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Author Topic: NPR Fires Juan Williams
JWatts
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National Politically-correct Radio

quote:
NPR News has terminated the contract of longtime news analyst Juan Williams after remarks he made on the Fox News Channel about Muslims.

Williams appeared Monday on The O'Reilly Factor, and host Bill O'Reilly asked him to comment on the idea that the U.S. is facing a dilemma with Muslims.

Williams responded: "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."

Williams also warned O'Reilly against blaming all Muslims for "extremists," saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

But strong criticism followed Williams' comments.

Late Wednesday night, NPR issued a statement praising Williams as a valuable contributor but saying it had given him notice that it is severing his contract. "His remarks on The O'Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR," the statement read.

Williams' presence on the largely conservative and often contentious prime-time talk shows of Fox News has long been a sore point with NPR News executives.

So speaking the truth is not allowed for NPR correspondents. Or more probably not being politically-correct is not allowed.

I speculate that if Juan Williams had been talking about members of the NRA and said:

"But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in camo and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as gun nuts, I get worried. I get nervous."

that those same NRA executives wouldn't have seen a problem with his comments.

Link

[ October 21, 2010, 10:39 AM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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TomDavidson
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Out of interest: do you not see a difference between choosing to identify yourself as a gun nut vs. choosing to identify yourself as a Muslim?
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Colin JM0397
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The point was quite simple. Like most folks in the US since Sept 11 2001, Muslims being Muslim makes him nervous. It's a fact. It was an idiotic statement, but not for the PC reasons most think.

It's a BS MSM-driven "fact", but nonetheless one that way too many people think/feel. What's silly is it isn't the guy with his Muslim-looking garb and prayer beads you need to worry about - it's the one you'll never see coming until it's too late...

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JWatts
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In neither case, did either group choose to identify themselves one way or another. In one case, Juan Williams sees people dressed in "Muslim garbs" and assumes they are Muslims and in another he sees people dressed in "camo" and assumes they are gun nuts.

In another case, assuming the identifications are correct and it is a Muslim garbed individual vs a camo garbed individual, I do see a difference.

One such group crashed 4 planes into 3 different buildings and the other group blew up a Federal building with some Fertilizer in a U-Haul. So if I was in a plane I would be far more suspicious of a Muslim individual than a camo clad person.

If I was in front of a Federal building and saw a camo dressed individual get out of a U-Haul truck and head away from the building, I would also be suspicious.

Assuming there is no reason to be suspicious is ridiculous.

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Mucus
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This whole American trend of drumming out of media figures such as reporters and analysts that express views that are outside the rapidly shrinking political mainstream is getting pretty silly.

Not that I really expect there to be much overlap between those opposing Juan Williams being fired and those opposing Helen Thomas or Octavia Nasr being fired.

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Adam Masterman
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I'm kind of mixed on this. When I *read* it, I thought of Jesse Jackson saying that, if he encountered someone on the street late at night, he was relived if the person was white. Jackson wasn't defending this prejudice, he was pointing out that prejudice can be deeply ingrained, even if we consciously reject it. So Jaun *could* have been making a similar point.

After watching the video, I don't think that was the case. He actually seemed to be defending this reaction, saying that it was "reality" that people need to face up to eventually. This is both stupid (muslim terrorists don't dress up like sheiks for an operation) and kind of an incongruous ignorance for an "analyst".

It *is* true that the majority of terrorists, worldwide, appear to be muslims; and that a sharp majority of terrorists that target the U.S. are muslim. However, its not true that someone who displays their identity as muslim is a significant danger to other passengers, warranting suspicion. The pure statistical likelihood of them being a terrorist is virtually identical to that of a fat guy from Queens. Without even saying what we should do about these facts, if one can't even *recognize* the difference, then they have some conceptual blind spots, to say the least.

And, all that said, I think at worst NPR should have asked him to clarify his views (perhaps on air?) He may have just communicated poorly, or juxtaposed two ideas in a way that implied something he didn't intend. Firing seems rather extreme.

