Friday, October 22, 2010

The Poster Guy for Really Disgruntled Employees: The Grotesque Mr. Juan Williams

Having been in the media for 25 years, I know firsthand that what happened to Juan Williams is not unique or unusual, but it is a revealing look at Williams character. He’s a disgruntled ass raising his conservative cred because of his newly signed deal with Fox News. In fact, his $2 million deal should make him less likely to lash out at his former employer. But that would be classy. Not when you can exploit it, and portray yourself as a victim of the “liberal press.”

For years, conservatives have called NPR a liberal network, a characterization was not true. In their attempt to be fair to both sides, NPR did the right thing, staying in the middle and exorcizing outrageous commentary.

But let’s get back to the ungracious multimillionaire Juan Williams. Whining about his misfortune, and energizing the conservative knuckle draggers who want to defund public radio, Williams is the poster victim of the month:
MSNBC: Ousted NPR analyst Juan Williams said Friday that he believes his former employer had been looking for a reason to fire him and used comments he made this week about Muslim airline passengers as an excuse to do so. Williams said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that he believes NPR had wanted to fire him for some time because they disapproved of his appearances on shows by his other employer, Fox News. "I think they were looking for a reason to get rid of me," he said Friday. "They were uncomfortable with the idea that I was talking to the likes of Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity." Hannity hosts another Fox show.
As a former radio guy with a long list of my own firings, I have never heard a more insipid display of crying. Here's Toure', the host of Fuse's "Hip Hop Shop," and his commentary on Juan that hits the mark:

The typical Republican response and a preview of what a GOP congress will spend its time on:
In response to the firing, South Carolina Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint announced Friday that he will introduce legislation to end federal funding for public radio and television. "These programs should be able to find a way to stand on their own," he said in a statement. "With record debt and unemployment, there's simply no reason to force taxpayers to subsidize a liberal programming they disagree with."
Liberal programming? Hardly.

Policy against 'punditry and speculation' -In a memo to her staff and affiliate stations, Schiller said the comments violated NPR's code of ethics, which says journalists should not participate in media "that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis."
Unless Republicans would rather have NPR start providing commentary?

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