Thursday, October 21, 2010

Or Am I Lossing My Mind?

When I heard that Juan Williams had been fired by NPR for comments he made on Fox News, I joined all the people who were calling "foul" and then something happened that doesn't happen to me very often.  I changed my mind in mid thought.

At first, when NPR took offense at his admission that he would be very uncomfortable if he got on a plane and saw some people in Muslim garb, I said, "They can't do that! He has a right to his opinion."  That's when my little bee-brain shut down and I said, "Wait a minute!  Yes, he has a right to his opinion, but he doesn't necessarily have a right to express that opinion on NPR.  If what he says goes against his employers' policy, they have every right to fire him."

Besides, he only lost one of his jobs. He has two of them, and one of them is on Fox News, who promptly gave him a big old raise. So, Juan's ok.

I have listened to Juan Williams on many talk shows and newscasts, and liked the way he thought.  But, now, I think he's just another talking head for sale to the highest bidder.  

Stay tuned.


Margie's Musings said...

I agree. As long as he was in a position of authority on NPR, he ought not be saying such controversial things on (of all networks) Fox "News".

NitWit1 said...

Wish journalism was pure as I was taught in courses I took. Unfortunately almost everything is editorialized, even purportedly straight hard news.

I will admit pure journalism is difficult as it emobodies the journalist stepping outside him/herself to tell ALL sides of a story. And our thirst for instant 24 hour news murks the waters; therefore we receive inferior reporting.

Plus the line between editorial and hard news now is so blurred, I feel like I do with the weatherman. Go outside and stick your finger in the air to see if the wind is blowing, how hot or cold it is, is there precipitation. Be sure to keep your eyes open so you know if it is day or night.

Betty said...

Margie: Apparently, he was hired by NPR to report straight news, and by Fox to be a pundit, giving his opinions. NPR was always uncomfortable with this. I would have been, too.

NitWit1: I find myself reading more and more news sources and then making up my own mind what the truth is. We don't need 24 hours of news - there just isn't enough of it, and they resort to opinions just to fill the time. Not a good idea.

Eva Long said...

So, you liked him before you did not like him. Never mind freedom of speech. No man has a right to surpress another mans speech, period. If I read you right someone who gets fired from a job and takes another job for more money is just someone who sold out to the highest bidder? How pathetic is that thought process. November cannot come soon enough.

Betty said...

Eva Long: 1. No one has attempted to supress his speech. But a company does have the right to fire someone who doesn't follow their rules. For instance, I used to work for a manufacturing firm. They had strict rules about employees who bad-mouthed the company in public. It was a firing offense. Juan didn't bad-mouth NPR, I know, but he did break their rules several times before they finally fired him. 2. He didn't take another job for more money. He already had another job with Fox. After his firing at NPR, Fox gave him a raise. And, that's fine.

I agree that November cannot come soon enough. In fact, I've already voted.

Darlene said...

As usual, I agree with you, Betty. When you take a paycheck you agree to abide by the companies rules.

Freedom of speech is not the issue here. He can say anything he wants, but not on the air when he knows that his employer has laid down rules he must follow. If he didn't like the rules he always had the option of quitting. I say, let FOX have him and see how he likes parroting their lies.

Nancy said...


I heard on NPR this morning that a Tea Bagger had called and threatened them.

She said that if they did not rehire Juan Williams immediately she would never LOOK at NPR again....

It sounds funny, but NPR swears it's true.

betty said...

Darlene: Right on!

Nancy: OOOOOO, I'll bet that really scared them! lol

Kell said...

I love how people scream "freedom of speech" at every little thing. For the millionth time, freedom of speech does not mean you can say whatever you want whenever you want without any consequences. There are exceptions to what you can say out loud. One of those exceptions is that you can't publicly say something about a group/individual that could cause imminent or potential violence against particular persons. To say on Fox News that you are afraid to fly with people in Muslim garb is going to fan the flames of the hatred & racist fires of extremists, who think they are helping conservatives. Juan Williams knows this and said it anyway. He was daring NPR to fire him and he's using it to his advantage, which I think is what Fox/Republicans wanted, since they all have gone on a "stop funding NPR" frenzy. I wouldn't put it past the GOP to have planned this considering it came after news stories about how Republicans may not be doing as well as they thought.

Betty said...

NPR only gets 2% of its funding from the gubbmint. They'd never miss the money. What the Republicans are really doing is using it as an excuse for de-funding the NEA.