Fox News has re-signed Juan Williams to an expanded role with the network in a multi-year deal, Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, announced Thursday after NPR (National Public Radio) fired Williams for his comments on the O’Reilly Factor Monday night, when he said it makes him nervous to fly on airplanes with devout Muslims.
Juan Williams, a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints, is one of the few left leaning journalist that I appreciate. Why? Because he is honest.
I very seldom agree with him but his sincerity has allowed even the most conservative to have reasoned civil discourse with him.
This is why NPR fired Willams:
What is so disconcerting about this is I’ve seen Juan many times try and defend a liberal/progressive idea/policy which logic told me was indefensible. But there was Juan, at the plate, swingin’ for his team. He does this because he genuinely believes in his liberal view. The thing that sets Juan apart from many of his counter-parts is the fact that he is honest. Thus he occasionally will agree to or cite what may not always elevate the progressive agenda but will be blatantly obvious. This is what wins me over to at least listen to him and what infuriates the left.
Many times I find myself disagreeing vehemently and screaming at the TV that he just doesn’t get it but at the same time I’ve seen the depth of feelings Juan has and how he strives to honestly convey them with a sense of fairness. I’m sure there have been times when this was difficult for him when grouped with more opposing views but he has always stood his ground with dignity. His dedication and respect for honest journalism is always apparent when he defends his perspective.
He is not a bigot. His books (see below) speak clearly to his sense of civil rights.
Juan Williams is a sweet and decent man and anyone who has come to know him will tell you that. (I don’t often use the word “sweet”)
This is why I ultimately believe this will backfire in a big way for NPR. Not only are their actions wrong but they couldn’t have chosen a nicer man to do this to.
This is political correctness run amok and more than anything reveals NPR’s left slant, especially when viewing negative comments other NPR commentators have made in the past with no consequences.
Speaking of PC, NPR just fired it’s last black man on the air. And they did it because he wasn’t their black man. He just didn’t fit the mold, their idea of what a black liberal should be.
It’s been nice to see the many people of all political stripes come to Juan’s defense. Yeah, this is definitely gonna backfire and bite NPR.
Some may find it interesting that George Soros recently gave $1 Million to Media Matters to fight the Fox News channel and Glenn Beck. He then gave 1.8 million dollars to NPR to help recruit new reporters in every state capitol.
In Juan’s words…
Yesterday NPR fired me for telling the truth. The truth is that I worry when I am getting on an airplane and see people dressed in garb that identifies them first and foremost as Muslims.
This is not a bigoted statement. It is a statement of my feelings, my fears after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by radical Muslims. In a debate with Bill O’Reilly I revealed my fears to set up the case for not making rash judgments about people of any faith. I pointed out that the Atlanta Olympic bomber — as well as Timothy McVeigh and the people who protest against gay rights at military funerals — are Christians but we journalists don’t identify them by their religion.
And I made it clear that all Americans have to be careful not to let fears lead to the violation of anyone’s constitutional rights, be it to build a mosque, carry the Koran or drive a New York cab without the fear of having your throat slashed. Bill and I argued after I said he has to take care in the way he talks about the 9/11 attacks so as not to provoke bigotry.
This was an honest, sensitive debate hosted by O’Reilly. At the start of the debate Bill invited me, challenged me to tell him where he was wrong for stating the fact that “Muslims killed us there,” in the 9/11 attacks. He made that initial statement on the ABC program, “The View,” which caused some of the co-hosts to walk off the set. They did not return until O’Reilly apologized for not being clear that he did not mean the country was attacked by all Muslims but by extremist radical Muslims.
They loathe the fact that I appear on Fox News. They don’t notice that I am challenging Bill O’Reilly and trading ideas with Sean Hannity. In their hubris they think by talking with O’Reilly or Hannity I am lending them legitimacy. Believe me, Bill O’Reilly (and Sean, too) is a major force in American culture and politics whether or not I appear on his show.
Upon hearing the news Fox News, expanded Williams contract. Juan Williams is now a full-time Fox News contributor.
What’s funny is this just adds to Fox’s credibility as being “Fair and Balanced”. Fox has a much more diverse group of commentators than other media outlets would lead you to believe. Along with independents such as Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren (Dem/Independent) Fox employs liberals Juan Williams, Geraldo Rivera, Kirsten Powers, and Alan Colmes to name a few. There is always a liberal represented on various panels such as Bob Bickel on Hannity’s Great American Panel.
Generally when the issue du jour is being discussed both sides are presented with two or more guest of opposing views… when the Dem actually appears. Many times the liberal/progressive will not accept an invitation to appear on Fox because they know they’ll have to answer “real” questions but the effort is always made to get them to come on the show and explain their position.
Fox viewers know this and it is a big reason why Fox is the most watched news channel by far.
Granted there are more conservatives on Fox than other networks but that doesn’t mean much as there are virtually none on the other channels.
Books by Juan Williams:
- Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 (1988)
- Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary (2000)
- This Far by Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience (2003)
- [amazonify]0060094532::text::::I’ll Find a Way or Make One : A Tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities[/amazonify] (2004)
- My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience (2005)
- [amazonify]0813123992::text::::Black Farmers in America[/amazonify] (2006)
- [amazonify]030733824X::text::::Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America–and What We Can Do About It [/amazonify] (2007)
- NPR was wrong to fire Juan Williams (salon.com)
- NPR axes Juan Williams after remarks about Muslims on Fox News (inquisitr.com)
- Juan Williams Fired From NPR for Comments About Muslims on Fox (crooksandliars.com)