Adam

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Juan Williams sees people dressed in "Muslim garbs" and assumes they are Muslims
It has nothing to do with assuming that they're Muslims - it has to do with assuming that just because they're Muslims they must be fundamentalist terrorists.

quote:
Like most folks in the US since Sept 11 2001, Muslims being Muslim makes him nervous. It's a fact.
That's a very unqualified statement. It's only in the past 3-4 years, as it's become more politically expedient to do so, that people seem to have really forgotten the initial strong distinction that was made between Muslims and fundamentalist terrorists. I'd be willing to bet that the flap over Keith Ellison's swearing in is probably the marker point for where that fringe attitude was finally adopted as a mainstream position, and has been capitalized on since then.

The general fear of Muslims has been manufactured and pushed as a political ploy- it would be a complete non-issue by now if all major voices had remained committed to keeping the actual distinction clear instead of playing on such bigotry.

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Colin JM0397
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Big Brother likes it when you are afraid of scary Muslims. Makes taking those naked x-ray pictures of your teenage daughter a noble act to combat the evil in the world.

You want to read my email, put a tracking device on grandma's car, and bomb some more brown people? Sure! Makes me feel better about that scary Imam in row 8.

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Colin JM0397
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Helen Thomas talks about her similar issue: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/13/helen-thomas-im-not-antis_n_760789.html

It is interesting how the system will eat its own when they get out of line. I'll give her credit for holding firm to her beliefs, but for many, many years she was part of the machine and a mouthpiece for those things she claims to be against. She was one of the biggest partisan cheerleaders of our times. I only wish people like her would be more vocal in opposition to their former masters.

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Colin JM0397
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Speaking of "Muslims attacking us", anyone care to explain this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm5jd-PafcA&feature=player_embedded

At some point you have to look at what’s going on and see that, no Larry Moe and Curly are not running things, so therefore what they are doing is not an accident. In other words, a man on the CIA’s kill/capture list doesn’t “accidentally through an oversight” get invited to the Pentagon for tea and crumpets.

This guy has connections to 9/11, the Ft. Hood shooter, and the idiotic "Underwear bomber". Now it comes out he also has deep connections to the Pentagon & Intel services, and we have things like Operations Northwoods documentation that show elements within our government are prone to floating ideas of using patsies and fake terror attacks to justify our foreign adventures as well as domestic BS laws such as naked scanners and all that.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Like most folks in the US since Sept 11 2001, Muslims being Muslim makes him nervous. It's a fact.
That's a very unqualified statement. It's only in the past 3-4 years, as it's become more politically expedient to do so, that people seem to have really forgotten the initial strong distinction that was made between Muslims and fundamentalist terrorists.
That's not even remotely true.


9/21/2001
FAA TRACK RECORD A SECURITY RISK

quote:
Arab and Muslim groups have been expressing grief over the attack, fear of scapegoating and support for U.S. anti-terror moves. Much of the sentiment is heartfelt and legitimate. But Americans have the right to raise questions. Scratch the surface of some of these organizations' fund-raising activities, and creepy links turn up. Links to terror groups like Hamas. The people who cheered the World Trade Center's demise from Gaza. Whose unwavering aim is Israel's destruction.

There is no defending wholesale condemnation of America's Arab and Muslim communities. But those communities must realize that some of their members have invited mistrust and given just cause for suspicion. To deny that is foolish and naive.

12/27/2001
Muslim secret service agent removed from American Airlines flight

quote:
CAIR: "he felt he had been kicked off the Baltimore-to-Dallas flight because of his religion and ethnicity."
7/7/2002
Security boosted after LA shooting

quote:
The new agency responsible for airline security in the United States is to post armed guards at airport ticket counters.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the move after a gunman killed two people at an El Al ticket desk in Los Angeles on Thursday.

5/23/2002
Alleged shoe bomber reportedly told mother of plan

quote:
Accused shoe bomber Richard Reid sent an e-mail "will" to his mother telling her he was going to carry out a terror attack "to help remove the oppressive American forces from the Muslim land," government prosecutors say in a court filing Thursday.
10/16/2002
Security Forces Foil Hijacking Attempt Aboard Saudi Airliner

12/19/2002
Thwarted Hijacker Sought Crash in Tel Aviv, Turks Say

quote:
The Arab Israeli man charged with trying to hijack an Israeli airliner on Sunday told the Turkish police that he had been inspired by the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States and intended to crash the plane into tall buildings in Tel Aviv, police officials said today.
8/4/2003

Al-Qaeda issues new threat to US


quote:
The US Department of Homeland Security recently warned the airline industry that al-Qaeda was planning new suicide hijackings and bombings in the US or abroad.

