Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fox All Stars Ought to Be Interesting Tonight: Will Williams Be on the Panel?

Juan Williams has been fired by NPR for exercising his right to free speech.  NPR claims Williams was let go because he expressed fear of Muslims on airplanes while on The O'Reilly Factor Monday evening.  The real truth seems to be something a little different, however.  NPR has never approved of Williams doing commentary on Fox News and has chastised Williams for stepping off the reservation in the first place.  "He tends to speak one way on NPR and another on Fox," Alicia Shepard of NPR said.

This started when O'Reilly asked Williams about "the Muslim dilemma" in the United States.  O'Reilly said 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.” Williams agreed and responded:

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. 

The context of the response is O'Reilly's reference to extremist Muslim jihad.  He was not referring to peaceful Muslims living quietly as the rest of us do.   It's all about the context.

Yet NPR saw an opportunity to get rid of Williams because he wasn't following the party line.  I've disagreed with Williams on many issues;  some of the things I've heard him say on Fox All Stars leave me agape, but I've never disputed his right to say them.

In February, Politico reported that NPR was receiving pressure from their listeners over correspondents Mara Liasson and Juan Williams appearing on Fox News.  NPR disputed this story.  Yet here we are.

If NPR wants to get rid of Williams because they want commentators all spewing the same "kumbaya" pablum rather than one who speaks the truth, challenges the issues, and expresses an honest opinion, then by all means cut Williams loose.  But don't challenge Fox News that they aren't "fair and balanced" when you dismiss any semblance of balance and don't pretend you're doing it in the pious name of taking offense when your real purpose is there in plain view for us all to witness.

Afterthought:  There may be more to the story, as there often is, and we should wait and see.  It occurs to me that this might be like the "firing" of Marc Lamont Hill from Fox in October 2009 yet Hill continued to appear on many Fox programs as an analyst.  Maybe that will be the case with Williams and NPR.  Time will tell.

(More on Memeorandum)


Charlene said...

If Mr. Williams is a news person he should not make himself the news. He crossed the line and is not a cable news darling. So be it. I suppose more of these talking heads are needed on the right.

Sandy said...

It still angers me that NPR spews their drivel while being completely supported by my tax dollars.

Beth said...

Mr. Williams is not a "reporter", he's a commentator, and he's being punished for speaking what many of us believe.

I hope to see more of him on Fox. Even though I disagree with him on many of his liberal stances, and some of what he says leaves me gobsmacked too, I like him because he isn't a verbal flame thrower. At least with Mr. Williams you get good counter argument over hyperbole.

Laurence L. said...

Personally I can't stand the guy. Hannity gives him too much airtime (getting tired of Hannity too lol!) and I've been trying to ken why Fox is letting him on so much, BUT--that being said, I hope they put him on a lot more now! Heck, give him a slot. NPR has shown their true flag doing this, with their arrogance in lock step with the Obama Nation.

NPR is THE classic example of State Sponsored Radio with American tax dollars. Liberal, socialist, truthless, slanted, one sided, anti-American radio. Have you ever listened to it? If you have and you approve then you are in with it too. They even represent themselves as 'surviving only with your generous donations' pledge drive campaigns, several times a year, to grind more money out of whoever is fool enough to donate to The Cause.

Don't get me started.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Sandy, if you would listen to NPR, instead of Fox News, you might not be as angry and you also might be informed enough to know that NPR only gets a fraction of its support from "YOUR" tax dollars.

Tea baggers motto, "just make stuff up, forget reality."

Chris M. said...

Williams was fire not for a reasoned conclusion or a core belief. He was fired because he publicly reported a feeling state he has noticed in himself. It is as if NPR is saying, "Our employees are only allowed to have company approved and accepted feelings. If you stray from the approved menu of feelings, you are dead to us. And you all need to know the limits of tolerance."

Red said...

@Anonymous: Go suck eggs.

Sorry Pat but in my not-so-humble opinion peaceful muslims are about as real as unicorns. I agree with JW's observations and don't care what his reasons or motivations were for saying so. I don't always agree with the guy but NPR is full of the brown word.

Bob Belvedere said...

Quoted from and Linked to at:
Doubleplusungood: How Dare Juan Williams Speak The Truth!

G. R. said...

Anon @ 11:08,

First of all leave it to a lib to have no ball and makes comments as anonymous. Secondly, the only anger I picked up was the tone of your post. Thirdly, it doesn't matter if NPR only gets one dollar from the government it shouldn't be used a left wing propaganda machine when it's being paid for by all tax payers. They need to report the news as it is, and play Master Piece Theater and classical music like it was intended to.