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« Lunchtime reading | Main | Overplayed »

Oct 21, 2010

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James

Should have been fired long ago. From what I've read, his participation on Fox violates both the spirit and letter of his contractual agreement.

As a private citizen, he can say whatever he wants. He'll be happier now.

greensboro transplant

james:

is mara liasson's contract similarly structured? should she be fired as well as she participates on fox.

James

It appears that guidelines apply to all correspondents. If that's the case, she should be fired too.

Fox "News" is a toxic force in this world, in my view. When serious journalists show up on their programs, it gives the company the illusion of legitimacy and degrades the integrity of the journalists in question.

Just my opinion, but a strongly held one.

eric

He should have been fired because he's a stupendously vapid commentator, even by the debased standards of NPR.

But, on the question of whether his comments merited his firing, I wonder how many of those shedding tears for Juan Williams expressed similar concerns about Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, and Rick Sanchez.

Ed Cone

Looks like I should have called the post "Up with his salary," considering the fat deal Williams just signed with Fox.

It's not diversity of viewpoints, it's diversity of external appearance sharing liberal sameness, stupid!

"Fox "News" is a toxic force in this world, in my view. When serious journalists show up on their programs, it gives the company the illusion of legitimacy and degrades the integrity of the journalists in question."

"He should have been fired because he's a stupendously vapid commentator, even by the debased standards of NPR."

I didn't realize they were this far gone.

Andrew Brod

I'm inclined to agree with the Adam Serwer WaPo post on a couple of points:

1. The problem wasn't Williams' admission of momentary discomfort upon seeing people in Muslim garb (because no one's perfect and we all have prejudices), but his use of that admission to legitimize O'Reilly's bigotry.

2. It's not a defense to claim that many people share your bigotry: "Prejudice doesn't cease to be prejudice because it is widely held."

Beyond that, I'm struck by Williams' claim that he isn't a bigot because he's written about the civil-rights movement. Being African-American and supporting black civil rights is as much self-interest as it is high-minded principle. Advocating for one's own tribe is no evidence at all. If I promoted civil rights for Jews and no one else, I'd be a bigot. Period.

Fred Gregory

Now if Donald Trump was in charge Olberman and Maddow would have hit the door a long time ago.

And talk about wasting money ( $700,000 ) by playing politics on something that is aready law

Shilling OmabaCare

Can't fire this tired mean old partisan actor . Put him out to pature with the other yellow dogs who are long in the tooth. Talks, in more ways than one, like he has suffered a stroke.

oh, and another thing,...

Not just diverse, but classy, too.

Grant

/Grandpa Simpson.

Hugh

Fox just today signed Williams to a 3 year, $2 million deal.

ROTF at liberal heads exploding.

justcorbly

Seconding Andrew.

William's remarks can't be legitimized by acknowledging that millions of Americans would feel ill at ease if some one wearing a keffiyeh or a burqa boarded a flight they were on. At best, that's an act of irrational fear. At worst, it is simple racism. (Fearing white males in expensive suits would be more rational.) The problem, then, is not with NPR's justified dismissal of Williams, but with millions of Americans who are afraid to challenge and confront their prejudices.

Firing Williams won't leave much of a gap at NPR, which works hard at being objective, hence the right-wing's insistence that it is a tool of the left.

John

I have often thought NPR stood for "National Propaganda Radio". Never thought they would snake so low as to fire someone for expressing their fears.
Fired NPR news analyst Juan Williams should have kept his feeling about Muslims between himself and "his psychiatrist or his publicist," the network's CEO told an audience at the Atlanta Press Club earlier today.

cotten-eyed joe biden peckinpah

...and he was so clean and articulate

justcorbly

"..expressing their fears" = displaying their bigotry. No forgiveness for that.

If Williams worked at a 7-11 his bigotries probably would not affect his job performance. But Williams is a journalist with a professional responsibility to be objective. Now that he has given us very good reason to doubt his ability to adhere to that standard, it's only fitting that he continue at Fox, a network that is to real journalism as pro wrestling is to athletics.

