's not a good place to be. That being said, again, Churchill should not be harmed in any way. As we have said loud and clear, he should instead be shunned. And that's The Memo. Now for the top story tonight. In Boston, there's another situation brewing. An economics professor at Northeastern University has compared the 9/11 killers to America's founding fathers.
Joining us now from Los Angeles, Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East forum and campus-watch.org. Mr. Pipes, who is M. Shahid Alam?
DANIEL PIPES, MIDDLE EAST FORUM: Professor Alam is an economist teaching at Northeastern University. He is a poet, and he writes history.
He is a combination of a Marxist and a radical Muslim, someone who sees the Western colonial enterprise as the source of all the problems of the non-Western world. He sees it being the problem in the eighteenth century, he sees it as the problem today. Whatever goes wrong with the world is our fault.
The United States as the leading Western country is, of course, the leading source of problems in the world. He has great antagonism toward this country, though I might add, he's an immigrant to this country.
O'REILLY: He's an Egyptian born, right? Is he an American citizen now?
PIPES: I can't tell you exactly.
O'REILLY: OK, we know he's an Egyptian, but we don't know if he's an American citizen. Now Northeastern University, very, very buttoned down about this guy. I mean, they don't want to give us any information.
We finally got a statement from Genevieve Haas in the media office there. And basically free speech, free speech, free speech. But they don't want to say anything about him. But he's been a bomb thrower, you know, for quite sometime, has he not?
PIPES: They say he's speaking for himself, not for the university and that they believe in free speech, as you said.
Yes, he has been throwing bombs for quite some time. I've been doing some research on him today. And there are some really strong statements.
He's a good writer. He's fairly prolix. If I read you quotes, they would take us through the hour. But he has a venom towards the United States. Let me read you one. "Most Americans are kept in the dark," he writes, "unaware of the actual, the real America—the only kind seen by much of the rest of the world. This is the America that daily employs its might to mangle the lives of hundreds of millions, that pushes a globalization that devastates the economies of the Third World, that instructs and arms foreign tyrannies to terrorize their own people." That's the kind of statements that he makes.
O'REILLY: All right, would it be fair to say that this professor is rooting for the terrorists to win the war on terror? Would that be fair to say?
PIPES: I don't know that he's actually gone that far. But he justifies them and says they are good people and their cause against us is righteous. I don't—I can't say he's actually come out and...
O'REILLY: All right, so he hasn't gone as far as Ward Churchill out at Colorado University by saying that the people killed—Americans killed on 9/11 were—deserved their death and were pawns and all of this. This guy, Alam, he walks a line by saying that we're the bad country. And it's understandable that we'd be attacked. Is that...
PIPES: We're under—right, we're under a bad system. Americans are suffering from this terrible capitalist system as well as the rest of the world. Americans: rise up and see your problem.
He has an interesting comment. He doesn't write much about himself, but he's lived in many countries around the world and wherever he went, the United States created problems for him. And then finally, he came to the United States because this was the country where he would have less problems. But since 9/11, even here he has the same problems.
O'REILLY: What problems does this guy have?
O'REILLY: He's got a got cushy job at Northeastern University. He says anything he wants to say. What problems does he have?
PIPES: Well, Bill, the fact that you as a journalist and me as an analyst are critiqued all the time is OK, but he is a professor. You know, he shouldn't be. This—what we're doing...
O'REILLY: Oh, he doesn't like...
PIPES: ...is impeding his freedom of speech.
O'REILLY: Well, he ran today behind the ACLU, interestingly enough, because we were talking to him. We wanted to get him on and, you know, figure out who this guy is. And he says—listen to this. He e-mails us, and he goes—he e-mailed us to all his supporters, whoever they may be. Does this guy have like a club or something? Is there a Professor Alam Club that he deals with?
PIPES: Not that I know of, no.
O'REILLY: How does he get his word out? Is he on some crazy Internet site?
PIPES: Fair point—exactly. There are a number of far-left Internet sites. But the one that he most uses is something called "Counterpunch." Vicious, vicious, vicious.
O'REILLY: OK, anti-American site. So he says—this guy Alam says, "I received an e-mail from FOX News asking for a TV interview. They were producing a program on me. At this point I spoke to the ACLU, advised me against going on the program. I received the same advice from other friends. I wrote back to FOX saying I could not do the interview. Clearly, they have designs against me. It appears that Bill O'Reilly is doing a series of un-American professors on U.S. campuses. And I expect he will make all kinds of outlandish accusations that will resonate well with the left- and Muslim-hating members of his audience."
He doesn't know the left from the right. The left is kind of sympathizing him. It's the right that's not going to like you there, professor, but that's OK.
PIPES: Note that he calls it a fatwa. You're engaged in a fatwa against him.
O'REILLY: Yes, well that's—isn't that the usual game that if you criticize what these people say, then you're anti-Muslim, correct?
PIPES: One other point that I think is worth making: You acknowledged that you accepted that Ward Churchill's had all sorts of death threats. I would challenge that.
I mean, I don't know the specifics, but when I started Campus Watch a little over two years ago, the professors that I discussed claimed that they'd been threatened and threatened and threatened. And I completely condemn that, as you have. But I also questioned it. And I asked them for proof. Show me that you've actually had death threats. Show me the reports...
O'REILLY: Well, it could be a canard, but I have to say I get death threats all the time. And I know what that's like. So if Churchill says he gets them—and I know he's had some vandal—they vandalized his car or something. And I know the guy's under extreme pressure. So I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Mr. Pipes, thanks very much. And Mr. Alam up there in Northeastern, you're welcome to come on any time you want and explain yourself, sir.
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