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Liberals open minds, brains fall out over Juan Willams’ firing.

I shouldn’t be surprised over the lefty reaction to Juan Williams’ firing.  Ok, I’m not surprised.  Some people seem to think this is a free speech issue.  It’s not.  Allow me to insert my humble opinion as a former dedicated NPR listener.

Juan Williams parked himself on NPR during the Bush years.  That’s when I really started to notice him on NPR.  It was about that time that Congress appointed some Republican operative to the head of the corporation for public broadcasting and severely cut the budgets of CPB programming.  Eventually, NPR was pretty much on its own, getting underwriting from companies that specialize in ‘Wealth Management”.  The tenor of the reporting changed and Juan Williams was one of the leaders of that change.

In order to not offend the Republicans who might be listening in, the reports became more “on the one hand, on the other hand”.  Both sides were presented equally as if there was nothing at all wrong with any batshit crazy thing a movement conservative might say.  Mara Liasson and Steve Inskeep joined in.  Some of the interviews of Democrats became downright hostile.  I can remember one that Inskeep did with Rahm Emannuel that was inexplicably aggressive and nasty and I don’t even like Rahm.  In other words, NPR became just like every other media outlet: afraid to tell the truth without couching it in terms that conservatives wouldn’t find offensive.

Over time, instead of getting a quality news program that I had listened to for over 20 years, NPR became dependent on its donors – those wealth management people.  The reporting definitely suffered.  I used to write NPR diaries at DailyKos documenting the sad demise of NPR.  Juan, Mara and Steve lead the way, along with a generous dollop of Cokie “Tokyo Rose” Roberts.  The Village had gotten a grip on Morning Edition and All things Considered and it began to specialize in High Broderism.

Fast forward to 2010.  Now we are in the midst of a fall fund raiser and maybe the corporate donations aren’t as abundant as they used to be.  And maybe listeners aren’t ponying up either.  Then Juan Williams agrees with O’Reilly that muslims going all jihad is the greatest threat to this country.  Are you going to donate to NPR after you hear that?  Because O’Reilly is clearly looney toons and if Juan is agreeing with him, that means that Williams might also bring that perspective to NPR.  Listeners can come to two possible explanations for Wiliiams’ statements: 1.) he shares some of conservative O’Reilly’s bigoted beliefs about muslims or 2.) he has no problem pandering to the viewers’ base emotional responses for money.  If I am a listener of NPR, I pride myself that I am also NOT a listener of Bill O’Reilly, no matter how soft and squishy the reporting has become.  I start to make calls to the NPR member station and threaten to withhold my contribution.  (Actually, I’ve done this in the past over Mara and Steve).

The head of NPR, Vivian Whatshername, has had enough.  Juan is hurting the NPR brand name and threatening the credibility of the station. Is he a secret conservative shill who lets his sympathies for Fox viewers cloud his reporting on NPR?  If he isn’t fired, would any listener contributors believe anything Williams has to say after this point?   He was warned several times before about this.  He crossed the line.  He has to go.

Here’s my take on this: no matter how far NPR has fallen from its zenith in the nineties, it still has a reputation to maintain as a genuine news organization.  Journalism is what it does.  Once that mission is threatened by the possibility that some of your staff are not above demogoguery and pandering, the whole enterprise is threatened.  Money and budgets disappear as do the rest of your staff.  Juan undermines NPR’s news credibility.

Now, some of you may argue, unsuccessfully IMHO, that NPR violated Williams’ free speech when it terminated his contract.  That’s nonsense.  Williams can say anything he damn well pleases.  He landed on his feet and will get 2 million bucks for selling his soul hook, line and sinker to Fox.  He will now become just another emasculated “liberal” on Fox.  What NPR did was protect itself from accusations of extremist conservative bias.

Yep, there’s still a lot of cleaning up to do on aisle nine at NPR.  Their journalistic standards have fallen significantly since they decided to throw away excellence in reporting in order to make the conservatives comfy.  But that’s not the mission of a news organization.  They are supposed to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.  It wasn’t NPR’s liberal reporters that gave them the reputation of being liberal in its heyday.  It was that NPR was so effective at reporting the truth with high standards and integrity.  And as we all know from Stephen Colbert, “the truth as a strong liberal bias”.  That is why Republicans tried so hard to bring CPB down during the Bush era.  When you hear the truth, extremist conservatism ala Fox starts to sound really stupid.  So, I applaud NPR for taking this step.  They did the right thing in order to start on the long road to recovery.

If Juan were working for any other outfit other than a news organization, I’d probably agree with the people who felt he was being singled out for sharing unpopular views.  This is not the case here.  The guy just has no integrity when it came to journalism and it was going to reflect badly on NPR.  He had to go.

255 Responses

  1. I really disagree with you on this RD. I think rather than this being a sign of NPR recovering its integrity, it’s a sign of it further embracing its Pravda-like metamorphosis.

    I would say the same if NPR fired one of it’s journalists for saying “personally, I am too scared to go to a Tea Party rally.”

    • If an NPR reporter went to a rally of any kind and didn’t report on it, that could be construed as having sympathies for the rally organizers. That could come back to haunt NPR.
      From where I sit, a reporter’s job is to get information, analyze it and present the material in a way that reveals the truth. That truth is not always going to be favorable to one side or the other. That is why it is so important tha journalists keep their personal opinions to themselves. It’s because the value in their product depends upon their ability to see clearly without bias.
      So, no, I don’t think it is out of line for NPR to ask their reporters to not attend Tea Party rallies or the Rally for Sanity except in the role of an observer, not a participant.

      • Oh I forgot about NPR not allowing them to attend.
        I was trying to make an example of an opinion statement from the left …

    • It could be either/or.

      Frankly, after I read the whole piece I didn’t get what the whole hullabaloo was over. I do fault NPR because they could have avoided all the drama if instead of shaking their fingers when conflicts arose. they had chosen to be consistent. As it stands right now they said that he’d been warned several times before. Which begs the question why he would have worried or taken the idea of a conflict seriously if all they were going to do was repeatedly lecture him on the appearance of impropriety?

      Anyway, as far as this being good or bad decision making from NPR I guess that would remain to be seen.

    • Please. They had a very insulting “How to speak teabagger” on their website. And refused to take it down, even after many complaints were made.

      • Yes, see… they are not consistent about this “opinion” thing.
        Someone in an earlier thread said they are in a murky private/taxpayer-funded existence. I think as long as they take taxpayer money, they should be held to higher standards.
        Ditto the bailed-out companies, btw, but I’m not holding my breath.
        It burns me that my tax money goes to support unconstitutional or sometimes down-right illegal actions.

        • This isn’t constitutional though.

          They aren’t saying what he can and can not say. They are saying that the company has a code of conduct and he repeatedly has chosen not to abide by it so they terminated his affiliation with them.

          This would be similar to me going into work and saying I’m uncomfortable working around—–(latinos, AA, muslims,etc etc) and then being surprised for being terminated. Most companies have standards of behavior that dictate personal opinions that impact business practices will not be tolerated.

          • He said I am uncomfortable but that is not okay.

          • He said that he gets nervous boarding a plane if there are a group of muslims (as identifiable by dress) but that he doesn’t let that fear dictate what he does.

            So it would be the same as you saying you are uncomfortable working with (group) but you still act professionally towards them. That’s exactly why Sherrod was fired and it was wrong.

          • Help, spammy got me!

          • The point is he said he is uncomfortable.

            It’s great he is self aware enough to realize he his discomfort is prejudicial however it is still prejudice.

            I read the whole interview and I agree that his position is not one of ill intent nonetheless he admitted to a bias.

            Personally, I think there is more to this story then we are hearing.

          • Cwaltz – He said I am uncomfortable but that is not okay. He was admitting to being a little scared but arguing that it is not okay to affect policy or how he treats people. He was arguing that he needs to get over it. If you cannot admit to your own foibles how do you correct them. AA says you must first admit your problem. We justly say the Obots need to address their failure before they can change. WTH is going on that people don’t understand that.

          • Would you want to work with someone who told you they were uncomfortable working with you? And even though they realized that their discomfort was unfounded they still were uncomfortable. I’m not sure I would.

            Again, I honestly think that people are missing some of the picture as well. This person was repeatedly told that they had a problem with his affiliation with other networks and using his affiliation with NPR.

