Williams terminated by NPR for saying he gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim dress on a plane

It’s an all-out battle between reality and liberalism! Which will win?

NPR itself reports the story:

NPR Ends Williams’ Contract After Muslim Remarks

NPR News has terminated the contract of longtime news analyst Juan Williams after remarks he made on the Fox News Channel about Muslims.

Williams appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Monday and host Bill O’Reilly asked him to comment on the idea that the nation was facing a dilemma with Muslims.

O’Reilly has been looking for support for his own remarks on a recent episode of ABC’s “The View,” in which he directly blamed Muslims for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. [LA replies: Gott in Himmel—the man directly blamed Muslims for the September 11 attacks! If O’Reilly worked for NPR, he would have been fired for saying that. It’s the same issue that drives the Geert Wilders trial—it’s liberalism versus the truth about Islam. Which will win?] Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set in the middle of his appearance.

Williams responded: “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.”

Williams also warned O’Reilly against blaming all Muslims for “extremists,” saying Christians shouldn’t be blamed for Tim McVeigh. [LA replies: so even though Williams made that absurd PC equivalence regarding Timothy McVeigh (and by the way notice how NPR refers to the mass murderer McVeigh by his nickname, just as Dan Rather always did), that wasn’t enough to show Williams’s bosses at NPR that his heart was in the right place. No. His true, and entirely rational, and probably shared by a majority of the population sentiment that he feels nervous and worried when he sees people on an airplane dressed in Muslim garb was enough to get him fired.

[Indeed, NPR’s policy in firing Williams is identical to that of pro-Bush Norwegian blogger Bjorn Staerk, who in 2007 wrote: “Brave is sitting down calmly on a plane behind a row of suspicious-looking Arabs, ignoring your own fears, because you know those fears are irrational, and because even if there’s a chance that they are terrorists, it is more important to you to preserve an open and tolerant society than to survive this trip. Brave is insisting that Arabs not be searched more carefully in airport security than anyone else, because you believe that it is more important not to discriminate against people based on their race than to keep the occasional terrorist from getting on a plane.” Read the whole entry, which is entitled, “The ultimate proof of the VFR view of liberalism.”]

But strong criticism followed Williams’ comments.

Late Wednesday night, NPR issued a statement praising Williams as a valuable contributor but saying it had given him notice that it was severing his contract. “His remarks on “The O’Reilly Factor” this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR,” the statement read.

Williams’ presence on the largely conservative and often contentious prime time talk shows of Fox News has long been a sore point with NPR News executives.

His status was earlier shifted from staff correspondent to an analyst after he took clear-cut positions about public policy on television and in newspaper opinion pieces.

Reached late Wednesday night, Williams said he wasn’t ready to comment and was conferring with his wife about the episode.

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Alexis Zarkov writes:

Let’s not forget that “NPR” stands for “National Public Radio.” While NPR exists as an incorporated entity, it’s still a creature of government and as such should not be able limit free speech because of the First Amendment. Of course I suspect there’s a legal catch someplace that allows NPR to fire Williams. No doubt the legal blogs will deal with this question shortly.

I’m somewhat surprised that NPR would take such an action because all Williams did was confess to having experienced an emotion. An emotion which the Administrators at NPR no doubt feel themselves when they fly. I’m afraid this incident shows just how deeply Islam has penetrated the American government.

LA replies:

Free speech is not an issue here. He’s an employee of a corporation, whether it’s public or private. They have editorial standards which evidently he violated.

Americans constantly turn issues into “free speech” issues which are not free speech issues. The seem to believe that the First Amendment’s prohibition on infringement of speech applies to every entity in America, not just to the Congress (and, through the revolutionary Incorporation Doctrine which turned the Bill of Rights on its head, to state and local governments).

Charles T. writes:

It is ridiculously easy to be and remain a liberal until you realize that your security is threatened by another group of human beings. All one has to do to be a liberal is to talk about how tolerant you are. However, when reality—in this case, personal security—intrudes, one has to rethink whether one should really be so tolerant after all. Even though Juan is still a liberal, he has enough of reality within him to realize when his existence is threatened. He has paid the price for voicing that concern. Hopefully, this will keep happening to liberals on a daily basis.

