21 October 2010

Good Riddance…………

If you start your sentence with "I'm not a bigot," you probably are a bigot.
National Public Radio has fired Juan Williams over his statements that he is scared by Muslims in public places on Bill O'Reilly's show:
I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when 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.
It's actually more than that, because while this seems to be an admission that is an admission that he will sometimes judge people by color of their skin rather than by the content of their character, it actually followed a bigoted rant by Long Island Klansman Bill O'Reilly about the "Muslim dilemma".*

So it was not just an admission of personal weakness, it is an active endorsement of O'Reilly's bigoted screed.

His explicit endorsement of bigotry is not surprising. He is Fox News' "House Slave," to quote Harry Belafonte, and he has his tongue so far up Billo's ass that he is tasting tonsils.

He was on the Long Island Klansman's (O'Reilly), and Billo had been launching into his bigoted screeds. and his seemingly mild statement validated those screeds.

I think that context and venue matter. This was not Nightline, or Jon Stewart. This was Bill O'Reilly, and fellow hater Mary Katherine Ham, in a full blown hate-fest, and they Williams basically said that it was OK.

As to the effect on NPR, I think that his leaving will be good for the network.

Williams has always been a hack, and a stupid one at that, as his truly pitiful tenure as Talk of the Nation host showed.

He has been coasting on his work writing the companion book to the PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize for decades.

I'm with Matthew Yglesias's take on this, which was that he should have been fired long ago, "on the grounds of general lameness and lack of valuable contribution to their programming."

Additionally, he has always been ethically challenged. During the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, he was a vociferous defender of Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court nomination hearings, but he neglected to disclose that he himself was the subject of credible allegations of sexual harassment of a subordinate the Washington Post.

I do find the fact that we now have two echos of Clarence Thomas's sexual harassment and perjury in the same week rather odd. Synchronicity, neh?

I'm so glad that I won't have to listen to him any more. Hopefully they can send Cokie Roberts away too.

* Which has eerie echos of people 70 years ago talking about the "Jewish Problem."


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