Wow. NPR has fired Juan Williams.
I can’t believe they fired him for this!
“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
NPR said “inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”
This seems totally unjustified to me. What he said is that people who wear Islam on their sleeves make him nervous on airplanes. This is not racist, this is rational. Sure, most Muslims or even most Muslims in “muslim’ garb are not terrorists, but some of them are.
This is a travesty of political correctness and Williams ongoing association with Foxnews most certainly played a role. The NYT reports:
Mr. Williams’s contributions on Fox raised eyebrows at NPR in the past. In February 2009, NPR said it had asked that he stop being identified on “The O’Reilly Factor” as a “senior correspondent for NPR,” even though that title was accurate.
Alicia C. Shepard, the NPR ombudswoman, said at the time that Mr. Williams was a “lightning rod” for the public radio organization in part because he “tends to speak one way on NPR and another on Fox.”
Ms. Shepard said she had received 378 listener e-mails in 2008 listing complaints and frustrations about Mr. Williams.
Perhaps Mr. Williams was fired for being a Foxnews lightning rod. His relatively innocuous comments may just served as a ready excuse.
What do you think?