Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR's Thought Police

Political correctness has reared its ugly head at National Public Radio, which has fired liberal commentator Juan Williams due to a comment he made on Fox News Channel.

Williams admitted to the very normal post-9/11 reaction of being nervous when he sees Muslims on a plane.

NPR lowered the boom, completely ignoring Williams' wider point, arguing for tolerance! I don't know how anyone listening to the discussion could find Juan's thoughtful comments unreasonable.

I very often don't agree with Juan Williams, as we have strongly different political philosophies, but I admire his ability to debate with civility. He's always struck me as a really good guy I'd enjoy knowing on a personal level.

Apparently NPR objects to its liberal employees appearing on Fox News Channel, as they also recently threatened longtime Fox panelist Mara Liasson. It seems rather ironic that Fox -- castigated by so many on the left for providing a forum for conservative points of view -- welcomes those who express alternate ideas, while NPR apparently can't handle employing anyone who strays one iota from political correctness.

Today Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard has been Twittering the kinds of things that won't get you fired from NPR, like wishing AIDS on Jesse Helms and his grandchildren or wanting Rush Limbaugh to die.

As I said the other day, it's time to save the American taxpayers' money and defund public TV...and I would add to that public radio. Both are relics of a long-gone era when there were few viewing or listening choices on TV or radio, and both are taxpayer-funded entities which strongly support only the liberal point of view, while suppressing the expression of diverse ideas.

Update: The head of NPR suggested today that Juan has mental issues he needs to discuss with his psychiatrist? So if your point of view does not precisely follow a politically correct line, you're crazy?

She has since apologized, but the mere fact these words came out of her brain and then her mouth is disturbing. Why does this make me think of Communists and "re-education"?

Meanwhile, Steve Hayes questions why, according to NPR, a "news analyst" such as Williams should not be expressing opinions, yet NPR's "reporter," Nina Totenberg, regularly expresses her (very liberal) opinions without her job being threatened.

NPR's double standard -- not to mention antipathy for Fox News Channel -- is obvious.

Update: Nice guys finish first: Fox News Channel just signed Williams to a new three-year, $2 million contract.

And yes, if you missed it above, I repeat that he's a liberal political commentator...and FNC is happy to have him in their employ, regularly engaging in political debate. Isn't the free and open debate of ideas what it's supposed to be all about? Obviously not at NPR.

FNC's Roger Ailes: "Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News in 1997. He’s an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis."

Update: Hmmmm...left-winger George Soros has donated millions to both NPR and Media Matters in the last few days. Now that Williams has been fired from NPR, Media Matters is gunning for NPR's Mara Liasson because of her appearances on Fox News Channel, pressuring NPR to "finally address that thorny issue." It doesn't matter that Liasson is, like Williams, a liberal...she is committing the unpardonable sin of expressing her opinions on Fox News.

Friday Senator Jim DeMint will introduce legislation to defund NPR. This is one of those rare issues on which conservatives and liberals may find common ground.


Blogger Amanda said...

I couldn't have said it better myself!

10:41 AM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Well said Laura. Totally agree. I also don't always agree with Williams, but appreciate his civility and ability to express his ideas. Whether you agree or not, he makes his point well. I think NPR's knee jerk intolerance of honest human opinion is going to backfire. A few people will yell loudly, but sensible people agree that William's opinions are not unreasonable, and those are the people that might stop donating.

I like listening to Rush Limbaugh for the same reason: he expresses his ideas very clearly. One may not agree, but one always knows what he means. Besides, Limbaugh's show has plenty of humor and pithy parodies.

12:38 PM  
Blogger joetote said...

This is the second time I’ve seen the liberal yo-yos take off on Juan Williams when he has “overstepped” his bounds and spoken a truth that was against the “party line”.

I have said more than once in the past that a government run co-opted media is but one step towards the Soviet style dictatorship that we witnessed with the old USSR. This is beyond Big Brother. This is not only the squashing of Free Speech, but is in fact taking away one of our most sacred rights. And he wasn’t even on an NPR show!

This Political Correctness, which is nothing more than a Gestapo style propaganda issue has to stop!
I for one do not agree with some of Mr. Williams stands. however, he has never been afraid to call it as he sees it and in this case he was correct! Whether I agree with him or not, I find him to be candid and honest in his views. To be fired for relating the truth is beyond everything we hold sacred in this country.

Kudos to Mr. Williams for daring to stand up to the kind of censorship that is so warmly welcome by leftist Soviet and NAZI style governments!

2:37 PM  

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