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  • NPR Fires Juan Williams For What?

    This morning, the media world was shocked to learn that Juan Williams was fired from National Public Radio (NPR) as a result of opinions he expressed last night on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor. Williams has been a long-time contributor to Fox News, where he offers unabashed center-left commentary.

    The controversy is hard to figure out. During the segment in question, Williams defended Muslims from being painted with broad strokes, even though he had also felt the personal twangs of fear when on an airline with a religiously-garbed Muslim post-9/11. Many Americans may identify with this honest introspective position. Juan Williams, author of numerous civil rights books, was preaching tolerance in the face of his own self-doubts.

    This whitewashing of news is typical of liberal media professionals who fear that the mere reporting of facts or a debate of views may incite some sort of American violence against a particular group. Of course, this ignores that such movements rarely exist. If anything, America was a model of tolerance following 9/11 as the nation stood together denouncing stereotypes even as they shared Juan Williams’ personal twangs of fear while boarding airlines.

    If you wanted to add politics to the equation, our nation seemed to be much more tolerant in the seven post-9/11 years under President Bush, than under the following two under President Obama. Why is that?

    Under President Bush, we were often and repeatedly told that this was not a war against a religion but against those that corrupted their religion. Americans understood this, accepted it, and supported the war’s prosecution. Under President Obama, we are told that religion had nothing to do with the terrorism to begin with, there is no “Global War on Terror” and we should bend over backwards to appeal to those who use religion as vehicle for hate against us. Americans do not understand this, do not accept it, and still want terrorism to be prosecuted in an honest environment.

    But back to NPR. Do they have the right to fire Juan Williams? Of course. Juan has a first amendment right to say what he feels, and NPR has a business right to fire any of their employees for actions they deem harmful to their reputation. But American taxpayers also have a right to demand better business practices from an organization they help fund through tax dollars. NPR receives 16 percent of its funding from tax dollars and has a responsibility to justify that expenditure to us.

    NPR has built a reputation for espousing a liberal view that goes largely unchecked. While liberals bash Fox News for having a conservative bent, they are defensive of organizations such as the New York Times or NPR who provide the “mainstream” liberal dogma on a daily basis. NPR will defend itself by pointing out that its staff register as “independents” and that political affiliation is not a factor in their news reporting, but it is impossible to ignore the reality of their liberal point of view. If NPR wants to be a liberally bent news organization, that is their prerogative, but should taxpayers support this endeavor? No.

    The push for political correctness over the past two years has reached a point that is threatening our civil discourse. This is especially noted when conservatives are called racist for opposing the president’s economic and domestic policies. It’s also seen in what isn’t reported, as much as what is.

    This was demonstrated a few weeks ago when ABC’s This Week host Christiane Amanpour hosted a “town hall” on American’s fears of Islam. Amanpour responded to guest Anjem Choudary’s statement that “We do believe as Muslims the East and the West will one day be governed by the Sharia, indeed we believe that one day the flag of Islam will fly over the White House…the day of judgment will not come until a group of my oma [sic] conquer the White House” with an “OK.”

    The obvious purpose of the town hall was to paint ”fears” of Islam as irrational, spending a great deal of the hour chastising the Reverend Franklin Graham as intolerant. But when Amanpour’s guest, Mr. Choudary, threatened America and supported terrorism, the topic was changed and his comments went unchallenged, and unreported. Certainly, ABC would fire Amanpour for dismal ratings before her casual exchange with this man who glorified radical jihad and terrorism, but there wasn’t even a mainstream debate over this banter. But even without a national debate, Americans watching that program were smart enough to see Choudary as a man corrupting a religion rather than someone representing it.

    It goes without question that Juan Williams is an honest analyst and reporter. We certainly don’t agree with him on many issues, but his discourse is civil and even handed. When he sees an opportunity to reach across the ideological spectrum to support an issue, he will, as he did with The Heritage Foundation when he narrated our documentary “Let Me Rise” on the topic of school choice and the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships the Obama administration ripped out of the hands of inner-city students trying to get a better education. NPR should have embraced the ability for Juan Williams to reach across the aisle and hold these conversations, rather than once again prove that its desire is to promote a liberal narrative rather than a truthful debate.

