Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Mike Huckabee: Defund NPR over Juan Williams firing

By Matt DeLong

UPDATE 10/25: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) criticized NPR on Twitter Monday afternoon. "For what it's worth I think NPR is wrong for both firing Juan Williams and prohibiting their staff from attending Stewart/Colbert rally," the Democratic senator wrote.

* * *

With the news that National Public Radio has fired longtime NPR and Fox News commentator Juan Williams over anti-Muslim comments he made Monday on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," some of Williams' Fox colleagues are coming to his defense. Williams said he gets "worried" and "nervous" when he sees people dressed in Muslim-style clothing on airplanes.

Former Arkansas governor and Fox talk show host Mike Huckabee's HuckPAC released a statement blasting NPR for violating Williams' First Amendment rights and called on Congress to defund the public radio organization. (The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides some money to NPR, receives approximately 15 percent of its funds from the federal government.) From Huckabee's statement:

While I have often enjoyed appearing on NPR programs and have been treated fairly and objectively, I will no longer accept interview requests from NPR as long as they are going to practice a form of censorship, and since NPR is funded with public funds, it IS a form of censorship. It is time for the taxpayers to start making cuts to federal spending, and I encourage the new Congress to start with NPR.

Sarah Palin, also a Fox News contributor, weighed in on Twitter and also claimed Williams' First Amendment rights had been breached.

PalinWilliams.jpg

Of course, the notion that the First Amendment protects you from consequences for saying things on national television that embarrass your employer is highly questionable at best.

By Matt DeLong  | October 21, 2010; 10:31 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What do you know about ads?
Next: Health Care attacks lead ad bombardment

Comments

You may not be a racist, but your statement has a racist tone because you singled out one race.

I am a black individual and, of course, I do not feel comfortable with ANY teenagers (black, white, hispanic,asian, etc, approaching me at night.

Posted by: colonfr2002 | October 21, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

colonfr2002: If one feels unconfortable only when they see an obvious Muslim at the airport or on-board an aircraft, why is it racist to name only that race/religion? Is it a requirement to be PC and name all races, when in fact, only one imbues that feeling? What a crock! Perhaps you have some magic reason for not being intimidated by ANY teenager approaching you. Everyone is not that fortunate, or maybe you haven't been the recipient of violence or other form of persecution (either real or perceived) by any one particular race! JMPO!

SonnyJ

Posted by: jsonnylv3500 | October 24, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Maybe what the president said is true: being frightened causes us to make poor decisions. I feel like common sense has gone out the window.

What should be scary about seeing Muslims dressed in their respectful religious attire??. 911 attackers were wearing western attire. So besides being a dumb thing to say, it's offensive to those for whom that attire is their normal dress.

Sorry Bill O'Reilly if being 'politically correct' takes so much effort on your part, but when you argue vehemently without knowing what your talking about, you'll sometimes put your foot in your mouth. It's really just about treating others with respect and not instigating a fight.

Clearly, we need people on TV that we can learn something from, not who spend hours defending their right to be dumb.


Posted by: niklet | October 24, 2010 5:15 AM | Report abuse

It is certainly a violation of Juan's free speech. Why is NPR so afraid of the Muslim issue? Juan was just telling the truth and expressing himself. That is why the muslim extremists are gaining in the press because they are using our system against us and people in the NPR are supporting this, shame you NPR!!!!

Posted by: glm53 | October 22, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

We are a nation of fools and idiots! A Confederacy of Dunces!

Like Ignacius, we chase dreams and illusions like Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, all dunces, all pushing their hot dog cart and dreaming about lunatic ideas and delusions of grandeur.

Williams is just another member of Fox's cast of fools and idiots. Vomiting their opinions on the air and expecting us to enjoy their effluent. They've lost all conscious control of their nervous impulses that tells their brains to hold their tongues and control their speech. Instead they mentally lay on the couch and flip the remote letting whatever comes to them slip past the bonds of reason and decency to fall out on the floor of public opinion; watching as we slip in their waste.

We are a nation of fools and idiots, because we support and watch these disgusting people as they dance on our media stages and entertain us with their lunacy.

Posted by: spamizham | October 22, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

But it's clear, from what I've read, that NPR has violated the terms of the contract it had with Williams.

===
1) Please... Dude was trying to get fired. Talk about falling up.
2) Have you read his contract of employment? If not, then on whisky tango foxtrot are you basing this?

Posted by: mason08 | October 22, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

But it's clear, from what I've read, that NPR has violated the terms of the contract it had with Williams.

===
1) Please... Dude was trying to get fired. Talk about falling up.
2) Have you read his contract of employment? If not, then on whisky tango foxtrot are you basing this?

Posted by: mason08 | October 22, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, I live in a "Right to Work" state. In addition to other things, this means bosses can fire and hire people as they see fit. Isn't "Right to Work" one of the sacramental chants of the tea bagging right wing?

Posted by: webman2 | October 22, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Got to say that I have not examined Juan Williams's NPR contract. I listened to the guy as a "news analyst" on NPR. I don't have a tv, so don't see him, or anyone, there very much. From this perspective, going on Fox News to expound on your personal feelings seems foolhardy. You are an "analyst" man, not someone I want to hear echoing Bill O'Reilly's thoughts. He is 100% opinion, and you, JW are 100% not. Sorry you got fired. I guess that the $2MM should take out some of the sting. Not many of us get that kind of parachute when jettisoned. Count your lucky stars.

Posted by: chunklet | October 22, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Juan Williams' free speech rights were violated.

But it's clear, from what I've read, that NPR has violated the terms of the contract it had with Williams.

Furthermore, if Williams has to go, then Nina Totenburg must be fired too. Williams has avoided taking partisan positions, but Totenburg does it all the time, and she is designated as a correspondent, meaning she is not supposed to be a partisan.

This was a huge mistake for the NPR leadership, and very poorly timed right after it accepted a big gift from George Soros. The taxpayers will not tolerate all the big budget cuts coming soon unless NPR takes a big cut too. I suggest a 100% cut.

Posted by: JBaustian | October 21, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Where was the right wing outrage ala Palin, Huckabee, and Gingrich when NPR banned their employees from attending the Rally to Restore Sanity? Free speech is free speech, correct?

Posted by: pumor | October 21, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I am trying to compare this situation to the Dixie Chicks and their comment about being from Texas and being ashamed that George W. Bush is also from Texas. That remark got the Dixie Chicks in a lot of hot water, and I was always dismayed that they seemed to have been denied their freedom of speech.

