Juan Williams Commits the Ultimate Kinsleyesque Gaffe
And thus, pays the ultimate price from NPR:
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.
Cable news blogger Johnny Dollar red-flagged NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik’s Twitter feed, which announced tonight that liberal NPR analyst/Fox News contributor Juan Williams’ contract was terminated — over comments Williams made about Muslims on The O’Reilly Factor. He gave his honest opinion: “[W]hen 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.”
Guess who stirred up the pot to get Williams fired?
That’s right. Government-funded NPR has apparently caved into left-wing attack dogs on the Internet.
Also in the lynch mob: CAIR, of course.
As I’ve said many times before: Political correctness is the handmaiden of terror.
Condolences to Juan Williams, whom I’ve debated –vigorously, but always with respect and cordiality — many times over the years.
As Michelle writes, "Hope this accelerates his journey on the ideological learning curve. And I hope he doesn’t back down."
Very likely, the timing of Williams' crimethink, hot on the heels of Bill O'Reilly's similarly doubleplus ungood remarks last week, contributed to his dismissal. Odds are that Williams will simply now become employed full-time by Fox, where he has been a regular panelist for many years. Or, to combine a couple of riffs on Twitter tonight, perhaps he'll move to Slate and/or the Washington Postto cover conservatives from the inside.
Update: Amongst her round-up of links focusing on Williams' firing (including this post), Tammy Bruce adds:
Oh my gosh, look who just this week gave $1.8 million to…NPR? George Soros’ Millions Buying ‘Political Reporters’ for NPR
And golly gee, look who also just gave $1 million to Media Matters specifically to target Fox news and their hosts? Now George Soros Backs Media Matters; Beck Calls It a ‘Bounty’
Not bound by the same cortical-numbing strictures of PC as NPR, the Red Eye guys call it...comedy fodder.
Update (10/21/10, 8:15 AM PDT): Bernard Goldberg on "Juan Williams, NPR and the Death of Liberalism:"
So my fellow Fox News analyst Juan Williams just got fired for saying something supposedly controversial about Muslims. But make no mistake, Juan isn't the only casualty today. So is American liberalism.
On "The O'Reilly Factor" on Monday night, Williams said, "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."
And this is a fireable offense?
NPR issued a statement saying Williams' comments "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
And Ed Morrissey has the entire segment, not just the pull quote excerpted in the above Think "Progress" video. Did NPR watch the whole segment before yanking Williams, or just the ransom-note-esque clip? Or is committing heresy inside the Church of Context no longer a mortal sin these days?
Update: From Kate of SDA: "NPR - where the 'P' stands for 'Plantation."' And Fausta Wertz adds, "Turns out the handwriting is also on Mara Liasson’s wall." As somebody joked on Twitter last night, heckuva marketing strategy NPR has, attempting to get all of its journalists pulled from America's top-rated cable channel.
But then, it doesn't take much, the Professor writes: "Is that all it takes to get someone fired at NPR? 378 people with five minutes and an Internet connection? Point noted. . . ."
Update: "What Won't Get You Fired From NPR: Wishing AIDS on your political enemies and their children," as NPR stalwart Nina Totenberg did in 1995. Fortunately, she was referring to Jesse Helms, which in NPR-land, is a perfectly acceptable target.
Meanwhile, Matt Welch adds, "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.
Or to paraphrase Fitzgerald, the test of a really first-rate network is the ability to hold two opposing thoughts in the minds of its journalists simultaneously, and still retain the ability to broadcast.
Update (1:25 PM): Revenge is a dish best spent with two million dollars worth of T-bills.
Meanwhile, the Anchoress has a great round-up of links, and a truly exceptional Photoshop at the top of her post...