Juan Williams fired by NPR, and his supporters won't be able to do anything about it

COVID-19 Response

Like everyone else, we urge you to wash your hands and engage in social distancing.

Unlike everyone else, we urge you to also help with this smart plan to get more tests, ventilators, and PPE. Everyone can do that plan right now, at home, in just 15 minutes.

If enough people help with the plan we can save lives. Take time out now and help get more desperately-needed supplies.

Political commentator Juan Williams was fired by NPR yesterday for making what should be non-controversial remarks about Muslims and terrorism on the Bill OReilly show; a transcript is at [1]. Williams' comments were too much for NPR (link) who'd previously warned him about his appearances on Fox News. Now, tasting blood, groups like Media Matters for America are going after NPR's Mara Liasson for her appearances on Fox [2].

Needless to say, rightwing bloggers and the like are up in arms about the firing. However, unless they manage to make an awful lot of noise very quickly, what they're doing is going to have little or no long-term effect.

The effective way to do things would involve a two-prong strategy: petition NPR to re-hire Williams, and at the same time put pressure on NPR and MMFA by showing NPR's and MMFA's audiences how they're being misled.

For the first, very few rightwing leaders have the sticktoitiveness to remember this tomorrow: they'll be on to the next shiny bauble. For the second, very few rightwing leaders have the willingness or ability to show the far-left's audience how they're being misled by their own leaders. Almost all rightwing leaders concentrate on preaching to the choir.

I'm certainly not going to spend time trying to reinstate Williams, but I will continue to show how those in the NPR orbit such as the Center for American Progress, ThinkProgress, Media Matters for America, and so on are misleading their audience; see each of those links for past examples. With that I've gotten very little help from rightwing leaders (or worse, and see the note at the top of this), despite how helping me could help them with their supposed goals. In a way it's Darwinistic.

[1] From scpr.org/programs/madeleine-brand/2010/10/21/

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, actually, I hate to say this to you because I don't want to get your ego going. But I think you're right. I think, look, political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality.

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.

Now, I remember also that when the Times Square bomber was at court, I think this was just last week. He said the war with Muslims, America's war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts.

But I think there are people who want to somehow remind us all as President Bush did after 9/11, it's not a war against Islam. President Bush went to a mosque -

O'REILLY: Well, there isn't any theology involved in this at all from my perspective, Juan. But you live in the liberal precincts. You actually work for NPR, OK?


O'REILLY: And it's not about - it's about politics as I said. But - my analysis is that this Israel thing and that liberals feel that United states is somehow guilty in the world, of exploitation and backing the wrong side, and it makes it easier for them to come up with this kind of crazy stuff that, well, you can't really say the Muslims attacked us on 9/11.

WILLIAMS: No, but what Barbara Walters said to you -

O'REILLY: Were they Norwegians? I mean, come on.

WILLIAMS: Wait a second though, wait, hold on, because if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals, very obnoxious, you don't say first and foremost, we got a problem with Christians. That's crazy.

O'REILLY: But it's not at that level. It doesn't rise near to that level.

WILLIAMS: Correct. That's - and when you said in the talking points memo a moment ago that there are good Muslims, I think that's a point, you know?

O'REILLY: But everybody knows that, Juan. I mean, what are, in 3rd grade here or what?

WILLIAMS: No, you don't - but you got to be - this is what Barbara Walters was saying -

O'REILLY: I got to be careful, you just said it. I got to be careful. I have got to qualify everything 50 times. You know what, Juan? I'm not doing it anymore. I'm not doing that anymore.

WILLIAMS: OK. So, be yourself. Take responsibility.

O'REILLY: But I'm not going to say, oh, it's only a few. It's only a tiny bit. It's not, Juan. It's whole nations, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, whole nations.

[2] mediamatters.org/blog/201010210014