Posted by: shermrob | October 21, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

NPR has become commercialized to the extent that large contributors determine their policy slants, story content, and even 'what you hear'. They excel at the politics of omission and nuance.

I took Con. law and am on a regional Civil Rights advisory council. NPR appears to have violated its charter and perhaps even the civil rights of Mr. Williams. If it can keep on virulent anti-Christian, Jewish commentators like Andre Ceausescu, and run programs that are skewed towards the radical left; then it must be forced to balance its content and rehire Juan Williams.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | October 21, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Your First Amendment rights relate to government action. Only the government can abridge your First Amendment rights, not a private employer. Unfortunately Ms. Palin never took Constitutional Law and apparently neither did Mr. Huckabee or Fox News for that matter.

Posted by: joeblow10 | October 21, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Journalists are "supposed" to be objective when reporting unless editorializing.
I don't think that today's TV/radio newscasters are "journalists". They just seem to be talking heads and it depends on which network employees them. As far as Mike Huckabee and the Right - they have NEVER been fans of NPR or PBS, maybe because they at least "try" to be more objective in the news department.

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | October 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Again this proves the danger of any public figure discussing race/religion. It is almost a no-win situation to even engage in a conversation on these topics. Sports announcers, politicians, celebrities, et al, have all been fired for their words. The real danger is making the topics so taboo that no one is willing to start a conversation to improve communications---keeping it under the surface is never the solution for resolution. Open and honest is the only answer---even if it means we don't like what we hear. But firing people for showing their true feelings won't change anyone's perspective---it will make the divisions even larger. NPR had a chance to show tolerance with their own employee base---and they got it wrong.

Posted by: Devo5 | October 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

priceisright: Is there ANY real comparison between what Juan Williams said and what Helen Thomas said? Not in my opinion.

Why is NPR after Juan Williams? Does it have anything to do with the $1.8 million that George Soros gave NPR as described in the news yesterday?

Think about it!

Posted by: nbkrupp | October 21, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Again this proves the danger of any public figure discussing race. It is almost a no-win situation to even engage in a conversation on this topic. Sports announcers, politicians, celebrities, et al, have all been fired for their words. The real danger is making the topic so taboo that no one is willing to start a conversation to improve communications---keeping it under the surface is never the solution for resolution. Open and honest is the only answer---even if it means we don't like what we hear. But firing people for showing their true feelings won't change anyone's perspective---it will make the divisions even larger.

Posted by: Devo5 | October 21, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Of course Mike Huckabee loves Juan Williams and hates to see him fired. Nobody pitches better softball questions than Williams. I remember figuratively throwing up when I listened to Williams interview then president George W. Bush. It was not the least bit challenging for Bush. Maybe Williams can have his own talk show on Sirius radio now where NPR relegated Bob Edwards. Now there's a waste of talent.

Posted by: billmale | October 21, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

NPR didn't fire Williams because they were afraid of defunding, and defunding wouldn't implicate the First Amendment either way. Otherwise the feds could never defund NPR because it would be impossible to get behind the motives of every member of Congress to ensure that it wasn't because of something someone on NPR said.

NPR was afraid of alienating some of its base, and in the end may wind up alienating more than that. There's precious little reason for taxpayers to support NPR anyway.

Posted by: JoeT1 | October 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

What left wing drivel. It's enough to make
me sick.
Over the years I have contributed thousands, yes, thousands of dollars to NPR but never again.

If I were about to board a plane and saw any of these Muzzies, I would walk off.

Call me a bigot if you want but at least I will be a live bigot.

The first amendment is being trashed as is the remainder of the Constitution.

Wake up and see what these muzzies are doing to this country. The same that they have done to the U.K.

Posted by: blisterbolster | October 21, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Williams deserved to be fired: not because it's politically incorrect but because it was just plain stupid. Had this been anyone but a Fox contributor(e.g.,an MSNBC employee)Huck-a-ass and and the half-Gov and many of the ignorant commenters to this story would have been all over it. By the way Juan, I seriously doubt that Muslim terrorists would dress in Muslim garb if they were planing to bring down a plane.

Posted by: davidlhanegraaf | October 21, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

If you support Juan Williams, why didn't you support Helen Thomas?

Posted by: priceisright | October 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Would it be fair to say that the proverb 'the borrower is servant to the lender' reasonably extends to the payee is servant to the payer? That puts those organizations who receive money from the government at the whim of the government. They are bound to render service to an administration's or government's desire. That would be a limitation on free speech.

Consider full disclosure statements. Frequently, particularly on the web, companies have to expose their sponsorship, received gifts, and ownership ties. This is because we recognize the relationship of gifts, pay and ownership to a beneficiary's willingness to expose untoward facts about their benefactors.

It seems reasonable that these agencies that receive government grants would have a harder time exposing the government seeing 'which side their bread is buttered on'.

This is not simply a rhetorical exercise: Is it possible that these grants do a fair amount to limit free speech? Would it be reasonable to deduce that these government grants may violate of the intent of the first amendment, insofar as they limit an organization's ability to report fairly on a story for fear of loss of that governmental revenue stream?

Posted by: DavidEldridge | October 21, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

He lost his eligibility as a news analyst for NPR by publicly exposing his bigotry. That is fair and reasonable.

He surly can get a gig working for the 700 club. They hate and despise Muslims as much as Huckabee and Palin do.

Posted by: Provincial | October 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee, Sara Palin, Olary, Robert Posada, and the rest of the bgan on fox is nothing more than a paid rightwing propagandist looking for some attention,

Posted by: alfonso2 | October 21, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee, Sara Palin, Olary, Robert Posada, and the rest of the bgan on fox is nothing more than a paid rightwing propagandist looking for some attention,

Posted by: alfonso2 | October 21, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

practically everyone is off base. Huckabee and Palin have no grasp of the Constitution if they think the First Amendment has anything to do with this (but why should that be a surprise, O'Donnell can't even recognize the text of the opening line of the First Amendment when it's read to her). NorthernVirginia is wrong. Accepting public funding doesn't make the first amendment applicable to hiring and firing commentators for expressing opinions you don't like as an employer. If it were otherwise, anyone fired from a government contractor or funded entity would claim that it was because of something they said. they can't. NPR was wrong for firing him, simply because it will turn out to do more damage than William's remarks ever would, because the latter, listened to in context, aren't all that remarkable, let alone offensive.

