Saturday, October 23, 2010

Juan for the Road



Striking a resounding blow against racism and prejudice, National Public Radio fired black journalist Juan Williams for saying "when I get on a plane, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Williams - the liberal author of multiple books on the Civil Rights movement - did not say that Muslims should be discriminated against, and in fact stressed that it's important to differentiate between average Muslims and radical Islamists.

Unfortunately, he forgot to differentiate between liberals and radical liberals, which is why his boss, lily-white NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, fired Williams without giving him the chance to respond. Moreover, she sneeringly announced to the world that she thinks Williams needs psychiatric care, because it's obviously crazy to think that a terrorist is more likely to be Muslim than Amish.


Williams considers the firing to be "vindictive," "antagonistic," "personal," and "vicious" - and numerous voices in politics and journalism are calling for an investigation of NPR, and a termination of the funding they receive from taxpayers.

In the meanwhile, we hope that on Vivian Schiller's next flight, she's seated between two young men wearing traditional Muslim garb...and that she has a long, long time to quietly think about whether or not their shoelaces look like fuses.

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was highly entertained watching Williams on The O'Reilly Factor. I hope Fox gives him his own show.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous- We've never been wild about Juan's opinions, but have liked and respected him as a seemingly good person who honestly believed what he was saying. It's useful to get that perspective, and it's to Fox's credit that they (unlike NPR) genuinely try to offer up contrasting political views on a regular basis.

Moreover, it seems like being on Fox has caused something of an ideological shift in Mr. Williams, and his opinions have become more moderate and less likely to be in lockstep with liberal orthodoxy. Which is why NPR had to make an example out of him.

TheDarkKnight said...

Anyone else think that "government funds" being given to a "media outlet" is in violation of the first amendment...?

I mean it has been proven time and time again that he/she who holds the purse-strings holds the control over who and what they say...

Seems to contradict the notion of a "free press"

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

While it is highly unlikely that you will encounter an Amish terrorist (this part of northern Indiana has many Amish), you better watch out for those Mennonites. They have electricity and drive cars and use tractors in their fields. Crazy!

Anonymous said...

Rush commented this week on how well-informed and articulate his female callers were. He let them talk without interruption because they were expressing the issues smartly and with passion. I think November 2 will demonstrate that this is the year the angry white woman aligns with the angry white male in the voting booth. She's not a political animal or bra burner type. Most likely she's a wife and mother. She carries her babies to term and raises them to be solid, productive citizens. Sometimes she's a soldier, a soldier's wife, or a soldier's mother. She loves this country and its founding principles but is very concerned about its and her family's future. This motivates her to speak out against the hypocrisy and elitism of the Vivian Schillers who dominate entertainment and media. She believes strongly in a woman's right to choose. Only, she won't be doing it in her doctor's office; she'll be doing it at her voting precinct with a ballot.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous (immediately above)- You're absolutely right...and your point about how conservative women will exercise their "right to choose" is brilliant.

John the Econ said...

Now that the standard has been set, when can we expect Nina Totenberg to be fired for hate and obvious psychosis?

Pete(Detroit) said...

Looking at that cartoon again, I realize I WANT that outfit - including the 3 ft scimitar. It's just TOO bitchin'! (yes, I'm one of those medieval recreation-ists, too, at times)

moronpolitics said...

I once wanted to start a website dedicated to Juan's NonSequitors and total lapses into the "logic of the elves" or "domino thinking" or however he comes up with some of the frankly bizarre but amusing rhetorical positions he ends up in. I wanted to call it "Juan, Juan, Juan" after the exasperated cry that Brett Hume used to call out when Juan wandered of the fairway of the mind in to the weeds. HOWEVER... Hard as he was to follow at times, we all know that Juan is anything BUT a bigot. He was, in fact, calling for understanding and saying that it is wrong to paint all Moslems with the same brush. He merely stated that he understands how some people FEEL and stating that (quoted here to indicate exactness of intent rather than wording) "I get nervous when I see people on a plane who are dressed as Moslems and who seem to be saying their 'Moslemness' is the most important thing about them, more important than their humanity, their decency, intellect or anything else that brings us together as human beings. People who seem to be emphasizing their differentness, their separation even alienation from the rest of us." THAT does, would and should make ANYONE nervous in the context of a plane ride.

The "defense" that NPR put out is hilarious. They don't care if someone appears or gives opinions. It is WHAT opinion they give that matters and WHERE they appear. Had he said that when he stops for a bottle of wine and sees a group of young white men with shaved heads, tattoo's and chamo shirts he might be worried and buy his wine elsewhere... does anybody , is there a cocker spaniel that believes that statement would get him fired? No. People need to stop letting hate groups flourish and get public support. Like NPR.

Anonymous said...

I am a democrat,but not the "my party right or wrong" type. I have a lot of respect for Juan,although I do not always agree with him.

He is a good man & the person who fired him should be terminated.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous (immediately above)- We're glad to have you here, and wish more democrats were as thoughtful as you are. Like we said, we like Juan even when he frustrates us...and he reminds us that we can respect people with whom we disagree. Heaven help us all when the doors to communication are slammed shut and we can no longer honestly discuss our differences to try to find mutually workable solutions.