Media

Is KHOW's Craig Silverman giving tips to CU's attorney in the Ward Churchill trial?

A couple of intriguing entries today on WardChurchillTrial, a pro-Churchill website that's been tracking the controversial professor's wrongful termination lawsuit against the University of Colorado at Boulder. The first, titled "Wagging the Dog," alleges that KHOW talk-show host Craig Silverman, an attorney who co-hosts afternoon broadcasts at the station with fellow lawyer Dan Caplis, visited the courtroom yesterday and handed Patrick O'Rourke, the legal eagle repping CU, "a document which apparently had examples of Ward's 'inflammatory' statements." The blog goes on to say that O'Rourke then reeled off several of these comments in his questioning of CU Board of Regents member Pat Hayes before calming down and going back to "his usual tactic of boring the jury into submission." The second post, "Update on Craig Silverman's Takeover of CU's Defense," notes that Silverman, during yesterday's program, praised O'Rourke for this more aggressive strategy: "In fact, Silverman goes on about how he almost had to stand up and cheer when O'Rourke [started], y'know, quoting verbatim the material which Silverman had just handed him. Of course, Craig Silverman never mentions his own part in O'Rourke's sudden shift in behavior. For good reason. Why, it might look like this thing has been a media lynching all along."

By happenstance, I heard part of the Caplis-Silverman show yesterday afternoon, and Silverman did indeed suggest that the jury needs to hear clips like one snippet from a few years back, in which Churchill seemed to instruct a lecture attendee on how to successfully commit a terrorist act. He added that such words might be necessary to defeat Churchill in court. In his view, the once-and-future professor might otherwise emerge victorious due to the complicated nature of academic-misconduct cases.

I've made a request to interview Silverman on this subject. Look for a new item when he responds.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts