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View Full Version : Juan Williams Fired for Saying Muslims Make Him Nervous


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abfan
10-21-2010, 02:13 PM
Let's see if his buddy Bill O'Reilly can help him now


http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/npr-fires-analyst-juan-williams-for-saying-muslims-make-him-nervous/19683232?ncid=webmail

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 02:27 PM
I'm sure Juan Williams will land on his feet. He's just not a "march in "lockstep" kind of guy, and to be honest...when I fly commercial airlines...I also take note of others on the flight and a subliminal reminder of 9/11 comes to mind each and every time I go to an airport (the TSA will certainly remind you if your recollection of 9/11 does not). NPR didn't fire the reporter who wished some Senator (or his family) got AIDS, because he made a comment about AIDS she disagreed with. Can anyone say double-standard (which seems to be the "normal" standard to some). THis is all about "political correctness". PBS and NPR do have some worthwhile programming, but their shrinking ratings reflect how out of touch they are with the majority of the American people. If not for our tax dollars...neither one could compete in the open marketplace of ideas.

Doug-Morgan
10-21-2010, 03:02 PM
Is this any worse than Rick Sanchez being dumped by CNN? Probably not. I don't know how NPR makes its decisions, but it apparently felt that Williams actions did not fit in with how they preceive their news analysts should act. In a way, I'm actually a bit suprised he wasn't canned after his comments about Michelle Obama last year.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ombudsman/2009/02/juan_williams_npr_and_fox_news_1.html?print=1

Williams was a contract employee with NPR, in the same way he is a contract employee with Fox, but it bothers me a little bit when news analysis gets mixed up with commentary. Williams' comments on Bill O'Riley's show were commentary, and (at least to me) undermined his credability as an analyst.

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 03:25 PM
Hi Doug...

First off...Williams comments were NOT made as a part of his NPR affiliation or NPR broadcast committment. Are we saying that news analyists have NO right to an opinion, especially when they are made outside the realm of their NPR responsibilities? If so, I suppose that NPR broadcasters should never leave their homes, discuss current events with their friends (one could be a snitch), or even publicly attend a church or other religious institution (thus exposing their religious bias). The NPR broadcaster (Totenberg I believe was her name) was not even repremanded for seeking "Gods retribution" to a politician who questioned the governments level of AIDS funding. Now that the only African American NPR broadcaster has been fired...I suppose that the benevolent caucasion "limosine liberals" can tell us ALL whats good for us as they've been doing for years...so we can ALL listen to an endless loop of Barry McGuire singing "Eve of Destruction"...and like it.

Doug-Morgan
10-21-2010, 04:47 PM
Stu....

I think here's where we disagree. You and I have both done broadcast news, and understand the issue of fairness when it comes to presenting both fact and analysis. We have opinions, but we don't say them, at least not on the air. I don't remember the Nina Totenberg story, but although Williams' NPR analysis generally appeared to me to be well thought out, I can see where the perseption (sp? We need a spell check here!) of bias could be garnered due to public commentary given on a network with a decided political bias.

To some extent it goes back to the problem that both MSNBC and Fox have in their news presentation. NBC got bitten badly when Chris Mathews and Keith Obermann were anchors for their Republican National Convention broadcasts due to their bias, and I'm willing to bet Andria Mitchell will run into the same problem with her new MSNBC show. Fox is a little more insulated from this problem because they don't have a serious network news presence, but the Fox News Network doesn't make any attempt to hide its opinion in the guise of news reporting, either.

Two problems with Williams and Fox. First, he is a contract analyst with Fox, but has never been identified as such. Until recently, he was only identified on Fox as a "NPR news analyst". Secondly, he did express his opinion which created the same presecption problem I have with Mathews and Oberman. In theory, if you're a reporter or a analyst, you don't air you personal views in public.


BTW, the new back nine of the Rock Island golf course will open next spring. I've taken a look and it ain't Pebble, but it looks pretty good. I can get you a free pass......

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 05:11 PM
In on the free pass Doug...

