There were a few recent happenings in the media world that simply should not be condoned. Both involved Bill O’Reilly.
First, a few weeks ago Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked off the set of “The View.” Then, last week, Juan Williams was fired after a comment he made on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
“The View” incident is something that should never happen in the media. When you are a host, it doesn’t matter what the guest says, you can’t walk off the set. That’s the last thing you should ever do.
They knew they were having O’Reilly and should have known what they were getting. The guy says idiotic stuff so you should be prepared for that. In fact, that is probably why they had him on because they knew they would get ratings with him and his controversial act.
If you’re willing to have him on you agree to let him say what he wants. You can press him on issues and even argue with him but you can’t walk out. That is simply a cowardice act.
It should be noted that this is written by someone who doesn’t have a problem with the mosque being built in New York. It doesn’t matter if the majority of people don’t want it or how many sob stories are told if the law permits it. The opinion of average people has no weight in this issue. It’s not a popularity contest but simply goes by what the law allows.
Even with this opinion, O’Reilly should be able to say whatever he wants. You don’t have to agree with him. The way the hosts acted was childish. Just because he has a differing opinion than you doesn’t give you the right to walk away and not listen to him and let him speak. Otherwise, you’d only have people you agree with on your show. That’s not what the media is all about.
The Juan Williams situation was worse in the fact that he lost his job over something he said. He was answering a question from O’Reilly and was simply being honest. That is the point of interviews. You might not like what somebody says but if they are answering a question they have the right to answer genuinely based on how they feel.
Even within the quote Williams said that he’s “not a bigot.” He also said that you can’t label all the people within a religion based on one person’s actions. He clearly wasn’t just attacking anybody to be mean. He was giving a honest assessment. Should he have hid his true feelings?
The media has become a political battlefield in a lot of ways. This is not what the media should be about. The media is supposed to give both sides to a story and let people voice their educated opinions. If you don’t allow this you only have one voice and that voice is just based on what the majority or the powerful think. You wouldn’t want that would you?