Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Juan Williams clarifies -- without clarifying

Juan Williams, on Fox News this afternoon, hit back at NPR for firing him over his claim that he gets "worried" and "nervous" when he sees people in Muslim garb:

WILLIAMS: Wednesday afternoon, I got a message on my cell phone from Ellen Weiss, who is the head of news at NPR, asking me to call. When I called back, she said, "What did you say, what did you mean to say?"

And I said, "I said what I meant to say, which is that it's an honest experience that went on in an airport and I see people who are in Muslim garb who identify themselves as first and foremost as Muslims, I do a double take. I have a moment of anxiety or fear given what happened on 9/11. That's just a reality." And she went on to say, "Well that crosses the line." And I said, "What line is that?"

And she went on to somehow suggest that I had made a bigoted statement. And I said, "that's not a bigoted statement. In fact, in the course of this conversation with Bill O'Reilly, I said that we have as Americans an obligation to protect constitutional rights of everyone in the country and to make sure we don't have any outbreak of bigotry but that there's a reality."

You cannot ignore what happened on 9/11 and you cannot ignore the connection to Islamic radicalism and you can't ignore the fact that what has been recently said in court with regard to this is the first drop of blood in a Muslim war on America.

Put me down as someone who wasn't comfortable with Williams' firing over this. When the news broke I saw no reason why he shouldn't have had a chance to clarify. But now he has, and he's failed to acknowledge what was problematic about his initial remarks.

The most charitable interpretation of those initial remarks, I think, is that he meant to say that the reflexive fear folks may have of those in Muslim garb, while defensible, should not be allowed to justify anti-Muslim bigotry writ large. In other words, he may have meant to say something like: It's understandable that people, me included, have an instinctual fear of Muslims in airports, given what happened on 9/11, but that should not allow us to give way to concerted, institutionalized bigotry.

The problem, though, is that in his initial comments he didn't clarify that the instinctual feeling itself is irrational and ungrounded, and something folks need to battle against internally whenever it rears its head. And in his subsequent comments on Fox today, Williams again conspicuously failed to make that point.

Maybe Williams does think those feelings are unacceptably irrational and need to be wrestled with, and perhaps someone should ask him more directly if he thinks that. But until he clearly states it to be the case, there's no reason to assume he thinks we should battle those feelings and work to delegitimize them.


UPDATE, 6:31 p.m.: A reader points out that Williams actually did say outright elsewhere in the initial segment with O'Reilly that we should not allow our fear of those in Muslim garb to result in bigoted treatment of Muslims. That's right, but I think it's largely irrelevant. My point was that even the crux of the offending comments themselves, the ones everyone is indicting Williams for, can be charitably interpreted this way -- but that this still isn't enough.

Williams needed to say more than just that our anti-Muslim instincts can't translate into mistreatment of Muslims. He needed to clarify that anti-Muslim feelings need to be battled against, by saying something like: "It's wrong for us to feel this way, even if it's understandable."

By Greg Sargent  | October 21, 2010; 4:07 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Right-wing group's mailer warns of "Obamavilles"
Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

Williams' comment about "an outbreak of bigotry" is odd and suggests -- to me -- a misunderstanding on his part of what bigotry is. He seems also not to understand where his own fears come from or have any ability to analyze them. Yes, 9/11 may be a factor. But so is ignorance. He doesn't get that part -- or the role that such ignorance plays in "outbreaks of bigotry."

Posted by: LynnDee227 | October 21, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT

With less than two weeks to go before the midterm elections, a survey conducted by Gallup shows that only 39 percent of Americans think Obama deserves to be re-elected in 2012.

A staggering 54 percent think he should be a one-term president, the poll found.

Earlier this year, between 46 and 48 percent of Americans said Obama should be re-elected.

The survey also shows that Obama has averaged a job approval rating of 44.7 percent during the first seven quarters of his presidency.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

This is not the first time Juan Williams has been a hack. I have been withholding dues to my local public radio station for three years because of him. It's going to be expensive for me to catch up on dues, but well worth whatever tiny amount of leverage it put on NPR to stop providing Fox with the borrowed credibility of an NPR staffer.

Posted by: dave89 | October 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

NOW THE LIBERALS WANT TO NOT JUST REGULATE WHAT YOU SAY


THE LIBERALS WANT TO REGULATE HOW YOU FEEL


If Juan Williams feels "anxiety or fear" and all of a sudden, he must be FIRED.


Political correctness is INSANITY.


The liberals are INSANE.


It is time to RELEASE THE NATION FROM THIS CRAP.


.

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

As if Greg Sargent is not "bigoted" against Republicans, as evidence every day here? Should he be fired too?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

You are being far too charitable to Juan Williams. This is not the first time that he has fed Red Meat to the Fox Viewers. I view him as just another Uncle Juan. If he were a real sincere liberal voice, Fox would not feature him so prominently. He is one of their Useful Idiots.

Here is what he said about the First Lady.

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/01/27/juan-michelle-stokely/

"ox News contributor Juan Williams — who has complained about the “militant anger” that Michelle Obama “sometimes uses” — kept up his attacks on the First Lady last night. Appearing on the O’Reilly Factor, Williams agreed with conservative commenter Mary Katherine Ham that Obama will have to watch what she says since, according to Williams, she is “Stokely Charmichael in a dress“:

WILLIAMS: And let me just tell you this: If you think about liabilities for President Obama that are close to him, Joe Biden’s up there, but Michelle Obama’s right there. Michelle Obama, you know, she’s got this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going."


And Greg,

Why should Rick Sanchez get fired, and Bill O'Reilly and Juan Williams not.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

NPR should be unplugged and discarded. It is one of the most biased news organizations in America. It is held hostage by a cabal of liberal pinheads that make Hugo Chavez seem like a right-wing reactionary.

I guess that about covers it.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 21, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Liam, I thought I clearly said here that he did not succeed in justifying himself.

Also, I similarly said that Sanchez should have been given a chance to clarify.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

battleground51:

Gov. Palin has called for the new GOP Congress to de-fund NPR!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be great if somehow we could make NPR more FAIR and BALANCED?

I wouldn't mind chipping in a little for that.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 21, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

So what do you think about what Juan said on a previous Bill O'Reilly show, about the first lady.

Do you think Fox news would have kept Juan on, if he had said some thing similar about Jewish people, as to what he said about Muslims?

How about if he had said something similar about being afraid of pedophiles, every time he saw a catholic priest on a plane. Would Fox have kept him on then? I think not.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I kind of agree with John Stewart's observations...that Sanchez was fired not because of his statements...but because his statements gave CNN an excuse to do what they wanted to do all along because of Sanchez lame performance.

As has been already expressed perhaps that is what happened to Juan.

Whatever...unlike Faux which claims to be "fair and balanced" LMAO...NPR actually does make an attempt...they have forbidden their people from showing up at the Stewarts Rally for Sanity.

Speaking of attempts at being a balanced and impartial journalist..while I'm not necessarily a big fan..I do get the impression that Anderson Cooper is trying to present both sides of any story without necessarily surrendering all intellect to "false equivalency". CNN actually has the best news gathering infrastructure in the business...maybe they'll return to their roots and actually become the REAL fair and balanced source of journalism.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 21, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2:

Palin's got the right idea.

Unplug the thing!

Posted by: battleground51 | October 21, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

We get it Joke and Battleground...

Anything you guys agree with =Fair and Balanced.

Anything you disagree with = Biased

Too bad neither of you have the intellect, open minds, or critical thinking skills to face reality.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 21, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe anyone who denies the same thoughts cross their minds. His firing is ridiculous but another entirely predictable example of political correctness, liberal fascism, whichever one wants to call it. James Burnham diagnosed its early stages years ago in Suicide of the West.

NPR should be defunded and abolished anyway, and it's appalling that we fund this propoganda arm of the left.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 21, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7

Shephard Smith appears to be a fairly straight shooter too, from the few times I have seen him on TV. He provided very compassionate coverage of The Katrina disaster.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

A commentator gets fired for.......commenting.

We are doomed to die by PC infection.

Posted by: jeffreid1 | October 21, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh jeez...

- In wake of NPR controversy, Fox News gives Juan Williams an expanded role -

The cable news network signs the analyst to a new three-year contract for nearly $2 million. Meanwhile, conservative figures blast the public radio network for its response to Williams' comments about Muslims.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-juan-williams-20101022,0,4294425.story

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 21, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

You know me folks. Always trying to find ways to bring people together, and reconcile differences. With that in mind, I offer this

Modest Proposal.

Virginia Thomas should leave a voice-mail message for Juan Williams asking him to apologize for what he did.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

It's quite obvious that Greg did not watch the entire segment. Greg writes:

"He meant to say that the reflexive fear folks may have of those in Muslim garb, while defensible, should not be allowed to justify anti-Muslim bigotry writ large."

That is precisely the point that Williams went on to make. During that same interview:

"WILLIAMS: But, Bill, here's a caution point. The other day in New York, some guy cuts a Muslim cabby's neck and says he's attacking him or you think about the protest at the mosque near Ground Zero --

[...]

"WILLIAMS: I don't know what is in that guy's head. But I'm saying, we don't want in America, people to have their rights violated to be attacked on the street because they heard a rhetoric from Bill O'Reilly and they act crazy. We've got to say to people as Bill was saying tonight, that guy is a nut."

http://reason.com/blog/2010/10/21/juan-gone

http://www.slate.com/id/2271931/?from=rss

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I predicted that on the previous thread, Ethan. Williams proved his fealty to the Fox gods and has now been duly rewarded.

