Juan Williams' firing by NPR is very disappointing

Juan Williams' firing by NPR is very disappointing. But NPR has been looking for an excuse to fire both Juan Williams and Mara Liasson for some time. Indeed, they came close to forcing Mara Liasson out recently. As to William's statement, the fact a certain group of people are more likely than another to hijack a plane seems beyond debate. Williams did not say that Muslims who were dressed a certain way would hijack the plane, just that the odds were higher. If NPR disagreed, it would be interesting to hear their explanation.

Possibly, NPR doesn't appreciate how much free advertising they get every time Williams and Liasson appear on Fox News. They might also simply dislike Fox News so much that they can't stand the connection. The only really rational reason that I can think of is that they felt that Fox News' audience was constantly being reminded how liberal NPR is.

Some very questionable comments by others at NPR that did not result in their removal.

Some comments by Juan Williams and others:

Juan Williams: NPR Fired Me For Making "Bigoted Statement"

"The firing of Juan was a total mistake and it sends the wrong message," "View" host Whoopi Goldberg said.

"He's [Juan] better off out of there than being in that snake pit," Bill O'Reilly said.

"I think it is an act of total censorship. I think that the U.S. Congress should investigate NPR and consider cutting off their money. I think the whole idea that if you honestly say how you feel about Islam and about -- what he said was very balanced. People should really what he actually said. The idea that that's the excuse for National Public Radio to censor Juan Williams, I think is an outrage and to every listener to NPR should be enraged that there's this kind of bias against an American," Gingrich said.

UPDATE: "NPR CEO walks back 'psychiatrist' comment"

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller told an audience in Atlanta today that Juan Williams's feelings about Muslims should have been kept between himself and “his psychiatrist or his publicist,” NPR reported.

But she later walked back those comments, issuing a statement saying: “I spoke hastily, and I apologize to Juan for my thoughtless remark.”

So will Ms. Schiller be fired?

Finally, more from Juan Williams:

I say an ideological battle because my comments on "The O’Reilly Factor" are being distorted by the self-righteous ideological, left-wing leadership at NPR. They are taking bits and pieces of what I said to go after me for daring to have a conversation with leading conservative thinkers. They loathe the fact that I appear on Fox News. They don’t notice that I am challenging Bill O’Reilly and trading ideas with Sean Hannity. In their hubris they think by talking with O’Reilly or Hannity I am lending them legitimacy. Believe me, Bill O’Reilly (and Sean, too) is a major force in American culture and politics whether or not I appear on his show.

Years ago NPR tried to stop me from going on "The Factor." When I refused they insisted that I not identify myself as an NPR journalist. I asked them if they thought people did not know where I appeared on the air as a daily talk show host, national correspondent and news analyst. They refused to budge. . . .

And he has this on Friday:

“NPR, and especially this last group of managers, became vindictive [and,] as you can see, personal in terms of their antagonism toward me,” he said. . . .

NPR's Ombudsman has this post here. She writes: "Ultimately, however, it seems management felt he had become more of a liability than an asset. Unfortunately, I agree." But there is not much of an explanation for why she agrees. She also doesn't discuss his entire presentation and takes the short quote out of context.

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Blogger Unknown said...

What I find interesting is the look of betrayal on Juan Williams face during a Fox interview earlier today. I would not be surprised if this incident opens some eyes and we see a handful of high profile people leaving the liberal camp over this, possibly including Juan Williams himself.

10/21/2010 3:57 PM  
Blogger 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!

10/21/2010 5:12 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Boycott the sponsors!!!

Oh, wait, that would be me, a taxpayer.

10/21/2010 11:14 PM  

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