When I began graduate school in 1984, I discovered Bob Edwards and Morning Edition and in the evening All Things Considered. I found their in-depth reporting informative and perceptive. Over the years I have continued to listen. I have regularly contributed to National Public Radio (NPR). I have also been aware that NPR had a progressive slant to their news, although in recent years that has been less prominent.
As all know this past week NPR fired long time commentator Juan Williams. I have always admired Juan Williams. His analysis has alway been good, and his insights into the African-American experience enlightening. Juan Williams, although liberal, was willing from time to time to question orthodoxy. Recently while appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s show he made a comment of being fearful when he saw Arabs/Muslims getting on an airplane. For this NPR fired him.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I see an Arab or Muslim getting on an airplane I too am fearful. This I believe is a natural reaction to what happen on 9/11. Juan Williams, I believe, was expressing a fear many have.
NPR firing of Juan Williams is clearly wrong. The worst part of it was he was fired over the phone.
Many conservatives are calling for end to federal funding of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) who in turn funds NPR. Given the recent actions by NPR they many be on to something.
I also have to wonder if the leadership of CPB/NPR are ham fisted. They are clearly aware of the looming moves to radically cut the Federal Budget, my guess is they have just given a good reason that they will be the first to see their budget zeroed out.