            Furthermore as I point out below thread the venue was FOX News. If I were a legitimate news organization I’d have problems with my affilates being featured on a media venue that in court argued that it legally has the right to lie and distort as FOX News did.

            I get the impression that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and the final “excuse” they used to terminate a business relationship that was no longer profitable. Considering they are a business, they are well within their rights to terminate an employee who breached their standards of conduct. It’s not a first amendment right violation to terminate an employee for specific viewpoints- it happens in the business world.

          • You may want to review what the case actually said, instead of what someone else says the case said. Here’s a report that while it by no means lets Fox off the hook, it presents a bit more balanced view without the “ZOMG!” sensationalism.


            And BTW, several news companies filed briefs in support of Fox in that case. It was a bit more complex than the link you provided claims.

          • Oops – threaded under wrong comment.

          • Word. What NPR did has nothing to do with Williams’ constitutional rights or violation thereof.

            Most professions have codes of conduct rules those professionals must abide by. And, when you work for a corporation, you are subject to their own written ethical standards. A corporation can fire you if you don’t live up to those standards or for any reason as you serve at their discretion unless you can prove discrimination. Most companies require their professionals sign a Conflict of Interest form as one example of behavioral standard.

      • And they all swooned over Obama. Speaking frequently of the magic felt at his campaign stops. I kept listeninng for information about his policies and past but it was all about the magic. The Reverend Wright controversy is one I particularly remember them overlooking.

      • Yes, they did, WMCB. It was very unprofessional.

        Well—the American public will decide their fate, in terms of no donations and no more listening, if that’s how a majority feel.

        Such is democracy, and they’ll have to live with the consequences.

    • I disagree, Juan was doing reports on the Tea Party on CBN and here he is giving raving reviews to the Tea Party and says, ‘it is an honor’.

      He also said that the Tea Party was ‘Mainstream Anger’… Please provide the evidence of which you speak of. I think he was not only on FOX, but had gone on CBN and would be identified as part of NPR.

      • It was a hypothetical example of “why hasn’t NPR fired anybody before this for “I am scared of XYZ”.
        What exactly are the editorial standards that the NPR CEO is talking about?

      • The teaparty IS mainstream anger. What part of that statement is not factual?

        • He just said it it was primarily people over 45, mostly male, well educated, and Republican. We know who is putting forth the BIG $$$ for the buses and it isn’t coming from a bake sale. Just think how hard is was for us Hillary supporters to get to D.C. twice, once for the RBC meeting and the other to meet with those that wanted to get her her Roll Call Vote. To say we had a shoe string of a budget would be kind and in fact there were bills left over.

          I don’t think the Bank Rollers of the Tea Party are mainstream, NO.

        • Also, from the beginning there were requiters out to get the Hillary supporters, early on, when most of us were pushing for her to get a Roll Call vote. Some of the ladies I met joined, and they are on the Glenn Beck wagon. Some still praise Hillary but are doing all the talking points of the Republican Party, and I know Hillary doesn’t support those talking points.

      • Juan Williams defending ‘Barrack the Magic Negro’ and but takes offense when they told him via a saying that he was a tool. So, Juan Williams was defending RUSH and so Rush continues to sing ‘Barrack the Magic Negro’.

        Juan Williams Takes On the Race Baiters!

        • Oh, and I do think Rush Limbaugh used that song for racial reasons and to incite and inflict pain. Would Juan Williams be defending Rush singing ‘Barrack the Magic Negro’ at NPR?

  2. I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did. Most businesses consider it a conflict of interest to derive revenue from a competitor(and let’s face it as 2 news organizations they are essentially competing for resources and listenership). And while the NPR may be taxpayer funded so is BP and a whole other host of private entities in some form or fashion.

    I stopped “listening” to news several years ago and I am floored that this is being considered a “national” issue that needs to have the level of attention shown to it that it has. I’d much rather hear about jobs or the housing market. It may sound horrendous but I’m not even vaguely outraged that one of the privileged class’s mouthpiece has to settle for one overpaid position instead of his usual two.

    • NPR gets less than 2% of it’s revenues from the government, so it is not really taxpayer funded. They get their money from corporations and individual donors, so they are privately funded mostly.

      I fault NPR for having Juan Williams on in the first place, but he did have a long 23-year history of very good reporting at the Washington Post before he got involved in that fake news story about a drug dealer in DC (he didn’t write the story). I’ve searched and searched, but I can’t find anything on that past history, because google just keeps caughing up stuff about the latest controversy.

      • I remember there was something about his defense of Clarence Thomas against Anita Hill (in his WaPo days), apparently he himself was accused of sexual harassment.

        • Maybe that’s what happened. I thought I recalled that the women who made up the story about a child heroin addict was working under Williams.

      • BB, have you tried using a search engine other than Google? I began using Yahoo and Dogpile to uncover the unreported facts about Obama.

  3. With all due respect, RD, the idea that NPR does not allow opinion-mongering, and somehow has high journalistic “just the news” standards, is complete and utter bullshit.

    No one has pushed both Obama and his agenda more than NPR. And they allow their news analysts to engage in all sorts of inflammatory punditry on other stations without batting an eye. They are being hypocrites here.

    Whether you or I like it or not, Fox IS a mainstream news channel. It is to the right, but well within the mainstream of political thought in this country. It’s no more fringe or batshit than MSNBC or CNN is. Even their worst punditry is no more insane than Keith O or Rachel Maddow.

    I agree that it’s not a First Amendment issue. But it IS an open public debate issue. And I’m sick and tired of either side of any issue in this country trying to “win” by making dissenting views STFU.

    • My issues with FOX are that they have a record of dishonesty that quite frankly imo makes the concept of them being a “news” organization dubious at best.

      While they aren’t the only “news” organization to sell opinions as factual, they are certainly the only news organization I’ve seen that flat out fabricates when it can’t find facts to support it’s position.

      • Exactly. I’m no fan of Keith or Rachel as they oftentimes “sell opinions as factual”.

        FOX does flat out fabricate stories and I agree It’s the only “news” org that does this while calling itself a “news” organization when it is nothing more than a well-honed political organization.

        And, I agree calling it a mainstream news organization is way off. Unless the definition of what it means to be mainstream has been so debased and denigrated the very concept if meaningless now.

        You don’t have to go very far to see how FOX manipulates and fabricates stories to fit their overall narrative instead of just reporting the news as is without embellishing.

        There are plentiful egregious examples of this over the years. Here is a sample presented by Jon Stewart. http://tinyurl.com/2afun2k which I’m sure most of us have seen already. I’m including them in this post just to show by example once again the morally bankrupt, manipulative & craptacular shite meister FOX cable was/is.

        • I’m no fan of NPR’s either, btw. I agree with Riverdaughter’s post about NPR’s history and what they have become since I began listening to them over 20 years ago. However, I agree with their firing of Williams and for the reasons the post articulated.

    • I agree with you in that they are sycophantic Obama toelickers. BUT I think that goes back to the fact that they are NOT funded by taxpayer money for the most part anymore. They are funded by whoever gives them money. That’s the problem. If they had remained more or less taxpayer funded, they might have retained the journalistic reputation they once had. NPR was as close as we ever got to a BBC model. It’s in ruins now and we can expect all kinds of crazy assed shit from them. That’s why I no longer listen. I can’t stand it. It hurts my heart to see what has become of it.

      • It hurts my heart to see what has become of it.

        Agree totally with your comment.

        The W Bush years put nails in many coffins and the aftermath continues.

        • I agree too, but there is no way in hell that NPR fired Williams because of their journalistic standards. They don’t have any. I still listen to NPR in the car, and IMHO, they are totally in the pocket of the establishment–and that is even more true of public television.

          • Yes, and they’re still often better than the alternatives. So sad. I hope to live long enough to see a basic media package for the masses in which we choose the stations via some formula. That might put the sensationalist and adolescent schlock into perspective and might not. : )

      • Honk!

      • I stopped listening and donating to them during the primaries when they were so progressive leaning that it just wasn’t the programs I’d fell in love with.

        It was disgusting how they fawned over O. 😦

      • Rupert Murdoch singlehandedly destroyed American journalism as we knew it in this country…..(Murrow, Conkrite, etc.)….Since then, NPR has been bought and sold many timesover. They stand for not much these days. Remember when Daniel Schorr was fired? In many ways Juan Williams became NPR’s “lawn jockey,” and he was dismissed when no longer useful.

