Appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s “The Factor,” reliable Fox house liberal Juan Williams told the bloviating host:
“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.”
Whereupon he was summarily fired from his long-time position as senior correspondent with National Public Radio.
Was it because he gets nervous too easily? Is it because NPR requires its employees to show more courage and stamina under stress?
Was he fired because the fact that every attempted or successful effort to bring down an airplane in the past decade has been carried out by a Muslim has led him to be more afraid when Muslims are on his plane than when they aren’t? Is NPR saying such fears are per se evidence of bigotry, or merely per se evidence that Williams hasn’t accepted NPR’s mandatory, if dangerous and fanciful, world view?
Was Williams let go because he was candid, and because even though most Americans and, in all likelihood, a majority of the Chablis liberals who frequent NPR agree with his sentiments, he was not supposed to express them?
Did Juan Williams get the sack after more than a decade on the station because he expressed this opinion to the diabolical Bill O’Reilly, who is currently being excoriated as a bigot by the Left for saying “Muslims killed us on 9/11” when, you know, Muslims did kill us on 9/11? [Note: The 1984-style truth-twisting that the Whoopie-Joy Left is spouting to condemn O’Reilly for this pure statement of fact is mind-boggling. Here is blogger Andy Ostrow on The Huffington Post: “Muslims killed us on 9/11? Was it Jews who killed innocent New Yorkers in the Son of Sam murders in the 70’s? Was it Blacks who killed 29 Atlanta children in the early 80’s? Was it Christians who blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City in 1995?” Is it now the official position of the self-anointed non-bigots in this country that Islamic theology had nothing to do with the attacks? That the bombers of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon just happened to be Muslims…that it was just an unhappy coincidence and they just as easily could have been Methodists? Are they really so committed to this denial of the obvious that they can comfortably mock anyone who concludes that the deaths of 3,000 people at the hands of terrorists screaming Islamic slogans suggest we have a wee of a problem with Islam? Really?]
Did Juan Williams get fired for being honest and speaking the truth?
Yes. But it wasn’t the official, NPR, government scripted, View-approved truth. Thus NPR chose to send a clear message, not only to Williams but to those remaining on its payroll, that variance from the virtuous and multi-cultural ideology of NPR was forbidden.
This is an abuse of power, irresponsible, and offensive to American ideals. It is also scary.
The “National” in National Public Radio means something. Among other things, it means that the radio network is partially funded by taxpayers, and as such, is obligated to feature and welcome diverse points of view, which is a bulwark of American traditions and values. There are too many segments on NPR that are little more than Democratic Party talking points without counter-views or perspective, but we are used to that; expecting balance and fairness is expecting too much. But demanding something short of the Thought Police is not. By firing Juan Williams, NPR is taking the position that expressing a fear of Muslims, in light of recent events, is (as the network put it in its statement announcing Williams’ ouster) “inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices” and “undermined [Williams’] credibility as a news analyst with NPR.” No, it didn’t. It enhanced his credibility. What is incredible is that NPR would insist, as a time when its reliably liberal allies at the Washington Post are so terrified of offending Muslims that it censors its comics section, that a correspondent expressing a far more reasonable fear warrants dismissal.
The intolerance of the self-righteous heralds of toleration has officially reached the point where it is…intolerable.
[You can read the follow-up to this post here.]
10 thoughts on “Juan Williams, Martyr to Tolerance”
Pingback: NPR fires Juan Williams for anti-Muslim comments: intolerance, political correctness, or a stand against bigotry? « Ethics Bob
I’m conflicted over this one. Juan Williams should not have been fired, but his statement was very unfair, and somewhere between ignorant and bigoted. I’ve written more on this at EthicsBob.
Bob, an honest statement about how one feels cannot be “unfair.” It is, by definition, true. Are you saying it is unfair to say what you think on television? The response is to try to explain to the speaker why he should not feel that way—not that it’s wrong, as in bad, but why he really has no basis for his feelings. Do you think he really has no basis for his feelings?
I’ve listened to Juan Williams for many years, and he is anything but a bigot, and far from ignorant. What’s your third choice?
Your position on this and related issues puzzles me. It seems to be based on a desire to remake the world and human nature without dealing with how both really are.
I agree with you that his statement was true. It was what he believes.
I also think it’s unfair–or ignorant–or something–to assume that someone in Muslim garb is a potential hijacker–even absent the obvious fact that a would-be hijacker is the least likely person in the whole world to get on a plane in Muslim garb.
