Shafted? I Report, You Decide

From abc NEWS:

Juan Williams, who was fired from his job at NPR after comments he made on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” this week regarding Muslims, fired back at the radio station on Friday while guest hosting “The O’Reilly Factor.”

“My comments about my feelings supposedly crossed this line, some line, somewhere. That crossed the line?” Williams said.


Original movie poster

He then mentioned Nina Totenberg’s comments on NPR in 1995, when she stated that if there were “retributive justice,” former Republican North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms or one of his grandchildren will get AIDS from a transfusion.

An NPR spokeswoman said Totenberg has repeatedly apologized for her comments.

Conservative leaders including Sarah Palin have called to cut off NPR’s funding in the wake of the controversy. According to NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm, NPR chief executive Vivian Schiller has stated that management was standing by its decision to fire Williams. Since his termination, Williams has been hired full-time at Fox News in a reported $2 million, three year deal.

Williams told “Good Morning America” in an exclusive interview Friday that his firing, for saying Muslims on planes make him “nervous,” was the result of a personal and politically motivated vendetta which the veteran newsman described as “vindictive.”

Williams pointed to a flip comment by Schiller who said Williams’ comment should have been shared with his “psychiatrist or publicist,” and not the public.

“It’s personal. I don’t know why she has to get low,” Williams said.

Schiller later apologized for her crack, and Williams said he does not have a psychiatrist.

Then get one, and stop the fekkin’ whining.  Seriously, is this really news?  Are we really supposed to wring out hankies over this asswipe getting fired when there are so many people out of work?  It’s not like he’s going to starve.  But let’s go on…

Williams made his comment about being nervous when he sees Muslims at airports or on planes was made Monday on Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor.”

NPR said the comment conflicted with their commitment to unbiased reporting. But Williams, who is paid to give his opinion, told “GMA” he had long been in the cross-hairs of NPR management who are upset that he also worked for right-leaning Fox News.

“This is one of the things in my life that’s shocking. I grew up on the left. I grew up here in New York City and I’ve always thought the right wing was the ones who were inflexible and intolerant. Now, I’m coming to realize that the orthodoxy at NPR, as it’s representing the left, is just unbelievable,” he said.

“And especially for me as a black man, to somehow, you know, say something that’s out of the box. They find it very difficult… I think they were looking for a reason to get rid of me. They were uncomfortable with the idea that I was talking to the likes of Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity,” he told “GMA”‘s George Stephanopoulos.

Williams has previously scrapped with NPR management, including over comments he made comparing Michelle Obama to Stokely Carmichael and dressing down his bosses publicly when they stood in the way of an interview with President George W. Bush.

Williams hasn’t apologized for his remarks about being nervous seeing Muslims on planes, insisting instead they were part of a longer conversation his NPR bosses took out of context. Williams said he was making a point about how one individual’s fears should not trump the civil rights of other people.

…snip…

News of Williams’ firing stirred a backlash across the political spectrum with liberals, conservatives and veteran journalists chastising NPR for his dismissal.

“If you are someone who is giving your opinion, then you’re allowed to give your opinion,” ABC’s Barbara Walters said Thursday on “The View.”

…snip…

William Kristol of the conservative Weekly Standard wrote, “Do the powers-that-be at NPR think Juan Williams is a bigot? Do they think a traveler who has a reaction (fair or unfair) like the one Juan describes, in our age of terror in the name of Islam, is a bigot?… I suspect the powers-that-be at NPR pretty much think what Juan thinks. But the standards of political correctness must be maintained.”

…snip…

“NPR should address the fact that one of its news analysts seems to believe that all airline passengers who are perceived to be Muslim can legitimately be viewed as security threats,” Council on American-Islamic Relations National Executive Director Nihad Awad told the Associated Press.

NPR receives some funding from the federal government and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said he plans to introduce legislation to end federal funding for NPR.

From First Read at NBC News:

If history is any precedent — especially if Republicans win control of Congress — assignment editors can probably plan on a Washington D.C. press conference featuring Big Bird and Oscar in the next few months.

In the wake of NPR’s decision to fire political analyst Juan Williams for his remarks about Muslims, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint announced Friday that he will introduce legislation to nix federal financing for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds NPR and PBS programming. (In fiscal year 2008, public radio and TV received 13.8 percent of its total revenues from CPB appropriations.)

…snip…

The sentiment, echoed by conservatives from Rep. Eric Cantor to Sarah Palin, could set up a rerun of congressional Republicans’ previous attempts to reduce or eliminate taxpayer funding for public broadcasting often labeled left-of-center by critics.