    • I’ll share my own NPR story. As a devote listener who donated annually, I was increasingly uncomfortable with their slavish adoration of Obama, and growing hostility to HRC. One day, one of their regular commentators did a piece that was outrageously hostile and inflammatory (calling her a ‘monster’), and I had it. I went to the web site, and used the public feedback link to express my disappointment as a long-time listener. Apparently, it was forwarded to the president of this station, and he responded personally, attacking me as being “Un-American” for “trying to silence him” and if I listened, I should donate, and if not, “b-bye.”

      I’ve never listened again. Just another dressed-up version of group-think IMO.

      • fif, that is despicable. When I expressed disapproval, I got a civil response. Huge difference.

      • Sounds like Donna Brazile’s secret twin.

      • I had the same experience fif – I just could not take the Hillary bashing anymore and one day sent them a polite but clear message that I could no longer support them (I too had given annually) nor would a be listening anymore.

        • Same here, but I was not polite. It was after some editorial about the RFK comments and Clinton.
          Recently started listening/supporting again. Still a bunch of fluff. Like listening to BBC for some out of the American corporate pocket exposure.

      • Same here, had donated for years, never got a response to my ‘polite but uncompromising” email.

        Their coverage of Hillary was sickening. The things said about her and the “slavish adoration of Obama” (perfect description!) on the Bay Area station was over the top. In some ways, I haven’t got over the fact that so much cr@p about her went unchallenged at KQED. It went to show that women are trash when a cool boy shows up, and from them, I found that unforgivable.

  4. NPR Fires Juan Williams for Muslim Comment

  5. I strongly and totally disagree with you on this riverdaughter. This is no different then when shirely sherrod was fired by agriculture for taking her comments out of context.
    Yes, NPR has every right to get rid of whoever they want. To then declare that they were getting rid of him for his bigotted remarks is no different than saying democrats who didn’t vote for obama were racists.
    It was a complete and total disaster on the part of NPR. It was handled inappropriately, then spoken about inappropriately by the CEO of NPR in a smug manner. You don’t have to like Williams to realize this move on the part of NPR is just a mess.
    I find myself in disagreement with many in the mainstream media these days, including eugene robinson and the editorial board of washpost, more often than not these days but on this fiasco I find myself in agreement.

    • I think NPR was having issues with Juan being on CBN, and doing whole reports on the Tea Party and labeling them ‘mainstream America’, when he just uttered that they were mainly over 45, male, well educated and Republican!?! When he did reports on other networks he would be identified as part of NPR. I don’t think he would give the same report he gave on CBN to NPR.

      I think if NPR is trying to project a certain reporting format, they most likely were not too happy with him doing other gigs on the side and using the NPR label to do those reports.

    • Bullshit. It was long overdue. Williams was trying to serve two masters. NPR finally pulled the plug on that.
      Good for them.

      • No, my argument is not “bullshit” and as insulting and surprisingly irrational your response to my opinion is, I will try not to respond in kind.
        When most of us in this society are coming to realize that what is needed, now more than ever, is a calm and rational discussion on race and bigotry and irrational fears of things that are not us, for NPR to come out and say they fired him because of those remarks was wrong.

        • I agree

          • So do I. Besides, Vivian Schiller’s remark about “his psychiatrist” was very childish (I don’t care if she apologized)—-if that’s the best spokesman NPR has, they’re in a world of hurt, and deserve shaming.

            Not to mention that they no longer have any minorities on the station.

            Even Morning Joe’s crew (including Eugene, Mika, Joe, Pat) and The View’s Whoopie Goldberg thought the choice was wrong.

            Ugh…….what the “left” has become in protecting the current Obama regime.

        • ainnj, yes. WTH has happened to calm and rational discussion? All I’ve gotten lately from all fronts are insults and bullying behavior whenever any dissent is expressed.

      • Then, by your standards and NPR’s, they should fire Nina Totenberg. She appears on another network’s show, Inside Washington, and spouts opinions, some of them non-neutral. What makes it worse, she is a reporter for NPR, not a news analyst.

        As for NPR’s journalistic reputation, they’ve only worsened it by taking a million dollars just a few days ago from a well-known ideologue, George Soros. Talk about bad PR. Would they have taken a million dollars from the Koch brothers and had that publically announced? If not, why not?

        And again, should they fire Nina Totenberg? Are they or are they not in engaging in hypocrisy and double standards?

    • ainnj,

      I totally agree with you on this one. If you read the entire interview you can see that Juam WIlliams statements in context. While I don’t agree with his views: I think NPR totally Shirley Sherroded him.

      There is something seriously wrong with the state of discourse in this country. We have lost the ability to allow people who do not agree with our viewpoints the same freedom of speech and expression that we proudly use.

      RD: I am sorry . This is probably the first time I am in disagreement with one of your views.

  6. I have to ask, how is this different than if than if say George will said, ” I know that not all blacks are criminals but if I get on a bus with blacks in black garb I get nervous?

    I think that if I were owner of the WaPo I might not be thrilled about George continuing to represent me in public.

    People have absolute right their opinions but youhave to won the consequence don’t you?

    If you say publicly, “Right of wrong, I am prejudiced against ,” your employer might have something to say.

    Let’s suppose a so-called responsilbe journalist says on television, “I know this is wrong, but when I see a woman, any woman, my first thought is whether or not I’d hit it…,” I would not call for him to be fired necessarily, but he’d forever “be that guy who is an ‘effing’ idiot.”

    I never call for anybody to be fired by the way. That is for whomever pays them to decide. That include Juan Williams. But I am not sad that NPR cut him loose. He is a big boy, he made his bed.

    Who cares.

    In my mind it isn’t about dissent and free speech though. You are free to say things that lead people to form opinions about you. Choose, then live with it.

    • Uh, that should be “own” the consequences. D’oh.

      • I am willing to start the collection for the software that would allow us to make the corrections. That happens to me, early in the mornings or when I am just too tired, but not willing to accept that it is time to go to sleep.

    • Exactly. And as listener-supported radio, there’s no way all of the donations that would be lost over this would somehow be replaced by an equal or greater number of O’Reilly viewers who want to let Juan know they’re also terrified of Muslims in airports. Not gonna happen. They gain nothing and lose a ton in terms of both credibility, because it really doesn’t inspire confidence to put it out there that your reporters are prejudiced against certain population groups and possibly can’t be trusted to report certain topics fairly, and operating funds.

    • Reasonable people can differ, but, Ron4Hills, I see it as prejudice as well and agree with you and RD here.

      Mr. Williams’s remark was offensive and was a disservice to millions of peace loving, patriotic Americans who happen to be Muslim. Only a tiny fraction of Muslims in this country are extremist. Anything Mr. Williams says publicly reflects (reflected) on NPR, especially as his position with them was part of his introduction and provided as part of his resume when he made television appearances. NPR was within its rights to terminate him, in my view, and Fox was within its rights to keep him on.

      Timothy McVeigh was Anglo, ex-military and had a short hair cut. I wonder how would Fox have reacted had Mr. Williams said he was afraid to walk into public buildings with ex-military personnel?


      • Or people wearing Christian jewelry or yarmulkes. I suspect the same people who are hotly indignant over Williams’ firing would be screaming for his head if he’d expressed equal bigotry toward some other religious group.

    • I think it’s unfortunate that when we discuss race relations we don’t talk about the feelings of fear that pervade them. Fear is a primal emotion and necessary to our survival. We can’t “PC” it away; all we can do is drive it out of public discussion.

  7. With respect, RD, I think you’re totally off base with this.

    I listen to NPR all the time and it’s bursting with demogoguery and pandering, only usually it’s pro-Obama.

    And anyway, even if I think what someone’s saying is batshit crazy, if it’s something a lot of Americans are thinking and privately talking about, I think it’s a point of view that NPR and PBS should give air time to.

    That said, if I were head of NPR I would have let Juan Williams, Mara Liason and Steve Inskeep go a long time ago. Not because of their opinions but because they’re annoying as hell.

  8. Forgot to add that this was not an “opinion” that williams was espousing,, he was, if anyone bothered to view or read the entire transcripts of the piece, was admitting to fears he had but basically doing that to say yes, I have irrational fears but as a society we need to realize that we don’t act on those fears.
    And you can go back to a gazillion pieces done on NPR by journalists, analysts or whatever they want to lable their broadcasters, and find blatant examples of opinions.
    He was fired because they wanted to get rid of him, but the issue that is much bigger now is the reason he was fired. People on all sides are very angry and it does matter. I actually like NPR and during the primaries found it to be one of the few liberal leaning outlets that continued to broadcast, at least some of the time, fair and accurate pieces about Hillary Clinton.
    This isn’t a first amendment issue, this is obviously an ethical and moral issue, NPR reacted with a foolishknee jerk reaction that will be a thorn in their side for a long time to come.