What is an analyst anyways? I could almost understand if Williams had made his comments on an NPR show and his contract prohibited him giving his opinion on NPR...although there is a VERY fine line between "analysis" and "opinion" and apparently Ms. Schiller is apparently the arbiter of such...but to prohibit Juan Williams of freely expressing his opinions on a non NPR related venue seems to me to infringe on his 1st Amendment rights. His comments did not impact his moral, ethical, or commercial responsibilities to NPR. If his contract forbids his appearing as a commentator on another broadcast entity then his firing would be legitimate. If not, I hope Juan Williams sues NPR's pants off.

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 05:19 PM
It also appears to me that NPR has a "hard on" (excuse the metaphor) for Blacks and Jews (in particular) who don't march lockstep with their "expected" political philosophy of the leftist "elite", since they're obviously "smarter" than the rest of us.

soulster
10-21-2010, 05:31 PM
Stu,

Williams' comments were not made in connection with NPR, yes, but what do you think about CNN firing Rick Sanchez? He also made his comments away from CNN. And, Williams still has his main gig at Faux news.

What these journalists and commentators are doing is voicing the very same things a lot of people are already thinking. But, when Sanchez made his comments, he lost his credibility. The only reason Williams, O'Reilly, beck, and all these other people are still employed is because they work at a network that welcomes their subjectivity. Well, Faux news isn't very credible anyway. A news organization, and I don't care what division it is, has no business taking sides and affiliating themselves with one political party over another.

It's sad people feel so nervous when people they are unfamiliar with are in their presence. It's fear based on ignorance, and it breeds bigotry and hatred.

Doug-Morgan
10-21-2010, 05:38 PM
Haven't noticed that, with the exception of the "Jewish" thing, where I've heard accuations that NPR falls both on the side of Israel AND the Pallestenians. I think it's a preseption problem depending on a persons personal views.

What's a analyst? Try this example:

The reporter:

"....voting for the 2.7 million dollar sewer imporvement were Councilpersons Evenhaus, Keane, Pearson, Hampton and Shirk.

The anaysis:

As to why Councilman Shirk voted for the improvements, he thought the city ran the risk of having the sewer issue forced on them sometime in the next 5 years by the Department of Ecology, and with stimulus funds available, this was the perfect time to do it, even though it would raise rates by about $50 a month.

The commentary:

Councilman Shirk was a jerk for voting for the project. It will do nothing to stimulate growth in the city and will subject residents to markedly higher sewer bills.


The first or second senerios don't mesh well with the third, unless a) the commentary is CLEARLY marked as such, and b) an extra effort is made by either the reporter or the analyst to keep their opinions out of their reporting. That's why editorial writers don't do hard news.

BTW (Note to Mrs. M) the sewer issue did pass, we did it now because stimulus money was available and we were able to get grants for a little over 70% of the project cost and the EPA was grumbling about the quality of Rock Island's ground water, and yes it WILL raise rates to about $65 a month.

And the pass is ONLY for the round of golf. You fly yourself up here. I'll buy a burger at the clubhouse after the round, though......

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 05:47 PM
Hey Soulster...

I think CNN firing Sanchez for his remarks basically saved them from having to fire him for his dismal ratings, thus admitting that their programming department made a bad decision putting him in that slot. That's "buisness". NPR is publically funded and their decision was based on political correctness based on their political philosophy. That doesn't make Sanchez firing any more appropriate, but it would have likely affected the networks viewership had they kept him on CNN...and no doubt they would have kept him if he were making them money and attracting viewers. He wasn't.

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 05:57 PM
Doug...I wasn't expecting a private jet, but the burger sounds good too.

Williams was not calling anyone a "jerk", but just revealing his own concerns as relatea to flying out of public airports...just as Rev Jessee Jackson commented on his own concerns when confronting certain situations in certain urban settings. Williams apparently went on to condemn bigotry as relates to the entire Muslim community. I will admit to being uncomfortable in situations when I'm around certain individuals with tatoos ssuggesting to me gang affiliations...but I have hired such individuals...even those who have admitted past gang affiliations who are eeking a way to a better and more wholesome lifestyle.

soulster
10-21-2010, 06:11 PM
Hey Soulster...