Posted by: JoeT1 | October 21, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee, Sara Palin, Olary, Robert Posada, and the rest of the bgan on fox is nothing more than a paid rightwing propagandist looking for some attention,

Posted by: alfonso2 | October 21, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse


Are the rewards of doing the master’s wishes that enormous! No, he won’t get his own show, but he will get to share the stage on FOX , for 4 to 6 minutes (occasionally), with some of the world’s most fascistic-minded pundits ever seen.

It he or anyone talked about Jews they would have fired even quicker. Even FOX knows that. So Bill got his feelings hurt on the View and he's been crying all week on his show about this and as usual, used Juan as he does on all racial issues. Well the fool got fired.

Posted by: sherardg | October 21, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

In general, private employers (like FOX)can hire and fire at will so long as they don't discriminate on a basis protected by law (or contract). Once you accept government funding, you don't fall into that category. You take on the obligations of the federal government in that regard, in large part. Protection of free speech, particularly content based political speech with no threats of violence, is a no brainer. I practice employment law with a specialty in government.

Posted by: NorthernVirginian | October 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee is nothing more than a paid rightwing propagandist looking for some attention before he heads to Iowa after the midterms.

Let's see now - HOW MANY Fox Noise PAID pundits are running for 2012 prez?


Posted by: angie12106 | October 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

No.>>

Of course we'd have been offended. Why would you even "go" there? That is a ridiculous comment that bears no resemplance to this situation.

Juan didn't say that. He didn't use racial slurs. He was completely respectful and simply candid about his feelings - while insisting that not all muslims are terrorists. He addressed the delima a lot of fair minded people address - wanting to be fair but still being fearful.

NPR slapped him down for daring to address a sensitive subject. Sadly, speaking out and discussing it is far more likely to resolve the problem but they chose to oppress speech.

Posted by: NorthernVirginian | October 21, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I am the Caucasian parent of an (adopted) African American son, and the uncle to four others. Yet, when I walk down a city street and see a group of unknown Black or Hispanic male teenagers approaching me, I confess to getting a discomforting knot in my stomach. Does this make me a racist?

Posted by: Tony83703 | October 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse


You may not be a racist, but your statement has a racist tone because you singled out one race.

I am a black individual and, of course, I do not feel comfortable with ANY teenagers (black, white, hispanic,asian, etc, approaching me at night.

Posted by: colonfr2002 | October 21, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Rev. Jessie Jackson once say that he got nervous about meeting Black youth on the sidewalk at night?

I think he is still welcome to appear on NPR, right? I know he doesn't work for them, but if that is a racist statement, instead of just a honest statement about his feelings, wouldn't they deny him a guest spot?

It seems rather clear that this was just an opening for NPR to dump Williams because of his appearances on Fox.

Posted by: hmwipf1 | October 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

you may be right, but I am not going to speculate about NPR's motive; Juan has been with both NPR and Fox for a long time and I have a hard time thinking that NPR would react only now.

Posted by: colonfr2002 | October 21, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I would feel unconfortable if any teenagers were in a group and displayed menacing, hooligan like behavior. It would not bother me if they were well behaved and decorous regardless of race.

Posted by: ndc1963 | October 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee’s reaction is not surprising, considering the fact that he is a halfwit with absolutely no understanding of the Constitution. NPR is not a government agency, so it has the right to fire Williams for making stupid, bigoted, hateful statements that jeopardize NPR's business of searching for and reporting the truth. But Huckabee would use the power of the Federal Government to deny NPR the minute amount of federal funds that it gets through another organization that receives only a small percentage of its funds from the Federal Government. In other words, Huckabee suggests government action to abridge freedom of speech in reaction to a private organization’s legitimate business practices. That would be a violation of the First Amendment. Perhaps people like Huckabee could do themselves and the rest of the country a favor and sit down and read the Constitution some day. He might find it worthwhile.

Posted by: codexjust1 | October 21, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I listen to NPR and can't believe that Williams relatively candid and unoffensive comments got him fired. The tyrants of the left ate one of their own.

Posted by: ndc1963 | October 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Money from the federal government comes with strings. You can't accept federal funding without having similar sorts of restrictions placed upon you as the government when it comes to free speech. It is scary how ignorant people are.
Juan didn't engage in hate speech. He didn't advocate violence. He specifically stated that not all muslims are terrorits. He was fired for saying he was nervous when he got on a plane and saw people in muslim dress. That was honest. Unfortunately, it was politically incorrect and that has become far more pressing to NPR than respecting the First Amendment. "All Things Considered," except when it comes to saying something they don't want to hear. And we tax payers are getting to help pay for this.

Posted by: NorthernVirginian | October 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I am the Caucasian parent of an (adopted) African American son, and the uncle to four others. Yet, when I walk down a city street and see a group of unknown Black or Hispanic male teenagers approaching me, I confess to getting a discomforting knot in my stomach. Does this make me a racist?

Posted by: Tony83703 | October 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse


You may not be a racist, but your statement has a racist tone because you singled out one race.

I am a black individual and, of course, I do not feel comfortable with ANY teenagers (black, white, hispanic,asian, etc, approaching me at night.

Posted by: colonfr2002 | October 21, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Rev. Jessie Jackson once say that he got nervous about meeting Black youth on the sidewalk at night?

I think he is still welcome to appear on NPR, right? I know he doesn't work for them, but if that is a racist statement, instead of just a honest statement about his feelings, wouldn't they deny him a guest spot?

It seems rather clear that this was just an opening for NPR to dump Williams because of his appearances on Fox.

Posted by: hmwipf1 | October 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Bye Bye the last hope for Fair & Balanced News and Editorials as Huckabee, Palin, Beck, etc. undermine NPR.

My GOD! They are SO IGNORANT ! Absolutely NO knowledge or understanding about EVOLUTION. Or the Genetic/Hormonal/Physiological bases of Human Sexual Orientation! Or When an egg becomes an actual human baby. Those idiots actually believe that THEY can speak for God! Geeze! Beck and Palin in particular are VASTLY UNINFORMED !
Still believe that Dinosaurs were put on Noah's "Ark". Still believe that Noah actually loaded breeding pairs of all species of animals on an Ark (wouldn't you love to have been a stable boy with a shovel?)
How is it POSSIBLE that fools can be so STUPID to think that those Fox News Clowns can compare themselves to NPR's Jim Lehrer’s NEWS?
Madness! Ultimate Ignorance and Stupidity!

Posted by: lufrank1 | October 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Juan Williams was not fired for expressing his opinion for being "nervous" when he saw Muslims on a plane.

He was fired because he had the gall to be a commentator for Fox News.

