Thursday, October 21, 2010
Juan Williams' demise - and NPR's double standard
By TIM RILEY
Maybe they were just looking for an excuse. National Public Radio has given the boot to commentator Juan Williams for a comment he made at his other job on Fox News Channel.
Here’s how it started. Williams was a guest on Bill O’Reilly’s show when he articulated, “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."
Williams continued the discussion with a warning to O'Reilly against blaming all Muslims for "extremists," cautioning Christians shouldn't be blamed for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. This very important part of the interview has been omitted by many media outlets and apparently ignored by NPR, where the political correctness alarm sounded. The suits had been waiting for the right moment to liberate Juan Williams from his contract. It has always been a sore point that there was a liberal Juan Williams on NPR, and a conservative Juan Williams on Fox News Channel.
Here is the new double standard of political correctness being pushed by what some call the “liberal media”: It is no longer acceptable to criticize Islam in any form. It could lead to violence committed by an extremist faction. It is also racist.
At the same time it is perfectly acceptable to run investigative reports on the unsavory activities of right wing Christians in our own country, which may be found in abundance on NPR, presented by its approved commentators with the blessings of the same management firing Juan Williams. What’s the difference? It is not considered racist? NPR doesn’t believe right wing Christians are capable of carrying out violent acts and Muslims are? Oh yes, Timothy McVeigh.