I think CNN firing Sanchez for his remarks basically saved them from having to fire him for his dismal ratings, thus admitting that their programming department made a bad decision putting him in that slot. That's "buisness". NPR is publically funded and their decision was based on political correctness based on their political philosophy. That doesn't make Sanchez firing any more appropriate, but it would have likely affected the networks viewership had they kept him on CNN...and no doubt they would have kept him if he were making them money and attracting viewers. He wasn't.

Sanchez wasn't in a very popular spot. He was on at 12 noon (3 PM EDT for you easterners). They only gave him the 5 PM spot as a temporary placeholder for the new Parker-Spitzer show. He wasn't happy about that, either. But, no wonder his ratings were low. He was in a bad time slot. From what I understand, CNN didn't much respect Sanchez.

Williams? He's secure at Faux. His comments are right at home, just like beck, O'Reilly, Palin, Hannity, and all those others. It's still a wonder why Lou Dobbs turned them down. He fits right in there with them.

So say your nervous around certain groups of people shows that you tend to stereotype, make sweeping assumptions about people you have no knowledge about. Juan Williams probably never thought about people saying the same thing when they see Black people in their garb, proclaiming their race before anything else.

nomis
10-21-2010, 06:45 PM
There is a definite editorial stance to breed paranoia over muslims in the media...I hear it every day fanatics of any persuasion garner a higher media voice than what they deserve..the media sells fear and people now entrenched with technology feel isolated and paranoia grows..its a symptom thats only going to increase in the 21st century..kids used to play in the streets and go off on their bikes for miles..now parents are paranoid over sex offenders and limit their childrens freedom..neighbours used to leave their doors open for other neighbours to pop in now the fear of burgalary stops us from knowing our neighbours like we used to..paranoia is one of the most ugly emotions there is- it robs you of the innate belief in goodness in other humans and without that mankind is truly lost..letting go of fear has been one of the biggest lessons of my life..and the media will market you fear in every shape it can,Fear sells - good people far outweigh the criminals of the world but we dont get that message everyday we get one of not to trust someone different from yourself..women scared to walk the streets at night..it all comes down to the same bullshit -if god says your time is up then thats that, the media can project this fear agenda as much as it likes but Im living my life believing in the goodness of my fellow man..

marv2
10-21-2010, 06:54 PM
I've never cared much for Juan Williams ever since the Minister Louis Farrahkan had to chew him out on the Phil Donahue Show years ago. I've seen him since on Fox and I still didn't like him.

marv2
10-21-2010, 06:56 PM
There is a definite editorial stance to breed paranoia over muslims in the media...I hear it every day fanatics of any persuasion garner a higher media voice than what they deserve..the media sells fear and people now entrenched with technology feel isolated and paranoia grows..its a symptom thats only going to increase in the 21st century..kids used to play in the streets and go off on their bikes for miles..now parents are paranoid over sex offenders and limit their childrens freedom..neighbours used to leave their doors open for other neighbours to pop in now the fear of burgalary stops us from knowing our neighbours like we used to..paranoia is one of the most ugly emotions there is- it robs you of the innate belief in goodness in other humans and without that mankind is truly lost..letting go of fear has been one of the biggest lessons of my life..and the media will market you fear in every shape it can,Fear sells - good people far outweigh the criminals of the world but we dont get that message everyday we get one of not to trust someone different from yourself..women scared to walk the streets at night..it all comes down to the same bullshit -if god says your time is up then thats that, the media can project this fear agenda as much as it likes but Im living my life believing in the goodness of my fellow man..




You are right on with this post Nomis, totally right on!!!

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 06:57 PM
I'm not sure if I see this as more a case if "intellectual dishonesty" than misplaced "political correctness". Soulster...would you accuse Juan Williams of being a bigot had he stated that he became "nervous" while walking alone down the street and a truckload of white folks displaying a confederate flag slowly drove by? Was Jesse Jackson a bigot when he expressed HIS fears about being approached by a number of African American youths while walking alone late at night? Reality and bigotry are two different things...but I salute those who can leave their homes to go out in public with NO fear that their life, liberty, and safety could be extinguished at any time. Certainly as a youth, I had fewer fears and concerns than I have today due to the fact of what I've seen in my life. That does not mean that I don't honestly calculate those risks and not become overly parinoid as I live my everyday life...but I am aware.