I do have a desire to remake the world, just like you. I see senseless, harmful, anti-Muslim sentiments, and I try to counter them. I’d rather engage with Juan Williams than fire him.
Bob, do you really think that feeling nervousness or fear means someone is necessarily assuming that a Muslim is dangerous?
That’s several steps beyond what I think is going on—apprehension, based on experience, without certainty. When I lived in a tough area on Capitol Hill, I was always nervous, at night, when a group of African-American teens or young men were hanging out by an area where I had to pass. I didn’t assume they were going to mug me, but I was wary…a lot of violence in the neighborhood was done by young black men. Would a gang of young Swedish youths have alarmed me as much? Probably not. Does that make me bigoted? What was Jesse Jackson expressing when he said being followed by black teens “made him nervous”?
Am I the only one who thinks if someone came on a plane “dressed like a Muslim,” whatever that means, that he would present NO danger, because if he’s dressed that way, he is obviously not trying to hide his beliefs the way a real hijacker might? Or is it wrong to think this, too?
Jack, I get nervous when I’m walking through a bad neighborhood, too. It’s rational, not bigoted. But I don’t get nervous when an African-American man in a suit is standing next to me in a Starbucks line, or when one sits next to me on an airplane. I bet you don’t, either. As Jeff and I have noted, a person in Muslim garb is exceedingly unlikely to be a threat. Then why nervous or fearful?
Jeff, Bob—I agree with this, though I have to say that the thought has always rushed through my mind when a passenger in Muslim garb, or two, are seated in my plane. You have a pang, and then say, “Nahhh! What am I afraid of?”
So would Juan’s comment have been taken differently if he had been talking about Muslim-looking men in jeans and T-shirts? In ties and suits? I don’t think so…
Hey gang – great discussion. And very topical, Jack, on the heals of our debate over your post about ‘9-11 Conspiracy Claims: The Hate Crime We Cannot Stop, But Must Not Tolerate’ last month… and very much related to that whole discussion.
IMO this is a First Amendment vs Corporate Culture issue, pure and simple. Juan Williams is an American, and he has the right to say whatever he wants, no matter how ignorant or stupid, which his comments were – any phrase that starts with ‘I’m not a bigot BUT’ is probably bigoted. NPR has every right to cut him lose, but I believe they are being played, which I will explain.
And Jack, I read both of your posts dealing with this – and I do agree with the vast majority of what you have to say.
Now I’m going to put on my tin foil hat and pull some assumptions out of thin air and see how they go over.
Problem, Reaction, Solution seems to be the bait that hooks the MSM marlins as they all flock together like sheep. Then the harp in unison without any investigative reporting or opinion that has to color way between their corporate master’s lines. So the people at Fox set the scene where O’Really goes out and sets off the stinkbomb that everyone talks about on the View.
Next, he has Juan Williams on his show, and he ad -libs (scripted) these remarks… presto changeo, NPR falls for the shenanigans, fires him from his ‘Public Radio’ salary, which I bet was Huge, (sarcasm) and the 24 hour lemming news cycle hook like and sinker chatters endlessly about ‘9-11 and Muslims, Muslims and 9-11’, when we all know that THAT is something that really has not been proven to be true. Check the FBI most wanted list – Bin Laden is NOT accused of the 9-11 bombing, etc.etc – that topic has been covered ad nauseum by us before…!
This Tactic, and it is a Tactic – serves 2 purposes – not only does it take the masses’s minds of the issues and divides and conquers ( hate the brown people, stay home and don’t vote ) but it also Reinforces their real agenda – Muslims were responsible for 9-11.
Since the Daily Show is the only ‘real’ news & investigative reporting allowed anymore, because the 3-6 owners of 90+% of the media allowed.
Case in point – here’s a montage that helps illustrate how handcuffed and ‘hidden agenda-ed’ the MSM is these days – for the most part, everything is very well-thought out, and their is very, very limited spontaneity –
Problem, Reaction Solution – who benefits? Juan William$$$ and Fox News of course! They’ve hijacked the narrative yet again, just as the Demopublicans are climbing in the polls.
The MSM plays checkers, and Rove, Ailes and the rest of the Propaganda Masters @ Fox plays the 3-dimensional chess from Star Trek!
I don’t think anyone feels they have to work this hard to convince the public that radical Muslims were responsible for 9-11….especially since radical Muslims take responsibility for 9-11. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes—most of the time—an ethics train wreck like this one is just a combination of bad luck, bad decisions, and too many boobs in the same place at the same time. Conspiracies take too much work to have so many going on at once.