October 21, 2010

Bye, bye, Juan

Juan Williams has been fired by NPR for bigoted remarks he made about Muslims on Fox News.

Good riddance, I say, because Williams was simply awful. I am just waiting for the day when Mara Liasson and Cokie Roberts are also canned.

NPR boasts of its 'driveway moments', stories that allegedly compel people to stay in their cars to listen to the end even if they have completed their journey. For me this triumvirate represented anti-driveway moments, because when they came on I would leave the car as soon as I could or if I did not have that option, turn off the radio.

Here's a hint, Juan. When you start a sentence with "I am not a bigot but…" or "I am not a sexist but…" or "I am not a homophobe but…" and so on, you should realize that you have a problem.


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Juan Williams is much better than this. i will remember him for his fine biography of Thurgood Marshall. That was another man.

Posted by juraL on October 21, 2010 12:58 PM

juraL, he sold his credibility for a big pile of Rupert Murdoch's dollars. I have no sympathy for him at all.

Posted by Steve LaBonne on October 21, 2010 01:29 PM

is the left so frightened with free speech that they "eat one of their own"...was it really what he said or is it because he is seen on fox? what is the left's and your giddiness over juan williams being fired...personally, i dont agree with juan williams's positions as a liberal/progressive, but he has the right to speech isnt a "one way street".

Posted by irs levy on October 21, 2010 02:28 PM

"but he has the right to speech isnt a 'one way street'"

Does Juan having the right to speak mean that he can say whatever he wants without repercussion?

Posted by schmoe on October 21, 2010 02:41 PM

Nobody has the "right" to work for NPR or any other employer. I thought conservatives believed people should be paid by their employers for good work, not just for existing. The journalistic quality of Williams's work for NPR has been consistently horrible. His firing is long, long overdue.

And another free clue for irs levy- being employed by Fox as their house phony "liberal" does not make one a man of the left. Quite the contrary.

Posted by Steve LaBonne on October 21, 2010 03:00 PM

irs levy,

I didn't say that Williams should have been fired for just this. The issue of what speech constitutes a firing offense is way more complicated than that. As regular readers of this blog know, I am very much in favor or people being allowed to speak freely. The problem is that only speech that attacks certain privileged people or groups gets the speaker fired. What is unusual about the Williams case is that usually people can say just about anything about Muslims with impunity.

I thought Williams should have been fired a long time ago because he was just awful in general, a bottomless source of banal beltway conventional wisdom, just like Liasson and Roberts. That is why I am glad to see him go.

By the way, irs levy, please see the comments policy for the use of names. I now delete all comments where the name of the commenter seems to connote a product or service. I am not deleting your present one so that I can respond to it but please follow the guidelines for future comments and invent a pseudonym that is clearly not promoting a service or product. Thanks.

Posted by Mano on October 21, 2010 03:06 PM

His firing was indeed overdue. But at the same time, I believe he was fired for the right reason.
Freedom of speech only goes so far. In a case like this, it is sure to stir negative emotions in what ever group is targeted with such comments on national TV.

Posted by Andy on October 22, 2010 10:11 AM

What ever happened to free speech? Everyone takes everything so personal!

Posted by Vince Van on October 22, 2010 12:13 PM


There is no constitutional right to any free speech in your work place. None.

The Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Clearly this did not happen in Mr. Williams case. His employer fired him for what he said. No rights were denied.

Mr. Williams can continue to speak freely on radio, tv, in print, on a blog, etc.

Posted by henry gale on October 22, 2010 12:42 PM

dave rosa f/k/a irs levy...didnt mean to offend you by using my "handle"....back to the topic, juan williams was fired without bringing him in for a meeting...would you like to fired over the phone? probably not...dialogue is a "2 way street" speech is not something to take away from someone, not in this country...i dont agree with most of what juan williams believes, but he seems to be a decent man and didnt deserve to be fired or humiliated.

Posted by dave rosa on October 22, 2010 01:51 PM

Henry Gale, if that's your real name, the difference is that Williams was fired from NPR for what he said on FOX, not on NPR. He wasn't on the clock at NPR when he said it. Plus, it was clearly a statement of opinion, and one I think that isn't that far out of the American mainstream.

NPR has been getting blander over the last 15 years or so, ever since Newt Gingrich threatened to end public funding for CPB, calling it a bastion of liberalism, or something to that effect. They've really become part of the problem with the mainstream media, rather than part of the solution.

Posted by Scott on October 22, 2010 03:00 PM