Firing Juan Williams from NPR

Copyright 2010 by John T. Reed All rights reserved
On 10/20/10, Juan Williams appeared on Sean Hannity where he said he was pro rent control and then elaborated on why rent control was good.

That is profoundly dumb and/or ideological (Marxist). Nobody, I repeat, nobody is pro rent control except for infantile activists like the head of the Rent Is Too Damned High Party. New York City is the U.S. capital of rent control. Even the freaking New York Times has long been unequivocally opposed to rent control!

For Chrissake, even commie economist Paul Krugman denounces rent control!

Sometimes Williams says intelligent things. Sometimes he sounds like he’s trying to keep his role as liberal commenter on Fox as if it were a Hollywood acting script. Sometimes he sounds like a libertarian or conservative. He is entitled to hold various views and not fit into any one box. But my sense is Juan has no core values. Rather he is trying to walk on eggs and keep both NPR and Fox happy rather than saying what he really believes.

Fox has a lot of extremely talented on-camera people like O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Stossel, Dana Perino, Charles Krauthammer, Megyn Kelly, Lis Wiehl, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Karl Rove, Michael Barrone, Dick Morris, etc. I do not agree with all of them, but they are world-class TV performers or analysts.

Juan Williams looks like some sort of quota hire—both at NPR and Fox—a sort of random juke box that spouts off like Forrest Gump’s “You never know what you’re gonna get” box of chocolates. I have often seen him sitting between Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer on Brett Bair’s Fox All-Stars. You gotta be kidding me! Williams doesn’t belong in that company. Half the time Krauthammer and Karl Rove cannot conceal their contempt for Williams’ contributions. Juan knows it better than the rest of us. He is frantically treading water hoping he doesn’t get found out. It’s also evident in his permanent deer-caught-in-headlights demeanor.

One of the reasons Fox probably hired Williams is his now terminated NPR affiliation. It helped Fox prove balance and lack of racism.

Same is true of Fox having Al Sharpton on again and again. Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are precisely what Rush Limbaugh calls them: the race hustling “Justice Brothers” who are always available to comment on black-white matters and who get asked to do so in spite of absolutely zero qualifications for that or any other job.

As a result of being fired for something he said on O’Reilly, Wiliams is now the Fox News equivalent of a tenured professor. He is unfireable. Indeed, since NPR fired him, Fox News gave him a raise and now uses him more often.

The basic fact about Juan Williams is that he was never up to either the NPR or Fox jobs. He is not that sharp and has never worked out a coherent world view. He is a media office politician who has clumsily tried to keep his wide spectrum of bosses happy by telling them what he thought they wanted to hear.

Should there have been a big uproar about O’Reilly’s Muslim’s killed us on 9/11 comment? Nah. Everybody knew what he meant and who he is, including Whoopi and Joy. Their outrage was a phony stunt.

Should there have been outrage over Williams’s defense of O’Reilly? Also no. Hell, no one even noticed but Media Matters. They were easily able to get NPR’s Marxist leaders to finally fire Williams on this trumped-up charge.

Mara Liasson, you’re next in the Media Matters sights because you dare consort with Fox

Actually, NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting may be next. They may have Air Americanized themselves. They may lose federal funding. Percentage-wise, federal funding of CPB is not that significant. They get most of their money from coporate and charitable giving. But without the neutral imprimatur of the federal government, how many corporations will want to give to them? Is Coca Cola proud of supporting the network that fired Juan Williams? Will that get them more Coke sales, or less? This is pledge week on PBS. Are they getting calls telling them to shove their politically correct propaganda up their ass? I’ll bet they are.

They may have finally put a straw on the camel’s back that even Big Bird cannot support.

Williams’ comment about being afraid of muslims on airplanes is almost identical to Jesse Jackson’s similar admission that,

There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.

- Jesse Jackson

Everybody is afraid of muslims on planes, including the NPR CEO who fired Williams.

And then there’s the Nina Tottenberg comment that she hoped Jesse Helms and his grandchildren would get AIDs. Why didn’t PBS fired her for that?

We all know the answer.

Others associated with PBS/NPR/CPB have pulled similar stunts and made other egregious statements but were not fired because they were otherwise politically correct.

Juan Williams seems like a nice guy. I wish him well. He is not the brightest bulb on the tree. He is not Fox-level material. He always looks to me like a chameleon suddenly trapped on a plaid sports coat who isn’t sure what to do or say. Alan Combs is also not Fox material. But at least he actually has a point of view.

Great career move, Juan! Unfortunately, trying to maintain his career appears to be the only thing Juan has ever tried to do. To quote Gertrude Stein,with regard to Juan Williams’ viewpoint, “There’s no there there.”

If they want a sharp liberal regular who will help provide fair and balanced commentary on Fox, hire Susan Estridge or Lanny Davis.

John T. Reed

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