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

Sargent needs a shrink.

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

Oh jeez...

- In wake of NPR controversy, Fox News gives Juan Williams an expanded role -

The cable news network signs the analyst to a new three-year contract for nearly $2 million. Meanwhile, conservative figures blast the public radio network for its response to Williams' comments about Muslims.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-juan-williams-20101022,0,4294425.story

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 21, 2010 4:47 PM

...................

Fox News; aiding and abetting Bin Laden; by scapegoating all Muslims

Rupert; Bin Laden thanks you. You have made his work much easier.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Caribou Barbie and her twits re NPR:

The election is two weeks away, but the campaign trail reviews of Sarah Palin already are in, and they aren't pretty.

According to multiple Republican campaign sources, the former Alaska governor wreaks havoc on campaign logistics and planning. She offers little notice about her availability, refuses to do certain events, is obsessive about press coverage and sometimes backs out with as little lead time as she gave in the first place.

In short, her seat-of-the-pants operation can be a nightmare to deal with.

Martin added that Palin has "trust issues," which means she won't expand her inner circle and can't "establish the sort of infrastructure necessary to coordinate basic matters such as surrogacy and travel." The result is a sizable group of GOP officials, who characterize Palin's "disorganization and restrictions ... as rude."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_10/026247.php

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

"Williams' firing is a clarifying moment in media mores. You can be Islamophobic, in the form of refusing to run the most innocuous imaginable political cartoons out of a broad-brush fear of Muslims, but you can't admit it, even when the fear is expressed as a personal feeling and not a group description, winnowed down to the very specific and nightmare-exhuming act of riding on an airplane, and uttered in a context of otherwise repudiating collective guilt and overbroad fearmongering."

http://reason.com/blog/2010/10/21/juan-gone

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"The damning video clip of Williams, like the damning clip of Sherrod, cuts off the speaker just as he's about to reverse course. According to the full transcript, immediately after saying, "I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts," Williams continues: "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." That continuation has been conveniently snipped from the excerpt.

A few seconds later, Williams challenges O'Reilly's suggestion that "the Muslims attacked us on 9/11." Williams points out how wrong it would be to generalize similarly about Christians:

Hold on, because if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals—very obnoxious—you don't say first and foremost, "We got a problem with Christians." That's crazy.

Williams reminds O'Reilly that "there are good Muslims." A short while later, O'Reilly asks: "Juan, who is posing a problem in Germany? Is it the Muslims who have come there, or the Germans?" Williams refuses to play the group blame game. "See, you did it again," he tells O'Reilly. "It's extremists."

Williams warns O'Reilly that televised statements about Muslims as a group can foment bigotry and violence. "The other day in New York, some guy cuts a Muslim cabby's neck," Williams reminds him. "Or you think about the protest at the mosque near Ground Zero … We don't want, in America, people to have their rights violated, to be attacked on the street because they heard rhetoric from Bill O'Reilly."

http://www.slate.com/id/2271931/?from=rss

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

predicted that on the previous thread, Ethan. Williams proved his fealty to the Fox gods and has now been duly rewarded.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 21, 2010 4:53 PM |
...................

Wait until Old Geller hears about this.

Hey Rupert, where's my two million. I am far better at hate mongering, and race baiting than your Uncle Juan guy. He does not foam at the mouth all the time like I do. Pam Geller, Queen Of The Harridans,

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The problem, though, is that in his initial comments he didn't clarify that the instinctual feeling itself is irrational and ungrounded, and something folks need to battle against internally whenever it rears its head.
===============================

Greg, if you check the responses to Adam's earlier post, most of Williams' defenders agreed with that instinctual fear.

This is a pot that FAUX has been shamelessly stirring the entire election cycle.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 21, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill:

Gov. Palin has a bigger inner circle and better infrastructure than Gov. Reagan did ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Juan just hit the lottery. He is going to be able to command large appearance fees at Tea Party events. He is going to become a new Tea Party darling. He can even demand some Bendy Straws.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Considering that he's previously been reprimanded by NPR, and considering that Faux regularly presented him as "NPR's Senior Correspondent" (he should have insisted Faux leave the "NPR" out). Example: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4331984/political-roadblocks-to-obamas-new-stimulus
Williams was foolish to remain associated with NPR while serving Murdoch's purely-political organization. In the grand scheme of things, he has improved his lot. He will surely be paid handsomely by Murdoch to remain at Faux as a living testimonial to NPR's "Liberal bias". All in all, it's a good investment for Faux and Williams is no doubt thrilled to now be a recipient of Murdoch's largesse. Maybe Williams planned it this way all along...

Posted by: DamnedLiberal | October 21, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

What if Juan had said that he gets a twinge of fear everytime he sees a couple of guys wearing hats with the confederate flag on them?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 21, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Which would explain why he would not offer an apology, and say it was a poor choice of words. It would have killed the Golden Goose that Rupert was about to give to him.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Williams/Palin 2012!

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Palin/ Williams 2013-2015

Williams/DeMint 2015-2017

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Huh. Williams' worry and unease about people in "Muslim garb" at the airport might be understandable IF the 9/11 terrorists had worn such garb.

I'm not particularly comfortable with his firing, either, but I do think he should have been called on what he said. His "clarification" was pretty weak, imo.

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 21, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes, this is the ridiculous extreme of political correctness. Whoppi and Joy had their little show to demonstrate just how wrong it is to go against their PC position.

It is just an attempt to stifle speech in America. Pure and simple What O'reilly said on that stupid view program was factually accurate. Muslims killed us on 9/11. PC correctitude, however, requires that we include some disclaimer about "extremists" or "radicals" or some such. That makes no sense. Muslims did it. Let's just speak the truth. We can't solve problems if we can't state them accurately.

I think that Juan Williams was fired because it was convenient to do so. I haven't listened to NPR (except for Car Talk) in years. I'm angered that my tax dollars go to fund that wasteland of PC bs. Bob Edwards was the poster boy for the bias there.

they fired Mr Williams because they could and in so doing they proved to us that they are more interested in hewing to the PC line than in presenting their audience with the unvarnished truth.

To all those liberals here that demand to know what we'll cut to reduce spending: CPB/NPR/PBS now comes to mind.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 21, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill:

Gov. Palin has a bigger inner circle and better infrastructure than Gov. Reagan did ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 5:03 PM

................

Jake The Snake Goes X Rated.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

No Greg - Juan Williams firing is a case of ideological censorship pure and simple. No amount of sophistry can alter that clear fact.

Carry on. I enjoy your articles.


(I tried to send this as an email but could not tell if it transmitted correctly. Sorry if it is redundant.)

Posted by: jimhill1 | October 21, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"I don't believe anyone who denies the same thoughts cross their minds. His firing is ridiculous but another entirely predictable example of political correctness, liberal fascism, whichever one wants to call it. "

Personally, I like to call "it" a belief in tolerance of other cultures/races/religions. I don't know how we can do without "it" in this diverse country of ours.

Posted by: Rachelva | October 21, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Juan Williams is mostly middle of the road


He is not conservative, and he has many liberal opinions.


I suppose that is not good enough for the idealogical purity of NPR


"ALL THINGS CONSIDERED" NOT


Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@Liam Agree with your comments about Shep Smith. And of course what makes him stick out is that he is on a network of paid political stooges. I once saw Shep take down Joe the Plumber and call BS.

The most conflicted Faux "personality" has to be Chris Wallace. He has to walk the delicate tightrope of just how far he'll besmirch the family name. I do give Wallace credit for the way he went after Fiorina with the quintessential question that should be asked of every deficit hawk conservative...OK where do you plan to make your cuts...Medicare..defense...where...He must have asked her a half dozen times and she never did actually respond.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

IRA terrorists killed many people. They are Irish Catholics. Be very afraid of all Irish Catholics, like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, and avoid Fox News, because it feature guys who are Irish Catholics, just like those IRA terrorists.

If you see someone on a plane, wearing a shamrock in their lapel, you have every right to be scared out of your wits. Make that half-wits.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The Left does all they can to deny any connection between Muslims and terrorism.

But go out of their way to microscopically detect any speck of evidence connecting the Tea Party to racism.

They either ignore or overblow the facts to fit their narrative.

Posted by: buddy2105 | October 21, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

This was the dumbest thing NPR could have done, especially ten days before the election and the almost certain Republican victory in the house (which will decide on further support for NPR). It could have been, of course, the price NPR had to pay for the large amount of money Soros (coincidentally!) gave it a day earlier. Sargent seems even dumber, since he is is aware of the immediate consequences the NPR decision has already had.

Posted by: gmdim | October 21, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Once again, our good liberal friends that believes in free speech and clean living attack Juan Williams because he appeared on Fox News which every liberal knows is 300% right wing compared to MSNBC which is in the exact center giving equal viewpoints to every situation. I should also throw in New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CBS and NBC which we all know is Fiar & Balance without any liberal bias in their thoughts or mind. What a piece of crap.

Posted by: sales7 | October 21, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Liam

There is a peace agreement in place.

But even so, if you see them in a bar, you should be careful about what you say.