Washington blames bin Laden's al-Qaeda network for the hijacked airliner attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.

Because of security concerns, the Homeland Security Department at the weekend suspended two programs that allow foreigners to travel without a visa through US airports on their way to other countries.

The "transit without visa" and "international to international" transit programs had allowed foreigners, who would normally need a visa to visit the US, to connect to other international flights without the paperwork.

Recent intelligence indicates that terrorist groups have been planning to use the programs to enter the United States or US airspace without being first screened, the department said in a statement announcing the suspensions.

10/4/2006
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-408585/Terrifying-security-lapse-let-unarmed-man-hijack-plane.html

quote:
A terrifying lapse in aircraft security allowed an unarmed man to hijack a passenger jet with more than 100 passengers aboard, it was revealed today.

The man strolled from his seat on the Turkish Airlines plane and simply pushed aside a stewardess who had opened the cockpit door to serve drinks to the crew.

He then told the pilot he had accomplices on board who would blow up the plane if his demands were not met.



[ October 21, 2010, 03:59 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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JWatts
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Juan Williams responds to be fired:

Juan "Bigot" Williams

quote:
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.

quote:
This was an honest, sensitive debate hosted by O’Reilly. At the start of the debate Bill invited me, challenged me to tell him where he was wrong for stating the fact that “Muslims killed us there,” in the 9/11 attacks...

I took Bill’s challenge and began by saying that political correctness can cause people to become so paralyzed that they don’t deal with reality.

quote:
My point in recounting this debate is to show this was in the best American tradition of a fair, full-throated and honest discourse about the issues of the day. -- There was no bigotry, no crude provocation, no support for anti-Muslim sentiments of any kind.

Two days later, Ellen Weiss, my boss at NPR called to say I had crossed the line, essentially accusing me of bigotry. She took the admission of my visceral fear of people dressed in Muslim garb at the airport as evidence that I am a bigot.

quote:
I asked why she would fire me without speaking to me face to face and she said there was nothing I could say to change her mind, the decision had been confirmed above her, and there was no point to meeting in person. To say the least this is a chilling assault on free speech. The critical importance of honest journalism and a free flowing, respectful national conversation needs to be had in our country. But it is being buried as collateral damage in a war whose battles include political correctness and ideological orthodoxy.

I say an ideological battle because my comments on "The O’Reilly Factor" are being distorted by the self-righteous ideological, left-wing leadership at NPR. They are taking bits and pieces of what I said to go after me for daring to have a conversation with leading conservative thinkers.

quote:
And now they have used an honest statement of feeling as the basis for a charge of bigotry to create a basis for firing me. 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.


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Funean
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I do take issue with firing him without any further discussion--he's a long time contributor and has a large body of work showing both his personal opinions as well as political and cultural analysis, and he deserved more thoughtful treatment.

However, I wonder how Juan Williams would have reacted if one of his colleagues made an statement like "I gotta say, whenever I see black males who look like they're of low income, I get nervous" and appeared not see any reason to qualify it with something like "...and I know this is an irrational emotional response to stereotype." That's not "independence of thought," it's straight up bigotry. Now, whether or not a personally bigoted opinion (I'm assuming he didn't claim to be officially representing the viewpoint of NPR) is grounds for firing is a whole other matter, but it is what it is. Unless one wants to argue that persons of color can't be bigoted?

"And now they have used an honest statement of feeling as the basis for a charge of bigotry..."

Which part makes this not bigotry--the "statement of feeling" part or the "honest" part. Or is it not bigotry unless some further action is taken?

I have to say that I am quite disappointed with Mr. Williams' blindness to the implications of his own words. It's perfectly possible he didn't mean what he said the way it came across, but the fact remains that what he said came across as an unapologetic assertion that he judges some people as imminently dangerous based on what he judges to be their "identity," which I gather he bases on their ethnicity and attire.

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JWatts
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I'm curious Funean, is Juan Williams a bigot because he felt nervous around people who are in Muslim garb on a plane or because he made the comments out loud?