Joseph McCarthy would be proud. NPR. Brought to you by the US Taxpayer

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | October 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we want all our media personalities to be able to say bigoted hateful speech right on the air, just like on Fox News.

Look, this action was in keeping with basic rules of journalism. I wouldn't expect Palin (what did she major in again?) to understand.

Posted by: sarahabc | October 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I just googled NPR and to this: In October 2010, NPR accepted a $1.8 million grant from George Soros, given through his Open Society Foundation.

I am suprised the wing nuts haven't picked up on this.

Posted by: sherardg | October 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mike, making a biggotted comment, while the face and voice of a major news organization, is not Free speech. He was on the news show as a representative affiliated with NPR, even if a Fox guest. You are entititle to you your opinion, but not to a job that reqquires you to be a true news reporter, not just a talking hear. NPR may have over reacted, but he was out of line.

Posted by: cadam72 | October 21, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

====

Now that's a response.

Posted by: Truthisbitter | October 21, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

People, we really DO need to live in the real world! We ALL have situations that make us uncomfortable ... but saying it aloud makes us bigoted?? Sheesh! To fire someone for being honest about what makes him nervous (and I'm sure people in Muslim garb aren't the only cause of nervousness for Mr. Williams) is totally ridiculous. This kinda sensitivity is just over the top ...

Posted by: Tootsumi | October 21, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

People, we really DO need to live in the real world! We ALL have situations that make us uncomfortable ... but saying it aloud makes us bigoted?? Sheesh! To fire someone for being honest about what makes him nervous (and I'm sure people in Muslim garb aren't the only cause of nervousness for Mr. Williams) is totally ridiculous. This kinda sensitivity is just over the top ...

Posted by: Tootsumi | October 21, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Cajunj, YOU need to go back to school.

NPR is NOT a private employer! NPR is the government. The government sensored Mr. Williams thus denying him his right to free speech. He was not even ON NPR when he voiced his opinion which is the opinion of many.

I am not fond of Mr. Williams because he is too liberal for me. However, we have seen this administration take away too many of our rights in just 2 years. How is the right to decide whether or not to buy health insurance making you feel? You should feel like a slave to big government who should not be able to dictate to us like Obama has been doing.

First, we need to get rid of the lefty dems. Then we need to get rid of George Soros and NPR. Next we need to get rid of Obama and all the communists in the WH.

Posted by: annnort
------------------------------------------
annnort, actually NPR is not the government; rather, it receives government funding. There's a difference.

The rest of your post I can't respond to as I don't speak either the language of extremism or crazy.

Posted by: binaryboy | October 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas and Sanchez talked about Jews and look what happened to them. NO fuss there.

Posted by: sherardg | October 21, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas and Sanchez talked about Jews and look what happened to them. NO fuss there.

Posted by: sherardg | October 21, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas and Sanchez talked about Jews and look what happened to them. NO fuss there.

Posted by: sherardg | October 21, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Cajunj, YOU need to go back to school.

NPR is NOT a private employer! NPR is the government. The government sensored Mr. Williams thus denying him his right to free speech. He was not even ON NPR when he voiced his opinion which is the opinion of many.

I am not fond of Mr. Williams because he is too liberal for me. However, we have seen this administration take away too many of our rights in just 2 years. How is the right to decide whether or not to buy health insurance making you feel? You should feel like a slave to big government who should not be able to dictate to us like Obama has been doing.

First, we need to get rid of the lefty dems. Then we need to get rid of George Soros and NPR. Next we need to get rid of Obama and all the communists in the WH.

Posted by: annnort | October 21, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Just called a couple of Reps who WILL be majority members of the House Appropriations Committee. NPR WILL be cut out of their 1st annual budget that'll be sent to the Senate.

Bu bye!

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 21, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I am the Caucasian parent of an (adopted) African American son, and the uncle to four others. Yet, when I walk down a city street and see a group of unknown Black or Hispanic male teenagers approaching me, I confess to getting a discomforting knot in my stomach. Does this make me a racist?

Posted by: Tony83703 | October 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse


You may not be a racist, but your statement has a racist tone because you singled out one race.

I am a black individual and, of course, I do not feel comfortable with ANY teenagers (black, white, hispanic,asian, etc, approaching me at night.

Posted by: colonfr2002 | October 21, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mike, making a biggotted comment, while the face and voice of a major news organization, is not Free speech. He was on the news show as a representative affiliated with NPR, even if a Fox guest. You are entititle to you your opinion, but not to a job that reqquires you to be a true news reporter, not just a talking hear. NPR may have over reacted, but he was out of line.

Posted by: cadam72 | October 21, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure we should defund NPR, but I feel they were wrong to fire Williams. He said nothing inflamatory; he just wasn't keeping with the NPR political agenda.

Posted by: hebe1 | October 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I am the Caucasian parent of an (adopted) African American son, and the uncle to four others. Yet, when I walk down a city street and see a group of unknown Black or Hispanic male teenagers approaching me, I confess to getting a discomforting knot in my stomach. Does this make me a racist?

Posted by: Tony83703 | October 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

It is sad that Mr. Williams has been removed from his position at NPR, but necessary. He may personally feel "anxious" when he sees someone unfamiliar on a plane, but to stereotype someone based on how they look or dress is wrong for a reporter. If he felt that strongly, he could not objectively interview people or report on them without inserting his "anxiety" into the process, he should have resigned. If he has suffered from an overall "anxiety disorder" related to 9/11, he should seek treatment and stay off the air. But his professional standing as a reporter, for a station that regularly reaches Americans of all cultures, is diminished to the point where he could not be effective. FOX is a cable station, not paid for by public funding, so perhaps it is okay if people don't make any bones about their prejudices. But I am glad that NPR still does care about its role as an objective organization and that it demands that reporters be objective, without inserting their personal feelings into how they treat/stereotype large groups.

Posted by: MinnyMa | October 21, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I am no lawyer, but the funding that NPR receives from the Government seems to make their responsibility to avoid censorship seems a little less clear than it would be in a privately-held news organization.

I can understand their concern, though it seems more than a little strong to call his comments anti-Muslim. (Maybe I am missing some nuance.) But I would still think that NPR would want to avoid making so hasty a choice about a comment like that (without regard to the mixing of government funding). While outside of that, I don't see that he has a right to first amendment protection against his employer, I think they should consider the whole of his commentary on that particular (O'Reilly) show. "All Things Considered" is a great show for giving the context that other programs miss with often short 5-30 second coverage of stories. A full treatment of this situation and his career seems to merit a better outcome for Mr. Williams.

