In the wake of the firing of news analyst Juan Williams from National Public Radio, Sarah Palin posted a comment on faceBook entitled “Juan Williams: Going Rogue”. (Ya gotta love it…!) (source) FOX News Chairman Roger Ailes [has] describedWilliams as “a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints…” and I must confirm that description. At least as far as the ‘staunch’ part goes – one of the last times I watched Williams on FOX News Sunday, his capacity for ’standing his ground’ so impressed me that I think I wanted to BE him! Of course he, and any guest/panelist on these political roundtable shows, need to be able to do that. And they wouldn’t be in the profession they are if such ability was not inherently developed in them, anyway…But on this particular show, Williams was standing alone against all of ’em, and opposition was strong, vocal and persistent. He remained unflappable.
So Juan Williams has my admiration and respect. And of course I am on his side in this NPR firing incident, for this reason alone. Which is not objective on my part, I admit it! I’m not making any excuses for my partiality.
Is my evaluation of his Muslim-oriented comment way off the mark? Because I sure don’t think it warranted the abrupt, cut-off response it got! He merely admitted that seeing Muslim-garbed persons on a plane makes him nervous. For that, lickety-split, after over ten years with the broadcasting organization, he was fired. Over the phone. Got that? Over the phone…like, they couldn’t get rid of him fast enough.
Juan voiced a common fear. I really doubt he had a second thought about saying it – but life can change on the turn of a dime. And it did. The cat’s out of the bag, too late now…but Mr. Williams has clout & credentials, he’ll be fine. In fact, faster than you could say ’lickety-split’ ten times (ok – I exaggerate), FOX News signed Juan to a nice, lucrative contract with them, covering the next 2-3 years, I believe. I’ll go so far as to say, in God’s plan, maybe this termination was a Divine chess move. And a setting in motion of other wheels that maybe needed a nudge to get turning…such as: “I hate what he said,” Maynard ( Dori J. Maynard, the president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education) said during the Associated Press Managing Editors conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. “But he didn’t say something, unfortunately, that other people aren’t thinking. So we have to talk about it. Not talking about things don’t make them go away.”
response to Williams’ statement strikes me as disproportionately accusing. And while the second paragraph below may contain truth, Juan Williams wasn’t ’launch[ing] rhetorical attacks’ on Islam.
“NPR should address the fact that one of its news analysts seems to believe that all airline passengers who are perceived to be Muslim can legitimately be viewed as security threats said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR.”
He noted that media commentators who launch rhetorical attacks on Islam and Muslims normally do not suffer the professional consequences of those who similarly target other racial, ethnic or religious groups.
SEE: Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Triggers Little Fallout (ABC)”
If CAIR’s mission statement includes encouraging dialogue, as outlined here, then wouldn’t this incident present them with a good opportunity to explore and, uh, discuss the issue? Not demand other courses of action that effectively squelch said dialogue? So…do they really want the dialogue in the first place?
It doesn’t look like it, to me
What it does look like, though, is what
Act for America calls “…NPR’s politically correct kowtowing to sharia law…” and further explains “When Muslims attempt to suppress free speech critiques of Islam they are abiding by sharia law, and insisting that we non-Muslims bow before sharia law as well. They frequently get furious when we refuse to do so.”
Sounds like that’s exactly what happened here.