Krauthammer to Nina Totenberg: Why did NPR fire Juan Williams but not you?

posted at 7:30 pm on October 23, 2010 by Allahpundit

He’s too much of a mensch to mention her most notorious bon mot, about Jesse Helms — or one of his grandkids — maybe deserving a little AIDS in the ol’ bloodstream as a matter of divine justice. I think they both have that quote in mind here, though, which explains why Totenberg is palpably uncomfortable with NPR’s sudden sticklerism about “analysts” offering controversial opinions in public. In fact, near as I can tell, not a single member of NPR thus far has been willing to call Williams’s firing an unvarnished triumph. And that includes the dummy responsible for the now infamous line about him maybe needing to consult with his shrink:

Even NPR’s own staff expressed exasperation at the decision during a meeting Friday with NPR’s president, Vivian Schiller. Several of those who attended said Schiller told employees that she regretted how she handled the episode…

In a meeting with employees that had been scheduled before the Williams story broke, Schiller acknowledged that NPR didn’t manage the firing well, but offered no specifics. She said NPR would conduct a “post-mortem” next week to review how the firing was handled, according to employees who attended the meeting, which was closed to the news media. Schiller didn’t say who would handle the review or what the consequences of it might be…

“There wasn’t anger” among NPR employees at the meeting, “but I did get a sense of despair and disappointment,” said one NPR journalist, who asked not to be named because employees are not authorized to speak on the record about the matter. “I got the impression that [management] felt they had acted rashly and without deliberation. When [Schiller] made the psychiatrist crack, it just made matters much, much worse.”

Schiller reiterated the company line about Williams violating journalistic ethics in an interview with the Times (in which she also insisted that NPR is sometimes accused of … catering to conservatives), then went on to say that the board of directors is completely behind the decision to fire him. Is that right? Hmmm:

“I agree with the principle, but am not happy with the execution,” Robert Gordon, an NPR board member and president of Nashville Public Radio, said after Williams was fired over comments about Muslims that he made on Fox News.

“The execution was very poorly timed. You have a lot of stations who are in fund drive mode now and that’s making it difficult.”…

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls and a lot of e-mails, and in fact, more than we’ve gotten about anything else,” Gordon said. “We’ve had a few people make donations in support of the decision, but more decided not to support us.”

I wouldn’t worry if I were him; as Jesse Walker reminds us, GOP threats to defund public broadcasting are evergreen but never go anywhere. Then again, this time could be different for the reason Andy McCarthy says: If the new tea party Congress doesn’t have the guts to pull the plug on NPR, how will they ever have the guts to defund ObamaCare? Exit question: Is NPR about to become a test case of Republican mettle among the base? Click the image to watch.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

The bigger question to me is what effect did the big donation from Soros have on the management decision to make THIS the big issue to get rid of Juan.

AnninCA on October 25, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Well done. I love a good roasting.

saiga on October 25, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Williams had a contract, which he signed and agreed to. He violated NPR’s guidelines in 2008, and again last week. His speech crossed a line. The workplace test is a good one. Most of us face it each day in the office. It is fine if he holds those views, but when he crosses over to advocating in public against a particular religion, that compromises his role.

Where, exactly did he advocate against a religion? Do you know the definition of the word “advocate”?

You really are a joke, aren’t you? You are fine with a gov’t institution (NPR) censoring speech?

And, how do you take wishing AIDS on someone out of context? I’d love to see NPR’s “code of ethics” from 15 years ago where that was perfectly acceptable.

You really can’t fathom any leftist actually being held accountable for anything, can you? That is how far your head is up the ideological marxist *ss of leftist ideology.

And what, exactly, did Williams do to violate NPR’s “ethics” (which is an oxymoron to begin with) in 2008?

To you it is perfectly o.k. for the CEO to make comments about Williams needing a shrink, but somehow Williams’ comments were beyond the pale? Talk about having no sense of morality. As long as you politically agree with someone, they are always right and anyone you find has sinned against your ideology is automatically wrong. Now that is moral relativism at its best. Good work at being such a cliche in your “thinking”.

Monkeytoe on October 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Williams had a contract, which he signed and agreed to. He violated NPR’s guidelines in 2008, and again last week. His speech crossed a line. The workplace test is a good one. Most of us face it each day in the office. It is fine if he holds those views, but when he crosses over to advocating in public against a particular religion, that compromises his role.

As Kauthammer states, show where Juan Williams crossed a line and Nina Totenberg didn’t.

I LOVED watching them squirm under the clear light of the Big K’s question. They have absolutely no moral ground to stand on.

itsspideyman on October 25, 2010 at 10:14 AM

It’s 3 on 1 and they can still barely hold their own against CK. LOL.

JeffB. on October 25, 2010 at 12:32 PM

said one NPR journalist

Hahahahahahahaha…”NPR” and “Journalist”, what a contradiction of terms! LOL!

jbh45 on October 25, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Monkeytoe, that you immediately resort to personal attacks when responding just shows your ignorance and inability to have a discussion. You have quite a bit of froth around your mouth (at least I hope it’s just froth), you might want to give it a wipe.

Extra special prosecutor, you are an idiot.

You really are a joke, aren’t you?

That is how far your head is up the ideological marxist *ss of leftist ideology.

Talk about having no sense of morality.

Good work at being such a cliche in your “thinking”.

Extra Special Prosecutor on October 26, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3