NPR says they fired Juan Williams because he engaged in commentary and opinion, as opposed to “analysis”. That is a laughable claim, as I grew up listening to the likes of Daniel Schorr and Nina Totenberg give me their personal opinions in the guise of analysis (the “fine line” between the two is a journalistic fiction) for 20 years at NPR. But what if the firing of Juan Williams wasn’t just about his comments regarding Muslims at airports? What if there is more to this than just a simple case of PC run amok? Yes, I know his comments served to trigger his firing, but what if the rabbit hole goes a little deeper? There are so many insidious levels to this scandal.
A Witch Hunt for Bigots Singes American Media
“Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis, where you don’t address reality,” Juan Williams observed rather prophetically on Bill O’Reilly’s show Monday night, before he made the comments that got him fired from his assignment as senior news analyst for National Public Radio.
This is what Williams said: “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. “Now, I remember also that when the Times Square bomber was at court, I think this was just last week. 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.”
Williams tempered those remarks with the caveat that President George W. Bush clearly stated that America is not at war with Islam. And: “Wait a second though, wait, hold on, because if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals, very obnoxious, you don’t say first and foremost, we got a problem with Christians. That’s crazy.”
Too late. Williams already had handed ammo to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad called on NPR to investigate Williams on Wednesday. In a statement Awad charged, “NPR should address the fact that one of its news analysts seems to believe that all airline passengers who are perceived to be Muslim can legitimately be viewed as security threats.”
CAIR is an identity-politics organization that trolls for opportunities to take offense. Whenever anyone acknowledges the nexus between terrorism and radical Islam — not Islam, but radical Islam — CAIR cries foul. Wednesday afternoon within hours of the CAIR complaint, NPR rewarded CAIR’s campaign of intimidation with a scalp.
On Thursday, NPR President Vivian Schiller denied that the firing was about Fox News. I don’t buy that. As Politico reported last year, NPR tried to pressure political correspondent Mara Liasson to sever her ties as a commentator on “Fox News Sunday” and its “Special Report.” In 2009, NPR asked Williams to not use his NPR identification when appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor.” (Monday night, O’Reilly no doubt tweaked NPR management when he said to Williams, “You actually work for NPR, OK?”)Indeed, NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard told “Talk of the Nation” Thursday that the network should have given Williams an ultimatum — NPR or Fox News.
Eric Boehlert of the left-wing MediaMatters used Williams’ firing to call on NPR to sever its association with Liasson, as well. Wrote Boehlert, “I’m not suggesting Liasson has said anything as offensive as Williams, or that she has that kind of track record while appearing on Fox. I’m just saying that if you look at NPR’s code of ethics, there’s simply no way Liasson should be making appearances on Fox.”
What an insidious pursuit. MediaMatters lives to pillory Fox News for being too conservative — at the same time, it tries to drive moderate commentators off Fox programming.
MediaMatters doesn’t want balance on Fox News. MediaMatters doesn’t want an exchange of ideas. MediaMatters wants to push Fox further to the right. Its toxic tactics are designed to widen the left-right divide in America by marginalizing not only conservatives, but anyone who associates with conservatives.
Read the rest.
I said essentially the same thing months ago in defense of Fox News when NPR attacked them for being too partisan, while simultaneously criticizing Mara Laissan for appearing on Fox News to cover the leftwing flank on the issues. It seems the insular bubbleheads at tax-payer funded NPR see no irony whatsoever in accusing Fox of being biased—even as they tried to prevent Fox News from including Mara Liasson and Juan Williams on their panels. No irony whatsoever! Or maybe they do see the irony, but in their intellectual elitism expect the American public won’t. After Juan William’s firing, you better believe Mara will now be walking on eggshells at Fox. You better believe that other moderates and Liberals will think twice before accepting an invitation to appear with Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Bill O’reilly lest the Fox News “taint” rub off on them. And I suppose that was precisely the desired effect.