Posted by: DavidEldridge | October 21, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

NPR did the right thing! As I recall, the 9/11 hijackers were dressed in typical American casual clothing. He should be free to spout his rubbish, but NPR should also be free to uphold whatever standards they set for their employees, provided NPR educate its employees as to what the standards or expectations for behavior are.

I just submitted by membership due.

Keep up the good work. Truly fair and balance!

Posted by: Track_Speed | October 21, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

In fairness we ask that mrs Obama and Soros call for the firing of the dreaded cookie monster.We must stop this puppet from single handedly causing childhood obesity.Then we can fire people that read the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: jmounday | October 21, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, the notion that the First Amendment protects you from consequences for saying things on national television that embarrass your employer is highly questionable at best."

How is it that Juan Williams has embarrassed NPR? Doesn't NPR report the news and opinions? For anyone who has 'eyes open' knows there is a world wide Muslim radical/terroist problem. If you don't feel there is a concern . . fine. I hope you don't get stoned to death or get you head lobbed off.
Reminder: Tuesday Nov. 2nd - Take the trash out!!
God Bless America . . . We sure need it!!

Posted by: Xman2 | October 21, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I never understood why a radio-station should be funded by tax dollars and incessant on-air begging for money. It's funny how that freedom of speech thing works or should I say doesn't work.

Posted by: KarenfromPittsburgh | October 21, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I never understood why a radio-station should be funded by tax dollars and incessant on-air begging for money. It's funny how that freedom of speech thing works or should I say doesn't work.

Posted by: KarenfromPittsburgh | October 21, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, I mean, if HUCKABEE says it, I mean, it's gotta be a GREAT idea, right?

Look, Juan Williams' edginess probably isn't only limited to Muslims. He likely fears Caucasians in certain situations as well (as do I):
http://gravelle.us/content/juans-bitten-twice-shy
though I doubt he'd lose his job for saying so.

The fact of the matter is that, in certain situations, certain ethnicities DO fit profiles that justify, at the very LEAST, nervousness:
http://www.dailyscoff.com/?p=2891

Liberals, as everyone knows, can NOT be racists. But I understand (as does anybody who's ever HEARD public radio) that NPR can't have commentators go around speaking their OWN mind, either...


-jjg

Posted by: jgravelle | October 21, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry NPR. I will be happy to make up the idiot johne37179's pledge.

Posted by: mjwies11 | October 21, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I also guess it would dumb to point out that all of the 9/11 attackers were dressed in Western clothing.

Posted by: keithrjackson | October 21, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Huckabee and Palin think that First Amendment rights have ANYTHING to do with employer/employee relations is just amazing to me.

Posted by: keithrjackson | October 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

How about that! Sarah "The Bimbo" Palin trying to pick a fight with "the left" by blaming us for waht NPR did.

Hey Bimbo, if I had NPR's money, Juan would still have a job.

If she wasn't so stupid, I wouldn't be laughing at her so hard.


Posted by: lindalovejones | October 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

15% of the CPB funding may come from the government. Only a fraction of that goes to NPR and that represents only a fraction of NP'Rs funding. Is there a journalist in the house who could make a phone call and clarify how much of NPR's funding comes from the Fed?? Huckabee is a grandstanding idiot!

Posted by: thebobbob | October 21, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

My lord! Dr. Laura, Palin, and now Huckabee show their ignorance of the document they constantly say we need to follow, namely, the Constitution of the United States.

“Congress shall make no law…..abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….”

Congress did not make a law that got Mr. Williams fired for what he said on O’Reilly’s show. His employer fired him for what he said on O’Reilly’s show. For a bunch that constantly rants about the Constitution, they sure don’t seem to familiar with the text.

Posted by: blpeyton | October 21, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Are people really defending racial bias from a 'neutral' reporter?

It's actually quite shocking that the crop of candidates running for office this year have said lots racially insensitive, sexist, and bigoted things and not really paid a price for it. I guess people are desensitized.

Posted by: jetrain | October 21, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Truth has become a casualty. No longer are we free to speak our minds. This has come about primarily in increments, making a giant leap around two years ago.
Be afraid.

Posted by: robtay12003 | October 21, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

To all of you who are so "outraged" at NPR, ask yourselves the following: "Would we be having this debate if a white biggot had gotten fired for saying he gets nervous around N-word people?"

No.

Posted by: kjclark1963 | October 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Relax -
Uncle Juan is just doing what a brutha got to do to get a promotion at FOX news.

Posted by: Southsider | October 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry folks, but if the right can insist on the firing of a Dept of Ag official overs remarks that were misquoted, re-wrtitten, and taken out of context; you can't complain about the firing of Mr Williams. Besides, your first ammendment rights don't extend to your workplace, ask the former Miss California. I don't have to pay for your speech.

Posted by: jamalmstrom | October 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Why the outrage? You leave your First Amendment freedom of speech rights at the door when it comes to your employer. (Palin is way, way off base on this, as usual.)

It's a contractual issue, plain and simple.

Posted by: chi-town | October 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Relax -
Uncle Juan is just doing what he has to do to get a promotion at FOX news.

Posted by: Southsider | October 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Relax -
Uncle Juan is just doing what he has to do to get a promotion at FOX news.

Posted by: Southsider | October 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This was a clear overreaction on the part of NPR.

Juan's comments certainly didn't warrant his firing.

I guess George Soros is getting his money's worth, as NPR can't even keep moderate liberals on the payroll.

Posted by: Benson | October 21, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I'm having a hard time understanding why anyone is outraged that NPR fired someone because he stated that he automatically makes negative assumptions about people based on their religion. Somehow this proves that they are liberal?

Posted by: Rachelva | October 21, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Juan,
Congratulations. May your tribe increase.

Posted by: leberk | October 21, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The firing of Juan Williams by NPR is absolutely reprehensible!

Posted by: jcooper511 | October 21, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

WHAT his comments jeopardize his ability to interview or cover stories about muslims which is an increasingly important skill to have over the next decade.

The way I see it - NPR is the only party who is considering him an EMPLOYEE of NPR and employees of large corporations are expected to act appropriately as a neutral party in these types of ordeals. NPR has been one of the few news organizations that follow the neutral news mantra. Juan Williams was already towing the line when he gives opinion. It just finally crossed the line and no longer made him neutral party.

What have we become? NPR is an amazing neutral resource. Everything ELSE is the crap. Don't get it flipped.