James


Why would heads be exploding among liberals? Williams shift to the dark side has been underway for quite some time. His sell out is be expected. He is now among people whose values are measured only in dollar signs.

K. Tompkins-Alston

John: correction-National Progressive Rag
Peckinpah: He's not the first

Turn left, then when you get to infinity, keep going.

Sell-out? Excuse me. He just got fired from one job for expressing his feelings on another. Do you think he and Fox planned this whole thing? Have you people completely lost your minds or is it just a temporary derangement from the impending loss of your brief camelot-that-wasn't?

eric

And where were all these stalwart defenders of free speech when Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez and Octavia Nasr were fired for expressing their opinions?

FWIW: In the case of both Thomas & Sanchez, I thought their remarks were, at best, incredibly stupid and insensitive; in the case of Nasr, I thought her comment was entirely unobjectionable even if I don't share her opinion. I'm not sure if any of them (including Williams) should have been fired. But there's no principled basis for singling out Williams for pity or martyrdom.

Grant

Why would heads be exploding among liberals?

Only surprise here is that Fox threw twice at much at him as they did the Republican Governor's Association. He must have some heavy-duty pizazz with grayhair wingers, or maybe he knows where some bodies are buried.

bubba

"Have you people completely lost your minds or is it just a temporary derangement from the impending loss of your brief camelot-that-wasn't?"

Both, but there's nothing temporary about the derangement, delusion and distemper on constant display by the Usual Suspects here, regardless of their well deserved impending marginalization.

This thread is full of great examples of their predictably petulant behavior.

opportunity in adversity

No pity or martyrdom required. Just a guy who enhanced his status today at the expense of his former employer's. happens all the time.

bubba

"And where were all these stalwart defenders of free speech when Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez and Octavia Nasr were fired for expressing their opinions?"

Where were all the calls for Nina Totenberg to be canned over this?

Oh wait.......that's not bad compared to what Williams said, right?

Hat tip: Reason, where there's more:

"Williams' firing is a clarifying moment in media mores. You can be Islamophobic, in the form of refusing to run the most innocuous imaginable political cartoons out of a broad-brush fear of Muslims, but you can't admit it, even when the fear is expressed as a personal feeling and not a group description, winnowed down to the very specific and nightmare-exhuming act of riding on an airplane, and uttered in a context of otherwise repudiating collective guilt and overbroad fearmongering."

Ah, but "experts" like Protzman, corbs, Eric and the ever-dependable Andy know far better than anyone else does, and it's clear from their comments that Williams is expendable, collateral damage in the little anti-culture war they've grown to cherish.

K.Tompkins-Alston

"...even when the fear is expressed as a personal feeling and not a group description..."

EXACTLY. That is key to this whole thing. That's precisely the way it first hit me and that is why NPR will be irrevocably tarnished by this, as it should be. The PC forces have extended their tentacles beyond just what is OK to say or think, but now what is OK to FEEL, which is not within most peoples' control. The timing of this could not be more perfect. Choke on your own stew, progressives.

Andrew Brod

Dog bites man, and Bubba misses the point. The adults were having a thoughtful conversation and Bubba's over on the side throwing a tantrum.

My view: I don't think Williams should have been fired.

Will Saletan argues that what NPR did to Williams is precisely what USDA did to Shirley Sherrod. He's got a point.

John

"Will Saletan argues that what NPR did to Williams is precisely what USDA did to Shirley Sherrod. He's got a point."
When I was young and spent the night with my grandparents; I was sometimes asked to haul that out to the outhouse.

bubba

"Dog bites man, and Bubba misses the point. The adults were having a thoughtful conversation and Bubba's over on the side throwing a tantrum."

Really, Ace?

Which "adult" said this?

"1. The problem wasn't Williams' admission of momentary discomfort upon seeing people in Muslim garb (because no one's perfect and we all have prejudices), but his use of that admission to legitimize O'Reilly's bigotry.

2. It's not a defense to claim that many people share your bigotry: 'prejudice doesn't cease to be prejudice because it is widely held.'"

.....both of which are demonstrably wrong, as well as being obnoxious.

The only difference is that your employer won't fire you for that particular offensive opinions.

