I guess in the parlance of the left, “tolerance” lasts only as long as you agree with them. NPR, the media outlet paid for with your tax money, fired pundit and journalist Juan Williams after he went on Bill O’Reilly’s show and spoke a little truth to power.
The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”
Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.
He continued: “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.”
Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.
The uncomfortable truth behind Williams’ words lies in that third paragraph. He had been a steadfast champion of civil rights, especially the brand of civil rights practiced by the left. He is an accomplished author on the subject. He knows his stuff and, what’s more, he’s lived it in a way that few of the pasty white executives at National Public Radio have. Alas for Juan, no list of bona fides as long as your arm can compete with the closed-mindedness of the rich and powerful keepers of acceptable progressive speech. And so Juan Williams, once a darling of the left, is cast aside because he dared assume the role of free-thinker instead of his assigned duties as message-carrier for the left.
Before I finish, though, let me throw out another question or two worth pondering. Did NPR fire Williams because of what he said or because of who he said it to? If Williams had gone on whatever passes for a news program on an NPR station, or fought his way through the cobwebs and sat down with radio-corpse Diane Rehm, there is no doubt that whatever he said would have met with some sort of rebuttal, after which Williams could have made his apologies and recited the standard boilerplate about “extremists” in Islam. However, in front of Bill O’Reilly no such admonishment would ever take place. In fact, O’Reilly would likely agree with him and who knows if that meeting of right and left minds on the matter wouldn’t have served as the long-dreaded Bat Signal that would light up the sky and signal us crazed Tea Partiers to begin our pogrom against everything even remotely Muslim.
So perhaps Williams was cashiered not for his comments, but for the venue in which he chose to haltingly air them.
UPDATE: Alternate headline wherein I shamelessly bait the Instalanche: “They told me if I voted for John McCain, wealthy and powerful media executives would cashier pundits for their political views…and they were right!”
UPDATE 2: P.J. Salvatore found a few instances of NPR hypocrisy. Well, okay, it’s not hypocrisy. It’s just plain-old bias, and you’re paying for it.
UPDATE 3: Thank you Michelle.
UPDATE 4: There ain’t no confirmation like a media critic’s confirmation.
UPDATE 5: Yep, the pasty whities got him. And like cowards, they didn’t even have the guts to tell him to his face.