Posted by: glitch83 | October 21, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

trying to be rational here, it seems to me that there are several things going on here. 1. Yes, Mr. Williams has the right to his feelings about Muslims traveling on planes. 2. Those feelings as expressed do not make him a bigot. 3. NPR does have the right to terminate Mr. Williams for actions that they perceive to be counter to his employment contract or actions that reflect poorly on their organization. 4. NPR probably should not have fired Mr. Williams for expressing his honest opinion about this subject, because it seems reactionary and makes them look foolish. 5. Mr. Williams, in my opinion has always been a voice of reason on the left and while I have disagreed with him on many issues I have respected his opinion because of the way he has presented it, not based on wild pandering to emotions but in a well organized and thoughtful manner. 6. As I see it the first amendment has nothing to do with this, first Mr. Williams was not restricted from exercising his right to free speech, second, there was not government censorship of said right. An employer is not bound by the first amendment (even the federal government, if you don't believe me ask someone in the military if they have the right to free speech as part of their job). I am sorry NPR fired Mr. Williams but I know he will move onto other things.

Posted by: welangIII | October 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

NPR has just proved Juan Williams' whole point. NPR: Your "journalists" are all slaves to your master. And ironically, the slave-master is, how would you say it, an "old, rich, white man" with lots of power to wield. His name- George Soros.

Progressives have a history of enslaving people- and being enslaved willingly. The rest of us will take individual freedom- minus the puppet master strings of government...and Soros.

Posted by: SpiderBabe | October 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Democrats/Liberals believe in "Selective"
freedom of speech, only. If you don't agree with them, they either use the Race
Card, social injustice Card, or they FIRE YOU.
Taxpayers are subsidizing NPR, too.
Call your congress and tell them to CUT OFF, FIRE NPR! Stop wasting our Taxdollars on a communist station that
CENSORS.

Posted by: ohioan | October 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, the notion that the First Amendment protects you from consequences for saying things on national television that embarrass your employer is highly questionable at best."

In this VERY piece, the same writer discusses the 15% of funding that comes from the federal government. So ...

1) It is censorship and an unconstitutional violation of Juan Williams' first amendment rights.

2) Juan Williams' commentary was right on the money. If you AREN'T nervous upon seeing Muslims on your plane, then you are committed to the delusions of political correctness to the point of being suicidal.

3) The time for removing government funding for NPR has LONG since arrived. There is no excuse for forcing citizens to subsidize any journalistic endeavor. The fact that the endeavor in question is "journalistic" in name only adds insult to injury.

Posted by: vernonnorbert | October 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The Muslim community has brought this all on themselves,by refusal to assimilate into
the 21st Century with the rest of us,instead of running around in outfits from 1400 years or more ago,and by these
Muslim right here in America steadfast refusal to condemn their fellow Muslim
Extremist Terrorists that attacked the WTC
and Pentagon on 9-11-2001 as well.

Yes I too support Juan Williams and his right to free speech as well here,as I also
get a bit anxious whenever I see these Muslim freaks,male and female running around dress like something out of the 4th
Century and wonder if they have a bomb or
sub-machine gun hidden in it as well.

So,let me be clear here,we condemn the Mexican people for not assimilating but why
then do we have to pander to the Muslims
on everything on earth? Just send them all
back to Mecca where they belong or even better send them to visit their 71 virgins.

I have had it with pandering to terrorists!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | October 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

The federal government shouldn't fund domestic media services such as NPR or PBS anyway. Juan Williams' dismissal may finally give Congress the courage to do the constitutionally correct thing and pull the plug on these propaganda organizations.

Posted by: austinrl | October 21, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I just contacted my local NPR station to get the money that I had donated for their fall pledge drive returned after the firing of Juan Williams.

I always knew the NPR was liberal, but the firing of Juan Williams showed that they were also on an agenda that I do not agree with and do not want my money or resources being used for.

Posted by: dmforman | October 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The federal government shouldn't fund domestic media services such as NPR or PBS anyway. Juan Williams' dismissal may finally give Congress the courage to do the constitutionally correct thing and pull the plug.

Posted by: austinrl | October 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

NPR WAS WITHIN ITS RIGHTS TO FIRE JUAN WILLIAMS

I have worked in the publishing business and the newspaper business for over 30 years. Juan Williams professes to be a journalist. A journalist is to report the news factually and with objectivity, which is a rarity these days. In his capacity as a side kick to O'Reilly, he has every right to give commentary on his personal beliefs and in op-ed pieces. However, when you get back into the journalist chair and write stories and give commentary on NPR you have a CREDITABILITY problem.

Juan Williams cannot give an honest and true reporting of Muslims stories and events and at the same time the WORLD knows that you have a BIAS toward that group -- there goes your CREDITABILITY and OBJECTIVITY.

NPR had every right to fire Mr. Williams or any other paid employee for breaching their journalistic oath of FAIRNESS and OBJECTVITY.

Posted by: djoh1226 | October 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Let don't make this a bigger deal than it is. NPR is getting way to much credit for being legitimate and significant in this controversy.

First off employment by NPR in no way makes you a major player in the broadcasting business. NPR is barely above amateur as an organization and it is well known that NPR was a left wing squeaking mouse long before Fox and MSNBC got on the bandwagon of outlets appealing to radicals. Juan didn't build his career on the backs of the handful of people who actually can stand to listen to large helpings of left wing rhetoric spewing over the NPR air waves. I am more than willing to bet that offers are about to roll Juan William's way that will make him regret working for peanuts at NPR all these years. A new job will likely expose him to what a real professional broadcast organization is about.

Second, after the November elections, in a few weeks, NPR is going to learn what being an embarrassment to the tax payers is all about. I can assure you that NPR is going to feel some economic pain over this move with Juan. Before you go off on me just watch what happens. Juan will get his payback and the world will witness it. Now NPR, that will be embarrassment.

Posted by: DMartin6 | October 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Let don't make this a bigger deal than it is. NPR is getting way to much credit for being legitimate and significant in this controversy.

First off employment by NPR in no way makes you a major player in the broadcasting business. NPR is barely above amature as an organization and it is well known that NPR was a left wing squeaking mouse long before Fox and MSNBC got on the bandwagon of outlets appealing to radicals. Juan didn't build his career on the backs of the handful of people who actually can stand to listen to large helpings of left wing rhetoric spewing over the NPR air waves. I am more than willing to bet that offers are about to roll Juan William's way that will make him regret working for peanuts at NPR all these years. A new job will likely expose him to what a real professional broadcast organization is about.

