- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 11, 2005

University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill got all sorts of press coverage in January for calling the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks “little Eichmanns.” Timothy Shortell, a professor at Brooklyn College, may well have Mr. Churchill beat.

In fevered Weblog entries and online journal articles bearing his teaching affiliation, Mr. Shortell has called religious people “moral idiots” and “ugly.” He called America “fascist” and likened Republicans to Nazis.

Mr. Shortell’s outlandish remarks stirred coverage in local papers, including the New York Sun and the New York Daily News earlier this year. His remarks deserve revisiting on the occasion of a small victory for Brooklyn College: Its sociology department, Mr. Shortell announced this week, won’t be having him as its chairman as expected. As the New York Sun reported this week, Mr. Shortell fired off an angry e-mail to colleagues to announce the news, citing “venom” and claiming his rights were violated.

America is fascist, Mr. Shortell thinks, and Republicans resemble Nazis. “Just as any fascist state, the megalomania of the ruling elite is paid for in working class blood,” he writes. And Republicans take their cues from old Nazi leaders. “Someone really ought to do a comparative study of this administration and the propaganda techniques of Nazi Germany. Karl Rove owes a lot to Joseph Goebbels.” Call it a draw between Mr. Churchill’s “little Eichmanns” and Mr. Shortell’s bloodthirsty, Goebbels-loving fascists.

Hatred for religion is where Mr. Shortell’s singular demerits become evident. “Christians claim that theirs is a faith based on love, but they’ll just as soon kill you,” Mr. Shortell says. “Can there be any doubt that humanity would be better off without religion?” he writes. “These moral retards are running around pointing fingers and doing real harm to others. One only has to read the newspaper to see the results of their handiwork. They discriminate, exclude, and belittle. They make a virtue of closed-mindedness and virulent ignorance. They are an ugly, violent lot.” No word on where Mr. Shortell, a social psychologist by training, found the data to support all this.

That Mr. Shortell should get so much less coverage than Mr. Churchill perhaps demonstrates how commonplace such nonsense is in the academy. To be sure, Mr. Shortell is another egregiously misguided professor of the left. But that hardly justifies the lack of media coverage. On the contrary, it proves that we’ve grown numb to the problem.


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