October 22, 2010

On Juan Williams

So NPR has fired Juan Williams for commenting that he is afraid when he sees someone in "Muslim garb" on a plane. I guess it was an overreaction, but I don't feel especially bad for the guy, especially now that he's been, essentially, rewarded by Fox with a huge raise.

Williams a "Fox News liberal," along with Kirsten Powers and Alan Colmes- his job is to argue the "liberal" side, usually against two or three conservatives at once, and to concede about 60 percent of the argument to the other side on every issue. If he were actually a liberal no one on the right would be defending him- and he certainly wouldn't have gotten a multimillion dollar contract from Fox.

Sullivan is right:

So if you say that all terrorists are Muslims (untrue), you're fine with Fox. If you blanketly conflate American Muslims with al Qaeda, as O'Reilly did on The View, you're a Fox star. And if you're a "liberal" hired by Fox to legitimize the bigotry of your paymasters and say it's legit to fear anyone wearing Muslim garb as a terrorist (also empirically ludicrous), you get a raise.

This is a political pre-election campaign to whip up anti-Muslim fears in order to smear even further the president, and now associate NPR with Islamist terror, and rally to defund it. And it is deeply counter to success in the war against Jihadism, by lumping every Muslim American and every non-Jihadist around the world with al Qaeda, exactly the way to lose this war in the long run, and not win it.

And so is Dan Kennedy:
To me, Williams was clearly a victim of Rick Sanchez syndrome. That is, Williams was not an asset to NPR, and management was probably happy to stumble upon an excuse to get rid of him. Williams is a supremely uninteresting occasional commentator who will not be missed. What he said was offensive, but if he were a star hed have been let off with a suspension and an apology.

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 22, 2010 12:34 PM
Comments

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