It might surprise you to know that I support Juan Williams, who I only occasionally agree with when he voices his opinions relative to the political arena. We come from the opposite ends of the political spectrum, but I will defend to my dying day his right to his opinions and his right to voice them.
It is clear to everyone who has viewed recent television news programs just what Williams said, and what he did not say. As a matter of fact, I happen to agree with Williams’ statement that he becomes nervous when he sees individuals in Muslim dress boarding an airplane. That in itself does not make Williams or me a bigot, just honest. However, it was deemed by National Public Radio (NPR) that his remark did not meet their "politically correct" standards.
NPR had the right to fire Williams if it was believed that he broke their published rules, but I do not think they were honest in their announced justification for termination. Let’s be honest, NPR fired Williams because he continued to voice his personal opinion on a competing television program which NPR does not endorse that has a huge audience. His contract with NPR allowed him to also work for other media outlets.
Williams deserved to have a face to face meeting with his boss at NPR and the opportunity to defend his position. However, NPR chose to fire him on the phone. The end result of this fiasco is that Williams has been hired (brilliant move by Fox News) at a substantial salary, and the publicity of this incident will no doubt increase his popularity. Fox comes out ahead by introducing another divergent voice to its already popular programming line-up.
NPR has opened a can of worms, and the ultra-right feels justified in questioning the federal funding to promote a liberal agenda that includes Public Broadcasting (PBS). NPR management’s narrow liberal focus failed to consider the consequences of their shoot from the hip action. Let the debate foment through the Halls of Congress at a time when everyone wants to cut expenses.
Both PBS and NPR have failed to consider the fact that with the passage of time their method of operation has evolved from a totally non-commercial operation to today where they constantly beg for contributions from their audience, secure re-transmission revenue from their local cable companies, and then also air a limited number of commercials. Thus, what was originally justified in the non-commercial format is no longer appropriate for Congressional financial support. Why should they continue to feed at the taxpayer’s feed bag?
In the end Fox wins, Williams wins, and NPR looks petty resulting in their loss of William’s valued liberal voice. All this is taking place in the name of political correctness that has run amok inhibiting an individual’s protected right by the Constitution’s 1st Amendment. What in the hell is this world and country coming to?