NPR fires Juan Williams for anti-Muslim bigotry

On Monday, I documented the glaring double standard in our political discourse generally and in the world of journalism specifically, whereby anti-Muslim bigotry is widely tolerated, while those perceived as expressing similar (or even more mild) animus toward other groups are harshly punished (see, for instance, Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez). That double standard suffered a very welcome blow last night, when NPR announced it was firing its ... Full Story »

Posted by Jon Mitchell - via Glenn Greenwald, Memeorandum
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Posted by: Posted by Jon Mitchell - Oct 21, 2010 - 6:56 AM PDT
Content Type: Article
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Edited by: Jon Mitchell - Oct 21, 2010 - 12:47 PM PDT
Jon Mitchell
by Jon Mitchell - Oct. 21, 2010

Greenwald says that he doesn't generally support journalists losing their jobs over controversial remarks, especially in isolated cases, but given that it's the way things work in the U.S., he wants the practice to be applied fairly. He views the firing of Juan Williams as a welcome correction of a double-standard in which anti-Muslim remarks are often not punished to the same extent as remarks against other groups. He cites several other recent cases to support his interpretation.

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Patricia L'Herrou
by Patricia L'Herrou - Oct. 21, 2010

taken as a whole, that is, with the updates by the writer, this story offers an insightful analysis of the arguments against the firing of williams by npr. it doesn't go into the reason why free speech shouldn't apply to a news analyst, but it makes clear that all remarks that imply bigotry should be treated the same.

i would comment on how someone working for a respected news organization did not have the good judgment not to talk to a fox news commentator, and on air, about this, even if he might discuss it privately with someone. npr is clearly right that his public views would reflect on npr's news coverage.

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Jack Dinkmeyer
by Jack Dinkmeyer - Oct. 24, 2010

A “cut to the bone article” pulling no punches and making the excellent point that if liberal journalists can be fired for outrageous opinions, why not return the favor when right winger journalists spout their outrageous opinions? But no, life is a one-way street headed only in conservatives' direction. They’ve cranked up their screaming Bogeyman machine, shouting their usual piffle about free speech, being quoted out of context, left wing unfair attacks, and God knows what else. All intended to cover up the fact that NPR should have dumped Williams eons ago.

Again, pictures and sound of television journalism present Williams–context or not–conclusively spouting what is basically a mantra of bigotry. As for “poor picked on” Williams, Fox just gave its token liberal a two-million dollar contract for his excellent work, far more than he ever earned at NPR. The reason right wingers want the government to punish NPR by cutting of its funding is because of an NPR executive’s insultingly outrageous statement that the problem is ... More »

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Priscilla L. Davis
by Priscilla L. Davis - Oct. 22, 2010

This is excellent journalist analysis based on a sound reading of the fact as they occurred. A bigot by definition is someone who experience fear, revulsion or other objectionable responses towards another person not based on that individual's personal reality but based on a preconcieved or prejudiced views of that person's religious, ethic, sexual, gender, or racial group. I would not assume that all whites are racist because the KKK is made up of white people and therefore.....that's sick.

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Neil R. Anderson
by Neil R. Anderson - Oct. 22, 2010

Greenwald supposes that there is a "glaring double standard in our political discourse generally and in the world of journalism specifically, whereby anti-Muslim bigotry is widely tolerated, while those perceived as expressing similar (or even more mild) animus toward other groups are harshly punished (see, for instance, Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez)."

But Greenwald's comparison does not apply here. Williams' comments were inarguable because they merely ... More »

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Roland F. Hirsch
by Roland F. Hirsch - Oct. 21, 2010

This blog post has minimal journalistic merit. The author presents his own views without providing any context. The Obama administration recently reported that there were four times the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes in the U.S. than anti-Muslim hate crimes in the last full year tallied, even though the populations of the two groups are similar. He does not know about the dozens of cases of action to stop speech by conservatives on college campuses and dozens more of conservative newspapers being trashed or outlawed by campus authorities. Thus the context entirely negates the opinion of the author.

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