Does the thought make you a bigot or the admittance to the thought?

[ October 21, 2010, 07:20 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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LetterRip
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The 'without further discussion' was definitely BS.

As others have pointed out, a terrorist will make dress decisions to best ensure he isn't suspicious - so a muslim terrorist is more likely to be dressed as an immaculate businessman, or a rock punk, a catholic priest, a garish tourist, or hare krinsha. So the ones dressed in Muslim garb aren't the ones you should be nervous of.

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Funean
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JWatts--I'd say the thought, though it is only society's business if it's externalized.

And I'm not sure "feeling nervous" makes you a bigot, any more than "feeling lust" makes you an adulterer. It's the part where he allowed the impression that his feeling was perfectly justified and reasonable that is suggestive of bigotry.

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Viking_Longship
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I applaud NPR's firing of Jaun Williams. The best way to address predjucices and ethnic tensions is to pretend they don't exist.

Don't frighten the ostriches, we have concrete floors.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
JWatts--I'd say the thought, though it is only society's business if it's externalized.

And I'm not sure "feeling nervous" makes you a bigot, any more than "feeling lust" makes you an adulterer. It's the part where he allowed the impression that his feeling was perfectly justified and reasonable that is suggestive of bigotry.

Since when do feelings need to be "justified" or "reasonable"? Isn't that like validating logic by saying that it feels good?

Was he saying that everyone should feel this way, or was he saying that to feel this way, so long as you don't act on that prejudice?

If the latter, then it seems grotesque that he would be fired.

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LoverOfJoy
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This seems to be key:
quote:
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.

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Pete at Home
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OK, well my analysis is that Juan got fired for treating Bill O'Reilly like a serious journalist. Betcha no one else on NPR ever appears for one of that kind of discussion on Fox. My guess is that some lefties here realize that, and like NPR will use other reasons to justify what's basically a seige against Fox News.

Personally I just don't watch Fox News, or other shows that annoy me. But there's a sizable clack of lefties that watches it carefully, while trying to prevent others from watching it.

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Colin JM0397
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We are not at war with Muslims: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv74YD05LaI

Start around 2:45 to get past the O'Riley vs. The View BS.

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cherrypoptart
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I love the irony that Juan was on the show to challenge Bill about his stereotyping of Muslims.
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JWatts
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Comments by NPR CEO Vivian Schiller:
quote:
Vivian Schiller, NPR’s CEO, said that Williams’ comments should have been “between him and his psychiatrist or his publicist” but she later apologized. Williams – who was clearly still upset when he watched Schiller’s comments this morning -- said that was too personal.

“I don’t understand why she has to get that low. You know she has an argument to make that I somehow violated some journalistic ethics that were values of NPR, make the case,” he said. “I think it is a very weak case.”

Link

So she pretty much insinuated that he was unstable at a press conference in Atlanta. Way to go TEAM NPR! Fire your only black male correspondent and then immediately claim at a national press conference in Atlanta that he needs to be consulting a psychiatrist.

I'm sure that went over well in the local Atlanta news.

Rich white lady fires only Black Senior Analyst and then claims noted civil rights author Juan Williams should keep his comments between himself and his psychiatrist. Details at 11!


Oh, and it's a national Fund Raising week for NPR. [DOH]

[ October 22, 2010, 11:15 AM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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TommySama
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quote:
Oh, and it's a national Fund Raising week for NPR.
That is probably the cause of this nincompoopery.
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edgmatt
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I thought I heard a comment that said part of NPR's statement was that they regret this happened during fund raising week.
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
I thought I heard a comment that said part of NPR's statement was that they regret this happened during fund raising week.

And we believe them because they said it?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Rich white lady fires only Black Senior Analyst and then claims noted civil rights author Juan Williams should keep his comments between himself and his psychiatrist.
If he's trying to work out some kind of mild PTSD issues relating to imagined Islamic garbed terrorists attacking him (the 9/11 terrorists were wearing standard US business attire; suits and ties, so it's not a real scenario that he's reacting to) then, yes, especially as someone whose job credibility depended on apparent objectiveness on such matters, exploring such irrational impulses do belong with whatever therapist he chooses to help him overcome them.

