Thursday, October 21, 2010

Perfect Confirmation: They Tell Me Three Times

So, I just noticed that people are all a-Twitter about a recent personnel decision made by NPR. About fucking time, was my first reaction, but I Googled to see what the details were. First hit, just from the headline, tells me NPR got it right this time:

Juan Williams Whining on FoxNews about being fired by NPR ('for telling the truth')

Also, this, from the NYT:

Mr. Williams has not responded to other interview requests, but he will talk to Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly Factor” Thursday night.

And: Sarah Palin rushed to her Facebook, to defend him and to bash NPR.


Have I already shared with you my suggestion that we refer to him as Wan Williams? [1] I'm sure Fred Pohl won't mind too much. Meanwhile, door meet ass, and good riddance.

[Added] Shoutout to @ctuckerAJC:

Note to Juan Williams' fans: His 1st amendment rights are intact. He just won't be paid for them

[Added2] Except, of course, by FoxNews, to the tune of two million bucks. Who says slime doesn't pay?

[1] Comment from Donald Douglas about how THIS PROVES LIBRULS ARE THE REEL RASISTS!!!1! in 5…, 4…, 3…


Don McArthur said...

Nope, you're wrong about this. And so is NPR.

bjkeefe said...

You're welcome to make your unsupported assertions, but if you expect me to respond to them, you'll have to do a little better.

For the record, I don't care whether Wan was fired for this one thing, or rather, as I suspect, this was just a convenient excuse. As with Rick Sanchez, as with Don Imus, as with any number of other cases I could think up if I cared, in and of itself, I would not support the firing of a person for a single remark or a single wacky interview, no matter how boorish, provided an appropriate apology was delivered.

However, in Wan's case, I have thought for years that it was unacceptable of him to be on salary from FoxNews while also cashing a check from NPR. Look back at the beginning of the post where I describe my initial reaction.

Just so you know where I'm coming from.

Don McArthur said...

Oh, I know where you're coming from. I'm just disappointed by it, because the issue to me is free speech. And that trumps the mindless manufactured partisan bickering that our politics has devolved into.

It's all a minstrel show, a cartoonish lampooning of exaggerated stereotypes for the benefit of the real power players.

bjkeefe said...

We're far more aligned than in opposition on this. You must know by now how vehement a supporter of the principle of free speech I am. I'd say this, though:

There's a difference between the right of free speech and demanding that one continue to get paid a salary no matter how boorishly one exercises that right. In this case, NPR is not telling Wan that he can't speak his mind; they are merely telling him enough has become enough, and you're no longer going to do it on our dime. I'd add that they and their money are the main reasons he has gotten to the position of prominence he now enjoys, not least of which is a big salary bump at the other job they invited him to attend full time.

And again, the previous paragraph notwithstanding, I am not a full-throated supporter of his having been fired by NPR for this one event, in and of itself. As I said previously, I don't think this is the whole reason. And to that end, I came over here just now with the original intent of posting this bit from Roy Edroso that I just happened across:

As for me, since everybody seems to be asking each other this, no, I wouldn't have fired Juan Williams, because I would never have hired Juan Williams in the first place. He makes Alan Colmes look like Alexander fucking Cockburn.

Yes, I agree with you that all too much of our political discourse has become a simplistic show. But I dare say that NPR is near the bottom of the list of those who deserve blame for that, and that Fox is near the top. And on that score, Wan deserves more than a little opprobrium for the choices he has made, starting years ago. If he wants to go on stage and suck Bill O'Reilly's dick to augment his income and increase his time in the spotlight, that's up to him, but that show isn't going to play forever in every theater, and he had to have known that. And if he was too stupid not to, then why does he deserve to get paid for being an "analyst" in the first place?