NPR Was Right

To the exact opposite of Huckabee’s point, isn’t there a problem with a government-funded media entity ratifying groundless fears about American citizens, based only on the color of their skin and their dress? It’s a problem that people are afraid to see Muslims on airplanes — a fairly common problem, from my conversations with others — and a bigger problem if the government is viewed as suborning those instincts.

The biggest problem of all, of course, is that we’re now in a position where top Republican names are explicitly condoning and supporting groundless fears, based only on ethnicity.

Two closing points: recall the last time conservatives were mad at NPR, and howling for blood, when the news outlet made fun of tea partiers, but on their opinion page (and therefore ex cathedra). Apparently, the right’s outrage over “censorship” is eminently selective. And, this has nothing to do with “free speech.” Entities both public and private may terminate employees for failure to live up to objective and subjective standards of conduct. Take a federal job, drive around with an “Obama 2008” sticker, and see what happens.


  1. I believe, as do all sane Americans who love their country, that the ongoing and incessant terrorist attacks by Muslims prove that such fears are not baseless or bigoted in any way.

    As for myself, I just keep a close watch on any overtly Muslims that are near me. That way, if and when they start to do anything that would be harmful, I have a better chance of being able to take them down and out.

  2. The Williams coment was taken completely out of context and I think ultimately NPR is going to look bad here. He was stating an honest opinion that many Americans have and provided several caveats. This is PC gone amuck, very similar to the Sherrod incident.

    1. Completely out of context? Maybe if he had followed up with, “But then I check myself, because I know not all Muslims are terrorists. But it’s an insidious fear that has been buried in the American psyche, and I think we’re worse off for it.” No, his whole statement insinuated that all Muslims are terrorists.

      I don’t know that it’s enough to warrant termination, but hey, business have discretion with these sorts of things. It sounds like, with his history of saying stupid, inflammatory things, this was the last straw for NPR. Now he gets to work for Fox News, which sounds like where he’s always belonged anyway.

      1. No, actually it didn’t. A fuller version follows:

        Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality. I mean, look Bill, I’m not a bigot, you know the kind of books I’ve written on the civil rights movement in this country, but when I get on a 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.

        Now, I remember also that when the Times Square bomber was at court, I think this was just last week. 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. But I think there are people who want to somehow remind us all as President Bush did after 9/11, it’s not a war against Islam.

  3. I think this stuff is partially a response to conservatives, Fox News, & MSNBC.

    In an age of tons of talking head opinions, the places that consider themselves the mainstream media, in it’s desire to be the ultra non-partisan, non-opinionated news outlets, they censure to a severe degree for every nearly everything.

  4. A few clarifications – first, NPR is not “publiclly funded” in that it only gets 2% of its annual operating funds from Congressional Appropriations. So while numerous conservative politicians may wnat to “punish” the network for doing this, they really can’t in any meaningful way.

    Second, this is no different then when helen thomas was canned for making anti-semitic remarks earlier this year. Her views are an honest representation of how certain people in society feel, but they are also vehemently opposed to the Americna notion of Liberty and Justice for all. Mr. Williams’ remarks – even when seen/heard intheir entirety, are just as “correct” in that they mirror some of modern and popular thought – and just as insidiously hateful.

  5. Note his further explanation on Fox, about how he’s uneasy with Muslims who identify first as Muslim, and second as Americans. First, that’s silly distinction, and one that assumes that Islamic garb is at odds with Americanism. Second, it reveals exactly how he thinks. See title.

    1. I think Williams’ comments on Fox, right or wrong, created a far more product conversation that a sterile non-partisan, politically-correct conversation on NPR does. If you want bigotry to go away you have to have uncomfortable conversations.

      The whole conversation is kind of silly though since the president of NPR has already admitted the comments were not the firing offense and merely gave them an excuse.

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