I just read that one of my favorite liberals, Juan Williams, was fired from National Public Radio. For those who watch Mr. Williams on Fox News Channel (the many) as opposed to those who listen to him on NPR (the few), you will recognize that Juan Williams is no conservative. But, according to the liberal elites in this country, Mr. Williams committed the unpardonable sin. What was his offense, you might ask? He dared talk about Islam in a truthful, yet less than flattering, light.
Mr. Williams, who is often a guest on The O’Reilly Factor, was asked by Bill O’Reilly whether or not he thought America was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Williams dared to express agreement with the following statement made by Bill O’Reilly:
“The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”
Juan went on to say:
“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.”
To add further fuel to the fire, Juan Williams also commented on the statement made by the Muslim extremist who tried to detonate a bomb in Times Square. Paraphrasing the very own words of this terrorist, Mr. Williams said:
“He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts.”
For most Americans, what Juan Williams said makes perfect sense. Try as they might, the liberal elites, aided and abetted by the liberal media, simply cannot convince the overwhelming majority of the American public that radical Islam is a figment of our imaginations. When a liberal like Juan Williams speaks the truth, the American people — of all backgrounds and persuasions — not only understand what he is talking about, but wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments that he is expressing.
However, when the liberal elites in charge of NPR heard these words, they reflexively heard bigotry and racism. Instead of giving their long-time analyst the benefit of the doubt, they couldn’t move fast enough to fire him and distance their elite radio establishment from him. In reality, though, the distancing began when Juan Williams left the confines of the liberal asylum and ventured over to Fox News Channel. A liberal voicing his own opinions on the right-leaning (some might say “Fair and Balanced”) FNC is simply unacceptable to the hard left. There is no room for dissent in their ranks and Juan Williams was the poster child for a classic liberal who would not be bullied into submission.
In trying to justify their actions, NPR said that Williams’ words
“were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”
Here’s a news flash for NPR officials: Juan Williams’ credibility as a news analyst just increased 100 fold because he is no longer affiliated with the likes of your “news” organization! And as for their resort to “editorial standards and practices,” I can only respond by typing LOL!
I do not know Juan Williams personally, but I have come to like and respect him, at least from what I observe on television. Does that mean that I agree with everything that Mr. Williams says or even how he says it? Of course not. Are there times when he says some things that provoke me to anger or disgust? Yes. Does his commentary cause me to think in ways that I might not have otherwise thought? Most of the time.
I am under no pretense that Juan Williams, even though he is a Fox News contributor, is anything other than a liberal. But, he’s one of “my” liberals. And, because of that, I appreciate his voice, even though I may not always agree with his premises or conclusions. And, I’ll keep watching and listening to Mr. Williams, although I know that there will be times — especially during this election season — that what he says and how he says it will infuriate me.
You know, we all have our own “Juan Williams,” someone who can often times push our buttons and can write and say things that we might adamantly disagree with. Yet, their voice is one that is influential, at least for us personally, even if for no one else. Someone that affects OUR emotions, both in positive and negative ways.
And, when we are provoked to respond in an emotional way, we can follow NPR’s lead and move to silence those with whom we disagree (sometimes vehemently) on the most pressing issues of the day — whether in politics, culture, or religion. Or, we can be true conservatives — defenders of free speech — and let all voices, even those we disagree with, ring out loud and clear in the public square and in the blogosphere! That sounds like a pretty fair and balanced approach to me. How about you?