Reaction is swarming in about the Axe Heard ‘Round the World, and it’s already creating some strange bedfellows…
How badly do you have to screw up to get Whoopi Goldberg and Bill O’Reilly to agree on allowable opinions about Muslims?
The last time the outside world cared what went on at NPR was when they ran Mark Fiore’s stupid “Learn to Speak Tea Bag” cartoon. Here’s what Juan Williams’ ex-boss, Ellen Weiss, had to say about that:
There will be no apology and Fiore’s cartoon is staying up, said Ellen Weiss, senior vice president for news. “Opinion and satire are going to sting some members of the audience and soothe others,” she said, noting NPR has received some positive feedback. “This one satire is not the only coverage on the topic and while it offends some members of the audience, I see no reason to remove it.”
Juan Williams’ opinion — expressed outside his NPR duties — stung some members of the NPR audience. It wasn’t the only coverage on the topic. But it offended some members of the audience, so Ellen Weiss saw good reason to remove him.
It should be noted that the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent around a press release on Wednesday afternoon. CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad called for action against Williams: “Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR.” The New York Times somehow omitted CAIR from its Juan-is-gone story.
Funny how that sort of thing tends to happen. Almost as funny as their apparent belief that nobody will notice.
Meanwhile, in al-Albion: Cafe owner ordered to remove extractor fan because neighbour claimed ‘smell of frying bacon offends Muslims’. What doesn’t?
P.S. Matt Welch is correct, which tends to be the case.
P.P.S. Something tells me there’s going to be a very, very long meeting at NPR HQ about all 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.
This should do wonders for NPR’s public image of insular arrogance. (The NPR hack in question has now apologized.)
P.P.P.S. No, this is not comparable to Helen Thomas getting fired, unless there’s video of Juan Williams telling all the Muslims to go back to Mecca.