So much for frank discussions (update)
While it is certainly not a First Amendment violation (as it is being alleged by some), the firing of NPR contributor Juan Williams by the tax supported radio network is disturbing. It puts in focus how horribly served we are by political correctness.
I’ve always said that PC was a way for the left to stifle debate. Try to criticize anything about a minority community and you’re a "racist". That label used to have some sting to it but it has become so over used it no longer does. But what it would do in its day is pretty much stop the conversation as the accused tried to deal with the distraction of being labeled wrongly.
Juan Williams runs into exactly the same type of thing with his firing from NPR for supposedly making remarks that “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”
What did he say that was so awful on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox show?
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.”
I’ve got to tell you, that’s not an argument that causes me to jump out of my chair and yell, "fire the bigot!" It’s an intelligent guy expressing his honest opinion which may or may not please me. But I respect it. And it in no way undermines his credibility as an analyst to say something like that.
Unless that "credibility" is predicated on no real analysis but instead regurgitating the approved editorial perspective of NPR.
Apparently honestly expressing your thoughts and feelings are not condoned if they conflict with the “editorial standards and practices” of NPR. Frank discussions have no place in their world.
Tow the line, or get fired. And that’s fine – it’s their network (although I think we shouldn’t be paying for it). But hopefully they’ll never again attempt to convince us they’re interested in all sides and perspectives of a story. Obviously they’re not.
UPDATE: Watch this entire video clip and see if perhaps NPR didn’t bother to do its due diligence and pulled a “Shirley Sherrod” on Juan Williams.