Readers of this blog know that I’m a big fan of Juan Williams. He’s one of the smartest liberal pundits out there, able to concisely summarize the Democratic position on any given issue; he also has a great deal of admiration for the president. Listening to him, we conservatives can learn what the “other side” thinks. And he shows respect for his conservative sparring partners.
Michelle Malkin who has debated him “vigorously . . . many times over the years“, points out that he argues with “respect and cordiality”.
Now, NPR has fired him because, as Ed Morrissey put it, he “made the unpardonable sin of admitting that people boarding flights in ‘Muslim garb’ makes him nervous“. According to the New York Times:
The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”
Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.
He continued: “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.”
How PC have we become when the government-subsided radio network fires a man for admitting his own fears, fears shared by many Americans in a post-9/11 world?
This is a real loss to journalism, when a liberal with integrity can’t keep a job on a liberal network. Maybe it wasn’t that comment, but the fact that he offers commentary on (and supposedly thus lends legitimacy to) FoxNews.