'Ethic' cleansing

NPR shows its own brand of extremism in its firing of Juan Williams

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We're not sure we'd want to live in a world controlled by the executives of National Public Radio.

Juan Williams  AP
AP
Juan Williams

In their world, you will be instantly and unceremoniously fired for saying the "wrong" thing -- or maybe the right thing the "wrong" way. More than Orwell's thought police, this is the "thought executioner." You aren't arrested for heresy -- you're liquidated on the spot.

Juan Williams, a decade-long commentator for NPR, was fired over the phone this week for saying on Fox News that seeing Muslims in the airport makes him nervous.

"I'm not a bigot," Williams said told the host of the The O'Reilly Factor Monday. "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."

When confronted on the phone by his NPR boss, Williams confirmed, "I said what I meant to say."

He also spoke for a lot of folks.

To The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, Williams' candid comment simply "reflects the views, I'm guessing, of the vast majority of people who fly in this country (and in Europe and Asia and other parts of the world, as well)... Juan Williams misunderstands one crucial fact: Muslim terrorists who are attempting to commit acts of terror seldom if ever dress in "Muslim garb"; they dress, for obvious tactical reasons, in a manner meant to help them blend in with surroundings. So Williams is wrong, I think, to be particularly suspicious of traditionally-dressed Muslims. But is he wrong to worry about Islamist terrorism? Of course not."

Williams also notes that Islamic radicals look at 9-11 as the first drop of blood in a Muslim war inside America. Goldberg agrees, writing that the radicals "view themselves as engaged in a war with America, in which American cities are meant to be battlegrounds. ... It is not racist to acknowledge that, in many different countries, and even within the United States, young Muslim men -- thousands, it would be fair to say -- spend their days thinking up ways to kill American civilians."

Juan Williams is no bigot, and NPR knows it; Williams has a long and familiar record of fairness and anti-bigotry -- and even in the same interview he got in trouble for, he cautioned against blaming all Muslims for terrorism.

The left-leaning media were already alarmed Thursday that conservatives were talking about defunding NPR, a sacred cow of the left. Why? If Juan Williams can be fired, why can't taxpayers fire NPR?

But even the ladies of the liberal talk show The View -- two of whom walked out when Bill O'Reilly said Muslims were responsible for 9-11 -- say NPR erred in canning Williams. And so do the nation's leading Muslim advoacy groups..

In an article titled "Did Juan Williams say what most people are thinking?" ABC News' Russell Goldman writes, "Williams' remarks reflect a view so widely held among Americans that his dismissal has raised accusations of overly sensitive political correctness. According to two recent polls, Williams' remarks reflect the opinions of many Americans, leading some observers to suggest that Williams was fired for saying what everyone else is thinking."

Fox News is supposed to be so "extreme." But it doesn't fire people for their views like NPR does.

Who's extreme again?

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chascush
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chascush 10/22/10 - 10:22 pm
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Stop all tax money going to

Stop all tax money going to NPR. They are not much better than ACORN.

Pu239
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Pu239 10/22/10 - 10:27 pm
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I guess its just like Hillary
Unpublished

I guess its just like Hillary said ...If you are not with us, then you are against us.

chascush
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chascush 10/22/10 - 10:34 pm
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If you are black and say

If you are black and say anything against the liberal/progressives you are an Uncle Tom.

chascush
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chascush 10/22/10 - 10:41 pm
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‘Warren Ballentine, a black

‘Warren Ballentine, a black radio talk show idiot, told Juan Williams to go "back on the porch' when they discussing the Prof. Gates stupidity.
The liberals/progressives are all the same.

chascush
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chascush 10/22/10 - 11:18 pm
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dasheil, ‘He sold out.’ Sold

dasheil, ‘He sold out.’
Sold out, yeah I guess he was an Uncle Tom. By the way NPR is supposed to be non-political. I guess you forgot but so did they.
STOP TAX PAYER MONEY GOING TOO NPR!!

MajorPaul
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MajorPaul 10/23/10 - 03:13 am
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NPR is and has always been

NPR is and has always been very bigoted in the way they conduct business. They present only the most liberal perspective, and do not much care about the truth of any matter.
NPR is like most liberals. . . if you do not totally agree with their perspective, you are worthless and wrong and they denounce you totally. So much for their belief in freedom of expression.

sjgraci
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sjgraci 10/23/10 - 04:03 am
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So the chronicle and tea

So the chronicle and tea partier republicans are all for Helen Thomas getting fired because she told the Jews to get out of Palestine and go back to Europe and America but are incensed with false outrage that the "Liberal" Juan Williams is fired for making bigoted and fearful comments about Muslims and their "garb"... Rick Sanchez anyone?

sjgraci
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sjgraci 10/23/10 - 04:06 am
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You're right chronicle, Fox

You're right chronicle, Fox doesn't fire their EXTREMISTS like beck, palin, o'reilly, hannity, and williams because fox is EXTREME.

orgpsych
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orgpsych 10/23/10 - 04:57 am
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The firing of Mr. Williams is

The firing of Mr. Williams is certainly one of those things that make you go Hmmmm. I, too, an curious about the real reasons behind Mr. Williams termination. I can speculate about what this "means" to my heart's content.

