NPR fires Juan Williams over comments about Muslims flying

posted at 8:45 am on October 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Juan Williams warned that political correctness leads to a paralysis that keeps people from addressing reality — and then ended up a victim of just that kind of political correctness in the very next breath.  NPR terminated his contract, even though just moments later Williams and Mary Katharine Ham speak about how important it is for commentators to distinguish between moderate and extremist Muslims.  Too late, because Williams made the unpardonable sin of admitting that people boarding flights in “Muslim garb” makes him nervous:

The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. 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.”

Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.

He continued: “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.

NPR said in its statement that the remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

Does watching an entire segment and hearing remarks in context also conflict with NPR’s editorial standards and practices?  The Right Scoop has the entire six-minute-plus segment, and do what NPR failed to do — watch the whole thing:

With the exception of the very beginning, when Williams made the statement that so offended NPR, Williams and Mary Katharine took a position mainly opposite of Bill O’Reilly, with both stating that the distinction between extremist Muslims and the rest was an important one to make, Mary Katharine more for strategic purposes, and Williams on journalistic grounds.

But then again, Williams was arguing for tolerance, and that apparently violates NPR’s “editorial standards and practices.”  Clearly, NPR only wants opinion journalists that agree with the opinions of NPR, and I mean totally agree.  An NPR opinion journalist had better not admit to having a normal human reaction about potential for terrorism nine years after 3,000 Americans got killed by radical Muslims on commercial air flights, or else. The rest of NPR’s cast just got an object lesson about the range of opinion tolerated by management.

But, hey, that’s NPR’s prerogative.  After all, it’s not as if they’re government sponsored in any way.  Oh, wait …

Michelle Malkin:

As I’ve said many times before: Political correctness is the handmaiden of terror.

Condolences to Juan Williams, whom I’ve debated –vigorously, but always with respect and cordiality — many times over the years.

Hope this accelerates his journey on the ideological learning curve. And I hope he doesn’t back down. …

Worth noting: NPR affiliate employee Sarah Spitz at public radio station KCRW wishes death on Rush Limbaugh…not a firing offense.

Andrew Malcolm reminds us that one of the few bipartisan areas of consensus is that political correctness has run amuck:

A majority of Americans, who are globally famous for candidly saying what they think, now say they believe that their country has become too politically correct.

new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that nearly six in 10 respondents (57%) say they think we’ve gotten too hung up on too many sensibilities. Can we even talk about this with the other 43%? …

But here’s an interesting result from the Rasmussen research: Nearly three out of four Americans say they think that political correctness is a problem.

So, wait a minute: More people think PC is a problem than think there’s too much of it. So, how then is it a problem?

Of course, we respect the right of some people to hold nonsensical views like that. Such thoughtful minorities are an important part of the diverse American identity.

Rasmussen also finds that 13% say they disagree with the 74% and think PC is not a problem. And another 13% are wishy-washy can’t-decides who should probably move to Canada.

The problem is that the first 13% would tell the 74% to either shut up about it, or get branded as bigots or haters for wanting to discuss it.  And that 13% either work for or listen to NPR, apparently.

Why not just have Juan Williams debate the issue on NPR?  Get him on a panel with other NPR opinion journalists and either have him defend himself or best him with actual argument?  It’s not like Williams just got hired by NPR, after all; he’s been there for eleven years.  Rather than explore the topic, NPR decided to can him instead in order to maintain their “editorial standards and practices,” but more to the point, their editorial and ideological purity.  That’s exactly what Williams meant when he warned about political correctness, and unwittingly turned himself into an object lesson in it.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

Another Shirley Sherrod moment for the left.

unclesmrgol on October 21, 2010 at 2:28 PM

http://www.soros.org/initiatives/usprograms/focus/transparency/news/npr-grant-20101018

This has Soros all over it! Didn’t he just announce he wants to take Fox News & Beck down? I guess Jaun was his first casualty.

Dscw66 on October 21, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Check out http://www.weaselzippers.us website. They actually have 4 posts up regarding NPR. 1. Soros 1.8M “donation” to NPR, 2.Interview with the NPR CEO, 3. Internal NPR memo on JW’s Firing, 4.NPR contact us page MELTDOWN!

sicoit on October 21, 2010 at 2:38 PM

He got what he deserves…this is the type of country he has been fighting for, for decades. Now he has reaped the benefit of what he fought so hard to create.

right2bright on October 21, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Nobody pays much attention to NPR anyways.

The fools in D.C. do.

