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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Example of Liberal Tolerance Towards Free Speech

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” — Frederick Douglass

Today the news wires have been buzzing with reports of the termination of Juan Williams by National Public Radio. Williams has been a reporter for the tax supported NPR for 10 years and was fired for his comments on the FNC Bill O’Reilly Show regarding his anxiety in boarding an airplane when he sees fellow passengers dressed in Muslim garb. This comment was made in context to a dialogue Williams and O’Reilly were having over the comments O’Reilly had made on the View a few days prior.

During the give and take between Williams said; "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous," While watching the dialogue between O’Reilly and Williams I can say that after Williams made this comment he went on to vociferously defend the Muslim community and defend their Constitutional rights.

Speaking for NPR CEO Vivian Schiller and Senior Vice President for News Ellen Weiss said in a statement; "Tonight we gave Juan Williams notice that we are terminating his contract as a senior news analyst for NPR News. Juan has been a valuable contributor to NPR and public radio for many years and we did not make this decision lightly or without regret. However, his remarks on 'The O'Reilly Factor' this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR," they said. "We regret these circumstances and thank Juan Williams for his many years of service to NPR and public radio." You can read the entire FNC report and see the video of Williams’ comments by clicking here.

Williams, a liberal African American commentator who has written extensively on civil rights in America, previously got in trouble with NPR for comments he made while appearing on "The O'Reilly Factor" in February 2009. At that time, he described first lady Michelle Obama as having a "Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going."

A few years ago Williams drew the ire of “civil rights leaders”, such as Al Sharpton and the NAACP for comments he made in his book, "Enough” attacking the current crop of phony civil rights leaders for their peddling a philosophy of victimization to the African-American community rather than preaching responsibility and self-improvement through education. Williams has a son, Tony, who from 1996 to 1997 was a Senate page and intern for Senator Strom Thurmond, a speechwriter and legislative correspondent for Senator Norm Coleman from 2004 to 2006, and in 2006 ran for Council of the District of Columbia, losing to Tommy Wells.

The driving force behind NPR’s decision to terminate Williams was the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). In an interview with Megyn Kelly, on FNC, CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper defended NPR’s decision and said that Williams had made bigoted comments affecting all Muslims. It should also be noted that one of the largest contributors to NPR is George Soros through his $1.8 million Open Society Foundations grant.

NPR’s CEO Vivian Schiller said that Williams was terminated for violating NPR’s code of ethics regarding punditry. Evidently Ms. Schiller had no problems with NPR’s legal correspondent, Nina Totenberg, when she viciously attacked Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings for Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court or when she called for retribution against Senator Jesse Helms (R NC) for his question the amounts of money we were sending to Africa to combat AIDS by calling for his death by contracting AIDS through a bold transfusion.

If you listen to NPR, which I used to do, you find the most liberal, left-wing reporters on the air, especially in the Washington, D.C. market. One of the most left-wing of the on-air personalizes is Diane Rehm who’s reporting and commentary is anti-American and boarders on Marxism. I have heard her show while working in D.C. and can state that she makes MSNBC look like a conservative network.

This is just another example of the radical left controlling the dialogue in this country. I have blogged about this issue several times and this latest example serves to support my position. Liberals, unlike conservatives, cannot stand opposing views of any kind, even from their fellow liberals. When you step out of their narrative you will be immediately tossed out of the club, or worse, thrown under the bus. This is what happened to Juan Williams. Lenin could do no better at controlling the dialogue.

NPR claims that about 2% of their funding comes from the federal government. I cannot speak to the veracity of this claim, but I surely hope that if the Republicans recapture the House they take away even that 2% and let George Soros  finance the network under his name.

I know there are many people who hold Fox News in contempt, especially for their claim at being “fair and balanced.” As a long-time viewer of FNC I can get frustrated with this F&B approach to the news, but I can see that it is probably the only major broadcast network that will attempt to present both side of an issue in a civilized manner. If we want to survive as a society we must allow diverse and opposing opinions to be heard without sanctions or ad hominy attacks of the person presenting those views. As Frederick Douglas said; “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”

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