That said, the reasons for dismissing someone are seldom discussed publicly by any company that has any common sense. The same is true here. NPR has publicly said that Mr. Williams has a history of infractions and this was just the latest behavior. What they didn't say was what those infractions were ... nor should they. They also don't elaborate on this specific infraction. Was it what he said or the fact that he was appearing on a competitor's show? Some companies take a dim view of such behavior as a conflict of interest, regardless of what is said. Mr. Williams' dismissal is an issue between Mr. Williams and NPR.

Unfortunately, Mr. Williams gets to tell the story the way he sees it ... or the way he wants you/us to see it. In response NPR will still not disclose the other reasons they cite as grounds for his dismissal. It's none of our business. The way those reasons become public is when Mr. Williams sues NPR for wrongful termination. Then they become part of the public record.

Those who now renew their cry for NPR's "head" and yell about the denial of free speech conveniently forget the many times that Fox has censored what they report. Bill O'Reilly has even gone so far as to have a microphone cut-off so he can interrupt and talk over a "guest" on his show who expresses a dissenting view.

Be careful what you ask for. If you have lied, stolen or undermined your previous employer and been terminated you really don't want them telling the world about it. Besides telling the rest of us what an undesirable employee you were, you also cut off any chance of making a fresh start anywhere else. The same practice that protects Mr. Williams' rights to personal privacy protect yours, as well.

wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 10/23/10 - 05:57 am
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We should all follow

We should all follow hussein's lead and bow to muslims and allow them thier allah given right to kill Americans at random.We should not let facts get in the way of political correctness.If the "radical"muslims are instructed by the koran to kill all that are not muslim,who are we to stop them?they are practicing freedom of religion.we as Americans must allow them to do so and anyone that speaks out against the murders is a racist,a bigot,and a hater.

carcraft
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carcraft 10/23/10 - 06:10 am
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Lets see, it is OK for Nina

Lets see, it is OK for Nina Totenberg to wish aids on a Republican and his family, It is OK to bash Christians on NPR. But to say you get nervous around muslim in an airport is some thing you can be fired for. Then for the CEO to make a statement that this is boardering on a psychiatric disorder, to not have some trepidation boarders on a psychiatric disorder so I think NPR CEO needs to see a shrink, the one on Giaco. Please Orgypsych, I doubt Jaun stole the bosses pen. Jaun is simply to mainstream for NPR. After all they are taking millions from Soroes to fund a far left publicity campaign to further hurt America...

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 10/23/10 - 06:13 am
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When Ken Tomlinson was

When Ken Tomlinson was appointed by Bush to run public broadcasting, the effort was to try to pull NPR/PBS back from the far left perspective they'd drifted to on all things political. Of course the left went crazy, but not much was changed until CAIR put their money and clout into action after moderate Muslim started work on "Radicals for Mohamed", a documentary about the real mission behind the Koran.
Tomlinson was removed, money was stopped for the documentary, public broadcasting went back to the radical left, and everyone who watches PBS or listens to NPR knows it.
When Williams said he was concerned by the threat from Muslim radicals, CAIR stepped in again (with their great influence with the left) and Williams was fired for being a liberal that doesn't know his place. Muslim trumps black on public broadcasting.

crackerjack
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crackerjack 10/23/10 - 06:55 am
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This is one of the main

This is one of the main reasons you don't see many blacks in the Tea Party. They will be ridiculed by their peers, and labeled as Uncle Toms. Only a few people of color have been brave enough to stand up for what they believe in, and hopefully they will vote against the atrocities of this administration, against the American working class.

orgpsych
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orgpsych 10/23/10 - 07:07 am
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Well, I just watched a press

Well, I just watched a press conference where NPR decided to discuss the termination of Mr. Williams. So much for "common sense."

BTW, JC, NPR and PBS are not the same animal. That said, the conservatives have long railed against both because they don't tow the conservative line. They have put pretty liberal stuff out there, just as conservative networks have put some pretty extreme right wing stuff out.

Arguing for cutting off funding because it is budget crunch time is one thing. I would question the choice of what else DOESN'T get cut off. That, however, is a topic for dialogue, discussion and even debate.