.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

OK where do you plan to make your cuts...Medicare..defense...where...He must have asked her a half dozen times and she never did actually respond.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 21, 2010 5:16 PM | R

.................

One of the networks on last night's news actually demonstrated that all the big time Republican candidates are answering the same way Fiorina did. It looks like they all have been issued a playbook that said; do not provide any specifics. You saw that guy running against Feingold give the same type of evasive answer yesterday, and Kirk did the exact same thing, in the most recent debate for the Illinois Senate seat.

They are just trying to run out the clock, but it might still backfire on them. None of them will say how they are going to pay for the four trillion tax cuts, or what programs they will slash to reduce deficits.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty unrealistic to expect a guest on O'Reilly's show to be able to circle back, during the show, and precisely explain their innermost thoughts to the satisfaction of the Monday morning QBs out there.

And frankly, what Williams said isn't that bad at all. He admitted to a certain unease around devoutly Muslim people in places where devoutly Muslim people (however dressed) have committed massacres. That's neither irrational nor ungrounded. Then he said that, such unease notwithstanding, we shouldn't go down that road and act on those unfair thoughts. Fair enough - most Americans, I would wager, think pretty much the same way.

Firing somebody for expressing that concept seems bizarrely excessive.

Posted by: simpleton1 | October 21, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the tea baggers' consistency:

Yesterday, GOP congressional candidate Vicky Hartzler, who is angling to replace Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), appeared on conservative Mark Levin’s radio show. Levin probed Hartzler’s view on a variety of issues, including why she, the owner of a small farm business with her husband, wanted to run against Skelton.

Hartzler explained that she’s a “lifelong farmer and a small town girl” and that she decided to run for Congress to get the government off her back. “We just want the government to leave us alone here in Missouri’s 4th.”

The problem with Hartzler’s self-righteous invocation for the government to “leave us alone,” is that it has done anything but that with her farm business. According to data collected by the Environmental Working Group, Hartzler and her husband’s farm outside Harrisonville, Missouri, has “received $774,325 in federal subsidies from 1995 to 2009.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/21/hartzler-hypocrite-farm/

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 21, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Clarification


Juan Williams said what he meant, AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT.

The liberals want to regulate how EVERYONE FEELS AND SPEAKS.


How about everyone else regulates WHERE the liberals GO ???

.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

NPR gave him a chance to circle back. All he had to say was: it was a poor choice of words on my part, and I did not intend to offend or profile any group based on their religious affiliation. He did not want to circle back, because he knew that Fox was going to give him 2 million dollars not to.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Start the count down to when Pamela Geller announces a rally to support Juan Williams.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Typical Yglesian wisdom:

My friend Dave Weigel writes that Juan Williams “has instantly become a sort of icon for conservatives angry about media bias.”

I think that’s a pretty naïve read of what it is conservatives are angry about. What we’re seeing is episode one million in the American conservative movement’s passionate attachment to the cause of anti-anti-racism. Relatively few conservatives are interested in expressing racist views, but virtually all conservatives are united in the conviction that anti-racism run amok is ruining the country and almost no conservatives are interested in combatting racism. You normally see this in a black-white context, but increasingly over the past two years it’s emerging in a Muslim-Christian context. The central conservative passion when it comes to these bias issues is the bizarre notion that it’s hard for members of the majority group to get a fair shake and then unwarranted suppression of alleged anti-minority views is a much bigger problem that actual bias against minority groups.

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/10/anti-anti-racism/

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 21, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Palin has a bigger inner circle and better infrastructure than Gov. Reagan did ; )

Posted by: JakeD2
------------------
Governor Reagan didn't quit his Governership.

Sarah Palin did.

She's the quitter, for personal gain.

She's no Patriot.

Posted by: vigor | October 21, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"IRA terrorists killed many people. They are Irish Catholics. Be very afraid of all Irish Catholics, like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, and avoid Fox News, because it feature guys who are Irish Catholics, just like those IRA terrorists."

You might have a point . . . if the IRA were a religious group whose religion taught that nonbelievers were infidels who must convert or be killed (or at least live in subjection and servitude), and had declared declared total war for the destruction of America and Americans.

If.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 21, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I have little doubt that the people ranting and raving about NPRs supposed liberal bias have never listened to the unparalleled programming one might find if they switched the dial over from limbaugh and the like...NPR and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer are the gold standard for journalism in this country, yet NPR wants to maintain their reputation for excellence and gets excoriated by some Fox-loving, knee jerking fools who want it de-funded? Please. It's a good thing that even most conservative politicians would see the error in that.

And whenever I hear a man say, "oh, spare me from all this political correctness," I know I won't have to worry about ever responding to an intellectually rigorous argument -- because they don't ever come from those who think words don't matter.

Posted by: John_Keats | October 21, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Sargent is a fool, but a PC fool. Jerk

Posted by: richard36 | October 21, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

When will Bill O'Reilly and Juan William launch a program to teach young boys to tremble, every time the see a man dressed as a Catholic Priest?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"Relatively few conservatives are interested in expressing racist views, "


Are you saying that Conservatives are reluctant to express racist views for fear of approbation? Or are reluctant to express racist views because they do not realize they are racist? Or are reluctant to express racist views because they are not racist?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 21, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Funnies:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/18/102196_a102392/cartoons-for-the-week-of-17-october.html

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/18/102196_a102390/cartoons-for-the-week-of-17-october.html

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/18/102196_a102188/cartoons-for-the-week-of-17-october.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 21, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Car Talk. Liberal car repair advice. It just makes me sick!

Posted by: bernielatham | October 21, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Does NPR engage in Propaganda?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 21, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Especially when some guy with a Muslim sounding name, calls in to talk to Click and Clack. It makes my radio tremble.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"Muslims killed us on 9/11."

Posted by: skipsailing28
++++++++++++

Skip blogs from beyond the grave.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 21, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Liam - from now on every time you slam the Catholic priesthood you must clarify by writing that the reflexive hatred you may have of the Catholic church, while defensible, should not be allowed to justify anti-Catholic bigotry writ large.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

PBS engages in political propaganda. They do not come any more pinko, than the McLaughlin Group.

John, Monica, Pat, and Mort, all lined up against the Token Right Winger Eleanor Clift. Palin should give her a Momma Grizzly Award.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

we're being a bit picky here. the only thing I could find wrong with William's comments (aside from the witty observation that a terrorist isn't likely to wear religious garb) was the assumption that wearing garb meant that the wearer was identifying themselves as Muslim first, as opposed to anything else they might be, like American. Jews in orthodox garb aren't identifying themselves as Jews before Americans, and neither are Muslims, necessarily.

so his remarks were a bit mangled in that regard, but that wasn't all that offensive to me in any event, and if given the chance, he would probably revise that remark too, for precisely the above reasons.

I've never understood why taxpayers should be asked to fund NPR or CPB before this. If they aren't going to be completely neutral promoters of wide ranging debate of public issues that would include William's views and at least the right to discuss his personal observations on another show, then I see no reason to fund them whatever.

Posted by: JoeT1 | October 21, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"I was fired for telling the truth"

"Yesterday NPR fired me for telling the truth. The truth is that I worry when I am getting on an airplane and see people dressed in garb that identifies them first and foremost as Muslims.

"This is not a bigoted statement. It is a statement of my feelings, my fears after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by radical Muslims. In a debate with Bill O’Reilly I revealed my fears to set up the case for not making rash judgments about people of any faith. I pointed out that the Atlanta Olympic bomber -- as well as Timothy McVeigh and the people who protest against gay rights at military funerals -- are Christians but we journalists don’t identify them by their religion."

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/10/21/juan-williams-npr-fired-truth-muslim-garb-airplane-oreilly-ellen-weiss-bush/

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Liam - from now on every time you slam the Catholic priesthood you must clarify by writing that the reflexive hatred you may have of the Catholic church, while defensible, should not be allowed to justify anti-Catholic bigotry writ large.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 5:58 PM

...............


You mean like you, Juan and Bill do against Muslims, writ large.

I always knew you were a modern day Janus, and also a dimwit, incapable of picking up on snark.

You know, like; Juan is afraid of people wearing Muslim clothing, so why not teach young boys to be afraid of men wearing priests' clothing.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to the poster above who linked to Yglesias on this issue. That gets it exactly right.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 21, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clarifying. Bill OReilly said on the (left) view show that muslims killed us on 9/11. He was criticized by babawawa (SNL) and others for not clarifying his remark. It was non-Christian, non-American, middle eastern liberals whom attacked us on 9/11. No need to clarify radical or moderate, there is no proof that moderate middle eastern liberals flew those 4 planes on 9/11. And there is no truth to the rumor that Awlaki ate the pork loin at the Pentagon lunch just after 9/11, though it was fabulous! My compliments to the chef. Awlaki ate salad, with his hands, in the traditional way, right after, oh never mind..

Posted by: Right1 | October 21, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

I think this means sbj3 has fired you, and will not be paying you for your blogging any longer. Can you live with that?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 21, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

vigor:

SENATOR Obama quit his term early too ; )

For those interested in some first-hand reactions to the Politico hit piece on Gov. Palin:

"Hey Jonathan,

Hope you're doing well. Just read your article on Palin and wanted to add my two cents. (this wasn't requested by anybody and feel free to quote me if you'd like)

As you know the 2010 SRLC was the largest Republican Leadership Conference in 30 years, with more speakers, more press and more attendees than ever before. Governor Palin's staff was incredibly easy to deal with and very professional.