I deal with Muslims virtually every day in my business, and in that environment I have no legitimate fear that harm will come to me if I don't give those clients the "right price"...but at an airport...I have been advised by our government to be aware and suspect of things that look "unusual"...which had that practice been involked...that so called Christmas day bomber coule have possibly never been in the position to potentially bring down a jetliner and the scores of people on board.

Perhaps this entire situation can be summed up as a desir on the part of NPR to have one less Hugo Boss suit and florsheim shoes in their staff meetings to obviously be replaced by yet another J Crew ensemble and a pair of size 6 Birkenstocks (along with some gray hair coloring ) LOL.

Doug-Morgan
10-21-2010, 07:35 PM
Nomis makes a good point. Williams' comment would never have been aired on NPR but were tailor made for the Fox (and Bill O'Riley's) audience. But he's serving two masters here and would his comments mar his credability with NPR? Possibly. And NPR handled the thing way wrong, in the same way Barak Obama's administration drop kicked the Shirley Sherrod flap.

And I keep wondering to myself what the reaction would have been if Brian Williams had used the word "Black" instead of "Muslim".

I do have to give NPR credit, though. They're handling the story well. I liked Talk Of The Nation's take on the whole thing this morning. It's worth a listen.....

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=130728584&m=130728577

And Soulster was correct, too. Williams just signed a 3 year, $2 million deal with Fox.

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 07:59 PM
Damn...I woulda held out for LeBron James money!

funky_fresh
10-21-2010, 10:00 PM
Man please, the same people crying foul are the same ones who support the Internet Jewish Defense League, ADL and all of those other "organizations" that go AGAINST the constitution. Talk about a double standard.

The IDJL thrives on censorship when it comes to anyone even disusing Israel or its practice of apartheid. Imagine if Juan Williams stated that Americas relationship with Israel needed to be questioned...not one of the right wing Neo Conservatives or its ADL supporting base would even remotley come to Mr. Williames aide.

Talk about the ultimate in double standard...just ask Rick Sanchez.

I guess its ok to crap all over Muslims if you are a neo-con, just don;t say anything about the Jews...

StuBass1
10-21-2010, 10:49 PM
Hey Funky Fresh my man...Nice to hear you (although we rarely agree on this stuff). Point taken...however, I would take issue that the JDL has much, if any significant influence within the mainstream Jewish community. Virtually every religious, ethnic, and racial group has it's share of crackpots. As I see it...it's up to the mainstream elements to isolate the crackpots...and assume the risks that accompany that effort. To advance your prior metaphor...had Juan Williams said that he gets the "creeps" at a Tea Party rally...NPR would have given him a raise...

nomis
10-21-2010, 10:58 PM
..This is where responsible journalism should come into effect,If not that then an unbiased editor to judge if it is a valid news story or just sensationalism crap..but the media are looking for that bite to hook you in so they go for hysterics from nutters-it isnt a fair popularization held view..but some news hacks trying to whip up a storm...

soulster
10-22-2010, 01:51 AM
Most rational, non-bigoted people would get the creeps at a tea-bagger rally...

abfan
10-22-2010, 10:29 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAfGKVK8PyE&feature=aso

GeeTee(HPK)
10-22-2010, 10:49 AM
It's reported on Yahoo News that he signed a deal with Fox News for $ 2 million.

soulster
10-22-2010, 11:28 AM
Yup, they gave him a raise, and are now trying to sell themselves as the network that's friendly to free speech! HAH!

Doug-Morgan
10-22-2010, 04:28 PM
I'm going to return to my original contention that it is NOT a free speach issue, but an issue over the difference between analysis and commentary. NPR has clearly drawn lines about what analysts can and can not do, and the part that tripped up Williams was the part that restricted NPR reporters on shows that "encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact based analysis". Where Mara Liasson's appearance on Fox and Williams' differ is that Liasson generally appears on Fox's Sunday Morning over the air "Face The Nation" style show in a round table style analsyis role, not on O'Riley's opinion program.