Government funding only accounts for 1-2% of NPRs total budget, though. Advocating cutting off funding because you disagree with what they say just shows the mean-spirited side of the conservative movement. To carry that further and attempt to dissuade the public and private donations that make up the other 98% or so of their total budget would be clearly an attempt to do exactly what you now accuse them of doing: interfering with First Amendment rights.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 10/23/10 - 07:45 am
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Juan Williams' career will
Unpublished

Juan Williams' career will not only survive this act of political bigotry by NPR, it will thrive. The question now is, will NPR's continued funding by the taxpayers survive. My money is on NO! Bye, NPR...see ya, wouldn't want to be ya.

dani
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dani 10/23/10 - 08:14 am
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NPR will survive, they have

NPR will survive, they have donors such as George Soros. Now that ought to scare your socks off.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 10/23/10 - 08:43 am
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LOL, orgpysch, I'll admit to

LOL, orgpysch, I'll admit to not understanding the liberal mindset or the assumption of "facts" ya'll adhere to, but rest assured I know there's a difference between a radio and a television.
Have you heard the one about the bicycle and the car on the same road? They're not the same either.

augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 10/23/10 - 08:46 am
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I would like to see the NPR

I would like to see the NPR defunded as much as Brad Owens would like to see the DDA defunded, well almost, LOL.

chascush
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chascush 10/23/10 - 08:57 am
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orgsych, p ‘Government

orgsych, p ‘Government funding only accounts for 1-2% of NPRs total budget, though.’
You are incorrect, over 10% come from the federal guvamint. I don’t CARE if it is .01%, CUT IT OFF.

chascush
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chascush 10/23/10 - 09:10 am
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‘To carry that further and

‘To carry that further and attempt to dissuade the public and private donations that make up the other 98% or so of their total budget would be clearly an attempt to do exactly what you now accuse them of doing: interfering with First Amendment rights.’
AGAIN YOU ARE WRONG. Trying to dissuade people from donating to NPR is NOT interfering with the 1st amendment, it is freedom of speech. As usual you liberals think anyone that disagrees with you should be shut-up.
It is strange that we never hear conservatives wanting MSNBC shut down but the liberals are always after Fox to be shut down. Of course only kool-aid drinking sheep watch MSNBC.

Mad Hatter
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Mad Hatter 10/23/10 - 09:10 am
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orgpsych.......neither NPR

orgpsych.......neither NPR nor PBS should tow the conservative OR the liberal line! That's the point. They should be balanced if they are going to get OUR money. Better yet, they shouldn't get our money, and if people want to listen to them they can compete like everyone else.

old49er
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old49er 10/23/10 - 09:31 am
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Juan Williams is a good and

Juan Williams is a good and honest man, and he will do fine. This whole sorry episode just shows the double standard that most of the liberal media have - they believe in freedom of speech and respecting opinions, just as long as your opinion agrees with theirs.

carcraft
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carcraft 10/23/10 - 09:38 am
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How is firing some one a

How is firing some one a first amendment right? Juan Willaims was fired for being "Politically Incorrect" in expressing an opinion. With holding money is punishing the executives of NPR for violating the rights of Juan Williams of freedom of expression. I don't see how with holding funds from NPR is any differant than giving a kid time out for bad behavior. Both are deserved and both are appropriate!

So crates
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So crates 10/23/10 - 09:40 am
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Fox wouldn't fire anyone for

Fox wouldn't fire anyone for speaking out. Those guys get paid to read the talking points.

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 10/23/10 - 09:46 am
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If one of your staff were on

If one of your staff were on the Austin Rhodes show and let slip that they feel uncomfortable around blacks or 'Mexicans,' how much longer would you keep them in your employ? And would it be a free speech issue to you, or an Augusta Chronicle issue?

Mad Hatter
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Mad Hatter 10/23/10 - 09:55 am
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Anyone remember Don Imus?

Anyone remember Don Imus?

Riverman1
84117
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Riverman1 10/23/10 - 10:00 am
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This little episode should be

This little episode should be enough to ensure Republicans win all the close races Nov. 2. Way to go, NPR.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 10/23/10 - 10:01 am
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You are comparing apples and

You are comparing apples and orangutans (or ONIONS to the PC crowd) Jon.

Muslim extremists have committed themselves to blowing up Americans at any chance...millions of them dance in the streets when they hear of such an event. If you are on a plane and see a Muslim male, you would be brain dead if some similar thought didn't cross your mind.

Ask your wife/mother/sister if she tenses up if she sees an unknown MALE coming toward her in a dark parking lot. It isn't prejudice or bigotry...it is HUMAN NATURE.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 10/23/10 - 10:02 am
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...and Mad Hatter...I

...and Mad Hatter...I remember Imus well. As soon as the dust settled and common sense prevailed...he was back on the air with a better deal.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/23/10 - 10:27 am
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All things considered (pun

All things considered (pun intended), I have culture shock when listening to NPR after listening to Austin scream for a couple of hours. NPR has these announcers who sound like they are reading poetry in a studio so quiet it could be in a Chilean mine miles under the earth and they let lines hang in the air.

It goes: "Billy lives in Chicago and he goes hungry most mornings." After seemingly 90 minutes of dead air, it goes onto the story.

I believe their commentators practice some kind of haiku delivery to identify themselves as being one of the erudite, liberal crowd. It's hilarious.

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