Thursday, October 21, 2010

Political correctness serves no one

NPR fires Juan Williams over anti-Muslim remarks

I am not a fan of Juan Williams. He seems more like a conservative cloaked in liberal clothes, but as it seems to be the case with today's media - an isolated comment is presented as anti-Muslim but isn't when the surrounding text is read.

It didn't help that he was appearing on the Bill O' Reilly Factor whose host can reasonably be said to blame Muslims for 9-11. Thus, it wasn't the comment, but where it was made. If made on the Daily Show - unlikely any issue. And it doesn't help that he is a regular Fox analyst and commentator.

It isn't a free speech issue. A news organization's credibility rests in its employees like Mr. Williams, thus, news media have a duty to maintain that credibility - by employee termination if necessary. One may have the right to stand on street corners, or wherever, and proclaim their biases, but they are not protected from being fired.   

But when one makes a statement - it is not unreasonable to expect that the context of that statement be considered. It is only fair to be judged on the meaning found in the full text. Mr. Williams' words when viewed in total covey the opposite to the isolated text seized upon by NPR.

Sadly, news organizations, even NPR, are preemptively offering sacrificial lambs to appease some minority group that might voice even an ignorant claim.

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