Juan Williams deserved to be fired

He used to be an NPR news analyst, but he was fired yesterday after a nasty comment he made on Fox.

This was the comment he made on the O'Reilly factor: "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."

You can't say something like that, Mr. Williams, and expect not to be fired. And to claim it is not bigoted is just ignorant!

Sure, he's allowed to have an opinion. But he is supposed to be a news analyst. I totally agree with Vivian Schiller, NPR CEO, with the idea that as a news analyst you aren't supposed to comment on the news you report.

I don't think it's at ALL a story about censorship, either. He violated NPR's code of ethics. NPR has the right to fire somebody who makes bigoted comments in a news medium. He is still Juan Williams; wherever he speaks he becomes a spokesperson for NPR.

I'm fairly certain this whole thing was prechoreographed, since he is now working for Fox under a $2 million contract.

As for NPR, obviously no news organization is going to be completely objective. Danny and I just plain disagree with how we prefer the news to deal with this: he likes Fox because it doesn't pretend to be objective. NPR annoys him because they pretend to be objective, and it comes across as pretentious and "smooth 'n smarmy." I hate listening to Fox and don't even view it as a legitimate source for news because it is so blatantly tainted with opinions and people shouting "I'm right, you're wrong, I'm right, you're wrong, I'm right..." And this is on their "news" shows, not their opinion shows!! Plus Fox "news" doesn't ever pick stories that are relevant to my life. If I wanted to hear about how so-and-so chopped up his mom into little pieces, or murdered their children in a bathtub, or whatever, I'd listen to it. But frankly, those kinds of stories have no relevance to my life and do nothing but make me wallow in misery about the state of humanity. NPR picks interesting stories. Sure, they are biased, and usually the bias is in varying degrees of left-wing liberalism, but the analysts themselves don't comment on the story. I appreciate that. Fox is great for entertainment, but when I actually want to listen to news that doesn't make my head hurt, or stress me out, I will always pick NPR hands down. I think Fox's goal is to inflame people while NPR's is to inform.

And I don't always agree with NPR's news coverage. I can see that it is biased. I just appreciate that the news analysts themselves, the anchors, the interviewers - whatever - THEY aren't the ones blatantly expressing the opinions. Sure, the questions they ask show their politics, but in my opinion asking questions is totally different from slamming YOU ARE A STUPID LIBERAL WHO IS WRONG WRONG WRONG down one's ears.

I guess the issue is should NPR receive federal funding if they aren't going to allow their news analysts "free speech." Pff. They only get like 2% of their funding from taxpayers, some of whom are Muslims! It's not acceptable for news analysts to say bigoted things and receive public money while doing it. The government is not supposed to have an opinion on what religions are okay and which ones aren't.

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