Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR fires Juan Williams for expressing his opinion

What a shocker. NPR has fired Juan Williams for saying on the O'Reilly show that he gets nervous when he sees a Muslim man on an airplane.
"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Williams also warned O'Reilly against blaming all Muslims for "extremists," saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Tim McVeigh
NPR got complaints and decided that they just couldn't have a contributor who said openly what a lot of people think when they are on airplanes. But that just isn't a point of view that can be openly expressed by NPR. And, of course, they've been uncomfortable with having Williams for a while ever since he started going on Fox News shows and expressed views that weren't in line with the approved line on NPR.
Williams' presence on the largely conservative and often contentious prime time talk shows of Fox News has long been a sore point with NPR News executives.

His status was earlier shifted from staff correspondent to an analyst after he took clear-cut positions about public policy on television and in newspaper opinion pieces.
Of course, Williams has been going on opinion shows since the 1970s more than 20 years before he joined NPR. That should have been no surprise to anyone. He also has won an Emmy for his documentaries on the history of the civil rights movement and other topics. He wrote the book that accompanied Eyes on the Prize as well as a respected biography of Thurgood Marshall.

As Michelle Malkin points out, it was liberals at places like CAIR, Think Progress and the Huffington Post who were all riled up by Williams' comments.

I wonder - if there were a poll taken of Americans asking them how many people ever get nervous when they see a person in Muslim garb getting on their airplanes, what would the results be? 70%? 80%?

Yes, this reaction displays prejudice towards Muslims, but it is also based on history. Williams is not saying that he thinks that all Muslims are terrorists but that, based on what happened on 9/11 and Richard Reid and the Christmas Day bomber, he gets nervous. His comment is reminiscent of Jesse Jackson's moment of honesty,
There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.... After all we have been through. Just to think we can't walk down our own streets, how humiliating.
Williams was expressing his opinion and natural reaction, but such statements are not politically correct and so NPR had to fire their inconvenient employee. What a shame.


2421Rich said...

This is very interesting. The fact that NPR would hold Juan Williams responsible for expressing the truth about his feelings and emotions tells me they would prefer that he suppress truth.
I'm glad I don't depend on NPR as a news or opinion source since they not only condone but actively seek the suppression of truth if it contradicts the political positions they have decided to take.

Chris said...

Ah yes, once again, those Champions of Tolerance and Inclusiveness demonstrate the true extent of their open-armed embrace...

...until you (yes, especially you, you enthnically-valuable member of our treasured, dembot, dependent voting block!) so much as DARE to set foot (or mouth) off of the One and Only True Political Plantation.

Shame, shame!

Rocin said...

Prejudice has become such a loaded term, but it is not simply an evil reaction to circumstances.
I am pre-judging when I assume a sweet little old grandmother won't hurt me; I am also pre-judging when I decide not to frequent certain neighborhoods alone at 2 a.m.
These prejudices are part of my self-protective nature.
Juan's real "crime" was giving voice to the natural pre-judging we all do.

Stan said...

I think there is likely a tendency to read about NPR's firing of Williams and shrug. Yep, about what you'd expect of those intolerant, politically-correct liberals.

But this should really disturb any thoughtful, open-minded liberal (assuming any exist). Seriously -- this is appalling and thoughtful people should find it very, very disturbing. The fact that we have seen it so often shouldn't make us dismiss it with a shrug.

Osiick's Environmental Sustainability Blog said...

As a loyal, daily, NPR listener for over 20 years I can't tell you how dissappointed I was to hear about your decision to terminate Juan Williams's contract as a contributor. NPR's action is a example of political correctness run amok, where the fear of offence and obvious naivette of what the vast majority of Americans are really thinking trumps reality and common sense. Juan will be missed, and I wish him well in what I am sure will be a successful and appreciated post-NPR career. I regret to inform NPR that I am am terminating NPR from my radio preset, as your treatment of Mr. Williams is inconsistent with my own moral standard and practice, and have undermined your credibility as a fair and reliable news organization.

Shyguy said...

I read your Blog about Mr. Williams firing over his opinion. I totally agree with you and have already written to NPR to complain about them letting him go in a fit of political correctness. I'm hoping a lot do and they are completely overwhelmed in comparison to those who complained about what he said. I urge everyone to write NPR and complain about the firing.

bill russell said...

While often disagreeing with Mr. Williams opinions, I have enjoyed his calm and reasoned arguments. While he may have been stating the accepted liberal position, I never felt that he was simply parroting the daily talking points and he managed to disagree with other panelists with out being disagreeable. To show my support for Mr. Williams, I have just placed an order with Amazon for two of his books: Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 and Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, both of which had received good reviews when they were published. It would be nice to see both of them climb up the Amazon rankings as his followers showed their support.

bill russell said...

It is also interesting to speculate on what would have been NPR's response to Mr. Williams if the offending remarks had been made on MSNBC rather than the O'Reilly Factor. I believe that Mr. Williams would not have been questioned, much less disciplined, if the exact same words had been uttered in the context of a MSNBC show, rather than on the hated Fox network.

pumping-irony said...

Helvetius said, "When I speak I put on a mask. When I act, I am forced to take it off." NPR's mask has dropped.

joetote said...

This is the second time I’ve seen the liberal yo-yos take off on Juan Williams when he has “overstepped” his bounds and spoken a truth that was against the “party line”.

I have said more than once in the past that a government run co-opted media is but one step towards the Soviet style dictatorship that we witnessed with the old USSR. This is beyond Big Brother. This is not only the squashing of Free Speech, but is in fact taking away one of our most sacred rights. And he wasn’t even on an NPR show!

This Political Correctness, which is nothing more than a Gestapo style propaganda issue has to stop!
I for one do not agree with some of Mr. Williams stands. however, he has never been afraid to call it as he sees it and in this case he was correct! To be fired for relating the truth is beyond everything we hold sacred in this country.

Kudos to Mr. Williams for daring to stand up to the kind of censorship that is so warmly welcome by leftist Soviet and NAZI style governments!

Locomotive Breath said...

NPR said they fired him because they'd received "emails" about him. Wanna bet they receive 10 times the volume over this stupid action?

Rick Caird said...

Juan Williams is probably thanking NPR as he has ended up with a $2 million contract at Fox. Meanwhile, the CEO claims Williams chould have kept his fear of Muslims on airplanes between him and his psychiatrist (implying Williams is crazy). I expect no moves to fire her.

NPR is also complaining the politicians should not get involved in an "editorial decision", but I assume NPR does not expect the $1.8 million from Soros to hire 100 political reporters will have any impact on "editorial decisions".

These people live in Fantasyland. They need to be taken of the public dole.