NPR was wrong for firing Juan Williams

Kind of funny that Juan Williams was fired hours before the fall membership drive for my local NPR member station ended.

I have been an avid NPR listener for the past 2 years, giving my ears about 25-30 hours of what I thought was disinterested, factual information, unique stories and diverse perspectives I couldn’t get anywhere else.  (I know conservatives don’t hear the network this way.)  I won’t go so far as to say that I now believe NPR is part of a liberal conspiracy–if only die-hard liberals cared enough about power to build an agenda of total domination–but I will say that NPR is wrong for firing Juan Williams.

NPR execs didn’t want him to be a FOX news analyst, and that’s understandable; FOX inviting established journalists from long-standing, reputable organizations like NPR to appear on its shows gives FOX the appearance of balance and lends credibility to its obvious lies and nonsense.  But if that was the problem, it should have been handled with a simple conversation when Williams became a FOX contributor–a conversation like:

“Juan, if it’s the money, let’s talk about your contract. If you want to lend credence to FOX or if you’re truly not able to maintain journalistic objectivity, NPR may not be the place for you.”

–not after he expressed an honest opinion–which was, by the way, taken out of context and that, when in context, clearly checks Bill O’Reilly.

FOX is not the place to be objective, and Williams wasn’t asked to be.  After 10 years with NPR, he should have had the opportunity to sit down with management face to face and to make a choice as to where he wanted to be, instead of being fired after waivering from the script.

I thought I would be over this after emailing the above comment to NPR, but I’m not sure.  Even after listening to Diane Rehm’s interview with Williams, reading comments from listeners, and not being able to determine whether or not he’s a conservative, I still think it was rash and unfair.  And I don’t think this is the first time he’s been disrespected or mistreated.

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2 thoughts on “NPR was wrong for firing Juan Williams

  1. Mariam!

    While I think that singling out this particular comment from one Juan Williams was unfair, I have to say he’s been dancing with the devil over at Fox for a long time now. I’m not surprised he got burned.

    That is to say, by being a man of color with liberal leanings and credentials, when *he* co-signs with something one of the right-wingers says, it lends it validity. Even the “checking” of Bill O’Reilly (saying that not all Muslims should be blamed for the actions of a few) also not-so-subtly hi-fives the right… Williams says that he, too, is afriad of Muslims who, merely by their dress, indicate that they are Muslim first and American second. To think that dress is an absolute indication of any such thing is just as preposterous as his assuming that to be American “first” is always a good thing. I don’t have to tell you how much evil has been done by those claiming to love and protect *their* America.

    So, I don’t feel sorry for him in the least. he’s been lending his credibility to Fox for a long time and, though this particular incident is undeserving of the consequence, I think his cumulative record speaks for itself. He’d been bought by Fox long before he inked the new two-mill contract.

    By the way, he once sat behind me in a Starbucks in New York’s Chinatown. I swear a chill ran down my spine.

    1. The chill is hilarious. Keep track of how often you feel that; you might have a gift you could put to good use.

      I would say 99% of the callers to the Diane Rehm Show the day Juan Williams was on didn’t feel sorry for him, either. I can’t really feel bad for a journalist who took a $2 mil contract with a fake news organization. Well … I can feel bad for his soul.

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