Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Adventures of Juan Williams

Hey Kids!  Whatever you do this Halloween -- don't dress like a Muslim
around this man -- it makes him nervous and scared.

Dear Juan Williams – Enough already! 

Unless you have been living under a rock this last past week – NPR radio commentator Juan Williams was fired because of something that he said about Muslims on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox television show. 

You see, Bill O’Reilly appeared on “The View” recently to promote his new book “Pinheads and Patriots” and as they say, all hell broke loose and life in the free world has changed for all of those in Bill’s orbit.  One of the first things that O’Reilly said on “The View” was that Muslims (not Muslim extremists) flew the planes into the World Trade Center on 9/11 which infuriated Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar enough to walk off the stage in protest.  Minutes after that incident happened – it was replayed on every cable “news” outlet, local news broadcasts, the network nightly news, Entertainment Tonight, TMZ and who knows where else.  The sad thing is – Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walking off their own show isn’t news – its show business.  The President signs a bill – Congress and the Senate vote to do nothing and then recess – The World has been proven to be flat – now that’s all news. 

O’Reilly loves to push people’s buttons and that is exactly what he did on the View and the walk-out only fueled the O’Reilly ego and has given him something to talk about for who knows how long.  I think that O’Reilly has asked just about every guest that he has had on since the View incident to give him their take on what happened.  Dennis Miller chimed in.  O’Reilly brought in ‘the body language’ expert for her take and then in comes Juan Williams.

When O’Reilly asks Juan Williams for his take on the View incident – Juan should have said nothing – because Juan is a news commentator and the View incident is not news – it’s show business – Bill was there promoting his book and he probably would have done a song and dance with the cast of the show if they’d asked him. 

But Williams responds to O’Reilly’s “Muslim” view of 9/11 by saying, “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.”

Oh, no, Juan, you didn’t say what you just said, did you?  Any time you start out a sentence and say “I am not a (fill in the blank)” and continue on by saying the total opposite of what you said you aren’t – you have just stepped in shit and there’s no way out and this time Juan, your main employer National Public Radio said enough is enough.  Commenting that you get nervous and worried when you see Muslims in full garb at an airport isn’t commenting on the news it’s admitting your racism to Fox News Channel’s biggest show business personality (not newsman) Bill O’Reilly.

I have been fired Juan and sometimes its not pleasant – but you are lucky that you have friends at Fox watching your back.  Yup, leave it to Fox News to take what is essentially an employee/employer issue and turn it into a free speech campaign and vehicle to take government funding out of public broadcasting and you Juan are a willing pawn in the Fox News game (willing because you gladly accepted that $2 million dollar contract on Friday from them).

Juan Williams being fired by NPR is not a free speech issue. Juan Williams is free to talk about all of the fears that he has in life from people in Muslim garb to some poltergeist inhabiting his kitchen cupboards all that he wants, because he was fired because his employers felt he overstep the boundaries of that of a news commentator.  I’m sure there are other news organizations that would have done the same thing that NPR did had they been put in the same situation – Fox News doesn’t feel that way – because as we all know – Fox News is a news organization much like I am a nutritionist.  

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