National Public Radio, a taxpayer funded network with a decidedly leftward tilt, has fired longtime commentator Juan Williams. Ed Driscoll reported on this last night, and it’s all over the blogs today. The story arc here is that Williams said something the left and CAIR didn’t like, the left and CAIR raised a stink, and NPR immediately capitulated to them. Juan Williams’ decades of dedicated service at NPR as one of its few credible, mainstream voices ended in a flash.
Three points should be front and center. One, Williams made the comments for which NPR fired him not on their air, but on the Fox News Channel. Two, Williams’ actual comments weren’t all that incendiary and were factually accurate, yet the Muslim Brotherhood mouthpieces at CAIR made an issue of them and so NPR, ever the dutiful dhimmi, fired him. Hey, it’s either that or face whatever maumauing CAIR was cooking up as a next step. And three, this is the second time this week that a public broadcaster said or did something controversial and politically charged, yet only one of the two has faced any disciplinary action. Here are Mr. Williams’ comments:
The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”
Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.
He continued: “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.”
Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “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,” Mr. Williams said.
There’s nothing factually wrong in that. The first part is just an honest admission with which one is free to sympathize or reject. The second part is a factually accurate rendering of the failed Times Square bomber’s sentiments. Honesty and factual accuracy constitute firing offenses at NPR?