This also wasn't a first strike- as noted, his behavior on Fox had been causing friction with his position for a while, and he's been previously warned about past comments that were over the line.

Of course, he's not exactly hurting given that Fox thinks he's a hot enough property to offer him a $2 million contract before, I guess, someone else would snap him up.

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TommySama
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"especially as someone whose job credibility depended on apparent objectiveness on such matters"

American media sucks precisely because we demand superficial objectivity.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Rich white lady fires only Black Senior Analyst and then claims noted civil rights author Juan Williams should keep his comments between himself and his psychiatrist.
If he's trying to work out some kind of mild PTSD issues relating to imagined Islamic garbed terrorists attacking him...
So is that the talking point that the liberal web sites are following? That, Juan Williams is crazy and of course NPR had to fire him. And that the CEO of the company giving a press conference and publicly declaring he should be talking with a psychiatrist is all perfectly acceptable?

[Eek!]

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TommySama
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quote:
However, I wonder how Juan Williams would have reacted if one of his colleagues made an statement like "I gotta say, whenever I see black males who look like they're of low income, I get nervous" and appeared not see any reason to qualify it with something like "...and I know this is an irrational emotional response to stereotype." That's not "independence of thought," it's straight up bigotry.
The context of what he said makes it clear that he meant "this is an irrational emotional response to a stereotype." His main mistake, apparently, was to assume that the American left could focus their attention long enough to make elementary intuitive connections between a few sentences. His point was that liberal political correctness shuts down discussion about prejudices that people - including himself - hold about Muslims despite his recognition that 9/11 was carried out by extremist Muslims. He spent the rest of the interview telling O'Reilly that it was wrong to conflate Muslim with Muslim terrorists. I agree with him wholeheartedly. The American Left's new policy on race does not help blacks or whites, and it definitely impedes our ability to deal with deeply ingrained prejudices people now have to bury.

BTW, Juan Williams wrote a book about this. I don't think he would be too upset if somebody admitted visceral feelings of fear at the site to poor black men on dark streets or something:
quote:
Juan Williams, an NPR analyst and former Washington Post reporter, joins a growing line of such fed-up liberals and disappointed progressives (including scholar Orlando Patterson and entertainer Bill Cosby) who find the state of much contemporary black life alarming and more than a little embarrassing, considering the gains of the civil rights movement.
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Williams believes that the 1954 Brown school-desegregation decision and subsequent activism and legislation virtually cured the disease of racism; that heroic era was a 20th-century watershed. For him, the remedies for racism's remaining vestiges are education, self-determination and individual responsibility. Regarding political leaders in the 21st century, he prefers mavericks in the mold of Bill Cosby, whom he considers courageous enough to "call out" the predatory behavior of the black poor. On this score, Williams laments what he sees as a black underclass mesmerized by racial hucksters playing "old school" politics: corporate blackmail disguised as boycotts, naked shakedowns leveraged by rhetorical threats and the like.

edit to add: I know I am conflating race and religion in this post. I think there is a strong racial component to it - people assuming Middle Eastern looking folk are Muslim - but the point holds, because both prejudices apparently come out after 'seeing' a black or a Muslim. Hopefully I am not ghettoed by the left for that...

[ October 22, 2010, 03:11 PM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
So is that the talking point that the liberal web sites are following? That, Juan Williams is crazy and of course NPR had to fire him. And that the CEO of the company giving a press conference and publicly declaring he should be talking with a psychiatrist is all perfectly acceptable?

You're adding a huge amount of personal judgement in there when you jump from "talking to a therapist" to "crazy". That's about like equating "maybe you should ask your doctor about that ache" with "you've got a malignant cancer"
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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
So is that the talking point that the liberal web sites are following? That, Juan Williams is crazy and of course NPR had to fire him. And that the CEO of the company giving a press conference and publicly declaring he should be talking with a psychiatrist is all perfectly acceptable?

