Apparently, NPR has now realized that Americans will not stand for its one-sided coverage of news.
There is a red line which one cannot cross without some backlash. Firing Juan Williams for saying what he thought, on another station, brought them to their knees.
Juan was asked what he thought and he gave his opinion.
His statement was very simple.
He said that he feels uncomfortable when he sees women clothed in Muslim garb, designed to prevent anyone from seeing them. That is his opinion. He worked at NPR to provide his personal commentary.
He also mentioned that he sees a relationship between jihad, mentioned only in the Koran as an Islamic precept, and Islam.
Nothing noteworthy here.
NPR’s response was to fire him.
When it was called on this their president, Vivian Schiller, said that maybe the matter had been poorly handled. She then remarked, that Williams should keep his beliefs to meetings with ” his psychiatrist.”
And they are calling Williams unbalanced?
The Washington Post, was one of thousands of newspapers around the country to detail the backlash.
NPR was shocked at the backlash. Here is what their ombudsman wrote on her blog:
Thursday was a day like none I’ve experienced since coming to NPR in October 2007. Office phone lines rang non-stop like an alarm bell with no off button. We’ve received more than 8,000 emails, a record with nothing a close second.
At noon, the deluge of email crashed NPR’s “Contact Us” form on the web site.
The overwhelming majority are angry, furious, outraged. They want NPR to hire him back immediately. If NPR doesn’t, they want all public funding of public radio to stop. They promise to never donate again. They are as mad as hell, and want everyone to know it. It was daunting to answer the phone and hear so much unrestrained anger.
Even NPR’s own staff expressed exasperation at the decision during a meeting Friday with NPR’s president, Vivian Schiller. Several of those who attended said Schiller told employees that she regretted how she handled the episode.
Staffers said that at the Friday meeting, Schiller apologized again for telling an audience in Atlanta on Thursday that Williams should have kept his comments about Muslims between “himself and his psychiatrist.”
Maybe she should be the one to get fired?
“There wasn’t anger” among NPR employees at the meeting, “but I did get a sense of despair and disappointment,” said one NPR journalist, who asked not to be named because employees are not authorized to speak on the record about the matter. “I got the impression that [management] felt they had acted rashly and without deliberation. When [Schiller] made the psychiatrist crack, it just made matters much, much worse.”
Williams commented: “I’ve always thought the right wing were ones that were inflexible and intolerant and now I’m coming to realize that the orthodoxy at NPR, its representing the left.”
Coming just before a national election which looks as though NPR will suffer at the polls, indirectly, the entire affair just hammered home how irrelevant NPR is becoming in American life.
It is the radio equivalent of The Daily Worker, the Communist paper, totally out of synch with the American psyche.
An NPR spokeswoman, Dana Davis Rehm, said there will be a review but it won’t second-guess the decision itself, but would focus on how it was carried out. NPR president,Schiller,declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Congress will consider whether to suspend funding for all public broadcasting.
Several Republicans have mentioned that the timing of the firing of Williams is the perfect gift for even more anti-NPR voting at the polls.
A large GOP win will be seen as evidence that the American people refuse to pay NPR’s propaganda bills.
We call on all of our readers to contact your congressperson and your local affiliate radio stations that carry NPR.
Let them know that you will not allow your money to be spent on such propaganda especially in a time of national economic distress.
The affiliates are especially vulnerable.
They are NPR’s local voice.
Cut the connection by leaning on your local affiliate.
Organize meet ups, make sure local listeners tell the stations, no more NPR.
Let them know why you will not donate.
Let them know that when renewal time comes with the FCC, you will complain that they are abusing their non-profit status.
The public airwaves are strictly licensed. If you complain, as I have against WAMU-FM, Washington, DC, for carrying NPR and abusing its public broadcasting status, then you will hit NPR where it really is vulnerable.
Contact the Federal Communications Commission. Complain against your local NPR affiliate. Let the affiliate know that you have done so.
Here is the FCC link to complain.