Second, after the November elections, in a few weeks, NPR is going to learn what being an embarrassment to the tax payers is all about. I can assure you that NPR is going to feel some economic pain over this move with Juan. Before you go off on me just watch what happens. Juan will get his payback and the world will witness it. Now NPR, that will be embarrassment.

Posted by: DMartin6 | October 21, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee needs to review the constitution. The fact that people who run for office don't really know this most fundamental amendment to the Constitution frightens me.

"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" The operative word here is "Congress". NPR is not Congress.

Go back to school, Huckabee!

Posted by: cajunj | October 21, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The people who defend their pit bulls are the same people who advocate racial profiling for people. How does this make sense. ....


http://thefiresidepost.com/2009/04/11/the-passion-of-gun-lovers-and-pit-bulls/

Posted by: glclark4750 | October 21, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I love NPR. I love them even more for dumping this loser.

Posted by: GAGA1 | October 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I can't tell whether Carley04's comments are a serious "defense" of NPR's action or a satire of someone trying to justify telling someone whose job is a commentator that he can only say what his employer thinks.

Posted by: gitman | October 21, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Juan Williams is one of the most reliable sources of news and opinion available to all of us. It is emblematic of the quality NPR produces that they dismiss him for speaking truth. Regarding first amendment rights, Huckabee is correct and the subject is not dubious as the author suggests in his closing.

Posted by: bigjohn2 | October 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I SUPPORT JUAN WILLIAMS.

I HAVE FELT LIKE HE HAS MANY TIMES in grocery stores and other places when I see someone dressed in full Muslim garb which identifies them as being Muslim. I immediately begin to wonder if this person I see approaching me has a bomb under that burka or that robe and is ready to sacrifice her/his life in the name of Allah.

I'D HAVE TO BE DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND TO NOT HAVE THOSE FEELINGS.

NPR IS SO VERY WRONG IN THIS MATTER. Juan Williams in NOT A BIGOT. NPR makes a huge miscalculation when it decides that an American who expresses such a concern is somehow a bigot.

NPR is a Left-wing group that pushes
a Left wing point of view and in this action against Juan Williams, has exercised censorship in the worst way.

I WILL PUSH TO REMOVE NPR'S PUBLIC FUNDING.

I WON'T LISTEN TO NPR AGAIN.

I plan to tell my local public radio station WHY I've made that decision.

NPR does not deserve Juan Williams. He is better off getting out of that snake pit.

THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE ON JUAN'S SIDE.

THE KIND OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS NPR PROMOTED BY FIRING JUAN WILLIAMS IS TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL AND HAS BECOME A TOTALITARIAN-TYPE FORCE IN THE U.S.A.

SpeakSense
October 21, 2010

Posted by: SpeakSense | October 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Icallemlikeiseethem........ racism has nothing particularly to do with nation or anything logical.

It is a human trait to be wary of others who DON'T look like you....and it isn't necessarily personal. It's a reflection of differences ...

And Juan Williams is just a manifestation of the fact that Americans of the black persuasion are just as racist as are Whites, Asians, and everyone else.

We need to accept the facts and do our best to make sure the racism doesn't turn to violence.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | October 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I did not see it on tv but read the transcript. I have always liked Juan Williams and he is one of the few sane people to appear on Fox. While I might not agreed with his comments on this matter I do not consider him a bigot. Maybe Fox will hire him full time. I think it was wrong for NPR to fire him over this.

Posted by: CharlieDrew | October 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I SUPPORT JUAN WILLIAMS.

I HAVE FELT LIKE HE HAS MANY TIMES in grocery stores and other places when I see someone dressed in full Muslim garb which identifies them as being Muslim. I immediately begin to wonder if this person I see approaching me has a bomb under that burka or that robe and is ready to sacrifice her/his life in the name of Allah.

I'D HAVE TO BE DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND TO NOT HAVE THOSE FEELINGS.

NPR IS SO VERY WRONG IN THIS MATTER. Juan Williams in NOT A BIGOT. NPR makes a huge miscalculation when it decides that an American who expresses such a concern is somehow a bigot.

NPR is a Left-wing group that pushes
a Left wing point of view and in this action against Juan Williams, has exercised censorship in the worst way.

I WILL PUSH TO REMOVE NPR'S PUBLIC FUNDING.

I WON'T LISTEN TO NPR AGAIN.

I plan to tell my local public radio station WHY I've made that decision.

NPR does not deserve Juan Williams. He is better off getting out of that snake pit.

THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE ON JUAN'S SIDE.

THE KIND OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS NPR PROMOTED BY FIRING JUAN WILLIAMS IS TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL AND HAS BECOME A TOTALITARIAN-TYPE FORCE IN THE U.S.A.

Posted by: SpeakSense | October 21, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I SUPPORT JUAN WILLIAMS.

I HAVE FELT LIKE HE HAS MANY TIMES in grocery stores and other places when I see someone dressed in full Muslim garb which identifies them as being Muslim. I immediately begin to wonder if this person I see approaching me has a bomb under that burka or that robe and is ready to sacrifice her/his life in the name of Allah.

I'D HAVE TO BE DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND TO NOT HAVE THOSE FEELINGS.

NPR IS SO VERY WRONG IN THIS MATTER. Juan Williams in NOT A BIGOT. NPR makes a huge miscalculation when it decides that an American who expresses such a concern is somehow a bigot.

NPR is a Left-wing group that pushes
a Left wing point of view and in this action against Juan Williams, has exercised censorship in the worst way.

I WILL PUSH TO REMOVE NPR'S PUBLIC FUNDING.

I WON'T LISTEN TO NPR AGAIN.

I plan to tell my local public radio station WHY I've made that decision.

NPR does not deserve Juan Williams. He is better off getting out of that snake pit.

THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE ON JUAN'S SIDE.

THE KIND OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS NPR PROMOTED BY FIRING JUAN WILLIAMS IS TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL AND HAS BECOME A FACIST FORCE IN THE U.S.A.

Posted by: SpeakSense | October 21, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

NPR's firing of Juan Williams was clearly an act of political correctness gone wild. I thought NPR was to promote diversity?
For years NPR has looking for an excuse to fire Mr. Williams, even demanding he NOT say he was a NPR correspondence when being identified on the "evil" Fox Network.
Censorship at its best.

NPR takes public funds, they should be terminated for non-compliance with Federal Laws.