    • Well, we will never know what was said behind closed doors, and what other matters were pending and so we will have to wait until Juan spills the beans and tells it all. NPR will surely respond, and I don’t think this is the end of this story. I think Juan will use it as a way to promote his new standing at FOX.

      • I really don’t care what Juan Williams or fox news does or doesn’t do, NPR claims to hold itself to a higher journalistic standard. This was a very unprofessional and foolish way to get rid of someone who they didn’t like.

        • Yeah – Yawn Williams never really did anything for me – but I go along with the unprofessional and foolish part – they should have just fired someone they didn’t like, or keep him off the air, or not renew his contract.

        • Considering he did a whole show or segment on defending Rush Limbaugh singing ‘Barrack the Magic Negro’, I think the Muslim comment might have put too much pressure on the camel’s back and they had a meeting to discuss is other gigs and all matters.

        • They didn’t get rid of him because they didn’t like him.

          He did something they found was against their corporate policy or interests: They have every right to fire him just like Rick Sanchez was fired a couple of weeks ago or Octavia Nasr or Helen Thoma or Don Imus for that matter. I could go and and on.

          Why are people giving themselves wedgies about this?

          • I just want you to know, you wear panties too, you just call them man panties (boxers or fruit of the loooo) and they at times get in a bunch too.

          • Huh?????

          • Exactly. Of all those fired, he’s the only one who landed the 2 mil contract.
            Although I for one will not demand the firing of anyone, I am not any sadder for Williams that I was for Sanchez.

          • Indeed, 2 Million and when 7 women came forward to say they were sexually harassed all he had to say was ‘sorry’. The sexual harassment laws have thankfully been improved, but I never heard any politician taking up the women’s cause and then he went on to work for NPR.

            Mablue2, I just wanted to point out that you too get ‘wedgies’ with your panties. The first time I heard that someone had to explain it to me, then I went over to the carpenter and gave him a once over for bringing up my panties. I was simply stating that the baseboard was not in proper alignment and it needed to be fixed.

            Any hoo, you wear panties too, you wear panties too! You get wedgies too, you get wedgies too!

          • Any hoo, enough about panties and wedgies… let’s get back to the news.

          • I thought “people giving themselves a wedgie” was gender neutral. Where do you get the feeling that I’m talking about women?

            It’s like “Why are people getting bent outta shape about this?”

          • Yeah, both sexes wear “panties” and can get wedgies. (I just had to look up what a wedgie was.) I hate the word “panties” and I call female underpants “underpants.”
            And surprise on me, I had thought mablue was female.

          • Yea, I was just joking, he is OK, but I always get bothered when those things get brought up. I personally see more men re-arranging their undergarments out in public, than women. Also, singers are always grabbing themselves (can’t figure out why), but any hoo…MaBlue2 is OK.

          • And surprise on me, I had thought mablue was female.

            Branjor, that’s interesting.

            What made you think that? Something in my writing? Usually if the writing is neutral, people mostly assume the writer is male.

          • I used to think mable was a woman too, probably because I read “ma” as “mama” and not Massachusetts.

          • I think it was the “ma”, LOL! I knew it meant Massachusetts, but I always read it as “ma”.

          • Yea, we thought you were a MAMA, but a tough Ole MAMA. 😉

          • LOL!!!

            It’s funny because I never ever thought about that. I always have Mass in my mind. Actually it’s MABlue but wordpress won’t let me use it to open an account.

        • He was there for 11 years. I daresay if they disliked him that much that they’d have been able to jettison him before now.

          I’m inclined to believe the company felt that his actions could potentially dry up donations and just plain out and out got tired of him going on FOX, a competing “news” organization.

        • They bent over backwards to try and accomodate him. They even changed his job description to “news analyst” back in 2008 so, when the complaints flooded in, they could claim that he was an “independent contractor” rather than an NPR employee and therefore they had no control over what he said elsewhere.

          • The point is that they have not fired all their multiple other news analysts who offer all sorts of opinionated punditry in other settings.

            One only breaks the rules if one does it in a way that is favorable to the right. You can say whatever unfair, inflammatory things you want in other left-friendly news venues, so long as it supports Obama and his agenda. And their other “analysts” do. All the time.

            As I’ve said before, Fox news is well within the mainstream of political thought in this country. Not liking that fact doesn’t make it not so. Disagreeing with them does not make it not so. Any more than my loathing for MSNBC makes them not a legitimate part of the political landscape of ideas in the US of A.

            NPR is trying to have it both ways: passing themselves off as representative of unbiased public-service news, that strangely wants to exclude the political opinions of half the country as somehow outside the mainstream of acceptable discourse. “Not acceptable to me personally” is NOT the definition of “fringe”, no matter how much I might wish it was so.

            I have no problem if NPR wants to be a “liberal” (though not really) or largely Democratic (though not really) organization. Have at it. But you shouldn’t get taxpayer funding if you do.

          • Bravo, WMCB!

          • Fox “news” is not mainstream political thought. Not unless you’re arguing that mainstream political discourse’s opinion is to argue that the sides of a debate have a legitimate right to distort(yeah they actually used that as a defense in a lawsuit).

            It has nothing to do with like or dislike and everything to do with what constitutes legitimate news reporting.

          • cwaltz, let me reiterate: I did not say they were fair, or right. I said that the views they espouse ARE, by virtue of reflecting the views of half the country, mainstream by any definition of the word.

            Football is a mainstream sport. It makes no difference if one finds football stupid and barbaric. It IS, by definition, mainstream. Curling is fringe, football is mainstream.

            Wishing it weren’t so, or decrying that it is, does not change that siimple fact.

          • That’s the point though WMCB

            Suppose you were an organization that wanted to project an image of a legitimate news organization, would it make business sense to keep an individual who had a business relationship with an organization that is on the record as being biased and has actively used the argument that distortion is their right repeatedly?

            From where I’m sitting he should have been told to choose long, long ago(as should the other analyst who frequents FOX).

          • cwaltz, the other venues in which NPR analysts appear, such as other news networks, are biased, and have a point of view. Is fox conservatively tilted? Absolutely. MSNBC is left-tilted, as is CNN (though CNN is improving as they regurgitate the koolaid). They do not admit to that, but they are.

            So let’s stop with the flimsy veneer of “unbiased news outlets are okay for an NPR analyst to go on”, because those do not exist. None of them are “legitimate” in that sense.

          • Distorting things isn’t mainstream WMCB.

            You can call it decrying to make that claim but it doesn’t change the fact that Fox “News” makes crap up.

            I’m pretty sure if they started their news programs with the disclaimer that they believe it is their right to distort facts their viewership would diminish. As it stands I don’t believe the majority of this country know that Fox News carries that position and if they did I daresay they’d be parroting what is said on the channel as factual.

          • Have these other news organizations in court used the argument that it is their first amendment right to lie and distort?


            If I were a legitimate news organization then I’d have a real problem with my affiliates appearing on a station that has made the argument that they have a right to LIE to their viewers. It speaks to the veracity of what comes out of the mouth of an employee. I’m surprised they allowed the relationship to go on as long as they did.

          • You may want to review what the case actually said, instead of what someone else says the case said. Here’s a report that while it by no means lets Fox off the hook, it presents a bit more balanced view without the “ZOMG!” sensationalism. And it delves into what the court actually said, and what the arguments were about. Context is important.


            And BTW, several news companies filed briefs in support of Fox in that case. It was a bit more complex than the link you provided claims.

          • I’ve read the case. They did not dispute the fact they asked the couple to lie. They instead chose to argue that the first amendment gave them the right to distort or lie to their viewers.

            If I were a legitimate news organization I would not want any of my employees affiliated with a network that was officially on the record as saying they have a right to lie or distort facts. It’s the exact opposite of news reporting.