I interacted with every major GOP personality in the country leading up to the conference and can tell you first hand that the only thing different about Governor Palin was the intensity of the interest from the attendees, sponsors and even other speakers.

She's easily the most requested surrogate our party has and it's a shame that Republicans would rather gripe that they can't get more of her time instead of being appreciative of everything that she does do."

Charlie Davis
President and CEO
2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

And yet, President Bush loved to hold hands with the Head of the nation they were from, and the source of all the funding for the radical Wahhabist Madrassas.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

JoeT1:

Thank you for joining the bandwagon!

DE-FUND NPR!!!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Defund-NPR/241098276068

http://www.petitiononline.com/fpress24/petition.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, Greg, I’d have to disagree with your statement “… irrational and ungrounded.” Being an American who has to fly regularly, I see what Juan meant.

As a point of Fact, I’ll label myself as an average Christian, American from Texas. Being an American I have certain inalienable rights. One of which I use often; the ability to speak my personal opinion. Here are a few points:

1. The average American opinion of Muslims is on the decline for being “One-Sided” in relation to Islamic Tolerance. I personally have regularly disagreed with Juan William’s take on things

2. My opinion as to “How to Improve” Muslim relations in America is based in “Assimilation and Tolerance.” Having traveled to many countries around the world for business, I have always been expected to “fit in” and “try not to offend” those I expect to do business with. The masque has the right to be built, but shouldn’t be in that location for sensitivity to the lives lost from Muslim terrorists. Every Muslim that legally immigrates into this Country should do the same; by trying to fit in “AS Americans.”

3. Christians and most all other Americans tend to self-regulate their own kind. For example all through history the American Government has shown how accepting we have become to any Race or Religion. Christianity has not been trying to force others into its following since the Crusades. Christianity is tolerant to other beliefs and practices. There are millions of people of the Islamic faith that still desire to take over all other forms of Religion. There are millions of Islamic people around the world that want to see the American Dream bleed out. Call them Extremists, Terrorist, Monsters, Killers and the like; but there are doing it in the Name of their God. So the problem lies within the Muslim community. As Americans, they need to fit into “Our Culture of tolerance and acceptance. Every single representative that speaks out for the Islamic faith and injustice in America needs to start among their own people.

4. Muslim faithful in and around the United States and Europe need to stand up for Moderation and Assimilation if they ever want stop the hatred and violence towards or against them. Most of all they have to stop the extremist side of their faith from representing them all.

I understand how most Americans feel. When I get on a plane, I look at everyone now as a possible threat to my safety. The more extreme the dress, the more I notice. You can’t argue that the U.S. was attacked by Muslims. Those that attacked to U.S. on 9/11 did it on behave of “Their God” not mine.

It is now time for Americans to remind the world, Tolerance is a two-way street. We are a Country based in Law; based in faith in a God and founded on American Exceptionalism, not Globalism. We should bring our troops home and protect our own borders.

Posted by: TXDuckWriter | October 21, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"She's easily the most requested surrogate our party has . . ."

Does this mean she is going to get paid to have more babies?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 21, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"and the source of all the funding for the radical Wahhabist Madrassas."

Obviously you are not only a bigot but a bed-wetting, terrified, coward.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller just released this statement:

"I spoke hastily and I apologize to Juan and others for my thoughtless remark."

That follows, as you'll see below, her comment earlier today that now-former NPR news analyst Juan Williams should have kept his feelings about Muslims between himself and "his psychiatrist or his publicist."
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/10/21/130728202/npr-ceo-williams-views-of-muslims-should-stay-between-himself-and-his-psychiatrist

Vivian "O'Brien" Schiller please call your office, there are NPR staffers who hate your guts...AND THEY'RE CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!

Posted by: tao9 | October 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Greg et all,

"Radio & TV Talk - First interview with NPR CEO Vivian Schiller on Juan Williams firing"
http://blogs.ajc.com/radio-tv-talk/2010/10/21/first-interview-with-nprs-vivian-schiller-on-juan-williams-firing/?cxntlid=thbz_hm

"I happen to be the first person to talk to her about it. She basically said he was on NPR as a news analyst and wasn’t supposed to express opinions, something he had done time and time again on Fox News. This was just the final straw. Commentators, in contrast, are specifically called that on NPR and are supposed to be opinionated.

She said this has nothing to do with Fox News or his particular views of Muslims."

FULL Q&A at link!

Posted by: lynell33 | October 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

TXDuck

Good set of points

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Liar-still:

It is estimated that Saudi Arabia provides up to 90% of the funding, but that means that wahhabism is also funded by 10% from other sources.

Dawood al-Shirian, 'What Is Saudi Arabia Going to Do?' Al-Hayat, May 19, 2003

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

From TNC at The Atlantic:

"Juan Williams Tossed from NPR..."
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/10/juan-williams-tossed-from-npr/64953/

"...I recognize that, in point of fact, media often doesn’t actually work that way, and often operates on another set of values, including, but not limited to, volume and outrage. I’m not clear on why NPR has to associate itself with those values. Frankly, I feel the same way about CNN and Sanchez. This is not about free speech. Sanchez and Williams are free to say whatever they want—just as their employers are free to dissociate themselves from their remarks in any legal manner they choose.

I’m all for free speech. But I would not expect my current employer to allow me to use this space to vent, as fact, all the prejudiced thoughts that fly through my head. I guess I understand how you come to believe that someone in Muslim dress is less American, or that Michelle Obama is actually “Stokely Carmichael in a dress.” But I’m not clear on why, in this era of blogs and social media, NPR then owes you their association"

Posted by: lynell33 | October 21, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

I think this means sbj3 has fired you, and will not be paying you for your blogging any longer. Can you live with that?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 21, 2010 6:05 PM
..............

It will prove to be a burden. I will have to ration my words, so that I do not run out of them, because I will no longer be able afford since SBJ has stopped funding me. He sure loves to defend all those institutions and politicians, that insist that he must be treated as a sub-human.

A big game for the Giants coming up. I hope they can close it out ,with their best starter on the mound.

Juan Uribe and the Kung Fu Panda, separated at birth? Juan was on the White Sox, when they won it all in 2005. He would have us tearing our hair out watching him swing, at any pitch that was thrown, but he came up clutch from a fielding standpoint, in the fourth and clinching game against Huston. He came through last night with the sacrifice fly.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

When he is in the United States, even King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in full Muslim garb has FIRST AMENDMENT protections ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget how, in April 2009, at a summit for world leaders, Obama submitted to the King with a bow -- in June 2009, Abdullah hosted Obama in Saudi Arabia -- in turn, Obama hosted Abdullah at the White House on June 29.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"She's easily the most requested surrogate our party has . . ."

Does this mean she is going to get paid to have more babies?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 21, 2010 6:12 PM

............

Well, he did say she is easy.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

"Well, now that I no longer work for NPR let me give you my opinion. This is an outrageous violation of journalistic standards and ethics by management that has no use for a diversity of opinion, ideas or a diversity of staff (I was the only black male on the air). This is evidence of one-party rule and one sided thinking at NPR that leads to enforced ideology, speech and writing. It leads to people, especially journalists, being sent to the gulag for raising the wrong questions and displaying independence of thought.

"Daniel Schorr, my fellow NPR commentator who died earlier this year, used to talk about the initial shock of finding himself on President Nixon’s enemies list. I can only imagine Dan’s revulsion to realize that today NPR treats a journalist who has worked for them for ten years with less regard, less respect for the value of independence of thought and embrace of real debate across political lines, than Nixon ever displayed."

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

TxDuck --

I know a lot of Muslims in my community. We take the confirmation class from our church to meet with Muslim students of their age, and the Muslim students have come to the worship service at our church. They aren't radical. They reject violence. They speak out against it. They plan to go to college, and become doctors and engineers and architects. They look like other American teenagers, though most of the girls choose to wear a head scarf.

And they are frustrated that nothing they do to say "we are Americans" will ever satisfy people like you, who cannot see anything other than their religion.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 21, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Again, Greg Sargent is "bigoted" against Republicans, as evidenced every day right here on these threads. Should he be fired too?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

"I have little doubt that the people ranting and raving about NPRs supposed liberal bias have never listened to the unparalleled programming one might find . . . ."

Indeed, the stilted and presumptuous nature of your declaration is a good indicator that you are well practiced at the liberal passtime of being self-assuredly wrong. I've listened to NPR plenty, and enough to know flag under which they march.

"Ah yes, pass me the Grey Poupon while we listen to this unparalled programimg that only tax dollars can achieve."

"Teri and Nina are both in rare form today, don't you think?"

Pull the plug. We live in an ocean of media and information. NPR has no reason to exist except as an official arm of the Official Liberal Media Complex.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 21, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The Aqua Buddah Church has just released the following statement:


May you all drown in your political correctness....

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Here's Matty Y's last sentence:

"The central conservative passion when it comes to these bias issues is the bizarre notion that it’s hard for members of the majority group to get a fair shake and then unwarranted suppression of alleged anti-minority views is a much bigger problem that actual bias against minority groups."

I'm not sure I've ever read anything that says nothing as inelegantly, or as syntactically deranged. (His old man should sue Harvard.)

Maybe you could sus it out for us so that it's only marginally pathetic.

