Some things are just... well, just plain wrong.
Case in point: National Public Radio has fired Juan Williams for stating that he felt "nervous" and "worried" when he boards an airplane and sees people in Islamic dress.
I've reprinted the Los Angeles Times article on the firing below.
Now, I've interviewed Juan Williams on-air; I've read some of his excellent books on the American civil rights movement; I've watched him go mano-a-mano with conservative commentators and panelists on various televised venues, including on Fox News (where he serves as a contributor, a side-gig from the day-job he had until yesterday at NPR). And I don't always agree with his moderate-liberal point of view.
But the guy is honest, certainly not bigoted, and generally fair in his commentary. So he gets "nervous" when he boards a plane and sees a person "identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims." I recall the Rev. Jesse Jackson once famously saying that he (the Reverend) gets nervous when he sees a group of black kids walking toward him on the street.
In both instances, two men were honestly describing an involuntary reaction. In neither case, I sincerely believe, were they describing a bigoted reaction.
Ironically, Juan Williams' comments came during an on-air discussion with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly-- the topic of which was the now-famous walk-out by two hosts of The View protesting what said hosts declared were "bigoted comments" by O'Reilly. His comment: "Muslims attacked us on 9/11."
This statement was deemed as "offensive," since O'Reilly did not qualify his comment with the modifier "Muslim extremists" --an important distinction, but one which could have been discussed, possibly modified or explained on-the-spot by O'Reilly. Had not the hissy fit walk-out ensued, we could have all moved on without the ongoing rehashing that has raged since.
But no-- and now NPR has rushed to enlist in the Politically Correct Brigade --some might say it was already in the ranks as a "career soldier" therein-- and stood a good man like Juan Williams up against the wall. Without a trial, or even a tribunal.
NPR is wrong, seriously wrong here. This ideological PC war has turned cannibalistic, and we're all now potential menu items.
NPR commentator loses job over Muslim remark
Juan Williams, speaking on Fox's 'The O'Reilly Factor,' says people in Muslim garb on planes make him 'worried' and 'nervous.' NPR says the remarks 'were inconsistent with our editorial standards.'
By Steve Padilla
The Los Angeles Times
October 21, 2010
National Public Radio terminated the contract of commentator Juan Williams after he said on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" that people wearing Muslim garb on airplanes made him "worried" and "nervous."
The move was first reported Wednesday on Twitter by NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik, who said Williams' remarks "were inconsistent with our editorial standards."
Williams was discussing political correctness Monday with host Bill O'Reilly and said that it could "lead to some kind of paralysis, where you don't address reality."
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"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot," said Williams, who is African American and has written extensively on the civil rights movement and race in America. "You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on a 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's action against Williams comes a few weeks after CNN fired newscaster Rick Sanchez after he called "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart a bigot and suggested that Comedy Central and other networks were run by Jews.