You ARE becoming increasingly irrelevant in most discussions, aren't you?

John

It is my belief that NPR acted "stupidly".

eric

Will Saletan is the Babe Ruth of false equivalence, and the only point he has is on top of his head. Bubba is the Lou Gherig of the Dunning-Kruger effect, and is utterly pointless.

I get nervous on planes too.

While y'all ineffectually try to make this about Bubba, here's a guy, who, unlike Juan, gets to keep his job. I believe Juan made his "shocking" comments outside of his duties with the employer that canned him, too. But unlike NPR, Liberty's hands were tied because of Siddique's right to free speech. You fellas down with that?

Fred Gregory

In my comment about the US Dept. of HHS spending $700,000.00 for a tired. mean old actor to do a TV ad , the link was busted. Here it is again

Shilling for ObamaCare

eric

Personally, no, I'm not down with it. Even as an anti-Zionist Jew, I find rhetoric like Siddique's to be hateful and hate-fueling. His comments are certainly more objectionable than those of Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, and Octavia Nasr -- all of whom were fired, with nary a peep of objection from Fox News and its ilk.

However, there is a legally significant difference between Siddique's case and that of Thomas, Sanchez, Nasr, and Juan Williams. They all worked for private employers, which are not subject to the first amendment and are legally free to fire their employees for any reason, even really bad reasons. Siddique works for a state-affiliated university, which is subject to the first amendment, and which may not fire an employee for constitutionally protected speech, even really nasty protected speech. Now, in the public employee context, first amendment protection is narrower -- increasingly narrow thanks to a very bad ruling by the conservative-dominated Supreme Court a few years ago. But even under that narrow standard, it is likely (though by no means certain) that Siddique's statements -- which were not made in performance of his job, and which concerned a matter of public importance -- are protected, no matter how repugnant they are.

I'd have thought that conservatives who purport to revere both the constitution and the distinction between the public and private sectors would get this.

justcorbly

Rightie defense here of the remarks by Williams, measured against their silence when people they oppose were canned for similar behavior, is a measure of their moral cycnicism. Unsurprising moral cynicism, but still, moral cynicism. Either righties do not see the bigotry underlying in the remarks, or they do and are happily exploiting the bigotry in others for political and propaganda purposes. Both alternatives represent a damning condemnation of conservative ethics and culture.

If Williams had said he was afraid when white people got on a plane, would righties be so ready to stand by his venting?

It is neither "demonstrably wrong" nor "obnoxious" to assert that Williams' remark served to legitimize O'Reilly's bigoted comments. (I don't know if O'Reilly is or is not a bigot, but his remakrs about Muslims were certainly intended to exploit bigotry.) Being afraid of Muslims is as much bigotry as a white person being afraid to be around black people.

Such behavior, on the part of Williams or anyone else, is the result of moral flaw in the character of that person, i.e., bigotry. Williams and others with similar thoughts need to confront and challenge those unhealthy emotions, just as they should if they felt similarly repugnant emotions like a compulsion to steal or an attraction to minors. Bigotry is a personal moreal failure that each of us ha a responsbility to deal with. It is not a defensible emotion that should attract comfort and understanding.

The statement that 'prejudice doesn't cease to be prejudice because it is widely held' is a fundamental truism.

This is not a free speech issue. Williams was, and is, free to say whatever he wants. He was fired by the corporation that paid him for behavior the corporation didn't like. NPR would stand on more solid ground if Williams had made those remarks on NPR's air, while drawing his NPR salary. However, if Williams believes his dismissal was not in keeping with the terms of his contract, he is free to take legal action.

How long do righties expect Williams will last at Fox if he goes on the air and says something that rubs Mr. Murdoch the wrong way?

Thomas

This is the part of Williams' comments that disturbed me most...

"when I see people who are in Muslim garb who identify themselves first and foremost as Muslims"

"first and foremost as Muslims"? What is that about?

bubba

"How long do righties expect Williams will last at Fox if he goes on the air and says something that rubs Mr. Murdoch the wrong way?"

There's proof positve that corbs lives in his own little fantasy world devoid of any relevance to what happens outside of his narrow minded agenda framework.

bubba

"Bubba is the Lou Gherig of the Dunning-Kruger effect, and is utterly pointless"

How impressive.