Posted by: tao9 | October 21, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/happy_hour_roundup_114.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 21, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Faux News is all about "shouting fire in a crowded theater," and fearmongering. It sells. In sucking up to The O'Reilly Factor, Juan Williams succumbed to fear itself and drank "the Kool Aid." As a result, he reduced himself to the lowest common denominator in the "current debate." At least someone out there has stood up for a sense of civility and responsibility (i.e., NPR) and made "a point." Now, everyone is listening. A teaching moment that unfortunately will not affect those wimps who live a life soaked in fear as this latest election cycle has evidenced.

Posted by: dozas | October 21, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

All the Rabid Right Wing Hate Mongers who never have contributed to NPR, are promising to stop contributing to NPR. They will really feel the virtual pain of that imaginary Boycott.

Parnell would have laughed his Arse off at them.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks God, Juan Williams did not say similar word about Jews or Christians otherwise he and his fore fathers would have been deported to his native land. As far as Muslims are concern any Tom Hank and Pink can say anything, yes anything. If Juan would have said more clearly his bigotry, he would have been awarded even Gold Medal too. Now I can understand why 75% Muslims around the Globe hate US.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | October 21, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

Yes, I'm really looking forward to the NLCS game. Of course I want the Giants to win, put I also love great pitching matchups, and to get another round of Lincecum versus Halladay is quite a bonus.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 21, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I don't consider NPR to be particularly leftwing. In fact, I find them increasingly corporatist and whatever "wisdom" they bring to their broadcast to be increasingly conventional and received.

Posted by: LynnDee227 | October 21, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

@tao - I'm afraid I can't help you out. Translating from the liberal to the conservative is a daunting task in the best of circumstances and these aren't.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 21, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

TXDuckWriter wrote:
"It is now time for Americans to remind the world, Tolerance is a two-way street."

Actually, no. A fundamental Christian precept is that tolerance is the proper stance regardless of whether it is reciprocated or not. Unless Jesus tacked an amendment of which I'm unaware on "turn the other cheek".

Posted by: bernielatham | October 21, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Bernielatham, is Yglesias a propagandist?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 21, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

FROM THE ARTICLE: "The most charitable interpretation of those initial remarks, I think, is that he meant to say that the reflexive fear folks may have of those in Muslim garb, while defensible, should not be allowed to justify anti-Muslim bigotry writ large."

How on EARTH is it acceptable to judge someone by who they appear to be and assume they are a bad person because of the way they look? Maybe given urban crime statistics it's okay to fear black men? I think that's reasonable comparison to Juan Williams' sentiments.

Posted by: leilaash | October 21, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

A fundamental Christian precept is that tolerance is the proper stance regardless of whether it is reciprocated or not.

Posted by: bernielatham
+++++++++++++

You've obviously got American Jesus confused with the swarthy, semitic Jesus who wants to undermine our national security.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 21, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Sargent isn't comfortable with a fellow lib being fired for being les than full-tilt lib.

That's OK, Greg. When the POST folds here in a year or so, you'll be fired too by the conservatives that buy what remains of this rag.

Rest assured, though, Commie Boy, I'll be very comfortable with it.

Posted by: PS7900 | October 21, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

“The difference between the right word[s] and the almost right word[s] is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

~ Mark Twain

Juan forgot this piece of wisdom.

Posted by: truly1 | October 21, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

It's not wrong to feel this way. It's normal. And frankly, I doubt Mr. Williams treats Muslims any differently because of the way he feels when he sees one on a plane. I know I don't, but it does make me anxious and puts me on alert. If you disagree with me, deal with it.

Posted by: dsbutler71 | October 21, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Instead of going to the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert rallies in D.C. on Saturday, Oct. 30th, people should go protest Obama in Philadelphia PA or Bridgeport CT.

The "Moving America Forward GOTV Campaign Rally" here in Connecticut will take place at the Arena in Harbor Yard, 600 Main St, Bridgeport, CT. I suggest we camp out on the I-95 frontage road for maximum exposure.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Juan Williams has to say?

Juan Williams is a pathetic testament to the profitability of self-hatred and selling out.

Once a somewhat legitimate journalist at the Post, Juan in recent years has morphed into an "Uncle Ruckus" foil for Fox News's line up of broadcast bigots. He just sits there every week, listening and grinning as these clowns run down HIS people for an audience of millions.

Juan's recent Muslims-on-planes hate blast is likely just the straw that broke the camel's back at NPR. He's been spewing this bigoted nonsense for years.

Remember when Juan insulted the first lady Michelle LaVaughan Obama by calling her "Stokely Carmichael in a dress," and when he demanded that Obama "repent" for listening to a Rev. Wright sermon (this was right after BHO gave a stirring speech on race relations that moved everyone 'ceptin' Uncle Juan).

Sadly, we overheard someone say that "Juan Williams is a disgrace to his race ... the human race."

Juan, take Fox News's 40 pieces of silver and stuff them up your ....

Nuff said.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 21, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Juan Williams: "Muslim-looking people make me feel weird and scared."

Fox: "Here's $2 million!!"

Posted by: routh | October 21, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Since when does someone have the right NOT to be offended. This PC culture is a bunch of crap. NPR has long outlived its usefulness and should get ZERO federal money

Posted by: bjeagle784 | October 21, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Routh - It's like he was trying to get canned. Even if I rarely agreed with him, he always seemed thoughtful. None of 9/11 hijackers even wearing "Muslim garb", so the association is just stupid. Quite out of character.

Posted by: mason08 | October 21, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Obama should to on TV and say that Ellen Weiss acted stupidly, and invite her and Juan for a beer.

Or Holder should declare that Ellen is a coward. And maybe file a civil rights suit against NPR.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 21, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

It's a sad state of how much of a coddled misbehaving child Faux News has become in our country that people we are even focusing on Juan Williams. He spent 99% of that segment pushing BACK against the relentless no-apologies bigotry and provocation of the scum that goes by the name of Bill O'Reilly.

But Fox's hatemeisters all get a pass, because none of them are even fit to get in the door at a reputable news organization like NPR. I think NPR overreacted, but that doesn't get FOX off the hook for their reprehensible hatemongering toward the Muslim world - one that is a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to the security of our country, in that they are Osama's #1 recruiting tool.

Bill O'Reilly and Newt Gingrich belong in Leavenworth. Williams should be allowed to clarify his remarks. It is the scum O'Reilly who should be apologizing all over the place.

Posted by: B2O2 | October 21, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Juan's busted ego will be salved by a multu-million dollar contract and an expanded role at .................... wait for it........................ Faux News Channel.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Posted by: jade_7243 | October 21, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

This column makes no sense. If Juan Williams said he had an instinctual reaction, then that means it was not rational. EVERYBODY IN DC WHO FLEW AFTER 9/11 HAD THE SAME REACTION.

If someone didn't, please let me know and I will nominate you for a Nobel Peace Prize and sainthood.

Posted by: Delongl | October 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

People should probably get nervous when they see Americans entering into voting booths. Every time they do, politicians get elected here who cavalierly kill people by the thousands and sometimes millions overseas.

Is there anyone more terrifying than an American voter? A million dead civilians in Iraq and three million dead southeast Asians during the 60s and 70s would likely say "no".

Americans are murderers. There is much more evidence of that than there is of O'Reilly's constant "innocent" innuendo that "Muslims are terrorists".

No one can deny the truth in this post, without going into deep denial about history.

Posted by: B2O2 | October 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I guess NPR will have to change the name of "All Things Considered" to "Only Politically Correct Things Considered".

Posted by: Delongl | October 21, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Everywhere around the world Muslims are killing innocent people, targeting Westerners, in the name of Islam. Are people not supposed to be aware of their surroundings when they are on an airplane? Cmon.

NPR is a joke. Obama calls Kanye west a jackass, wonder if he'll have time to give his esteemed opinion on this issue.

Posted by: detroit50 | October 21, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Just to clarify. You are dangerously wrong in your assertion. At no time is it appropriate to tell people what they are allowed to think or feel. People have emotional reactions and nobody has the authority to determine if those feelings are valid. I cringe to think that you honestly believed that. That leads us down a road where people can be told what is acceptable to think and feel. Are you nostalgic for the Stasi?
Now behavior and actions are a different story. Once we have gone from instinctive reactions and emotions than we should have the capacity to reflect on those initial feelings and logically decide if those feelings are appropriate to the prevailing context. Fearful reactions are certainly irrational, but there is no need to demonize them or battle them. Far better to acknowledge that they exist, but realize they should be contravened by logical thought and reasoning. But your comments here serve to chill candid discussion. Far better to tell fellow travelers: "you may feel a twinge of fear when you see someone in Muslim garb at the airport. and considering the coverage of airline hijacking that shouldn't be too much of a surprise. It doesn't make you a bigot. But the truth is that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in this country and around the world are peaceful and good neighbors and have absolutely no desire to take over an aircraft or do any harm to fellow passengers. They are just like everybody else: irritated by long lines, grumpy about airline food and fight delays, anxious to get home or to their hotel so they can rest or see family, etc. As long as you can distinguish your fear based on a few news stories from the reality of everyday life then you'll be fine."
There is far too much scrutiny into people's words. People are sometimes clumsy in how they articulate. Sometimes people say things in anger or in the heat of the moment that doesn't really reflect who they are. I certainly wouldn't want people to form their opinions about me based on what I say while driving. Moreover, there are far too many folks who eagerly try to impute attitudes base on a sentence or two.
Words like racism and bigotry are bandied about and thrown at people without any foundation or compelling argument. The accuser never has to substantiate their claim, rather the accused must somehow argue that they aren't a bigot or they are not racist. Surely I am not the only one who can see the corrosive effect this has on civil dialogue.
Firing this guy was an either overreaction or this whole episode was just a good excuse to let him go. Either way I just don't get why his remarks were so objectionable. He was in no way advocating hate or suspicion of Muslims. He never insulted them and specifically made remarks about the importance of respect for Muslims and their civil rights.