…snip…

Efforts to reduce funding for public broadcasting date back to President Richard Nixon, who was irked by what he perceived to be anti-Administration bias on its public affairs programs. In 1973, he vetoed appropriations for the Corporation, which later agreed to shrink its control over programming decisions.

Newt Gingrich led another charge in 1995, labeling PBS “a little sandbox for the rich” and promising to “zero out” funding for public radio and TV.

…snip…

More unsuccessful calls for defunding came in 1999, when it was revealed that Boston public broadcasting station WGBH had shared its donor list with Democratic Party leaders.

And in 2005, CPB chairman (and Bush appointee) Kenneth Tomlinson renewed allegations that public broadcasting are liberally biased. But after a House subcommittee voted to completely phase out the government’s grant to underwrite the programming, a powerful lobbyist showed up in Washington to rally support to reinstate the funding — Clifford the Big Red Dog. House Democrats held a press conference near the Capitol featuring the cuddly character, kids with handwritten posters, and boxes of petitions from viewers. The full House restored the money.

So, will this year be the one that the funding is finally eliminated? If it is, it will be a spending cut brought to you by the letters G, O, and P.

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44 Comments

Filed under Bill O'Reilly, Chimpy, Congress, Democrats, Fox News, George W. Bush, humor, Islam, Journalism, Media, movies, Muslims, Newt Gingrich, parody, politics, radio, Republicans, Richard Nixon, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

44 responses to “Shafted? I Report, You Decide

  1. When I see Juan Williams, I get nervous. Cuz I know the screechy, whiny, titty-baby theatrics that will ensue.

    I actually irritated him in Selma a few years ago. “Look kids! It’s the CNN guy.” Reporters hate being misidentified. 😀

    I wish I could have been the boss that fired him. I would have said, “NPR needs journalists with courage, Juanny baby…not one’s that wet themselves because someone is a different religion.”

    • you know, you work for a company, you do or say something publicly that they don’t think is in keeping with company policies, you get warned, you don’t listen, so you get fired. it’s really that simple, and the only reason that there’s all this fretting going on is that the rethugs are using it as a campaign issue, all fueled by faux news.

      this is from an article at the my times:

      Of the thousands of complaints that have saturated NPR in the wake of Juan Williams’s firing earlier this week, some of the most telling have been from callers describing themselves as long-time “viewers” of NPR who warn that they are going to “stop watching.”

      NPR, of course, does not have viewers, it has listeners. But the public radio organization has come under severe criticism — largely from people who are not listeners, it believes — for having fired Mr. Williams, an analyst who was employed by both NPR and Fox News when he said on Fox that he felt fearful when he saw people in “Muslim garb” on an airplane.

  2. Bah!

    He claims that NPR fired him because he also worked for Fox.

    But he worked for Fox before he ever went to NPR. So, how does that make sense to people who think?

    I’m not sure that I agree with firing him, but I’m not bothered. NPR has its standards, and they enforce them. Good for them.

    As is so often the case, Fox hired up the guy fired for making bigoted-sounding comments. What a network …

    I wonder how all of these people who drool after cutting CPB funding will feel when they realize that they’re attacking “Sesame Street.”

    • i’m in the same camp as you, wken. i really don’t care that he got fired, but i don’t really agree with the way they did it. they made it look like they were ready to pounce as soon as they found anything they could latch onto. instead, they should have not renewed his contract. that said, yawn. the only reason that this story is getting any attention at all is because he goes to the same cocktail parties as the other talking heads. i wish the media was this concerned with the millions of people who lost their jobs and won’t get a $2 mil contract at faux news. maybe if the media had been doing their job instead of trying to out-people-magazine people magazine, we wouldn’t have wound up in this ditch.

      • Very good point.

        NPR’s ombudsman has even come out saying that this wasn’t handled well.

        I’ve never heard from Fox’s ombudsman. Hmmm …

        This is like a baseball strike. It’s a bunch of people who are being paid more than they deserve whining because one of them hit a bump in the road.

        • it’s like a party for the ultra-rich. one of the help falls, smacks his head and is lying unconscious on the floor. as he fell, a drink splashes the gown of one of the guests. everyone steps over the body of the unconscious man to get some club soda to clean the guest’s gown. afterward, they ask if the gown’s wearer is okay after such a harrowing experience. then they get their stories straight so that the party-giver won’t have any liability should the unconscious man want to sue him.