          • They did dispute that they had told anyone to lie, when the couple later tried to have their FCC license pulled. From the FCC ruling:

            We also conclude that the Petitioners’ allegations of TVT and Fox pressure in the production of their own, unaired BGH report, and that they would have included additional information in the report absent such pressure, do not raise a substantial question of intent to distort. There is no evidence that any such pressure was applied to the final BGH report. Mr. Lang testified during the employment lawsuit that WTVT’s general manager never mentioned anything more specific about the BGH report than that it concerned “cows and hormones and milk,” and that “[n]o one at WTVT ever suggest[ed] that we broadcast anything with known lies in the content.” Ms. Akre, one of the Petitioners, acknowledged during her testimony that WTVT’s News Director Phil Metlin sought to produce a balanced report.

            Although the Petitioners cite a number of specific statements made to them by TVT management during the editorial process that are supportive of their claims, we must consider all of the evidence together in determining whether they have raised a substantial and material question. On the whole, our examination of the record reflects a legitimate editorial dispute between the Petitioners and TVT, rather than a deliberate effort to coerce the Petitioners into distorting the news.

            When you are being sued for a pile of money, to have an attorney argue that we won’t get bogged down in whether we lied, because even if we had, it might be unethical but is not technically illegal, is a legal maneuver to win your case. Lawyers deal in technicalities to win. That argument was not in any way a broader statement of the overall philosophy of Fox News.

            That is not the same thing as Fox saying . “Yeah, we lie, we intend to lie, we have every right to lie, and that’s our company policy, so screw you and journalistic standards”. It’s not the same thing at all. But that’s how it is being painted.

          • WMCB:

            Williams wasn’t expressing a “political opinion.” He was expressing bigotry.

            “I won’t vote for Jesse Jackson because he’s a flaming liberal” is a political opinion.

            “I’m afraid of Jesse Jackson because he’s black” is bigotry.

            There’s a difference.

          • But he did not say “I’m afraid of Muslims because they are Muslims”.

            To stretch what he said, and the entirety of his comments, to that degree, is dishonesty about a decent man. Who was actually trying to make a pertinent point about the difficulty of dealing with a theo-political threat realistically, while at the same time avoiding stereotyping and bigotry.

            And unless we can talk openly about that difficulty, we got problems.

          • okasha, I replied but Spammy got me. Trying again:

            But he did not say “I’m afraid of M*sl*ms because they are M*s*ims”.

            To stretch what he said, and the entirety of his comments, to that degree, is dishonesty about a decent man. Who was actually trying to make a pertinent point about the difficulty of dealing with a theo-political threat realistically, while at the same time avoiding stereotyping and bigotry.

            And unless we can talk openly about that difficulty, we got problems.

          • And what was it when Jesse Jackson said, “I hate to admit it, but I have reached a stage in my life that if I am walking down a dark street late at night and I see that the person behind me is white, I subconsciously feel relieved.”

          • and yet a jury found initially that Ms. Akre was indeed retaliated against for threatening to go to the FCC with her claim.

            The actual ruling actually said the FCC lacked the standing and only creates policy not laws.

            Anyway, the latest information is out on Americans and their understanding of the health care bill. Wanna take a crack at which “news” organization leads the pack on the least informed viewers that believe distortions such as health care for illegal aliens? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same news organization that promoted a non existent link between Iraq and 9/11 and had the least informed viewers regarding it.

            Awwwwwww I’l just outright say it…….FOX NEWS….. I know a complete and total shocker.

          • the same news organization that promoted a non existent link between Iraq and 9/11 and had the least informed viewers regarding it.

            Really? Fox all by itself? Because I watched the entire Iraq invasion on CNN, not FOX. Round the clock, since I was home for weeks with a health problem. And believe me, there were 9/11 links and cheerleading aplenty.

            My argument isn’t that Fox news is dandy. My argument is that they are not much worse than any other news organization out there as regards their practices, or their slanting of coverage. It seems that way because we don’t like the direction that it slants. For every instance of Fox slanting, or some nutball saying something opinionated as fact, I can give examples of the same thing happening at NBC or CNN.

            And I’m going to go have lunch with the grandbaby now, before all this defending of Fox makes me throw up in my own mouth. Sometimes being determined to adhere to truth and be without ideological blinders is no fun at all. *snerk*

          • Enjoy your lunch!

            We’ll have to agree to disagree on the Fox News issue.

            At the end of the day though NPR has a revenue stream that it is obligated to protect and it did what it felt was in its best interest to protect it.

          • WMCB:

            Juan Williams expressed fear of people in “M****m garb.” Somehow I get he impression he was afraid of the people, thus identified as M****ms, not their haberdashery choices.

            Of course, what he’s Identifying as “M****m garb” is in fact Middle Eastern or African garb, which is also worn by Christians, Ethiopian J**s, animists and folk of several other persuasions. To point it out as denoting one specific religion is both ignorant and bigoted.

          • He wasn’t fired for expressing an opinion, he was fired for expressing bias Yes, NPR is a joke, but they represent themselves as a legitimate news organization. There’s no way they could keep him on after that. He’s put them under a microscope, and everything he does from now on is going to be viewed through this lens and subject to hyperscrutiny. As a human being, it’s good that he’s making a conscious effort to work through his biases, but as an employee of a purported news organization, it’s not a therapy session. It’s a complete distraction when the focus becomes “well, I don’t think Juan’s declared biases affected that segment too badly, do you? He did a good job keeping them under control there, for the most part!” He’s said plenty of other ridiculous, inflammatory things in the past, and in response, NPR has hired, promoted, and protected him, despite the reaction of the NPR audience. But this time he took it too far. There’s a difference between an “opinion” and expressing discomfort with people you work with and report on. Get on the PA with this in any workplace and see what happens.

    • I’m sorry. I do not agree with you and I DID read the transcript. It sounds like you are trying to justify the content of Williams’ remarks. You seem to be symapthizing with His discomfort, that this is understandable.
      And my point is that it doesn’t matter if he like Muslims or doesn’t like Muslims. He has a huge megaphone on Fox. Broadcasting his opinions and then passing himself off as an objective journalist on NPR didn’t work for NPR. SO HE WAS TERMINATED.

  9. I like to hear both sides; although lately, I rarely even tune into any type of news. I rely almost exclusively on internet sites – I go to conservative, moderate, and liberal sites and try to form my opinion after.

    As far as his statement regarding muslims on airplanes, I truly do not consider myself a racist or a bigot. I do, however, work in an inner city area with a high crime rate, perpetrated primarily by young, black males. When I am walking to my car, are my senses on extra alert when I see any young, black males in my vicinity? Uh, yeah seeing as how the majority of crimes committed there are from that demographic. I think it’s a reflexive type reaction…you don’t actively go around thinking and saying all muslims bad…but sometimes, the thought creeps into your head that you just might want to pay closer attention to the situation at hand…Bill O’Reilly hasn’t conditioned me to think this way…the majority of terrorist attacks committed within the past 15 years has.

    • The majority of terrorist attacks in this country haven’t been from muslims though. There have been plenty of acts of domestic terrorism that have nothing whatsoever to do with the muslim faith from McVeigh right on down to Randolph.

      He actually even points this out later on in the interview.

      I applaud him for being self aware enough to realize his prejudice but airing it on TV was a crap shoot and he rolled snake eyes.

      • Virtually all the terrorist acts against my demographic groups–NA, female, lesbian, pagan–have been perpetrated by white Christians heterosexuals. Somehow I manage to get on a plane and fly without fear of being summarily murdered even when I know that the pilot, copilot and most of the crew are very likely white Christian heterosexuals. They all wear white heterosexual “garb,” after all.

  10. Here is Juan’s version of events:

    JUAN WILLIAMS: I Was Fired for Telling the Truth


  11. I will be continuing my boycott of one.
    I used to listen to NPR morning and evening everyday. I was also a regular contributor.
    But as has been eluded to, during the Bush years I realized that they were “corporatists in progressive clothing.”
    Sycophantic Obama toelickers? Birds of a feather say I.
    The elections of 2008 sealed it for me. I don’t listen to NPR anymore if I can help it. I have no respect for Juan Williams’ punditry when he shows up on TV. But I don’t care who he works for.

    Live and let go to hell. That’s my motto.

  12. I figured this would never really end well – I mean he works for NPR – AND – Fox News. No real surprise that NPR would find a reason to pull the plug. Ho Hum, they should be able to fire and hire whoever they want – but it reveals who they are – a liberal leaning news outlet. That’s not bad, if that is what you want to be. Those who want to get their news from a liberal leaning outlet can tune in…. just like those that want to hear a conservative leaning (heh) outlet can turn into Fox.

