Here’s TV critic David Zurawik on Juan Williams getting fired by NPR:
It wasn’t the dual employment that seemed to bother NPR. After all, there is hardly a successful journalist in Washington these days who isn’t earning paychecks from two or three different media outlets. Cokie Roberts has been doing it most of her career.
It was rather the right-wing ideology of Fox News — particularly as it is expressed on such shows as those of O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity that was the problem. And Williams certainly got fair warning when NPR acknowledged last year that is was doing a formal review of Fox News content and the work of NPR employees on the top-rated cable channel.
It’s all Fox News’s fault! Goodness, but they must have tender sensitivities at NPR. Makes you wonder how much they’d squeal if they got pulled off the Federal teat.
On the other hand, Zurawik got this part right:
But all that said, I still feel the firing of Williams is a shame.
Actually, there’s no need to say “but all that said” or “still.” The firing of Williams simply is a shame.
Look, I make fun of Juan. But he appears on Fox News Sunday and making fun of the talking heads is part of my job. It’s also true that Williams is (mostly) a political opponent. However, he’s a tough, entertaining and honest political opponent — and we need more like him.