In one swift action, National Public Radio (NPR) has revealed its true colors and crossed the line so egregiously that perhaps its funding will be cut off once and for all. Because Juan Williams, who up until a few days ago, worked for both NPR and Fox News, expressed a personal feeling about Muslims on an airplane, he was fired by NPR. Not only does NPR’s action reveal political correctness run amok, but it also shows their hypocrisy. Bash conservatives, and it’s ok. Bash Christianity, and it’s ok. But say anything about Muslims, and you’re fired.
Before we go any further, let me first state that when Juan Williams offers commentary on Fox News, I disagree with about 90% of it. However, he has always presented his views in a reasonable, thoughtful manner, and is considered a professional by his peers. In an appearance on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, Williams made the following comments which started this whole firestorm.
And then, NPR dropped the hammer. In an internal memo by NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller, she writes:
First, a critical distinction has been lost in this debate. NPR News analysts have a distinctive role and set of responsibilities. This is a very different role than that of a commentator or columnist. News analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts, and that’s what’s happened in this situation. As you all well know, we offer views of all kinds on your air every day, but those views are expressed by those we interview – not our reporters and analysts.
Second, this isn’t the first time we have had serious concerns about some of Juan’s public comments. Despite many conversations and warnings over the years, Juan has continued to violate this principal.
Third, these specific comments (and others made in the past), are inconsistent with NPR’s ethics code, which applies to all journalists (including contracted analysts).
Schiller went on to write that “Juan’s comments on Fox violated our standards as well as our values and offended many in doing so.” Wow… I guess she put all that in writing, because I’m sure she couldn’t say all of that with a straight face.
First, let’s look at this from the perspective of hypocrisy. As documented in a story on FoxNews.com, NPR has a long history of imbalance and intolerance.
— In June, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) said it was easy to see why some refer to NPR as “National Palestine Radio” following a June 2 segment hosted by Tom Ashbrook on the Gaza flotilla incident. The segment featured five guests — none of whom defended Israel’s actions.
— In 2002, the head of NPR issued an apology six months after a report linking anthrax-laced letters to a Christian conservative organization.
— In 1995, Nina Totenberg, NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent, was allowed to keep her job after telling the host of PBS’ “Inside Washington” that if there was “retributive justice” in the world, former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms would “get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.”
And the list goes on and on. Bill Moyers, who works for PBS, the sister channel of NPR, still holds his job even though he is blatantly biased against conservatives and Republicans. The Weekly Standard reports that Moyers gets to keep his job even though he compares “the Taliban to Republicans.”
Second, let’s look at this from the perspective of political correctness. In this case, if you are anti-Christian, anti-conservative, or anti-Republican, you have a place to say whatever you want on NPR, but they flinch if anything is said with expresses a sentiment outside of their “values” even if those sentiments reflect human nature. Juan Williams is not a racist nor is he a bigot. He simply expressed a feeling that almost all Americans would feel. And that feeling is based on a combination of race, setting, and perception.
Example…. Let’s say I was told by a friend that there is a guy in the office who has a football ticket for sale. I go up to this man — a black man wearing a suit — and pull out my wallet to purchase the ticket. In the process, the black man looks at the wallet, and says, “Nice wallet.” I return the compliment by saying, “Thanks” and continue the transaction.
Now, let’s say I’m nearly out of gas, and I’m forced to pull into a gas station in the “bad” part of town. As I pull out my wallet at the pump to swipe my debit card, a black man walks up with his underwear hanging out, hat on sideways, and has chest pushed out with his best “tough guy” look. He says, “Nice wallet.” Would my heart start beating faster? Would yours?
Or how about going to a party? I usually dress in a t-shirt and shorts, but let’s say for that night, I dress up a little bit. I see a white friend of mine. The fact that I’m dressed up takes him by surprise, and he says, “Dude… looking sharp.” I say, “Whatever, dude” and go about having a good time.
Now, let’s say that I’m out camping in the woods near some Louisiana bayou. I see a few white guys who are missing some teeth, wearing overalls, and one is carrying a banjo. The banjo guy looks at me and says, “My, my… you sure look purdy.” Would my heart start beating faster? Would yours?
Those examples illustrate what Williams was referring to in his comments to Bill O’Reilly. It has to do with race, setting, and perception. Just think about the following quote: “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery… then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” Who said it? None other than Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
There is absolutely no reason that taxpayers should be paying for NPR or PBS. If there is an audience for that type of left-wing, anti-Christian commentary, then let the audience pay for it… not the American taxpayer. NPR’s President and CEO should be fired for blatantly not enforcing the standards to which she applied to Williams but not to other so-called “journalists.” And finally, we MUST move past all this politically correct nonsense. Human nature is human nature. Does anyone think that people would be apprehensive on a plane seeing Muslims dressed in Muslim garb if radical Muslims hadn’t crashed planes into buildings on 9/11 or if the vast majority of terrorist attacks over the last several decades weren’t perpetrated by radical Muslims? No. But that is not the reality.
Note: Please circulate this column and urge NPR to fire their President and CEO Vivian Schiller.
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