Posted by: jptaylor1974 | October 21, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

If a person working for an actual news organization and stated that when he/ she gets on a bus,subway or any public transportation and said the following when I see a black looking thug get in, I truly get scared, do you think that after comment, should not that person be fired? A real organization would do exactly that, Fox aka fake news, THEY THRIVE ON HATE MONGERING.

Posted by: corintonic | October 21, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I am not a conservative or a far left liberal. I supported Hillary in 2008. I think that npr mishandled this Juan Williams issue, and was not fair to Juan or npr listeners. It makes npr look bad to the community. I will probably still listen to npr, but not as much, and I'm not happy.

Posted by: SteveMooreGUgmailcom | October 21, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Juan Williams was perfectly justified in expressing his feelings. I suspect many flying Americans share his fears. And that fear is, in part, due to the statements that are heard from MUSLIM spokesmen, who supposedly speak for main-stream MUSLIMS. To cite a few that disturb me immensely are:

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth..."
Omar Ahmad, CAIR

"Now, all our imams, our public speakers, should be concentrating on militarizing the Muslim public...Only carrying arms will do this task."
Muhammad Al-Asi, Former Imam at the Washington, D.C. Islamic Center

"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future..."
Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR

"Ultimately, we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country...because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country"
Ihsan Bagby, CAIR

"We must implement Islam as a totality, in which Allah controls every place, the home, the classroom, the science lab, the halls of Congress."
Amir Abdul Malik Ali, Oakland, CA Imam

"In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing. and the only thing left will be Islam."
Siraj Wahhaj, Brooklyn, NY Imam

"The first principle is that terrorism, and terrorism alone, is the path to liberation. The second principle is that "settlement is decided by the sword."
Fawaz Damra, former Cleveland, OH area Imam

"If you don't give us justice. If you don't give us equality. If you don't give us our share of America. If you don't stay out of our way and leave us alone, we're gonna burn America down."
Abdul Alim Musa, Washington, D.C. Imam

"Muslims cannot accept the legitimacy of the existing American order, since it is against the orders and ordainments of Allah."
Imam Zaid Shakir, former Muslim Chaplain at Yale University

"We don't make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians…Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value."
Sheikh Omar Bakri, Britain

"Allah will drown the little Pharaoh, the dwarf, the Pharaoh of all times, of our time, the American president. Allah will drown America in our seas, in our skies, in our land ... America will be destroyed."
Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, Sheikh 'Ijlin Mosque, Gaza

"I am telling you that my religion doesn't tolerate other religion. It doesn't tolerate. The only one law which needs to spread, it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam"
Abu Bakr, Islamic Cleric, Australia

If these statements are not disturbing to most Americans, their loyalty to the United States is certainly questionable.

Posted by: leberk | October 21, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

"Garb" is the word. Over the years, people have used their garb to communicate, la raza, black power, Mormons, ghetto thugs, Catholic nuns, you name it. What Muslims signify with their garb is that they intend to be outside of American norms of behavior and thought. They identify with a large powerful group of people who intend to destroy Western secularism and social freedoms.

That said, I would prefer that they not live in the United States, and I suspect I am not alone. I think we should learn from the problems of Europe.

Posted by: rusty3 | October 21, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"The problem, though, is that in his initial comments he didn't clarify that the instinctual feeling itself is irrational and ungrounded, and something folks need to battle against internally whenever it rears its head. And in his subsequent comments on Fox today, Williams again conspicuously failed to make that point. "

You're missing the point that he's entirely justified in feeling fear, either irrational or not, and expressing that feeling in public. You can call that "irrational bigotry" if you want, but that's the reality of the situation. Furthermore it's entirely rational to feel fear of Muslims on airplanes, given the history of airline bombings. I don't recall one in the recent past that *WAS NOT* committed by a Muslim. What he said in quoting other Muslims who have indicated that there is a global jihad, only goes to support that fear.

You are simply expecting him to not feel this way much less say that he feels that way because you think that it isn't rational, isn't objective.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 21, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

for the kirk/fiorina/bachmann/odonnell gang, obama should push for cuts in their districts first.
If they wail, remind them they wanted to be the vanguard.

Posted by: edlharris | October 21, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"You are simply expecting him to not feel this way much less say that he feels that way because you think that it isn't rational, isn't objective. "

And it simply is not rational or objective in any way shape or form to expect much less demand other people to share your opinions or your "thought-processes" on any subject involving race or religion.

This is nothing less than a liberal news source firing a reporter because he doesn't completely espouse the corporate line. Do you really think that the remaining reports can now be "objective"? No, they are always going to think first about what "management" wants to hear. You can't have true objectivity in a culture of fear. Regardless of the source of fear. In firing this man for this reason they have done nothing less than label their remaining staff as nonobjective.

The whole thing makes me sick, really. And as much as liberals talk about the government arresting people on trumped-up charges merely because of their politics. To fire a man because he says that he's afraid when he sees people in Muslim garb on airplanes! You might as well fire him for saying that hot weather makes him sweat! Isn't that "biased" against warm parts of the world?

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 21, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"The problem, though, is that in his initial comments he didn't clarify that the instinctual feeling itself is irrational and ungrounded, and something folks need to battle against internally whenever it rears its head."

That's idiotic. Seriously.
First, whether someones' fear is instinctive or irrational or not, no one has an obligation to go around telling everyone else that they shouldn't feel that way. Second IT ISN'T IRRATIONAL TO FEEL FEAR WHEN YOU SEE SOMEONE IN A BURQUA OR ANY OTHER MUSLIM GARB ON A PLANE.

If you are a bigot and I agree with you, then I agree with you. It isn't my obligation to say, "well I might be a bigot but it's wrong to be a bigot and you shouldn't be a bigot like me".

You want to fire me for being a bigot, fine. That's your choice. But how the hell can you rationalize firing someone for NOT telling everyone else that they should not agree with their own stated opinions? What the hell sense does that make? You are firing them for not agreeing with YOUR opinion, thereby enforcing your own opinion. What if in the opinion of a 3rd party your opinion was irrational or misguided or whatever?

Which in this case it obviously is?

"No, I feel a certain way about an issue but I am going to say that it is 'wrong' to feel that way. And I am going to condemn you if you also feel the same way about the issue, regardless of whether you also agree that it is wrong to feel that way or not". Are you nuts? That's completely psychotic. You may feel that your emotional response is wrong, true or not, but that doesn't mean that you think that it is wrong to have an emotional response! YOU DO NOT RATIONALLY DEVELOP EMOTIONAL RESPONSES.

Even if in this case it was an irrational emotional response, which it clearly isn't. If you don't get worried when you see a Muslim on an airplane then something is wrong with you.

Why the hell do you think they call it "terrorism", numbskull?

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 21, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"If a person working for an actual news organization and stated that when he/ she gets on a bus,subway or any public transportation and said the following when I see a black looking thug get in, I truly get scared, do you think that after comment, should not that person be fired? A real organization would do exactly that,"

Wow, I guess the fact that they would wrongly fire someone for that reason as well makes it ok to fire this guy for *this* reason. Is that what you call "rational objectivism"? The fact that they would consistently do the wrong thing, and should do so, in your opinion?

Is that what they need to do to be a "credible news-organization"?

If so then it's really no wonder that I haven't bothered to listen to NPR for years.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 21, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"But Fox's hatemeisters all get a pass, because none of them are even fit to get in the door at a reputable news organization like NPR. I think NPR overreacted, but that doesn't get FOX off the hook for their reprehensible hatemongering toward the Muslim world - one that is a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to the security of our country, in that they are Osama's #1 recruiting tool."

Oh be serious.
Like you know what is the #1 recruiting tool for al Queida. It certainly isn't Fox news, I can tell you that.

Or do you really think that Muslim fanatics sit around watching Fox news and banging their hands against tables and get angry to the point where they scream "jihad!" and run off to Afghanistan for weapons-training? I'd rank that far below things like, oh, I don't know, a mullah or friends or whatever who lecture them regularly on the need to remove all obstacles to the advancement of Islam, combined with regular observations on the actions of American forces in Islamic lands, especially Islamic holy-lands.

Fox News is somewhere around 15th on their list of incentives, I would bet. Speaking objectively. I don't ever recall a bin Laden tape where he said "how can you not become a terrorist after watching Fox news?"

It isn't *that* bad, really.
A little extreme, a little irrational, but anti-Islamic, outright inspirational as a terrorist recruitment tool to Islamic fundamentalists? No.

The number 1 recruitment aid?

Get a grip.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 21, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Dude, your whole column is based on a false premise. Next time listen to someone's remarks before criticizing them.