Mr. Grump on October 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Yes, by giving them our tax dollars. I’m so sick of it! One of my more progressive friends made a comment about not understanding the Tea Party and people ‘who don’t want to pay taxes.’ She said it was just greed and un-Christian. Hey, I don’t mind paying taxes. I mind paying taxes that are used for immoral crap! I include the unjust propaganda machine, NPR, in that.

pannw on October 21, 2010 at 2:47 PM

His reaction to Muslims on a plane with him is by definition bigoted.

He formulated an opinion about people based solely on their appearance.

Just admit it and move the f*ck on.

Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Y’all heard Dave. Those were Protestants with covered dishes that hijacked those planes. There is no such guy named Soros and speaking the truth is verboten. N othing to see here. Move along.

kingsjester on October 21, 2010 at 3:22 PM

His reaction to Muslims on a plane with him proves he’s got common sense, not that he’s a bigot.

I don’t always agree with Williams, but he’s a smart and decent man. He doesn’t deserve the crap he’s taking from the extremists on both sides.

As Matt Welch points out, the backstory is that NPR doesn’t like their employees appearing on Fox. Mara Liasson has also run into trouble, and was forced to show clips to the powers-that-be proving that FNC airs all points of view. This was during the brunt of the WH attack on Fox, and NPR backed down.

But it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her make an exit from one or the other in the near future.

Meredith on October 21, 2010 at 3:22 PM

The Cair guy, Ibriham Hooper just said on Megyn Kelly that Juan Williams doesn’t have the same views as NPR because he has become more right leaning. He said that NPR is obviously left leaning and Juan doesn’t share NPR’s viewpoints. WOW, I thought NPR was funded by ALL taxpayers, NPR needs to be shut down.

reshas1 on October 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM

To read the Ombudsman’s weekly column, please visit: http://www.npr.org/blogs/ombudsman/

Ombudsman Contact Information:

For E-mail, please use the “Contact Us” form at http://help.npr.org/npr/includes/customer/npr/custforms/contactus.aspx
Phone: (202) 513-3245 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 513-3245

reshas1 on October 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Dave,

What definition are you using?

ajsleepy on October 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Liberals are the most closed minded and bigoted and hypocritical of all people…no problem with them calling all Tea Party members, racists, extremists, radicals, a typical broad brush. Or the NAACP calling them racists.
All the liberal media calling them “tea baggers”, yeah, no problem there…or the liberals calling soldiers murderers, no problem there. Or a black man saying that when walking down the street he gets nervous passing another black man, in fact he would cross the street to avoid his “brother”.
But let a remark trip out of a liberals mouth about Muslims, oboy, that is a big no-no.
Williams got what he has fought for all of his life…intolerance and absolute authority over what we say.
Welcome comrade to your world…

right2bright on October 21, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Look at the crap that NPR gets tax dollars to air: The gross putridness of Terry Gross.
http://www.nprsucks.com/shows13.htm

maryo on October 21, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Look, it’s absolutely clear that Juan Williams’ statements were inconsistent with the editorial positions of NPR.

He stated that “political correctness leads to a paralysis that keeps people from addressing reality”.

That position simply cannot be countenanced by the editorial board of NPR. Ever. That’s why he had to be fired.

VekTor on October 21, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Y’all heard Dave. Those were Protestants with covered dishes that hijacked those planes. There is no such guy named Soros and speaking the truth is verboten. N othing to see here. Move along.

kingsjester on October 21, 2010 at 3:22 PM
———–

To be scared of all Muslims on planes is stoopid.

Stay stoopid.

Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:34 PM

A One View World Order paid for my taxpayers who may have differing views is not acceptable position for a government funded organization. This organization needs to be shut down or forced to provide equal time ala’ The Fairness Doctrine. And people who call for the death of any human being need to be fired forthwith and immediately.

Sultry Beauty on October 21, 2010 at 3:35 PM

WOW, I thought NPR was funded by ALL taxpayers, NPR needs to be shut down.

reshas1 on October 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Their funding is less than 3 percent. I just checked and they get 1 to 3 percent depending on the how their year is going.

fastestslug on October 21, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Dave,

What definition are you using?

ajsleepy on October 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM
——-
Williams the moron is assuming someone who gee shucks kinda looks Mooslim – must be wearing one of those weird man dresses – must be Mooslim, and therefore there’s a high risk he’s a turrist. Such a tiny fu*king mind, his.

Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Stay classy.

kingsjester on October 21, 2010 at 3:38 PM

He formulated an opinion about people based solely on their appearance.

Make note that the specified “appearance understood to mean Muslim First” by definition includes dogmatic-Jihadist-first being ok with the compliant orthodox Muslim that never turns on a Jihadist supported by their local orthodox fundamentalist Islamic mullahs who must be approved by Jihadist communities in Islam before being allowed to preside over American Muslim communities. So say the non-practicing Muslims and the anti-Jihadist mullah in America whose life is threatened by Jihadists for exposing how it is with them all.