    Juan Williams is not the first and will not be the last journalist fired under the guise of political opportunity (will Mara Liasson be next?). But Williams’ firing will highlight the hypocrisy of a media outlet that tolerates hateful speech directed at conservatives (“Teab#*gers” anyone?) but shows no such tolerance for honest and thoughtful introspection, even when it comes from the left as in the case of Juan Williams. His firing will also highlight the funding that NPR receives, and hopefully cause legislators in the next Congress to consider whether that is a necessary use of our tax dollars. Are we truly without enough television and radio choices in America today that we must continue to prop up an entity such as NPR? Maybe we should thank NPR for opening this debate.

    Click here to watch Juan Williams in ‘Let Me Rise’

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to NPR Fires Juan Williams For What?

    1. janet ca uysa says:

      So much for free speech the end of America. stop the funding now.

    2. Billie says:

      Dear Mr Williams, I am a fan from afar. Inspired by your ethics of dignity and integrity as a man. You are much too intelligent to be employed by this brainwashing, hypocritical, racial profiling, discriminating government. You are worth so much more! Thank you for the man you are, please stay strong in your convictions as we are all AMERICANS! My husband and I look forward to seeing you in the private industry on FOX, the most trusting, competent and dignified news station, we've observed.

      All devoted Muslims read the Koran. The words of the Koran are clear…

    3. Sherry , Los Angeles says:

      NPR you are a disgrace & not for Americans !!!

      Vivian Schiller is disgusting, ignorant & also a disgrace!!!!

      I to get skittish when I see muslims in their "garb"

      on the plane as well.

      THIS IS REALITY FOLKS……..

      I don't always agree with Juan Williams views, but what you did to him

      over a truthful feeling, that MOST of us have as well, is Un-American.

      Our tax dollars should not be wasted on NPR!!!!!

    4. dannyroberts Phoenix says:

      i'm curious, can any one in your organization tell me how long it usually takes for a one paragraph comment, to be moderated. i made my first one in two months about four hours ago and as i'm typing this at 7:30

      Arizona time, it's still not posted and under moderation.

      thank you for your consideration.

    5. Mary, Chicago says:

      I am absolutely outraged about the way NPR has treated Mr. Juan Williams. I watch him on Fox News and have read many of the things he has written. I am so sorry to hear that he has been treated in such a totally disrespectful way and I am dismayed as to why my taxes pay to keep NPR on the air. You all need to grow up and get real jobs. As far as I'm concerned you need to get off welfare. How dare you insult Juan Williams when he is one of the only NPR people who have made you the least bit tolerable. He's not crazy but think you are all delusional! I want the funding to NPR gone.

    6. Nancy Husch, Herndon says:

      Juan has not always been my favorite person, but I respect his right to state his opinion. NPR has shown it's true colors and I'm sure the $1.8 million that Soros donated to them has nothing to do with the firing of Juan. I hope he gets a really good lawyer after they stated on air that he may need help with a mental problem. NPR should not be receiving any public funding.

    7. Pete, Houston Texas says:

      I usually listen to several news shows on the way to work and jump from the stations that are both right and left to hear boths sides. I will drop NPR from FM button 3 due to this action. I enjoy listening to Mr. Williams commentary and analysis of the current events. I do not see where Mr. Williams has done anything incorrect. NPR will need to reevaluate what and who they are before I will tune in or donate to them. NPR seems to just be another governmental puppet that is focused on the Obama agenda vs being an independant news agency.

    8. Twister says:

      NPR firing Juan Williams? The lefties are eating their own now.

    9. Drew Page, IL says:

      Seems to me that NPR is run by a group of far left liberals who can't tolerate opinions other than those they authorize.

    10. william boyer says:

      I can see no reason for NPR. It is time that the money provided to fund them is used for better purposes.

    11. Nancy Husch, Herndon says:

      Juan is not my favorite person, but for NPR to do this and the way they did it, totally wrong. I sure hope Juan gets a really good lawyer for the way NPR, in public, tried to claim he has some kind of mental problem. This is wrong in so many ways. NPR has never been at the top of my list but it has definately gone to the bottom.

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