As I'm sure you've heard, National Pubic Radio has fired commentator Juan Williams for comments he made on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" that they felt were "inconsistent with its editorial standards and practices." What did Williams say that was so beyond the pale for NPR?
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 a 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.
Later in that same segment, Williams also took O'Reilly to task for his statement on "The View" where he painted Muslims as terrorists, saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Timothy McVeigh.
First off, I'm not a fan of Mr. Williams' politics by any stretch of the imagination. But I will stand behind him on his firing because, in truth, his "offense" was taken out of context. When combined with his statement about Christians not being responsible for McVeigh (an odd comparison to make, but that's a blog post for another time), Williams doesn't come off as bigoted as NPR seems to think he is.
It's not unlike the Shirley Sherrod situation where her comments were taken out of context
By a right-wing website.
and used as justification for her to lose her job with the Department of Agriculture.
“Used as justification”? What are you implying here?
Personally, I think Sherrod should have lost her job for reasons other than the comments she made at a meeting of the NAACP, but that's neither here nor there. The Juan Williams situation bears an eerie resemblance to the Shirley Sherrod situation in one important way.
Shirley Sherrod tells a story about how she had a change of heart and abandoned her justified racism and is fired hastily based on an edited tape and for that, she is racist. Juan Williams on the other hand says a personal, bigoted statement with the credentials of a corporation (NPR) in a public forum in full context and is fired by his company, but he’s not a bigot? Must have been because the former was about white people while the latter about Muslims, who we all know are not people, right? Funny, i didn't hear clapping (like that dipshit Breitbart said repeatedly) in that edited video.
The Agriculture Department fired Sherrod before they had the full story. Sherrod's comments were made at an obscure event, and the full video didn't emerge before Sherrod was asked to resign. Thus, they made their decision based solely on the out of context clip posted on the right-wing Breitbart's site (and Fox News.com). By contrast, Williams made his statement on a national cable broadcast -- NPR had access to as much context as they wanted.
It was white Leftists doing the firing in both cases.
Seems our lily white friends on the Left have no problem dumping a person of color when they become "radioactive," even when the comments in question are taken out of context and whipped up into a frothy glass of self-righteous indignation. But Leftists never take someone's words out of context and creates straw man arguments out of them, right? I mean, aside from Media Matters...and the Huffington Post...and DailyKos...and DemocraticUnderground...and MoveOn.org...okay, you get the picture.
This comment by Lindaman is pretty funny, considering when asked to prove Media Matters was dishonest, he had to use a proven Anti-Semite (Andy Martin) as a source… because Media Matters said he was, well, an Anti-Semite.
As of this posting, our good friends at the NAACP have yet to weigh in on the Williams firing, but I'm sure they're working on their statement as we speak. Unless, of course, they're too busy whipping up more racist lies about the TEA Parties. Then, their response might be delayed, but I'm sure it will be lightning fast when they do it.
“Racist lies?” Do tell!
- Virtually no demonstrated Teabagger anger at GW Bush
-The Mark Williams letter
-Teabagger Sarah Palin attacks the NAACP and makes no mention of Williams' letter
-Tea Party Gingrich/Beck embrace D'Souza’s racist article
-Paladrino racist emails
-Rand Paul’s anti Civil Rights position
-VA Beach Teabagger Republican racist black dog email
-Texas Tea Party voter intimidation against minorities
-POTUS attacked as "angel of Death” by Colorado TP group
-Dick Armey accuses Democratic Minority early voters of voter fraud
-Several racist Billboards against POTUS this year
-Viral attacks against NAACP for seeing racist elements in TP
-TP racism always denied by TP leaders( ex M. Williams)
-TP defends Breitbart and O'Keefe
-TP only sees racism in NAACP,POTUS,Holder,Sotomayor, Michelle Obama
While I'm sure Mr. Williams isn't holding his breath waiting for the NAACP's statement, plenty of people from both sides of the aisle are upset with NPR's rash action, as we should be. Williams was fired for nothing more than expressing an honest personal opinion within the context of a larger conversation, a conversation I might add that the Left doesn't want. NPR's actions reek of the same reflexive desperation that Shirley Sherrod faced from the Department of Agriculture, and I see the same result coming. The white Leftists will eventually cave and give Williams his job back in the hopes that everything will be forgiven and forgotten.
Let's hope Juan Williams forgives, but never forgets.
It's about time NPR fired Juan! Long overdue.
The 9/11 hijackers weren't dressed in "traditional Muslim garb" (whatever THAT is). They blended in. Too bad bigots like Juan don't understand that.
Juan's comments are the equivalent of "If I see a black man dressed in a way I don't like, I get nervous when I'm near him." I guarantee you if a white liberal candidate said that, Fox and right-wing bloggers would be all over him.
Fox is upset about this, of course. Fox is mad because Juan appeared on Fox frequently (being Bill O'Reilly's little bitch), thus Fox could claim they had a black "Democrat" on there. Liberals knew better, of course. Now Juan's credibility is gone, and Fox has lost even more credibility.
Williams was not a "commentator" like Glenn Beck, therefore he has to have journalistic integrity. Williams knew the rules at NPR on how to conduct himself. Williams had been previously warned about making statements which were in violation of NPR rules. Juan's recent comments destroyed any sense of impartiality he may have had, and his statements damage the integrity of NPR. They had every right to fire him.
And before right-wingers try to say it: No, NPR is not federally funded. It's public and privately funded. It's a non profit, private organization, not a government one. The ONLY government money they get adds up to less than 2% of their budget, and comes from federal grants, which they compete for, to support specific programs. Similar to what happens with faith-based initiatives. Even if NPR gets a small amount of public financing, much like a church that receives public money through faith based initiatives, it is not a government entity for purposes of the First Amendment. Getting fired by your employer for saying stupid, bigoted things is not a threat to free speech. That's why it's called the free market, you bootstrappers.
And now Juan is in bigot heaven: Fox News, where credibility and integrity do not matter.
Just like the Sherrod situation, right-wingers are red-faced and absolutely pissed because "leftists" aren't tolerating bigotry and are quick (in Sherrod's case, TOO quick) to dump their trash.
The "leftists" dump bigots, while the right-wingers put them on a pedestal and give them multi-million dollar contracts.
Naturally, right-wingers are going to say NPR is intolerant for being intolerant of intolerance.
Right-wingers sticking up for (and in this case, actually hiring) bigotry yet again. Gotta love it!