    I do have to say the only part that seems unseemly for me is the psychiatrist remarks. Tasteless and classless – and very revealing…. I’d bet that person doesn’t last the next week – how funny is that gonna be? Talk about turnabout and fair play.


    • It’s just too darn bad there isn’t anywhere for those of us who don’t want our opinions spoonfed to us to actually get information from.

  13. OT: how’s that new coalition goin’ for ya?

    The new political map: Welcome to 2004

    After consecutive elections marked by big gains in Republican territory, the Democratic Party of 2011 is poised to shrink back to its form before the GOP’s downward spiral: more coastal and urban and less Southern, Midwestern and rural.

    Based on the state of the political map two weeks out from the elections, the famed red vs. blue model that followed the 2004 presidential race appears to be returning to shape, with enough grave threats to Democratic officeholders to suggest that the party — as it is expressed in Congress, at least — could end up even narrower than that.


  14. Spammy got me.

  15. NPR is my source for the BBC and some “no where else to be found” local programming. They lost me for their other programs, when they shilled for Obama during the primaries. Their contempt for Hillary and then Sarah was palpable, and I called them on it more than once. It’s a pick and choose kind of thing. Except for some music, the other stations offer little.

  16. I just can’t decide. Whoopi says one thing and Joy says another. I’m confused.

  17. Fired NPR analyst was disciplined for making ‘inappropriate’ sexual comments to female staffers

    It’s also apparent that the female staff of The Washington Post was so incensed about how the paper was dealing with it that they brought their concerns to management.

    At least seven women went on the record to say that Williams had made inappropriate comments to them.


    OK, now I want to know why he was really let go.

    • No wonder why him and O Reilly hit it off!

    • I picked up on his sexism during some NPR programs as recently as 2008. I wasn’t aware of this.

    • Williams, I think, got his start at WaPo. At least that’s when I recall first noticing him. And he always can across like a sexist jerk. When the harassment accusations came out, it didn’t surprise me at all.

      Personally, I couldn’t care less that he was fired from NPR. Good riddance. Let him get rich over on Fox where he belongs. But it does sadden me that he was fired for being ethnically insensitive and not because he’s a sexist asshat. At my age, you’d think I’d be used to it by now, but our culture’s complicity in sexism still stings.

      • gxm, I tried to say “honk” to your comment but wordpress apparently only allows me one honk a post. LOL.
        But, yeah, I agree.

      • Thanks to Bush One and Joe Bisen we got Clarance Thomas. Juan Williams was busy defending Thomas and lSEVEN women complained about Juan Williams sexually harassing them.

  18. The Post Editorial on the subject:

    NPR’s hasty decision to fire pundit Juan Williams

    In making this confession, Mr. Williams undoubtedly spoke for many Americans who are wrestling with similar feelings. His words could be offensive to some, if construed as an endorsement of negative stereotyping. But the full broadcast makes clear that Mr. Williams intended the opposite. To be sure, he struggled to get his point across, because host Bill O’Reilly kept interrupting him. But Mr. Williams did manage to observe that “we don’t want in America, people to have their rights violated to be attacked on the street because they hear rhetoric from Bill O’Reilly and they act crazy.”

    In short, Mr. Williams was attempting to do exactly what a responsible commentator should do: speak honestly without being inflammatory. His reward was to lose his job, just as Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod lost hers over purportedly racist remarks that turned out to be anything but. NPR management appears to have learned nothing from that rush to judgment. “Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality,” Mr. Williams told Mr. O’Reilly. NPR, alas, has proved his point.


    • That does change my view a bit. I could not take watching so much of Mr. O’Reilly, so I turned off the clip too soon. (Hangs head.)

      Admitting to irrational fears but then saying we cannot give in to them probably should not have gotten him fired, but that is (now) my view and NPR is still probably within its rights to terminate him.


  19. On a happier note:

    More than half thinks Obama a one-termer

    (CNN) – President Obama is busy trying to convince voters that Democratic incumbents deserve to keep their jobs, but a new poll out Thursday suggests a majority of Americans doesn’t think he deserves to keep his.


    • I’m not sure I consider that a happier note considering the alternatives to him thus far aren’t much better. Either way we appear to be headed off a cliff. Sigh.

      • Oh yea, we’re are so f**cked.

      • I want him out of office; the same with the ‘throw them out’ philosophy. Until they have to pay for deceit and self-interest, it will never improve. He has always been illegitimate in my eyes by the way he attained office, just like Bush. Let the chips fall where they may, but he has a karmic debt that needs to be paid.

    • What do they know? Didn’t they hear that Obama considers himself a pretty good President? Geez, the ignorant whining people!

  20. …The Oct. 14-17 Gallup poll also finds that, at this point in his presidency, 39% of Americans believe Obama deserves re-election and 54% say he does not…


  21. My two cents: I don’t think he should have been fired for saying he gets nervous around dressed Muslims
    at airports. First of all, they know they are watched at airports, not only by Juan. What if they were all dressed in black berets, and leather jackets? What if
    they were all dressed in prison stripes, what if they
    all had their pants down to the ground. As a matter of fact, I’d get real nervous if I saw 100 police officiers
    gathered together in an airport.

    I had an experience yesterday, I treated a group of wealthy women to lunch. When we pulled up they got real nervous. Why, because it was a soup kitchen.
    Just looking at the poor people, the homeless people
    made them nervous. One lady said, we shouldn’t eat here, it takes the food away from those that need it.
    Talk about nervous. We were served scalloped potatoes, green salad with cranberries & nuts, buns,
    coffee and pumkin cake. I left a donation, but after we
    finished, everyone of them pulled out bills to put in the basket. We were all treated very nice, and lunch was good, and I helped them break the barrier of fear of the poor. We talked about how some looked dirty, how some looked scary, but they also noticed the smiles,
    and that some were given bags of bread and food stuff
    to take with them.

    My point, when many people are gathered together, some people get nervous, so nervous that they are relocatiing these kitchens from certain public places,
    so nervous that they are shutting down these kitchens,
    and so nervous that they don’t want you to feed the homeless, don’t want them to sleep in the park, don’t
    want them to sleep in their cars, and laws are now people passed to place restrictions on the poor and the homeless. And that makes me REAL nervous.

    • “First of all, they know they are watched at airports, not only by Juan.”

      Yeah, well, I’m not Muslim but am often mistaken for Middle Eastern. I have been driving for 30+ years and have only ever been pulled over in airports (post 911). I realize that’s life and you just gotta deal with it. It still doesn’t stop the wave of panic that they’re going to arrest me on the spot and rip my car apart looking for a bomb. I’m just grateful for my fear of flying because I really don’t want to know what they’d do if I actually tried to board a plane. So, on this issue, I’ll side with the Muslim community. It may be a fact of life, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.

      • It’s hard to determine which is a worse case scenario. The person who outright admits that he has prejudice and admits that it isn’t really fair to have those prejudices or working with people who aren’t admitting these prejudices(out of fear of losing their livelihoods)and wondering in the back of your mind if the people you are working with are judging you for the actions of people who look like you but aren’t you.

        If and when we have the discussion on prejudice it’s going to be painful and I’m not sure it’s going to be as productive as people hope.

        • Exactly. It is hard to determine. It’s, simply, a tough call. And the problem is compounded by hateful blowhards like O’Reilly who doesn’t seem as much interested in introspective discussion as endorsing and perpetuating bigoted stereotypes.

      • I understand. I’ve been pulled aside at the airport for a number of reasons, and considering post 911, will probably experience this again. I don’t see it going away anytime soon do you?

        I am what the airlines consider “obsese” , meaning I am overweight, will that be yet another reason to single
        me out, does that give them reason to discriminate and up the charges, and send me to a certain seat?

        As in the story I told, rather than condemn those who
        are poor/homeless, it was an opportunity for me to talk
        with other women about the underlying issues of why
        they are homeless and poor.

        Same thing could be said for Juan, I don’t see him condemning them, and rather than he be fired and told
        to go see a psychiatric counselor, it’s time the media, and all of us looked at the underlying issues here.

        • If we examine prejudice does it change it though.

          Here is someone who is self aware enough to know that how he feels is wrong and yet he still admits to feeling that way.