His statement from the post above is telling on him. It reads: “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.”

When someone says “I am not a bigot but … ” you know that person has a serious problem with another group of people but is wrestling mentally in admitting it. In this case, the serious problem is a legitimate one, i.e, one’s own survival. Welcome to the real world, Juan.

N. writes:

It should come as no surprise that Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar would walk off of a TV show that Bill O’Reilly was on. Both are liberals of the “make a statement” school, and turning their backs on someone whose opinions they dislike is a standard, if childish, statement to make.

It is more curious that National Public Radio (or “National Government Radio” as some refer to it) should terminate liberal Juan Williams for saying something that is not all that different from Jesse Jackson’s famous comment about walking down a street and encountering men at night (he was relieved to encounter groups of white men vs. groups of black men, who made him nervous). I find it more curious because here we have a preferred minority man (black) being fired for saying something that isn’t all that controversial.

This firing suggests that Moslems may be taking the “most favored Other” position formerly occupied by blacks and homosexuals. That in turn implies that it will become more and more difficult to say anything about Islam that is critical in any way, just as any criticism of blacks has become “racist” and any disagreement with the most militant homosexual radical “homophobia.” Unhappily, suppressing the truth of Islam is a great deal more dangerous than squelching all reality-based talk regarding blacks and homosexuals, as the two latter groups do not have a thousand-year long record of tyranny. Unlike Islam …

As for reality vs. liberalism, that question has been answered for 40 years or more. A recent article in the NY Times kinda sorta suggested that culture might have some, vague, connection with poverty, but the Times, having bumped into reality, picked itself up and ran away. Liberals have asserted for generations that the “solution” to poverty is handing out money. Nothing more need be done, that’s sufficient. The manifest failure of this notion, documented first in 1971 by Daniel Patrick Monyhan, in his report on the effects of the “Great Society” on urban black people, is glaringly obvious. Yet despite reality, liberal dogma and policy continues in its “bread and circuses” direction, even as liberals find they must constantly improve personal security efforts (gated communities, strict access- control apartment buildings, etc.) to protect themselves from the results of their policies.

This implies that the Joy Behars of this country won’t bring themselves to see the truth of Islam even when their neighbors are being assaulted in the street for “immodesty,” i.e. allowing any part of their body besides their hands and face to be seen. Liberalism is a cult, a belief system that transcends reality, and therefore liberals tend to be True Believers (in the sense Eric Hoffer wrote about) who would rather suffer and even die than give up their unreal, fantastic beliefs.

Leonard K. writes:

Subject: How to become a prophet

Nothing could be easier in our society. Let me try:

I predict that within 48 hours Juan Willams will issue an apology.

Spencer Warren writes:

If the Republicans win control of the House, an excellent way to demonstrate they truly are fiscally (and culturally)responsible conservatives would be to stop funding NPR and PBS through their parent Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Both are strongly left-wing, especially NPR. (Daniel Schoor, fired, as I recall, long ago for his bias by CBS(!) was a “neutral” commentator on NPR until his death last summer.) With all the new sources of radio and television programming there is no good reason for taxpayers, few of whom listen to NPR or watch PBS, to finance them. Let rich liberals like Pelosi and Kerry foot the bill personally.

N. writes:

Suppose that someone in the early 1980’s had said that flying near the Kamchatka peninsula made them nervous, because that was the route taken by Korean Air Lines flight 007 before it was shot down by the Soviet Air Force. Now suppose that person had been fired from NPR for being “bigoted” or perhaps “showing hate” against Communism. If Americans had essentially been prohibited from saying or writing anything critical of Soviet Communism during the Cold War, because such would be “Communo-phobia” and thus discriminatory, how would it have been possible to resist Soviet aggression and subversion of the West?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 21, 2010 07:05 AM | Send

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