  3. jeb

    A $2M contract from FUX upon his firing. Please fire me. I’ll take that. I can be a total media whore too!

  4. jenn/ jlms qkw

    williams crossed the “reporter does not insert self into story” line. also the “reporter reports and does not issue decrees regarding emotion” line. etc.

    • jenn!! 😀 it’s been ages since you stopped by! i know you’ve had more important things to tend to lately.

      i honestly don’t know how most of the talking heads can appear on tv and still call themselves reporters.

  5. Now Juan Williams can join Bush Jr. in the “failing spectacularly upwards” club.

  6. This is what I’ve been missing? Evil Rupert scoops up another dupe with a big money contract and the profesional whiners all chime in about how awful everything is. Lots of countries around the world have state TV and a national railroad. We have CPB and Amtrak to serve the public needs. Why the gopers obsess on these things is anyones guess, but the act like its a big deal. Not in the sense of a three trillion dollar whimsy war but dammit a big deal none the less. Just this last week I discovered Capitol Public Radio out of Sacramento with excellent programing on a news/NPR frequency and an great classical station too. Now I can “watch” all my favorites like PHC and From the Top. These will enhance the value of my life. And this has no cash redemption or dividend payment so hard core gopers should really be watching something else on the radio. PS trying new hookup tomorrow at Raisin Ranch…keep fingers crossed….

    • jerrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!! 😀

      i miss you!

      you didn’t really miss anything. just more of the same, but the names have changed. so glad you’ll be able to watch your radio now. you don’t want it walking away.

      i am keeping my fingers crossed that the raisin ranch will be wired and ready to go tomorrow.

  7. I know you must have heard that he was already in trouble with the assaulting sexual conversation he subjected all comers (er, women reporters) to, right?

    So I read in several places anyway.

    So yes, they were waiting for one more shoe to drop, so to speak.

    Thanks, sweetie!

    S

    • suzan!

      how nice to see you! 😀

      yeah, ol’ juan is a misogynistic slimeball. i think that’s one of the requirements for a job at faux news. when he fills in for billO, i wonder if he gets to use billO’s shower loofah.

      stop by more often!

      p.s. i added you to my blogroll over at the big orange. 🙂

  8. WTF is “Muslim garb,” and how dose this chickenshit identify it?

  9. “Dose”?? Did I say that? I meant “duz.”

  10. Come on, baby!

    You know I love it here.

    So fine – and en pointe!

    wonder if he gets to use billO’s shower loofah.

    heh heh

    Thanks!

    Love you,

    S

  11. jean-philippe

    Outstanding 😀

    Very amusing he felt betrayed for “telling the truth”. If some journalist had a “Clarence Thomas” moment and told out loud who give him a boner, he might not be a contender for the Pulitzer.

    • i wouldn’t have even though of shaft if you hadn’t mentioned the movie, j-p. so thank you! 🙂

      apparently, he doesn’t know the difference between the truth and his own opinion. that’s the problem with these guys. they become so convinced of their own brilliance that they don’t bother with real facts. like i said to terry above, the facts are that the hijackers were wearing western garb, so what williams said about being afraid of people in “muslim” garb makes no sense. what is muslim garb, anyway? keith ellison is a muslim, and i’ve never seen him in anything but a suit.

  12. I heard the creep on the Diane Rehm show this morning … he took the opportunity to try belittling her, after they opened by describing how they’d been friends for years.

    He’ll fit in quite nicely at Fox, I guess.

    • i think i read somewhere that a contract with faux news comes with a free set of knives. to stick into other people’s backs, of course.

      • It’s tough to tell with her voice condition these days, but I had the distinct impression at one point that she was kind of cracking. I was kind of tearing up listening to her take his crap.

        She, of course, is a professional, but I thought I heard something. It might have just been the vocal cord injuries, though.

        But it had to hurt, having gone through this whole “we’re good friends” routine and then have him belittle her show as not one of the big ones, accuse her of bias, and so on. I really wished that I could ask her how she felt about it.

        • i found the radio show, and i listened to that interview. he came off like a sanctimonious asswipe. he has that ‘everyone else is wrong, and i’m right’ world view. of course, it sure helps that he can’t seem to remember all the things he said, did, and wrote that the callers pointed out to him when they put him in a negative light. now, i’m not at all sorry that i’ve seen very, very little of him. i hope never to hear him in the future.

  13. Pingback: A Few of My Favorite Zings | HYSTERICAL RAISINS

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