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NPR Gives Juan Williams the Ax: PC Gone Wild?

October 21, 2010

Veteran commentator Juan Williams, who shuttled between gigs at liberal NPR and conservative Fox News, became the latest victim of the PC juggernaut that has cost some prominent American journalists their jobs this year.

Williams confessed to Fox host Bill O’Reilly that he gets nervous when he sees traditionally clad Muslims on planes. Apparently that was enough for publicly funded NPR, which had received hundreds of complaint e-mails from its PC-progressive fan base.  (Of course, O’Reilly stirred up a hornet’s nest on The View last week by brazenly insisting that Muslims had attacked the World Trade Center. )

Williams was simply expressing a personal opinion, and he was careful to couch it in those terms. But obviously we’re no longer permitted to express personal opinions about protected minorities, especially if we’re also employed by a famously liberal media outlet.

As far as I’m concerned, Williams’ real mistake was that traditionally clad Muslims aren’t the ones we have to worry about. No self-respecting terrorist would be silly enough to call attention to himself on an airborne mission by sporting flamboyant Muslim garb.

The larger issue, of course, is that the climate of political correctness is  muzzling legitimate opinions and concerns that most of us feel from time to time. It’s not healthy to keep strong feelings muzzled; they have a habit of finding an outlet eventually — sometimes explosively. Granted, we don’t want to encourage malicious statements about minorities, but we’re compromising our freedoms if we submit to the rule of extreme PC in the media.

Interesting, too, that the three prominent journalists who have been sacked recently over unguarded politically incorrect statements are themselves members of “protected” minorities: Helen Thomas (Arab), Rick Sanchez (Hispanic), and now Juan Williams (black and Hispanic).  Maybe white Anglos have learned all too well that we’re not allowed to speak our minds these days.

Then there’s Mel Gibson — but he doesn’t have to worry about what his employer will say.

Anyway, my remarks are just the preface to a brief, fair-minded and insightful column I found at The Atlantic this morning. Read it here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Aldadebater permalink
    October 22, 2010 2:58 pm

    Such a shame! NPR made a big mistake in kicking Juan Williams out. And I’m not speaking as some crazy hard righty who sees sinister liberal bias everywhere. I actually like NPR.

  2. October 22, 2010 4:17 pm

    NPR is an interesting bundle of contradictions. It’s supposed to be a “people’s” radio network, yet it’s essentially of, by and for the educated “progressive” upper middle class. Their presentation of the news seems more objective (or at least less opinionated) than what we see on Fox, yet (unlike Fox) they never give airtime to dissenters. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a conservative opinion expressed on NPR. It’s pretty much a hermetically sealed environment for people who think like themselves. (And yes, I like a lot of their programming, too.) But they’ve finally revealed how narrow minded they really are.

    • Kent Garshwiler permalink
      November 1, 2010 11:58 am

      Rick, I would agree. NPR is supported in many ways through the “upper” middle class “progressive” movement (including politicians and government officials via favors and subsidies).

      They have stories that are biased and have very little dissent. Thus, giving one listening that “that is the way it is”. Like they know all the answers without dissent. It is arrogant! It is very narrow-minded as no one dissents to challenge one’s personal bias. The stories are usually long, emotional trips by one person, some facts with and without a tone of emotional bias.

      The person on NPR can make a person listening feel they should act in thought or take action in only one emotional view. Conservative talk radio allows many “views” although the host is always the one who has to keep the show moving along in some format to keep it’s listeners.

      I would suggest to NPR that if they want to give their “people”, “workers”, “progressives” some clarity to the full spectrum of ideas and reality. Give different views as best as possible than making the listeners emotionally calmed and alarmed thru only one.

      I thought “progressive” left-wingers believed in democracy where everyone has a say.
      How come NPR doesn’t profess this more than talk radio?

      That’s right! It doesn’t work. For instance Air America, yet I hear one talk radio “progressive” – Alan Combs every once in a while late when going home from work. Some of the conservatives are just as ignorant as the progressives. Yet! We should be challenging our minds to think smarter by inviting challenging ideas we can’t conceive on our own. Wisdom is based on knowledge thru experience, but it isn’t truly wisdom if it fails to see all that it may encompass.

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