I will admit that NPR was absolutely ham handed in how they handled the issue. They were both stupid and sloppy in the way they fired Williams. It would have been much less of a story had they handled it more carefully. But Fox is, at least to some extent, to blame for perpetuating the story, and when you hear Sara Palin or Newt Gingrich comment on it remember that they are on the Fox payroll too. But the underlying issue remains the same. I have worked for many companies in my career, and all of them have had some kind of written "Code Of Conduct" or employee handbook full of "Thou Shalt Not"s, and the one I wrote for KKRT-FM as owner/general maager had specific guidelines on what a jock or newsman could or could not say. Ultimately this (aparently the second time he stumbled over the issue) is what ultimately tripped Williams up.

AOL had an interesting analysis piece that is worth a look.....

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/media/nprs-mara-liasson-takes-heat-over-fox-news-appearances/19684452/

Doug-Morgan
10-22-2010, 05:09 PM
I probably should note (in the spirit of full disclosure) that one of the companies I work for is a unit of NewsCorp, the parent of Fox News.

timmyfunk
10-22-2010, 06:01 PM
http://www.fair.org/blog/#post-16053

StuBass1
10-22-2010, 06:10 PM
Doug...

It took NPR nearly three days to voice any problem with the Williams interview. If they were that upset, don't you think they would have voiced their displeasure to Williams that very night. This firing stinks to high heaven. Do you suppose that George Soros, who just wrote NPR a nearly 2 million dollar check to hire new "journalists" had anything to do with this. It's no secret that Mr Soros has it in bigtime for the Fox news operation? As for Williams comments...he clearly was NOT giving an opinion...but just stating his honest feelings...similar to those of a majority of Americans who fly commercially...including me. He wasn't telling anyone else to share his feelings. As for "punditry"...NPR has pundits up the ying yang...except those so called pundits share a similar political philosophy. In other words...it's all BS. This Schiller woman was clearly out to get Juan Williams...pure and simple.

StuBass1
10-22-2010, 06:16 PM
By the way Doug...I got stung by a bee on the golf course the other day. Do you have stinging bees up there in Washington.

Doug-Morgan
10-22-2010, 08:02 PM
Yes, this is apple orchard country up here, and bees are used in the polination process. So come in the summer. We haven't had any reports of the mosquitos carrying anyone off the course in a couple of weeks.

I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I've admited that NPR handled the whole firing in a ham handed manner, and even discussions on "Talk Of The Nation", "Morning Edition", "Hear And Now", and NPR's own website have admited as much. But if I had employed Williams as an analyst and had concerns that he may have a preceived unevenness in his analysis, I'd have considered letting him go.

(as if I could have employed an anylist. I was PD/Music Director/News Director/General Manager/Mid-Day jock. Ownership was hell.)

StuBass1
10-22-2010, 08:13 PM
Fair enough Doug.

stephanie
10-22-2010, 08:20 PM
I know many people who dont like Juan Williams and to be honest with you I am glad Fox gave him a spot since we all need money. NPR was totally wrong in how they handled this but since they have a lot of foreigners who listen to their station (and people have complained about him in the past) this is their way of saying goodbye. Businesses are always looking for a reason to get rid of someone (same as Rick Sanchez and CNN) and this was their glory moment. People are not going to stop listening to NPR this will be a blip on the radar screen he is not a big loved personality like the Becks or Palins of the world who are more dangerous IMO. I will say this Juan is fooling himself if he thinks Fox has got his back because they will let him go quicker than anyone else over there if they feel he is screwing up. Im glad he has a job at Fox (although I dont care for their politics) but he has to watch his back there as well.

StuBass1
10-22-2010, 08:56 PM
Hi Stephanie...

I don't see Juan Williams in near the same vein as the others you've mentioned. He's a left of center moderate who tolorates others opinions and is not afraid to engage in dialogue. Probably close to my own philosophy, except I tend to move a bit to the right in matters of defense and national security. What NPR fears...and will likely happen at some point is cutting them off the government dole. Federal funds represent upwards of 4 to 5 percent of their budget.With the wide spectrum of stations abd networks...it's just not as necessary for federally funded programming as it was in years past. If NPR had to compete in the commercial market...they'd go the way of Air America....bankrupt in a heartbeat.

StuBass1
10-22-2010, 11:19 PM
To answer Abfans initial question...I guess Williams buddy Bill O'Reilly actually DID help him lol.