NPR/No Personal Reflections

Imagine you get to your seat on a plane, get settled in, and upon glancing around notice several men dressed in Muslim garb. What thoughts run through your mind ?

If anywhere in your thought process the word ‘nervous’ or ‘worried’ crops up, and you express this publicly, then you can not work for National Public Radio. The organization that gave us “How to Speak Tea-bag” yesterday fired Juan Williams for saying,

“[W]hen I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

They will never admit it but I suspect it’s who Mr. Williams said this to, as much as what he said, that promted his dismissal. He said it on the Bill O’Reily Show as part of a discussion on the View/O’Reily fiasco several days earlier. As a taxpayer who unwantingly supports NPR/PBS, I want my money back. What happened to freedom of speech–on another network–where someone expresse their feelings that many Americans share. We can differ on what we think or believe but we live in a country where we have a right to express it–or so I thought.

I am anything but a frequent flyer but I am 100% certain that Mr. Williams’ use of “worried and nervous” would also apply to me. A high percentage of Muslims are not airline terrorists but a high percentage of airline terrorists are Muslim. Plus I have personally observed Mr. Williams on Fox for years and I respect him as a liberal commentator and person. He is not a biggot or hater and he has expressed what he believes to be the truth on many and varied issues. Political correctness gone amuck one more time.


  1. The first thought to run through my mind would be: these are the folks who are being unfairly persecuted as a result of the actions of a few extremists within their religion. I’m not trying to be politically correct. I believe this to be true.

    Cindy, you failed to mention that NPR was in fact very critical of Fiore’s animation.

    “That said, there are problems with the Tea Bag animation. Chief among them is it doesn’t fit with NPR values, one of which is a belief in civility and civil discourse.

    Fiore is talented, but this cartoon is just a mean-spirited attack on people who think differently than he does and doesn’t broaden the debate. It engages in the same kind of name-calling the cartoon supposedly mocks.”

  2. Argue with Randy, Dan R. He wrote it!

  3. You don’t have to get all exclaimey (“!”) about it. 🙂

  4. Sorry. I don’t put that much emphasis on an exclamation point. It’s a writing weakness. If I had used two, well then, you could call me almost excited.

  5. Randy in Richmond says:

    Dan R
    The lines you quote are from NPR’s Ombudsman–after the fact, yet the cartoon is still posted. “ There will be no apology and Fiore’s cartoon is staying up, ” said Ellen Weiss, senior vice president for (NPR) news. That’s being real critical ? I think not.

    They have every right to post and broadcast whatever they desire. But to post this type of opinion on their own site and then fire Juan Williams for having an opinion on another network is hypocrisy personified. This is nothing more than censorship by a radio network that receives Federal Funds–I don’t care how small the aid is. I predict this action will cost NPR far more than the smug PC satisfaction they felt in making this move.

  6. Randy in Richmond says:


    There’s this..

    Fired NPR news analyst Juan Williams should have “kept his feeling about Muslims between himself and “his psychiatrist or his publicist,” the network’s CEO told an audience at the Atlanta Press Club earlier today.


    Then this…

    NPR CEO Vivian Schiller just released this statement:
    “I spoke hastily and I apologize to Juan and others for my thoughtless remark.”

    Then came this:

    Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes handed Williams a new three-year contract Thursday morning, in a deal that amounts to nearly $2 million, a considerable bump up from his previous salary, the Tribune Washington Bureau has learned. The Fox News contributor will now appear exclusively and more frequently on the cable news network and have a regular column on

    All this in less than 24 hours. Thanks Whoopi. Thanks Joy. I love a happy ending. 🙂

  7. It’s somewhat comical that anyone is offended by the term tea bagger. It’s become a part of our lexicon: “Tea Bagger” was a finalist for the dictionary’s (New Oxford American) “Word of the Year.”

    You read the ombudsman’s letter. Were you surprised to learn that the origination of the term was from a tea partier?

    “The Tea Party movement began with a Tax Day protest last April where organizers suggested sending a tea bag to the White House. “A protester was spotted with a sign saying, ‘Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You,”

    I think it was stupid of Williams to say what he said. If NPR did away with Click and Clack I’d be disappointed, but I’m not going to miss stupid.

  8. Well someone’s completely messed with history there. Rick Santelli started it all on Feburary 19, 2009.

    I saw it live. I’ll probably remember it forever.

  9. taking an a-political view, Mr. Williams has shown a good sense of humor without a chip on his shoulder. this is a 1st amendment right so precious to us, the press and the country. many countries are distinct due to their wardrobe, causing people to formulate different ideas. as a lawyer in employment cases there is mostly another reason/s for job termination, not mentioned .

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    Actually Dan, I’ve never said I was offended. That’s mostly a liberal thing. But I do know hypocrisy when I see it . It has nothing to do with teabags.

    How about Nina Totenberg, would it bother you to see her go ? In 1995 she made this comment,
    “if there was “retributive justice” in the world the (admittedly loathsome) Jesse Helms would “get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.” And she actually said this on a PBS station–yet she’s still there. Don’t worry, she’s safe–she doesn’t appear on Fox.

    And let me reiterate the cost this PC move will be to NPR/PBS. Rest assured there are other quotes and comments that will be dug up to illustrate the idiocy of this firing. And the last thing PBS/NPR need is a bright light shinning on their little kingdoms right now as their important fundraising time begins in a strained economy.

    And Vivian Schiller–stick a fork in her, she’s done.

  11. I’m beginning to get the impression that you don’t particularly care for NPR.

    I don’t have a problem with Totenberg saying something nasty about Helms, but his grandchildren? That was a low blow. I don’t know who Vivian Schiller is.

    The folks at NPR are human like you and me. Occasionally one of them will eff up by saying something stupid and insensitive, but the instances are few and far between. I listen to them because the discourse is civil. And considering that we seem to have a shortage of civility these days, I’ll go wherever I can find it.

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    Defeated this time, but the writing on the wall doesn’t look good for public funding of NPR. The bill to defund NPR lost by a vote of 239-171 yesterday. A little math shows that if 3 out of 4 of the 64 newly elected House Republicans vote for this bill, when it surely will be brought up in the new Congress, the vote will change to no more public funding of NPR in the House.

    Should I thank Juan Williams, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, or Vivian Schiller, Chief Executive of NPR who fired Williams, for the next vote that is sure to come. It’s a no-brainer. Schiller flipped the politically correct switch that put the the bright light on NPR and it’s public funding.

  13. I’d be happy to see the bill pass just so we can get beyond the silliness and perhaps focus on solving some of our more pressing problems. De-funding NPR should be rock bottom on Congress’s list of priorities.