Ed Driscoll

Krauthammer Directly Challenges NPR's Totenberg

Things you can’t say on TV as an employee of NPR without getting fired? Expressing a normal human emotion about boarding an airplane in the post-9/11 world and seeing a gaggle of Muslims in their religious garb and the noting that you quickly overcome it and get on with your flight.

Things you can say on TV as an employee of NPR without fear of reprisal?

I think [Jesse Helms] ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there is retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.

On PBS’s Inside Washington last night, Charles Krauthammer directly confronted NPR’s Nina Totenberg about the hypocracy between Williams getting fired this week, and her cheerfully carrying on at NPR after the above remarks from 1995:

“Why is it okay for Nina to express opinions, as she has tartly, sharply, unashamedly and openly” while serving as “an honored correspondent” for NPR, while Juan Williams, “because he expresses his opinions, gets canned from NPR?” So Charles Krauthammer demanded while sitting Friday with Totenberg on the same Inside Washington set. “In fact, the standard ought to be lower in the case of Juan because he’s an analyst, whereas Nina is a correspondent.”

Read the whole transcript. While Krauthammer didn’t make much headway with Totenberg, at least he got Colby King of the Washington Post to admit that Williams’ expressing his opinion on O’Reilly “was not a firing offense.”