Posted by: adkeditor | October 21, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"NOW THE LIBERALS WANT TO NOT JUST REGULATE WHAT YOU SAY

THE LIBERALS WANT TO REGULATE HOW YOU FEEL

If Juan Williams feels "anxiety or fear" and all of a sudden, he must be FIRED.

Political correctness is INSANITY.

The liberals are INSANE.

It is time to RELEASE THE NATION FROM THIS CRAP."

...it isn't just the liberals, dude.
PC works on both sides of the political aisle. Everyone has a "litmus-test", carries a bottle of Kool-Aid of some sort.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 21, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Liam is correct. Williams has been saying stranger and stranger things ever since he became whatever he is for Fox. I'm not sure what's wrong with the man, but -- and the stories report that he had been repeatedly counseled to try to think before he spoke -- the end result, of letting him get the big bucks with the other crazies is the right one.

I listen to NPR for careful, thoughtful, informed discussions. Williams hasn't fit in for a while.

Posted by: thmas | October 21, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

" [NPR] is one of the most biased news organizations in America."

BWAH-hahahahahaha. Whew. Good one.

Fox News is the Teapublicans' progranda organ. Pravda would be proud. "Lies R Us" would be an apt synonym.

What a Tea-dious clown.

Posted by: 2229 | October 21, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

So, what is the difference if you substituted "black men" for "Muslims" in Juan Williams's statements? How would he feel about that? Rrrright...not bigotry at all.

He's supposed to be a journalist..not a pundit. Journalists aren't supposed to be employed to give their opinions and personal feelings...just the news.

Posted by: raym2 | October 21, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

chucklebuck: ""NOW THE LIBERALS WANT TO NOT JUST REGULATE WHAT YOU SAY..."

You don't sound too bright. In what way are liberals regulating what you say? The contract WIlliams had with NPR stipulated his boundaries of conduct. Simply put, Williams didn't live up to his end of the bargain.

Free speech != guaranteed job

Get a brain.

Posted by: 2229 | October 21, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"Dude, your whole column is based on a false premise. Next time listen to someone's remarks before criticizing them. "

...what? You are saying that it is somehow "wrong" for a opinion-writer to respond to what they think that they heard, and to say whatever they think about it as a result?

Even if their understanding is faulty or otherwise incomplete and their opinions are not rational and objective much less logically-consistent and non-hypocritical? How DARE you?!?

Someone should forward your opinion to your employer so that they can take the appropriate action against you. Clearly you are hiding behind the anonymity of this site.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 21, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"The problem, though, is that in his initial comments he didn't clarify that the instinctual feeling itself is irrational and ungrounded"

I remember watching a surfer on Shark week that lost an arm in a shark attack say " I knew I had to get back in the water, to get over my unfounded fear of sharks".

Posted by: Greg_Parkview | October 21, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

chucklebuck: "Someone should forward your opinion to your employer so that they can take the appropriate action against you."

Someone should kick your teeth in for threatening their job in this Republican-induced feces storm of an economy, Chuckles. You're a big man on mommy's computer.

Posted by: 2229 | October 22, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

"You don't sound too bright. ...
Get a brain.

Posted by: 2229"

Wow, and this from someone who apparently can't distinguish between a quote and an original comment. I have to give you credit, though, you're expanding the concept of "idiocy" to previously-unimaginable levels.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 22, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Just to stress the point, he is not paid by NPR to give his "feelings." They didn't say he doesn't have the right to give his opinion. That's just not a desired aspect for NPR employment. So what is wrong with that?

Posted by: raym2 | October 22, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"Someone should kick your teeth in for threatening their job in this Republican-induced feces storm of an economy, Chuckles. You're a big man on mommy's computer.

Posted by: 2229"

I would be happy to give you the opportunity to try to do so if you would just come out from behind your own monitor.

Assuming of course that the forum mods here actually let you reveal your true name. They might delete it instantly for your own protection. Stupid people like you really shouldn't be allowed access to the Internet.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 22, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

""The problem, though, is that in his initial comments he didn't clarify that the instinctual feeling itself is irrational and ungrounded"

I remember watching a surfer on Shark week that lost an arm in a shark attack say " I knew I had to get back in the water, to get over my unfounded fear of sharks"."

Shades of Idiocy.

For most people, fear is a survival trait.

For idiots, fear is a suicidal incentive. A simple case of their parents not being afraid of each other to the point where they didn't pair off to reproduce. A shark bites off *my* arm while I'm paddling a surfboard, you can bet that I'm not going back into the water unless someone drugs me and throws me in. 15 Muslim terrorist squads blow up a series of airliners over as many years? You can bet that when I see a Muslim on an airliner that I'm going to worry for my life.

I don't give a damm who thinks what about that. And you know what Karma has in store for those NPR guys.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 22, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

He's supposed to be a journalist..not a pundit."

He wasn't acting as a journalist when he appeared on Fox, much less acting as a journalist for NPR.

So you have a point only in the sense that NPR would have a legitimate argument for firing him simply for appearing as a pundit on Fox. In which case they should have done this the first time that he appeared on Fox. By not doing that they gave tacit approval.

" Journalists aren't supposed to be employed to give their opinions and personal feelings...just the news."

...right, so they are limited by their profession 24/7. No one can have an opinion on the issues of the day if we are supposed to trust them to give us the "honest news" about the issues of the day.

So journalists are just supposed to *report* the news, not actually *think* about the news they report. Right. I get it. And undoubtedly the same goes for all other professionals involved in making the news and reporting it, right? None of them are allowed to have an opinion about what they are doing or what they hear. Makes total sense to me, but after listening to you, so does ramming an iron rod through my eye.


"The contract WIlliams had with NPR stipulated his boundaries of conduct. Simply put, Williams didn't live up to his end of the bargain."

Sorry but even assuming that you know what is in his contract, the decision of whether he "lived up" to his end of it is not a matter for you or me to decide. There's only one opinion that really matters, and that is the opinion of a civil court. People are wrongfully-terminated on a regular basis. You can bet that if he feels that he has a legitimate case that this won't be the last time that NPR has to consider this issue.

Personally I think that his lawyers would feast on their dead and bloated carcasses if this came to a civil case.


"Free speech != guaranteed job"

It never has and it never will, but then again "free speech" means that you have a constitutional right to voice your opinions. NPR does not have a right to infringe on his constitutional rights by firing him *for* voicing his opinions.

They have to make a credible case that in what he said he demonstrated a lack of ability to fulfill the responsibilities of his position with them. And again I think that if he sues them he will have them for lunch. Their position is utterly stupid. And the guy has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain in pursuing this in court. Oh and he just got a 3 year contract with Fox as well.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 22, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

"Just to stress the point, he is not paid by NPR to give his "feelings." They didn't say he doesn't have the right to give his opinion. That's just not a desired aspect for NPR employment. So what is wrong with that?"

It's inane, plain and simple.

No one gives up their right to free speech by accepting a job. Sure like anything the right to free speech has restrictions, and certainly some additional restrictions apply to a person in a position of public trust, but that doesn't mean that they can be legitimately fired for issuing *any* opinion on any topic.

And if they fire him for "demonstrating that he is not a credible journalist", then they have an obligation to back that up in court. They can *fire* him, and he can sue them for wrongful termination. That's his right as well.

You can come to court and appear as an "expert witness" in their defense. I'll be in the audience laughing.

The truly moronic thing is to read all these opinion pieces by OTHER JOURNALISTS issuing their OPINIONS on the topic and condemning the man for telling the world that he truly feels that Muslims on airplanes make him scared and not either apologizing for it or telling the world that it's wrong to feel that way or some such BS. Like it's somehow wrong for a journalist to be afraid of Muslims on airplanes, not to mention for the average citizen, but perfectly ok for *them* to say that it is wrong to be afraid of Muslims on airplanes! You even have them saying that it is *irrational* to be afraid of Muslims on airplanes, and that in their well-thought-out "rational" opinions it is also therefore wrong to say that you are afraid of Muslims on planes.

None of them seem to realize how stupid and hypocritical they sound in saying all this. No one in their right mind would see a Muslim get on an airplane with them and not have a panic-reaction. I couldn't see how it could be anything *but* rational to worry that they have a bomb on them and if you saw them and weren't worried I would think that you could very-well be part of their attack, that the reason that you weren't afraid is that you were prepared to die.

Posted by: chucklebuck | October 22, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Williams shouldn't have gotten fired but I'm frustrated that most people are overlooking the true context of what Williams said.

O'Reilly was asking - in so many words - if he was out of line for going on the View and opposing the Muslim community center in lower Manhattan because (in O'Reilly's words) "Muslims killed us on 9/11." Williams said he thought O'Reilly was in the right. And that's a problem. The ironic thing is that O'Reilly is furious that Muslims would be allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights to assembly and practice of religion. And he's furious that NPR would infringe on Williams' First Amendment right of free speech. So clearly both Williams and O'Reilly understand the concept of the First Amendment - they just don't think it applies to Muslims. And that is plain hateful.

Posted by: jas290 | October 22, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Let's see:

"I'm not prejudiced but ... "

"I know many black people but ... "

These comments are a typical starting point of bigots. IF it is bigotry when referring to one group, it is bigotry when referring to another group!

Juan Williams was justifiably fired. And shame on any organization that puts him back on the air!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 22, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

May be I should say it, since no one else seems to be.