          I applaud the fact that he fights his base instinct to prejudge everyone that fits into a certain demographic. I’m not certain though that his venue for the revelation though was really appropriate. Furthermore, if he blindsided NPR with the admission I can see how that could be problematic. Like it or not NPR requires revenue to run and they are going to do what they feel they have to in order to protect the revenue stream.

          • Same thing could be said for California chapter of Now, and the National office of Now……..Like it or not,
            they want those donations, and will damn near do anything to keep on keeping on.

          • Has the California Chapter of NOW had an influx of donations?

            Most women I know are absolutely appalled at the women’s organizations and their inability to actually advocate for women in a meaningful way.

            I got the impression that their behavior has resulted in their revenue stream drying up. I’d imagine if they ever really started to actually argue policy position (as opposed to protecting Democratic interests) that they might see an improvement in revenue stream over time. However, many women like myself feel punked by NOW and Emily’s List. They spent more time and energy fighting Sarah Palin then in fighting the actual people who dictate policy at present time.

    • In moderation for using the “M” word. Please release me! 🙂

    • I have no problem with “dressed M****ms.” It’s the naked ones I worry about.

  22. I’m fine with NPR firing Juan. That’s their right. Of course they’re a bunch of cowardly hypocrites since they and other staff have done worse. I would be nice if this were the beginning of them moving back to real journalism. Sadly I think it’s the opposite. I think this is them being even more Obama partisan and going with the desperate trend of pushing harder on the fear mongering of the Other. It would be great if I were wrong.

  23. I really wish that instead of talking about the “look” of someone, say, of Muslim descent, we would discuss actions by people of say, Muslim religion. I heard a story on NPR the other day that told about the Shiites having what is called “temporary marriages”. Thats when they pay a woman’s rent or something like that, say they are married. For 2 or 3 days they have sex with that woman, then throw her by the wayside and she has become “damaged goods”. Scorned and ridiculed when she didn’t have the opportunity or right to turn down the Temporary Marriage. I want to hear more about the rights of women by Muslims and the philosophy of the rights of women in that religion. Because, the gov’t’sof these countries are not democracies. They are ruled by their religious beliefs no matter what we’re doing over there.

    • That’s what needs to be brought to our attention…not the crap we usually hear/read. Sickening.

  24. Who was it said,”The truth has a Liberal bias”?
    I’m slow so it took me a while to figure out why there was no real reporting on how the other industrialized countries do health care and we only hear republican lies about it. Follow the advertising money. Our free press hasn’t been that for some years. It’s not just NPR but all of them pander. They want those nice houses up on Nantucket.

  25. NPR ombudsman posts the totality of reasons for firing Williams pokes at MO are listed as well:

    In early 2009, Williams said on O’Reilly of Michelle Obama: “She’s got this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going. If she starts talking . . . her instinct is to start with this blame America, you know, I’m the victim. If that stuff starts to coming out, people will go bananas and she’ll go from being the new Jackie O. to being something of an albatross.”


    • I had to look up Stokely Carmichael (black Trinidadian activist, apparently).
      Sos this is offensive to NPR but Hillary being called a monster is not? Hm.
      (Not to mention that MO & BO in fact have a tendency to blame the American voters.)

      What annoys me is that I don’t want to be defending Juan Williams but NPR keeps pushing my buttons.

    • Wasn’t it the New Yorker that posted the cartoon of the
      Obama’s as Black Miltants? For a while that didn’t fly either.

    • I kind of agree with what Juan said in that instance. People did go bananas. I don’t see her as Stokely Carmichael though. What a laugh! She’s establishment all the way.

  26. ..“We believe in a country where we say, ‘I am my sister’s keeper,’” Obama said, amending his usual brother’s-keeper stump speech …..

    Obama’s trouble with women voters has the potential to haunt him in 2012…

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43991.html#ixzz136FnnbPC


    • Doesn’t “sister’s keeper” have a completely different connotation since throughout history women have been kept as chattel.

  27. A Bloomberg poll released last week found that more than 60 percent of women voters who backed Obama in 2008 are either less supportive or say they no longer support him at all

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43991_Page2.html#ixzz136KlulFO

    told ya sweeties

  28. …but often Obama’s message on women is delivered by a male…

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43991_Page3.html#ixzz136LFy1eT

    yeah that male would be Rep Bart Stupak

  29. I disagree with your post. I used to be an NPR supporter, but their very obvious pro-Obama reporting during the primaries turned me off and I haven’t supported them since. Partly, for that reason I sort of liked Juan Williams. He eas often a more moderate and I thought more insigthful voice. I never thought he was conservative.

    • Sigh
      I thot I made it very clear that I nonlinger listen to NPR for the reasons that many others have given.
      But I never liked Juan Williams, even before Obama. He rubbed mr the wrong way on multiple occasions. And btw, I’m liberal but in a Hillary Clinton way. That is, principled and reasonable. Very few would confuse me with a Obama bot lefty and I still found Williams painful to listen to.

      • When someone disagrees with one of your posts you’re supposed to flame them and then ban them.

        We’re an echo chamber and we don’t tolerate dissent.


  30. RD, do you have a link you would share that backs up your statement that Juan was “warned several times before about this?”

  31. I have no opinion.

    I turned off NPR in the run-up to the Iraq war as they constantly beat the drums for the Bush administration. Never been back.

    i feel so alone…

    • I feel that way too. I can’t turn on tv, or the radio, because within ten minutes I get provoked by all the ding-a-lings.

  32. Well-I lost my message. Anyway, I think the point is that if you get public funding and tax exempt status–you’d better be unbiased. NPR,imo, has been disgustingly O biased for awhile now.

  33. Glad to have this topic on Confluence since after hearing NPR’s ombudsperson speak on TON yesterday. Since that time I have tried several times to add a comment @NPR but their system is jammed.

    I was glad to see Williams leave even if he may have been fired for the wrong reason—jury is still out IMO. When the OB person said that Williams was #1 and Mara was #2 @ NPR for complaints that really got my attention . And all this time I thought it wuz just me thinking that their personal views were leaking through their on air presentations!!

    Fortunately I have a marvelous all volunteer non corporate 43 year old community radio station as an alternative to listening to NPR. So they get my money—not NPR.

    BTW, you can catch them on the web at http://www.kboo.fm

    The programming from 7am to noon PST is focused on everything from politics to book reviews, gardening, cooking, art and performances. Much better than NPR.

  34. O/T, but three cheers for the Big Dawg!

    “The Return of the King: Bill Clinton in Limelight as Democrats Struggle” http://news.yahoo.com/s/atlantic/thereturnofthekingbillclintoninlimelightasdemocratsstruggle5498

  35. Elizabeth Warren was just on the view.

    • What did she talk about?

      • the consumer protection agency…

        not much to talk about I suppose as she said they were still in the infancy stage.

        No website, no nothing.

        • Geeze, is her new office the broom closet?
          Poor Elizabeth. Poor us.

          • The minute she said they were a “baby agency” and they “do not yet have a website” my brain snapped –

            Oh, this is a premature run out. This is a campaign event for the W.H.

            hopefully most are not as cynical as I am

          • Obama gave the agency the pocket veto treatment.

      • Her first agenda is to work on credit cards. She talked about getting rid of the fine print. Clarification of terms, etc. Hard to reproduce what she said but she received a good response. She made it clear she is interested in middle class issues.

  36. I don’t know if this was posted before, but Barry just admonished bullies. I hope they stop now…


    Hillary 2012


    • I saw this posted last night. It is not getting good reviews for content or timing on any of the usual LGBT websites. Things like – Mama Hillary did it so he was forced to do it. Its the usual – he talks down to us.

      OTOH, I feel that if one kid sees it and decides to step back then it is good.

      • Want to add – the youtube comments that I saw last night were not good.

        Things like: Too late. Hypocrite. Hillary forced you. You could have stopped DADT instead you just give us WORDS. What about DOMA?

      • Considering that many of his fans tend towards be bullying behavior online (“Get in their faces!” I hope this does do some good.

    • On one hand he can do a “it gets better” video and on the other he sends Jarett to tell Dan Choi that they have no choice but to defend DADT.


      Dan Choi: “we see this President give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to discrimination.”

      • Shorter BO: “It gets better, but you’re going to have to stay in the closet if you want to serve in the military and just forget about ever marrying your partner while I’m president. Now be sure to send me donations and vote Dem because the GOP hatez you.”

        • There is an unwritten problem that gay men and women face in the military as well which isn’t reported in these stories.

