FOX more tolerant than NPR

October 22, 2010

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.


NPR fires Juan Williams for admitting he’s human

October 21, 2010

Yesterday, National Public Radio terminated its contract with liberal commentator Juan Williams over remarks he made on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox:

Here’s a transcript, courtesy of Big Journalism:

The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”

Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.

He continued: “I mean, 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.”

Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.

And for that, Williams was fired:

NPR said in its statement that the remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

So, let me get this straight. In an era when Muslims bent on jihad blow themselves up on crowded buses and in pizza parlors, when Muslims bent on jihad hijack planes and kill nearly 3,000 Americans in one day, when a Muslim bent on jihad takes to heart the Islamic doctrine of Wala’ wa Bara’ (“loyalty and enmity”) and guns down his fellow soldiers, when even the general manager of al-Arabiya television says

It is certainly true that not all Muslims are terrorists, however, sadly we say that the majority of terrorists in the world are Muslims.

… and on and on around the world: London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Beslan, Mumbai, Bali, Thailand, Nigeria, and on an on in a trail of blood blazed by Muslims bent on jihad…

…Juan Williams admitted to a very human failing: he gets nervous around Muslims. He’s not saying every Muslim is a terrorist; he is not saying he hates all Muslims or that all Muslims are jihadists. He is admitting to an instinctive reaction based on years of witnessing horrifying things done by Muslims waging jihad.

News flash: I was once robbed at gunpoint by a Black man. To this day, I still get a bit nervous when a Black male stranger approaches me on the street. It’s irrational, I usually ignore it, but it’s still there: a normal human reaction based on our survival instinct. And I bet if you look around hard enough, you’ll find Black men who have had bad experiences with White cops and get nervous when encountering another White cop.

Would NPR fire them, too?

What this really shows is how narrow the limits are on free speech at that bastion of liberalism, National Public Radio. Express an opinion beyond the bounds of progressive, multicultural orthodoxy and you get punished. And it’s another example of how the Left in general pays only lip service to intellectual freedom: you have the freedom to express any thought as long as it’s on the approved list.

Conservative women, minorities who stray off the liberal reservation, and Black liberal pundits who are honest about their feelings, on the other hand, can just shut up.

PS: Why in God’s name is the United States government giving taxpayer money to a media organization that punishes people for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech?

PPS: And how odd this happened right after “progressive” billionaire (and Nazi collaborator) George Soros’ “Open Society Foundation” a $1.8 million grant to pay for more reporters. Must be a coincidence.

LINKS: As you can guess, lots of sites are writing about this today. In addition to Big Journalism (and do read their post for a good survey of NPR’s “editorial standards and practices”), see also The Jawa Report, Fausta, Power Line, Legal Insurrection, Hot Air, and Michelle Malkin. On a related note, The Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm reports that most Americans feel political correctness has gone too far. I’ll bet Juan Williams would agree with that.

UPDATE: Sammy at Yid With Lid argues that Juan’s presence on Fox was NPR’s real problem, not so much what he said.

UPDATE II: Oh, now they’re after Mara Liasson, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)