Yesterday, I opined that NPR’s firing of Juan Williams was due to his sin of honesty: admitting that flying with Muslims tended to make nervous, presumably because of the long, bloody history of Islamic terrorism in recent years. Violating the politically correct, multi-culti canon of modern left-liberalism had placed him beyond the pale.
Looks like that was only the shark’s fin breaking the water, giving sign of the real problem hidden underneath the surface: NPR listeners were complaining about Williams appearing on the hated FOX network and actually engaging conservatives. Ed Morrissey cites analysis by both Michael Barone, who noted that few if any FOX viewers complained about Williams airing liberal views on “their” network, and the NPR ombudsman, who admitted NPR listeners were complaining about what Williams said on FOX, and adds this observation:
So …. it’s safe to say that Williams’ appearances on NPR weren’t a problem at all. NPR’s entire problem with Williams is that he shared his liberal perspective with the supposedly intolerant right-wing audience at Fox News, where people enjoyed an actual debate. It’s also pretty clear that NPR was looking for a reason to cut Williams, and leaped at what appeared on the surface to be their best opportunity without actually watching the whole clip and hearing the context of Williams’ remarks, which actually argued against the point of what Bill O’Reilly was making.
And so we have the rather amusing, if destructive, spectacle of a radio network casting out a true believer solely because he dared to take the faith outside the chosen circle. NPR insists that it hosts the most diverse forums for political debate, but based on their own actions, they’re not interested in diversity or even debate. Rather than relish having a liberal point of view presented in what they see as a conservative forum, they prefer to keep their liberal point of view within the compound — and so do their listeners.
Just who is suffering from “epistemic closure,” here?
LINKS: My blog-buddy Sister Toldjah has a lot more on the crock of you-know-what justification given by NPR’s ombudsman for firing Williams.