          There are formal balls and various functions that spouses are required to attend. Which can reflect badly on the soldier and their promotions if they do not. As well as restaurants (not mess halls) on base for officers or enlisted men (a separate restaurant). Which is another opportunity for a couple to mingle with the general and/or show participation in the whole military and family life.

          So if you don’t have a spouse or are forced to show up with a beard, that you don’t marry at some point, it is a silent check against you.

  37. 100% with you RD!!!!

    What happened to NPR was no joke.

  38. The postings are long as usual, but Glenn Greenwald has done a spectacular job about this matter. I think these posts are must-read.

    NPR fires Juan Williams for anti-Moslem [ed] bigotry


    The real danger from NPR’s firing of Juan Williams

    The one good thing about such long posts is that the manage to successfully address all the bogus points people have been making in defense of Juan Williams.

    • I read that yesterday and GG is missing the point. He may approve of Williams getting the sack for any number of reasons but the firing cause offered by NPR is bogus.

  39. Adding to th discussion about Muslim women
    Statistics Show Women Fare Badly Under Islam, but U.N. Official Calls Data ‘Stereotyping’

    • Islam oppresses women. Period.

      Yeah, and so do a bunch of other religions, but Islam has got to be the worst, in my opinion.

  40. Wouldn’t it be fun and funny if this guy were one of the few Dems to win? Just imagining Reid’s face if Greene were in the senate.

    But if oddball politics is a race, Alvin Greene is driving South Carolina’s very fast car.

    Just recently, he snuck up behind a broadcast journalist and, on live television, appeared to put finger rabbit ears behind the journalist’s head.

    “That was the victory sign, not rabbit ears,” Greene said during a telephone interview on Wednesday.

    Asked why he thought it was appropriate for a U.S. Senate candidate to sneak into a television crew’s live shot, he said: “The fair is a party. That’s the fair, not a funeral.”

    Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/22/102438/alvin-greenes-senate-campaign.html#ixzz137E2BDw6

  41. Is dakinikat okay? Haven’t seen her for a few days.

    And BB ? Maybe she is working on her book purge.

    I get a little worried when my TC friends don’t check in.

  42. OT: Good grief, I just got a small catalog in the mail, the type with the sides held together by scotch tape. So I broke the scotch tape seals and a letter with insufficient postage, only 37 cents, fell out. I opened it and it contains some total stranger’s VISA payment to a federal credit union in it! Now what???

  43. I don’t have a dog in this thing (I don’t care for NPR, Fox, or Juan), but if I’m supposed to understand Juan’s little Shirley Sherrodesque story of overcoming bias, then I get what the NPR president was saying with the “psychiatrist” remark, which was that Juan should be keeping his feelings out of his reporting and commentary. Simple comprehension makes it clear what both parties were saying, and I think the stink being made over both Juan’s and Vivian’s comments itself is a bit much.

    Yeah NPR is smirky and elitist, so what’s new? Doesn’t mean NPR is wrong that Juan’s more subjective commentary on Fox was in conflict with his role on NPR. And, I don’t think Juan is a bigot (progressives are a lost cause …there is no reforming them to stop calling him one), but I think his idea of communicating his uncomfortableness when Muslims identify themselves first as Muslims was a very stupid and ill-advised comment to make and too much in the O’Reilly line of conversation. Juan wouldn’t have said this kind of stuff on NPR. It’s one thing to talk about the elephant in the room which is that there are people who have fears when they see Muslim in headdress on a plane and we have to get people over these fears. It’s quite another thing to legitimize those fears by saying you have them too, even if the effect of legitimizing was unintentional on Juan’s part. The whole problem here goes to Juan cozying up too much to the O’Reillys.

    BTW, if Juan weren’t so attached at the hip to conservative media, he could have defended himself so easily and pointed how the fuss being made over his comment about Muslims is like what conservative media did to Shirley–but of course Juan isn’t going to bite the Ailes that feeds him… but that’s the real problem here. Not what he said about Muslims but the decade-long conflict of interests he had between his Fox and NPR gigs.

    This has been going on forever–and it was obvious that this would come to a head. Just last year NPR made Fox stop referring to Juan as an NPR analyst.

    I will say though that if NPR really wanted to make its own case on this, they would have the guts to fire Mara Liasson too. She too is in conflict with NPR’s policy in the same way that Juan is, and as long as she stays at Fox on the Brit/Bret panels, their whole argument/policy that NPR’s analysts needing to be on shows that encourage “fact-based analysis” is undermined.

    On the subject of NPR’s own bias. NPR is practically privatized anyway, so I think that’s where a lot of the problem starts. Ideally I’d like to see it go back to relying on public funding and maybe that would start to resolve some of its progressive oatmeal bias. In the absence of that, if people wanted to stop the grant money from going to NPR, I say might as well. At least that would resolve the murkiness comes from it appearing to be publicly funded when it really hasn’t been that way since the early 80s.

    • Wonderful comment! I agree. NPR’s ombudsperson is now saying the firing was mishandled. I do think they should have called Williams in and fired him face to face unless he refused to show up.

      The man was a pretty good journalist when he worked for the WaPo–he was nominated for a Pulitzer, he was a WH correspondent, he wrote a book on the civil rights movement. IMHO, he’s not just a complete waste of space, like a lot of Fox News commentators. Yes, he sold out, he’s conservative, and I disliked the way he ran Talk of the Nation. I thought NPR should have gotten rid of him as soon as he went on Fox News–Mara Liaison too.

      I don’t see this as equivalent to Shirley Sherrod–she was talking about a learning experience she had many years in the past–but you’re right that he could have tried to make that case.

      • Thanks BB. I agree that Juan’s comments are NOT equivalent to Shirley Sherrod’s comments. I just think the way things were taken out of context–i.e. the way Juan’s comment has been taken out of the context of saying people need to get over their fears and the way Sherrod’s comment was taken out of the context of relating getting over bias–is the part that’s similar and comparable.

    • NPR had a whole segment today discussing Juan Williams and they played some comment he made about Michelle Obama and others and one person commented on that this was the tipping point due to complaints. Personally I had never heard the Michelle Obama slight and well I guess I expect more from someone that calls themselves a journalist.

      They also discussed the psychiatrist comment and personally from a HR point of view the person that said that blew it! If as part of any disciplinary action they call upon the ADA clause, and you accept the agreement, i.e., counseling etc., then mum is the word. You can not speak of it in public.

      It is tricky though if there were other complaints from women as the past complaints by SEVEN women at a former place of work on record. This was an hour long debate in an HR class as it was one of those what if employee A had issues, but other employees had issues with employee A. Do you keep employee A or do you terminate? The resounding replies were; you terminate, as keeping employee A would create a hostile employment and possibly put others in harms way and the liability was too high.

      • I think the psychiatrist comment is really being taken too literally, imho. Vivian did step in it by even going there but I think it was a more general statement about not bringing feelings into it. I don’t think it was about Juan being a nutjob or seeing a psychiatrist.

  44. This is just embarrassing. Obama will use his teleprompter when he addresses Indian Parliament, something no other world leader has ever done. Ever.

    It reminds of the Soviet days, when the Politburo would routinely prop up some half-dead figurehead to wave and prove he was still alive and in control, even though he was a drooling imbecile at that point and everyone knew it.


  45. I watched that full segment. To say that Juan Williams agreed with BillO is to aggressively stretch the truth. And I no longer listen to NPR because it is hopelessly one sided and it treated HRC very badly. I do not think they should receive public funds; they are not even handed. And BTW, I am tired of media meat heads who think we need someone to tell us how to think about the damn news. Just report it.

  46. I just don’t buy the whole thing. It’s less than two weeks before an election, and here’s an excuse for every news and gab show everywhere to banter about whether persons wearing muzlim garb are scary in airports. That’s as good as an orange alert. It doesn’t matter which side of that argument is favored, the result is reminding people about 9-11 and fear and that ALWAYS accrues to Republicans.


  47. New thread up

  48. Liberals open minds, brains fall out over Juan Willams’ firing.

    Ewwwww! Is that that squishy thing I stepped on on the floor??!

  49. Juan’s a liberal “guy” and he’s a token apologist for Obama on Fox, which few others can get it together to do. I love how Mary Catherine Hamm always chews him up and spits him out… just like HRC would do if she were to become a contributor on Fox. Bottom line: Fox has the ratings. Say what you will about them, if you have a message, Fox is the outlet that delivers the ears.

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