NPR’s decision to fire Juan Williams for remarks he made during an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday night has generated a considerable amount of media attention over the last of couple days.
Mr. Williams’s crime was apparently speaking honestly about a visceral reaction many Americans have in our post 911 world:
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.
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.”
I’ve watched the full segment a few times now… what I find so distasteful about Mr. Williams firing is the blatant hypocrisy of NPR.
If Mr. Williams remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.” what about the controversial remarks from other NPR personalities?
Were Nina Totenburg’s 1995 remarks wishing AIDS on Jesse Helms or one of his grandchildren consistent with NPR’s editorial standards and practices?
Were “All Things Considered” commentator Andrei Codrescu’s remarks calling certain Christian beliefs crap consistent with NPR’s editorial standards and practices?
Were publicist Sarah Spitz’s remarks on the now-defunct Journolist listserv wishing death on Rush Limbaugh consistent with NPR’s editorial standards and practices?
And lastly were NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s remarks at the Atlanta Press Club yesterday suggesting that Mr. Williams should have kept his feelings about Muslims between himself and his psychiatrist consistent with NPR’s editorial standards and practices?
Yes, she’s apologized for that remark, but watch the video, watch her body language when she says it:
Spoke hastily? I’m not buying it.
Ed Morrissey sums things pretty over at Hot Air:
With the exception of the very beginning, when Williams made the statement that so offended NPR, Williams and Mary Katharine took a position mainly opposite of Bill O’Reilly, with both stating that the distinction between extremist Muslims and the rest was an important one to make, Mary Katharine more for strategic purposes, and Williams on journalistic grounds.
But then again, Williams was arguing for tolerance, and that apparently violates NPR’s “editorial standards and practices.” Clearly, NPR only wants opinion journalists that agree with the opinions of NPR, and I mean totally agree. An NPR opinion journalist had better not admit to having a normal human reaction about potential for terrorism nine years after 3,000 Americans got killed by radical Muslims on commercial air flights, or else. The rest of NPR’s cast just got an object lesson about the range of opinion tolerated by management.
I suspects what so offended NPR wasn’t what Mr. Williams said, but were he said it… and that may very well be NPR’s downfall at least so far as public funding is concerned.
- Most Americans Say U.S. Is Too Politically Correct – Rasmussen Reports
- JUAN WILLIAMS: I Was Fired for Telling the Truth – Foxnews.com