You're adding a huge amount of personal judgement in there when you jump from "talking to a therapist" to "crazy". That's about like equating "maybe you should ask your doctor about that ache" with "you've got a malignant cancer"
That's funny. I thought the problem was a huge amount of personal judgment in there when he took a person who was clearly aware that a momentary feeling was irrational and made proper efforts to put it in perspective and then jumped from that to perhaps Juan needing to talk to a psychiatrist.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:
That's funny. I thought the problem was a huge amount of personal judgment in there when he took a person who was clearly aware that a momentary feeling was irrational and made proper efforts to put it in perspective and then jumped from that to perhaps Juan needing to talk to a psychiatrist.

I guess it would be better to advise a psychologist, since they tend to be better trained to help people with such matters, while psychiatrists tend to favor medication, but, no I don't see that as any more significant than recommending someone go to the dentist for a toothache or consulting any other specialist for the exact kind of thing that they're trained to help people with.

He's got a little glitch, and knows about it, even admits, elsewhere, that it's irrational. But instead of working to fix it, he uses it to defend similarly irrational responses in others as if they were perfectly rational behavior.

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Funean
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I actually burst into laughter in the car this morning when I heard Vivian Schiller's contribution to showing how all this is above board. You know, I get that NPR may have opinions (or even stated policies) concerning how open their employees can be about their own personal politics and opinions, and that Juan Williams might have been in violation of them, but this? Lulz.

In truth, I suspect there probably is more to the firing than this incident, but their credibility concerning the entire situation is completely and totally shot. Even if they could produce a signed document from Juan agreeing never to express any kind of personal position publicly, she's undercut it completely with her evident personal and public contempt for a colleague whose tenure at NPR probably exceeds her own.

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
I applaud NPR's firing of Jaun Williams. The best way to address predjucices and ethnic tensions is to pretend they don't exist.

Don't frighten the ostriches, we have concrete floors.

LMAO

I LOVE that line, VL!

That reminds me of a piece I once read about PC in the Soviet Union - called dialectical contradictions.

quote:
Dialectical contradictions are one of the pillars in Marxist philosophy, which states that contradictions eventually lead to a unity of opposites as the result of a struggle. This gave a convenient "scientific" excuse for the existence of contradictions in a socialist society, where opposites were nice and agreeable - unlike the wild and crazy opposites of capitalism that could never be reconciled. Hence the joke.

Then I moved to America, where wild and crazy opposites of capitalism were supposedly at their worst. Until recently, however, the only contradictions that struck me as irreconcilable were these:

Economic justice:

* America is capitalist and greedy - yet half of the population is subsidized.
* Half of the population is subsidized - yet they think they are victims.
* They think they are victims - yet their representatives run the government.
* Their representatives run the government - yet the poor keep getting poorer.
* The poor keep getting poorer - yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
* They have things that people in other countries only dream about - yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

Hollywood cliches:

* Without capitalism there'd be no Hollywood - yet filmmakers hate capitalism.
* Filmmakers hate capitalism - yet they sue for unauthorized copying of their movies.
* They sue for unauthorized copying - yet on screen they teach us to share.
* On screen they teach us to share - yet they keep their millions to themselves.
* They keep their millions to themselves - yet they revel in stories of American misery and depravity.
* They revel in stories of American misery and depravity - yet they blame the resulting anti-American sentiment on conservatism.
* They blame the anti-American sentiment on conservatism - yet conservatism ensures the continuation of a system that makes Hollywood possible.

I never thought I would see socialist contradictions in America, let alone write about them. But somehow all attempts to organize life according to "progressive" principles always result in such contradictions. And in the areas where "progressives" have assumed positions of leadership - education, news media, or the entertainment industry - contradictions become "historically inevitable."

[LOL]
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Viking_Longship
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Daruma if you mean the ostrich line I got that from an ex-gf who grew up in the Soviet Union. Not sure how she feels about socialism though. [Smile]
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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:
That's funny. I thought the problem was a huge amount of personal judgment in there when he took a person who was clearly aware that a momentary feeling was irrational and made proper efforts to put it in perspective and then jumped from that to perhaps Juan needing to talk to a psychiatrist.

I guess it would be better to advise a psychologist, since they tend to be better trained to help people with such matters, while psychiatrists tend to favor medication, but, no I don't see that as any more significant than recommending someone go to the dentist for a toothache or consulting any other specialist for the exact kind of thing that they're trained to help people with.

He's got a little glitch, and knows about it, even admits, elsewhere, that it's irrational. But instead of working to fix it, he uses it to defend similarly irrational responses in others as if they were perfectly rational behavior.