Posted by: ragsttiger | October 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know you had a constitutional right to force people to listen to your stupid fears... especially if they are based in making money for fascists.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld1 | October 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I never cared much for the liberal Juan Williams, but I think his firing over this is crazy. We live in an overly PC world. As a pundit, he should be able to express his opinions freely. Having said that, I guess NPR has the right to fire him if they wish, however stupid that decision is. WE NEED TO DEFUND NPR ANYWAY. How and why should we have a taxpayer funded news wing of the democratic party? Besides, MSNBC, ABC, and CNN play that role.

Posted by: superelastic | October 21, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse


MumboJumboo ... provide the evidence or we will continue to consider you as just another leftist dolt!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | October 21, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

NPR should've been defunded decades ago. That has nothing to do with the Juan Williams thing. Though I am loathe to side with NPR on anything, I think they made the right decision here. Having a first amendment and being honest do not (and should not) shield people from consequences when their honesty clearly compromises them in their job. I'm aware that many folks on the left consider Williams to be a traitor for being a Fox News contributor, and I'm not under any illusion that that sentiment is a key reason why they approve of his dismissal from NPR. But setting that aside, what Williams said is at least somewhat on a similar plain to Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, and Octavia Nasr among others. Those 3 were all fired, and should have been.

Posted by: mbcnewspaper | October 21, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, the notion that the First Amendment protects you from consequences for saying things on national television that embarrass your employer is highly questionable at best"

First Amendment protection is from GOVERNMENT action impeding one's free speech, not private employers.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | October 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Of course, the notion that the First Amendment protects you from consequences for saying things on national television that embarrass your employer is highly questionable at best"

First Amendment protection is from GOVERNMENT action impeding one's free speech, not private employers.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | October 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Being a 50 old african american male....who has experienced racism.. I say to the united states of america... of which I'am a citzen... come on man!!!!
racism is here... it has not gone anywhere!!!
in fact there have been so many cases in recent history... that it is a clear signal that no one is above being subjected to the color of their skin and not the content of their character... so why do people act so surprised when it happens???

Posted by: Icallemlikeiseethem | October 21, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Of course, the notion that the First Amendment protects you from consequences for saying things on national television that embarrass your employer is highly questionable at best."


First Amendment would only protect individual if the GOVERNMENT is involved!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | October 21, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

It's frightening that someone can be fired for candidly sharing how THEY feel about something. Whether you agree or disagree with what Juan Williams said...he certainly had a RIGHT to say it. NPR made a HUGE mistake in firing him. Not only do they appear to have made a rash decision, it was misguided political correctness at its worst. We should all be concerned about this attack on freedom of speech. I, for one, will no longer donate to NPR, and I hope Congress slashes its funding. It's the only way the message will be heard.

Posted by: hannahsmith91 | October 21, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

He is an Uncle Tom, and a Negro apologist, always weighing in on black issues when it's convenient for him to do the massah's bidding he should have said no comment when asked that question but as usual he wanted to prove to his white buddies that he can out-bigot them, yeah good luck finding a job.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 21, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Williams was NOT fired for exercising his First Amendment Rights. It was because his NPR contract does not allow him to publicly express a personal opinion which he would not articulate in his professional capacity as an employee of NPR. Because - as of the time of his appearance on the O'Reily show - Williams was still an NPR employee. And NPR employees are forbidden, by the terms of their employment, from publicly expressing views that they would not express as an NPR journalist.

NPR's terms of employment also request that employees not appear on shows that encourage speculation and punditry rather than fact-based analysis, particularly shows that are harmful to the reputation of thir employer - NPR.

Mr. O'Reilly's show certainly falls under the description of shows Mr. Williams' employer - NPR - SPECIFICALLY requested that he not appear on. And his remarks certainly fall under the category of views that Mr. Williams would not, in his role as a news journalist, express on NPR.

Sure, Mr. Williams personal reaction to people dressed in Muslim garb on a plane may be human. However, the terms of his employment do not allow him to express his personal opinion in a public forum. It's really no different from an employee who signs a non-disclosure agreement as a condition of employment, and then blabs away on, say, Oprah. That employee would be fired, too. And quite rightly so.

Seems that people who are surprised and outraged by this perfectly predictable firing of Mr. Williams have forgotten what "journalism" is supposed to be: objective, free from personal prejudice, and fact-based.

Posted by: Carly04 | October 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee can prove that he is a real man if he says the same thing about Rick Sanchez. We all know he is a white suprimacist targeting a weak ethnic group.

Posted by: MumboJumboo | October 21, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@johne37179: The only way this makes NPR "biased and intolerant" is perhaps to claim they have a bias against bias and/or bigotry... are we really to the point where people can't take a stand against bigotry without being called "biased" ? Seems like an odd logic to me.

Posted by: mb56 | October 21, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@johne37179: The only way this makes NPR bias is perhaps to claim they have a bias against bias and/or bigotry... are we really to the point where people can't take a stand against bigotry without being called "biased" ? Seems like an odd logic to me.

Posted by: mb56 | October 21, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It is outrageous that NPR acted without merit of any kind. I wonder if that has happened on 9/11/2001 would NPR have the same sentiment. I don't think so.
Clearly the people at NPR who made that decision were out of touch in terms of public opinion. I am sure that NPR will get
crap coming to it Integrity.

Posted by: usa11291 | October 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Benladen killed 3000 innocent american civilians. Bush killed 2 million innocent iraqi civilians.
Who is the bigger terrorist?

Posted by: MumboJumboo | October 21, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I am a supporter of public radio and TV.
It is disappointing to hear of the rash firing of Juan Williams. A little premature without further investigation. The man was being honest! We ALL have that feeling in some degree.

Posted by: witmark | October 21, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I think the issue is that when Williams said this comment, he identified himself as an NPR correspondent. I'm not sure whether or not this was a prudent decision on NPR's part, but the fact that Williams said this while in his capacity as an NPR correspondent could have been the impetus for the decision.

Posted by: binaryboy | October 21, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

This does seem like an extreme overreaction by somebody. I might have said that myself, and I'm not one of you right-wing nut jobs. But isn't Huck wanting the Feds to censor NPR just the same thing? What if Fox fired somebody for saying that Obama was a legal citizen of the U.S., or denied that he was conducting an evil plot to enslave white people? Would Huck come to defend their First Amendment rights? I don't think so.

Posted by: DaveHarris | October 21, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Look up Charles Leaf and aks why he is still on fox staff.

Posted by: T-town1 | October 21, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It is time to fire NPR. I have and will stop sending my pledges (which I have done for their 40 year existence). I encourage all other supporters of NPR to join me and do the same. I cannot support a blatantly biased and intolerant organization.

Posted by: johne37179 | October 21, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company