Juan Williams

Did NPR really just fire Juan Williams? There can be no doubt that the comments he was fired for were incidental to the decision. In other words, the decision had clearly been in the works for some time. They were just looking for an excuse. Listen to what Juan himself says about the cell phone dismissal with Ellen Weiss: “There’s nothing you can say that will change my mind.” Well, that’s objective journalism for you. I’m willing to wager a small fortune that Weiss will dispute those words the first chance she gets if she hasn’t already. Either way, it’s pretty obvious the distaste that the “journalists” over at NPR feel is for Fox News and they would prefer to demean and discredit anyone associated with the network.

That’s the standard formula for how the elitist left wing handle debate. The Three D’s of Democratic Discourse: Dismiss, Disdain, Discredit. When an uncomfortable truth appears that runs counter to the enlightened bastion of conventional wisdom, these are the three successive approaches to discussion that are taken by the left. The town hall meetings and the tea party phenomenon were a good example.

At first, all this grassroots anger towards this president was generally ignored by the major news outlets. It was covered largely by Fox News. After it could no longer be ignored, there was the dismissive attitude: “Well, these people are mostly fringe kooks who are angry about losing the election.” That was the general attitude. When that failed to work and the movement caught fire, we got to the third D: “The mobs are angry, they’re racist, they’re dangerous to democracy!”

The same evolution can be seen here with Juan Williams. First, he contributed at Fox and that was that. Obviously, his appearances there irked the vocal left wing audience over at NPR enough to eventually get to the second D: “After those comments, NPR executives asked that NPR’s logo be removed when he appears on Fox News.” There’s the disdain: you will be punished by no longer having the privilege of wearing the NPR seal of approval. At this point in time, it should have been obvious that his days were numbered. The first chance they got, they were pulling for the third D. They finally got their opportunity.

Williams did not say Americans should fear Muslims. He didn’t say all Muslims were terrorists. All he said was what goes through the mind of every single person when they see a person dressed in Muslim garb in an airport – fair or not. If you take that individual snippet of commentary out of its context, it can be twisted to sound off color but this is Juan Williams for crying out loud. I’ve been watching this guy since his Crossfire days on CNN. There’s zero chance his point was anything racist or discriminatory. In fact, if you can listen through O’Reilly’s shouting and interrupting Williams is making that abundantly clear.

It doesn’t matter. NPR is not interested in free discussion. They are interested in preserving the veneer of liberal decorum and political correctness that is the conservative hallmark of any established organization. When I say conservative, I don’t mean the term in a political sense. I mean it in the sense that rich, established organizations will flinch at any possible threat to the calm acceptance of their dominant point of view. Thomas Paine described this conservatism perfectly in Common Sense:

“Commerce diminishes the spirit, both of patriotism and military defence … With the increase of commerce, England hath lost its spirit. The city of London, notwithstanding its numbers, submits to continued insults with the patience of a coward. The more men have to lose, the less willing are they to venture. The rich are in general slaves to fear and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a Spaniel.”

In this case, NPR’s problem is very clear: Fox News. In fact, I’d further be willing to wager that in their huffy executive meetings, O’Reilly distinctly pointing out that Juan Williams works for NPR (and calling them a bunch of liberals) was of more concern than Juan Williams’ actual comments. This irked them – and you can tell Bill O’Reilly knows it. Rather than act like journalists who are interested in free discussion, they acted like the PR department at Walgreen’s. The difference of course is that business organizations sometimes have good reason to avoid controversy. News and media organizations obviously have a different objective.

They routinely use the First Amendment as a bludgeon when it comes to say, printing photos of dead soldiers. When it comes to protecting the viewpoint of a journalist who runs counter to their silent lock step opinion, that’s a different story. Firing someone for their words is all too common in this country. The fact that it happened to an actual journalist by an alleged news organization is extraordinary. The fact that NPR is funded with taxpayer dollars is – well, something that needs to come to an end as soon as possible. The way Juan Williams was treated in his dismissal is downright unconscionable.

The beauty of our current American system is the institutionalized freedom we generally enjoy. Don’t like what Juan Williams has to say to the small NPR audience? Oh well, he can devote his full time energies to the much larger audience over at Fox News. Say what you want about Fox News and their bias. The leftist media hate the network mostly because it acts as a check to their intolerant, unchallenged viewpoint. This is the system working as it was intended to work – however ardently Ellen Weiss might wish otherwise. Tomorrow night, Juan Williams hosts the O’Reilly Factor. Good for him.