“Based solely on appearance” fails to acknowledge who claimed credit for demolishing the Twin Towers and hitting the Pentagon, successfully murdering thousands of Americans and permanently scarring and handicapping thousands of surviving American rescue workers and cleaning crews.

To penalize human instinct is the epitome of bigotry @ 3:09.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Bill O’Reilly: ‘It’s Over for NPR’

Nearly Nobody on October 21, 2010 at 3:40 PM

I just checked and they get 1 to 3 percent depending on the how their year is going.

fastestslug on October 21, 2010 at 3:36 PM

I had to chuckle, “depending on how their year is going.” Given federal convoluted rationale, NPR gets more tax funds when stridently assaulting integrity all the more to keep PC a secure governing stronghold.

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Breaking news…O’Reilly is fired from Fox News for supporting a liberal….
That is about how ridiculous this firing is.
However, I will still state…Juan has brought this on himself, these are the people and thought (like Rywall) that he has supported, defended, and promoted…he got what he earned.

right2bright on October 21, 2010 at 3:49 PM

right2bright on October 21, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Yeah, “as ye sow”…. Too soon to tell if there’s really a prodigal son coming to his senses?

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 3:58 PM

o be scared of all Muslims on planes is stoopid.

Stay stoopid.

Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Dave Rywall: Think WW2,the Japanese and Germans!!

Everybody was suspicious!!

Btw,thats some bubble you live in,
carry on!

canopfor on October 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:34 PM
============================

Stay classy.

kingsjester on October 21, 2010 at 3:38 PM

kingsjester: Interesting to see how Leftys like WroughtWall
respond to their own,throwing Juan Williams
under the bus!!

Its at a point,where dialogue is useless with
the LEFT,they,them,those will never get it!!:)

canopfor on October 21, 2010 at 4:13 PM

In related news. Video of the pentagons latest anti terror weapon being deployed in AfPak theater. Awesome!

ronsfi on October 21, 2010 at 4:07 PM

ronsfi: Hehe,strap a few HellFires on her,and then were
talking,haha!!:)

canopfor on October 21, 2010 at 4:14 PM

“Juan Williams is now a full-time Fox News contributor”

Iblis on October 21, 2010 at 4:23 PM

…and publicly sorry that he spoke hastily (i.e., “wrong”).

maverick muse on October 21, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Williams the moron is assuming someone who gee shucks kinda looks Mooslim – must be wearing one of those weird man dresses – must be Mooslim, and therefore there’s a high risk he’s a turrist. Such a tiny fu*king mind, his.

Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Have you always harbored these racist sentiments Dave?

Inanemergencydial on October 21, 2010 at 4:49 PM

To be scared of all Muslims on planes is stoopid.

Stay stoopid.

Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:34 PM

To be scared of no Muslims on planes is stoopid.

Stay stoopid.

MadisonConservative on October 21, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Keep Juan Williams. Can NPR.

Sorry if this has already been mentioned in this thread.

But it bears repeating. And in that vein if it hasn’t already been mentioned I’ll reapeat it:

Keep Juan Williams. Can NPR.

speed on October 21, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Thanks, government news!

BKennedy on October 21, 2010 at 5:11 PM

I’ll donate to Juan W. before I give NPR a dime–oh wait they are supported by tax money so I will be giving them my dime even if I don’t won’t to. And they back choice, don’t they?

chickasaw42 on October 21, 2010 at 5:15 PM

For what its worth , Beck is just destroying NPR, Soros and the progressive cabal over Williams firing.
Great stuff.

jjshaka on October 21, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Dave,
What definition are you using?
ajsleepy on October 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM
——-
Williams the moron is assuming someone who gee shucks kinda looks Mooslim – must be wearing one of those weird man dresses – must be Mooslim, and therefore there’s a high risk he’s a turrist. Such a tiny fu*king mind, his.
Dave Rywall on October 21, 2010 at 3:36 PM

So is the American Heritage dictionary definition for “bigot” or somewhere else? Just wondering since you avoided actually answering my question…

ajsleepy on October 21, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Well, it’s nice to see Dave picking up Narutoboy’s slack.

I was worried this place was going to become civilized. Never fear!

Merovign on October 21, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Economic Justice. Social Justice.

H/T boss emeritus: Williams just signed a $2M contract with FN

ElRonaldo on October 21, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Scrappy on October 21, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I posted the link for MadCon on page 2 of this thread I think.

Cindy Munford on October 21, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5