Juan Williams, the NPR and FoxNews “journalist” that was fired when he said the following to Bill O’Reilly when asked about whether the United States was facing a Muslim Dilemma,
“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
National Public Radio (NPR) quickly firing Juan William for his somewhat bigoted statement was unwarranted for the particular statement. Republicans attempting to defund NPR for firing Juan Williams is worst. That threat will have a chilling effect on NPR reporting that will make it less hard hitting and complete than it has always being known for.
The reality is Juan Williams should have been fired for many other reasons a very long time ago. He has allowed his reputation as a very good NPR journalist to be used to give FoxNews a level of credibility, objectivity, and gravitas that it could not garner given their news and commentary with a constant and high propensity for misinformation and outright lies.
It should come as no surprise that Juan Williams’ firing was used by FoxNews as a cry against the nonexistent liberal media and at the same time provide him with a two million dollar plus contract to continue his “liberal” viewpoint on FoxNews. FoxNews win. Juan Williams win. NPR loses for firing someone that diminishes their brand.
On November 18th, 2010, sanity prevailed in Congress. Republicans attempted to defund NPR and were rebuffed by a vote of 239-171. NPR then stated the obvious. Public Radio was created to cover items, programs, and issues neglected by commercial radio.
The politicization of Public Radio funding is likely to increase as Republicans who do not like that network generally unbiased point of view feel threatened as they continue to mislead Americans now that they are in control of the House of Representatives. Constant vigilance is necessary.
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