Juan Williams is an over-hyped journalist. If he could not coherently explain this hot topic without making him look like a bigot, he isn't good enough to be on NPR, NY Times etc. Just a mediocre journo who caught a few lucky breaks. And that is my charitable view of him. At worse, he is indeed a bigot, who does not have a world view of what a true Muslim is.

End of story. Fox, hire him.

Posted by: Pillai | October 22, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent said that Juan Williams "needed to clarify that anti-Muslim feelings need to be battled against". I thought it was perfectly clear from what he said -- there was no need to "battle" his feelings. He simply ignored them because they were irrational. He stopped the "battle" before it started. "Battle" is really the wrong metaphor to use. "It's wrong for us to feel this way, even if it's understandable." There are no right or wrong feelings! It has always been what you THINK or SAY or DO about your feelings that matters. Feelings themselves are powerless. They come and go all the time. There is no reason to feel guilty about those feelings - especially when it is so clear that Juan was aware of those feelings (and their source) from the get go. What would it _really_ mean if Juan said "I shouldn't feel this way"? The essence of feelings is that you can't control them -- but you can control your thoughts and actions. The specific feeling we are talking about is fear. Whether it's fear of Muslims or of the man in the moon, it is irrational. Of course Juan knows that not all Muslims are terrorists. Of course Juan knows that it is only his _perception_ that they are Muslims; they may well not be Muslims at all. Of course Juan knows that the 9/11 terrorists were dressed in western clothes. The kind of fear Juan experienced is not a conscious fear, it is a subconscious fear, triggered by the associations and connections that the subconscious mind continuously generates. These are irrational fears. They are based on events that have made a deep impact. We all have subconscious irrational fears. After the earthquake in Los Angeles, I was afraid that if I walked under a bridge it might fall on top of me. There was a horrible picture in the LA Times of a truck that had been flattened by a collapsed bridge while it was driving down a freeway. I was 14, and even at that age I knew it was not rational. So I felt the fear and walked under the bridge. This is Psych 101. Juan confronted his fear in the plane, analyzed it, and didn't respond to it. And later he talked about his fear on the O'Reilly Show. Now we know that some people sometimes act on their emotions and/or feelings _without_ reflection or awareness. But people with emotional problems are not the subject here. Let's not go beyond the scope of Juan's remarks.

Posted by: loving_care | October 22, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"there's no reason to assume he thinks we should battle those feelings and work to delegitimize them."

Sweet, Greg Sargent can READ MINDS! That is awesome; finally we can have our thoughtcop telling people that they're involved in wrongthink which is doubleplusungood.

I've been waiting for this day; finally we can tell a man's thoughts and punish him for having the wrong ones (and since that's Greg's point here; he's clearly on board with this plan). Party like it's 1984.

Posted by: gekkobear | October 22, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Sargent writes: "The problem, though, is that in his initial comments he didn't clarify that the instinctual feeling itself is irrational and ungrounded, and something folks need to battle against internally whenever it rears its head."

Shouldn't we debate if this particular position itself is legitimate? The real problem here is that such fears ARE potentially rational, grounded and should be HEEDED when they rear their heads. Once again, a liberal assumes his opinion should be argued as fact.

Posted by: TheLastBrainLeft | October 22, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

as Jim Treacher says: "Thank goodness we have Greg Sargent of the Washington Post to remind us what’s permissible to think. Not what’s permissible to act on, or even to say aloud, but to think. How can we all be free if people are allowed to think in unapproved ways?" (http://dailycaller.com/dc-trawler/#ixzz137BqQiDA)

sheesh -- liberals/democrats/progressives!

Posted by: texasmamma777 | October 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Hi, TheLastBrainLeft. I agree with you, for the most part. But your phrase "[these] fears ARE potentially rational, grounded and should be HEEDED when they rear their heads" is actually the starting point. Fear should always be heeded, because not heeding fear is suppressing fear. If you suppress your fear a lot, you end up with all sorts of emotional problems. Heeding your fear is not the same as evaluating (or analyzing) your fear. A person must become aware of the fear first. Many times, people don't even become aware of the fear. The next step is to use that frontal lobe that humans are so famous for, and determine where the fear comes from. In Juan's case, it came from the way a person was dress, and associations with the 9/11 event. The next step is to determine whether the fear is rational (i.e. is the fear real and immediate). It is unequivocal: Juan said the the fear was not rational. The next step is how to respond. Juan did not respond. The real question is, under what conditions would the fear of a perceived Muslim on an airplane be rational? I am trying to devise such a condition, and I admit it is rather difficult. It is _possible_ that the person is a suicide hijacker, but that does not mean it is reasonable. That is why lawyers came up with the formulation "beyond a reasonable doubt". If there is a wild Bengal Tiger in the aisles, the fear you experience is rational and immediate. Being aware is all there is. It's up to us as emotionally balanced human beings to be as aware as we possibly can about everything -- including our emotions -- and evaluate them reasonably and rationally.

Posted by: loving_care | October 22, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I've been wondering for some time just what rewards (not just financial and ego but also knock-on exposure benefits - think books, speaking engagements etc) come to these "Fox News contributors". No surprise that ex-employees from the Bush administration are so frequently invited to appear - supposedly just on the basis of their "insider" expertise..... LOL.

I'm thinking more of the few but much-touted "former Democrat" pollsters, advisers etc - along with the same few liberals who individually appear so frequently. OK, we know the reality is that Mocks News regards "Fair and Balanced" as a right-biased anchor joining with an even more right-biased contributor to gang up on the token liberal guest - and it also seems that strong liberal performers generally don't get re-invited (Mocks likes its targets to take their punishment).....

But, here's the point. Isn't it at some point inevitable that the likes of Juan Williams get to realise what's expected of them when they appear on Mocks and, wanting to go on being invited, end up (at least sub-consciously) shaping their input to enhance their prospect of getting repeat gigs on the channel? Perhaps I make too much of his reported new contract - and no way do I think Williams set out to engineer any such outcome. Anyhow, it's easy to see what's in it for Mocks now that they have their new trophy plus renewed bragging rights for their "commitment to free speech", "the spin stops here" etc etc.....

FWIW, I think NPR a] over-reacted and b] are inconsistent in applying their claimed standards - others should be fired if it was right to fire Williams on the grounds cited.

Finally, could/would Williams have said what he did - but on NPR? Should he have been able to? IMO, he should have been able to - and use the opportunity to explore just why the feelings he sincerely expressed last week are something that need to be recognised and confronted. And not least to shine a light on how the inexcusable "muslims killed us" Mocks shorthand cynically and knowingly throws agenda-driven fuel on the flames.

Posted by: SteveInThailand | October 23, 2010 4:11 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Sargent has missed the past decade where international airports have layer upon layer of security to the inconvenience of tens of millions of us thanks to Muslim terrorists. Juan Williams expressed what only an obtuse idiot hasn't noticed. Face it, airport security feels anxious with and scrutinizes passengers more closely in Muslim garb for good reason. The idiotic anti-free speech lefties are such hypocrits.

Hey, Sargent, pretend for us that you never scrutinized passangers on a plane when you've had your kids flying with you. Liar.

Posted by: onecent100 | October 23, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Call me crazy, but does Mr. Sargaent realize he is essentially telling people what the "right" way to think is. Who died and elected him to the thought police? Scary!

Posted by: hostdude99 | October 23, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"It's wrong for us to feel this way, even if it's understandable."

I don't see anything wrong with it. Since 9/11, federal authorities have foiled several dozen terrorist plots. Every one of them was plotted by Muslims who are pursuing an Islamic jihad against the West.

Just as on 9/11, these attacks were planned by Muslims and would have been carried out by Muslims in the name of their religion and their god, Allah.

Granted, not all Muslims are part of this jihad. Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of Muslims are committed to attacking and killing as many Americans as they possibly can. Given these indisputable facts, when you see Muslims boarding an airliner with you, it is perfectly reasonable to feel some apprehension.

Posted by: newshound11 | October 23, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I resisted my irrational fear of young black men in groups while walking in Oakland, and kept going. Now I'm robbed and dead, but morally justified and an exemplar of liberal tolerance.

Posted by: dgstock1947 | October 23, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Well, isn't this just a big, fat mess. This is what happens when people who think they know better try to stifle freedom of thought. And claiming that it's irrational and unreasonable to have certain thoughts and feelings is particularly dangerous and reprehensible.

In recent history some people who thought they knew better than others actually had people murdered for their thoughts. They also accused them of having psychiatric problems and had them institutionalized. This is the destination of the road you are traveling in your efforts to control what people think and feel.

How can so-called liberals even for a split-second tolerate the repression of freedom of thought? What the h--- has happened to the promise of liberalism and it's live-and-let-live philosophy?

It's been hijacked by progressives, aka socialists, with all of their intolerance for any thought or beliefs to the right of them, including liberal thought. Liberals, if they are smart, will rid themselves of the progressives before they do any more damage.

Posted by: sgi1 | October 23, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Greg, should we tell Big Brother about Juan's thoughtcrime?

Also, why don't we give the Thought Police some real teeth--as if losing a job would stop thoughts that should not be thought in the first place.

Come on, Greg, grow some!

Posted by: loveladyflash | October 23, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Juan Williams now gets 2 million dollar a year for his expertise. I fear seeing Juan Williams at the airport, I'm afraid he'll bend over and ask a conservative to have his way with him.

Posted by: manderso1 | October 24, 2010 2:22 PM | 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