Anything else of no particular value or relevance you feel the need to say?

If so, spell all the names correctly this time, Gilligan.

bubba

"While y'all ineffectually try to make this about Bubba......'

It's the typical tactic used when they're just flat out stupidly wrong, as is the case here.

bubba

" 'first and foremost as Muslims'? What is that about?"

Common sense, and first hand direct observation.

Try it sometimes. It's amazing what you might find out, apparently, for the first time.

justcorbly

>>...corbs lives in his own little fantasy world devoid of any relevance

Ignore message, attack messenger. Typical. Goebbels is smiling.

James

The violated the terms of his contract. From all accounts, it wasn't the first time. He should have been fired.

Gotta love those free markets at work.

Jon A Firebaugh

How appropriate the NPR's CEO's name is Schiller. (drop the c)

eric

And Bubbeleh, the Iron Horse's Ass, continues his unbroken streak. That kind of persistence and dedication, even unaccompanied as it is by any evident skill, is truly remarkable and deserves some fan appreciation.

Meanwhile, on planet Earth, JP gets it exactly right: The same right-wingers who normally sing the praises of an employer's unfettered right to dispatch an employee for any reason or no reason, without recourse to any due process or remedy, are suddenly all teary-eyed because an incompetent and serially-obnoxious windbag had to change jobs. Yet they express no concern at all when far more adept reporters are fired for far less objectionable conduct.

Jon A Firebaugh

I demand that Vivian Schiller be fired for her racist remark that Juan Williams should have kept his comments between himself and his psychiatrist and publicist.
Her comment shows a bias against blacks, the mentally ill, and is sexist in nature.
Her demeaning tone suggesting that a single off the cuff comment requires a male black person to seek counseling is outrageous, unfounded, and completely unacceptable.

I demand she seek sensitivity training and anger management counseling.

As a taxpayer, I also demand that she produce all emails, correspondence, and phone records related any contact with George Soros and any group supported by George Soros directly or indirectly and prove that NPR has not been influenced by Soros funding or foreign donations, and produce a list with names ans addresses of all donors to NPR foreign or domestic.


Oops, I forgot, I'm not the DNC.

bubba

"That kind of persistence and dedication, even unaccompanied as it is by any evident skill, is truly remarkable and deserves some fan appreciation."

That sort of self reflection/self appreciation bit is exactly the type of contribution we've come to know and love about one of our favorite competitors in the annual "Most Irrelevant Local Faculty Member" category.

It's going to be difficult to choose between you and Andy, but both of you have left Ribar and Dobson far behind.

bubba

"Ignore message....."

What "message" might that be?

Are you referring to your usual jaundiced prattle that can generally be ignored, based on the known history and easy predictability of your contributions?

That's no message, corbs. That's just your opinion. You got and will continue to get the level of respect you deserve.

eric

The Iron Horse's Ass must run on Eveready batteries. He keeps going, and going ...

Meanwhile, I have an irrelevant class to prepare. You all have a nice weekend.

James

Jon, feel free to demand all you want. Fortunately, you're in no position for anyone to have to care what you think.

But because you're a taxpayer, I believe they really should listen to you in direct relation to the amount you personally contribute.

NPR receives no direct funding from the federal government, and the amount of funding received from groups like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which does receive federal funding, is less than two percent. Being generous, I'm guessing that NPR leaders should listen to no more than two of your words.

"I demand ..."

That's where you lost me, anyway.

James

bubba

"That's where you lost me, anyway."

For you, that condition is endemic, as your response to Jon adequately shows.

James

Damn you're good at mind readin', Bubba.

As soon as you get good at actual reading, send me a note and I'll come chat. Hopefully that'll be sometime before I die, but since I'm already 60, that's no sure thing.

Please hurry, okay?

bubba

"The Iron Horse's Ass must run on Eveready batteries. He keeps going, and going .."

Sounds like you're describing what happens when you finally commit to resolve your constipated bad idea and bad attitude problems. You must flip an external switch that activates your implanted bunny.

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