No matter what your political beliefs are – whether you go left or right, Fox News Channel or MSNBC/CNN – everyone should be outraged by National Public Radio’s firing of longtime analyst Juan Williams.
NPR fired Williams for comments he made on “The O’Reilly Factor,” where he had been a frequent contributor. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for Williams, he was a lot more honest about his feelings about Muslims in traditional garb in a post-9/11 world than most folks dare to admit. He confessed that he gets nervous whenever he sees Muslims in traditional attire on a plane.
Williams, to his credit, was open with The Dirty Truth about his feelings. Most people are too ashamed or PC to admit the fears and prejudices they have. Williams never said he was proud of it; he never demanded that anyone subscribe to his feelings. He was being honest – and giving his opinion, which is what analysts mostly do.
What happens? About 36 hours later, NPR gives Williams the axe, without so much as giving him the courtesy – the decency – of a face-to-face meeting with the corporate honcho that wanted his head.
Listen folks, NPR was long aware that Williams was a frequent face on Fox News Channel. It’s not like he could hide it. Besides, wouldn’t they have to give their blessing to that type of thing? It’s also well-known within news industry circles that NPR didn’t really like what Williams had to say on FNC. He didn’t say the things they thought he should say.
But to fire a man for giving his honest opinion – which is what he was supposed to do as an analyst – that is an absolute disgrace. When Bill O’Reilly, Whoopi Goldberg and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough all fall under the same tent of agreement and defend the same person, you know someone’s been done wrong. And Williams, often an eloquent voice of careful thought and reason and honesty on Fox, was done wrong. That’s The Dirty Truth.