mind your business

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why NPR Fired Juan Williams: An Alternative "Conspiracy" Theory

It doesn't involve a conspiracy. It's simply what I label a theory you shouldn't take too seriously. Because it's my theory, and I'm not even sure if I do. But I can't stop wondering.

Today, NPR Senior National Correspondent Juan Williams was fired after remarks he made during a recent appearance on The O'Reilly Factor.

"Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality. 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 a plane, I've got to tell you. If I see people who are in Muslim garb, and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous..."

The official statement from NPR on Williams' termination is that, "His remarks on The O'Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."

Now, NPR can fire whomever they want. They're subsidized by the government, so that might have played a role, in terms of sheer legality. But, we're lead to believe by this public statement that William's comments were simply too offensive/racist/unbecoming for an NPR employee.

But, what if it wasn't that? What if NPR fired him, at least partly, because they're nervous that statements like that might make both Williams and NPR, as an organization, a target for terrorism?

And they're afraid of the same people they're firing Williams for publicly saying he's afraid of.

By: Eric Olsen, Regular Columnist
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