Sure, he could bring it up to a psychologist (or I guess a psychiatrist) if he'd like but the comment was that it was something that should be kept between him and his psychiatrist...as if it's something he shouldn't publicly air.

If someone mentions he has a toothache, do you say, "Dude, that's the kind of thing you keep between you and your dentist!"?

Only in this case it was even more ridiculous in that he was sharing it for the express purpose of convincing the host that those kinds of thoughts can't justify treating others differently; that we need to recognize those thoughts for the irrational wrongness that they are.

And she responds that he should keep those thoughts between himself and his therapist? How can you not see that as over the top and unjustified?

Maybe I have to hunt down the full video because I'm really having a hard time understanding where you're coming from.

I'm trying to imagine the kind of thing that should be kept between yourself and a therapist and I have a hard time seeing how this fits without a lot of large dose of personal judgment or hyperbole.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Sure, he could bring it up to a psychologist (or I guess a psychiatrist) if he'd like but the comment was that it was something that should be kept between him and his psychiatrist...as if it's something he shouldn't publicly air.
My point there was more directly about the idea that talking to a therapist about something means that a person is crazy, unstable, etc... rather than simply wanting to get help working out something mundane with a specialist trained to help with that kind of thing.

quote:
Only in this case it was even more ridiculous in that he was sharing it for the express purpose of convincing the host that those kinds of thoughts can't justify treating others differently; that we need to recognize those thoughts for the irrational wrongness that they are.
Except that, especially given the loaded language leading up to it and after it (He pretty much recited right off the script of "I'm not a bigot, but... <bigoted statement> And it's okay for me to say that because some of my best friends are <race/class>"

And far from saying that such a reaction was a bad thing, he actively affirmed it and said that it was perfectly reasonable and justified for people to be bigoted in that way, just as long as they don't act on it too much.

From:

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenLeft-FrontPage/~3/HkjYAkMX6ts/the-difference-between-bigoted-impulses-and-actually-being-a-bigot

quote:
I'm with Glenn in "not arguing that Williams should have (necessarily) been fired for these comments" - on the firing issue, all I'm saying is that if journalists are going to be fired for their bigoted statements (think: Jimmy the Greek, Rick Sanchez, etc.) then that anti-racist standard should be applied across the board, and there shouldn't be a special carve out for anti-Muslim bigotry. And let's just be honest here: Had Williams said something similar about a group other than Muslims - had he been a white pundit who told the national audience that its OK to fear black people on a subway as long as police still respected black citizens' civil rights, or had he said its OK for people to worry about doing business with people who look Jewish, as long as people don't go the extra mile and engage in anti-semitic pogroms - this wouldn't be a controversy. It would be an open-and-shut case, and almost nobody would be even trying to defend him.

So while I agree with Wise that NPR (and many other journalism outlets) does a disservice to the cause of equality by thinking that fighting racism means pretending it doesn't exist, in this case, it's fairly obvious that Williams didn't make his statement with the intent of using personal frankness to combat bigotry. He used personal frankness with an intent to legitimize it.


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Churchmouse
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Bill O'Reilly was off Friday night from the O'Reilly Factor. I wonder if it was just a coincidence that Juan was the guest host? I don't think so. [Smile]

The only one that's going to lose here is the CEO of PBR. [Mad]

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JWatts
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Well, she made an idiotic statement by making a veiled accusation that Juan Williams is in need of mental counseling at a public news conference. And it's very clear that Williams is furious about the comments. So she made herself look terribly bad by the comments, but regardless of her comments the entire decision to fire Williams stinks of a politically correct charade.

It's going to negatively affect NPR. Juan Williams was one of their preeminent analysts. He didn't do anything wrong. They didn't like his behavior and canned him publicly and then ridiculed him afterward. They could have eased him out the door without any hard feelings on either side, but instead they've turned the event into a pissing match.

LOL, in reading my first sentence, it's clearly wrong. The accusation wasn't veiled at all.

Fox's decision to quickly give Williams a $2 million 3 year contract was brilliant. The PR gain was worth more than $2 million in advertising and they essentially get someone of Williams caliber as a free bonus.

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