Juan Williams Politically Incorrect Remarks

PatriotPost.US Brief Monday, October 25, 2010

The Foundation

"When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground." --Thomas Jefferson

Opinion in Brief

"National Public Radio fired its longtime news analyst Juan Williams [last] week for saying something that many Americans feel. Williams, who also works as a Fox News Channel contributor (as I do), told FNC host Bill O'Reilly that when he gets on an airplane and sees someone in Muslim garb, he gets 'nervous.' Williams prefaced his remarks by reminding viewers that he had written several books about the civil rights movement. 'I'm not a bigot,' he said, noting that his uneasiness has a basis in fact. He recalled the would-be Times Square bomber's words last week when he was sentenced to life in prison for trying to detonate a bomb. 'The war with Muslims is just beginning,' Williams paraphrased. But Faisal Shahzad's actual statement was far more chilling. Shahzad warned those in the courtroom: 'Brace yourself, because the war with Muslims has just begun. Consider me the first droplet of the blood that will follow.' And Shahzad's tirade is only the latest in a long string of invectives by those who claim to speak for Islam. Such vile threats cannot help but provoke fear.... Unfortunately, NPR chose to punish Williams for admitting his fear. That doesn't solve anything. ... It is unfortunate that we live in a world in which one group's religious faith can make the group an object of fear. But it is not Juan Williams or others like him who are the chief culprits in this state of affairs. It is those who fly airplanes into buildings in the name of Allah who should be blamed by everyone, including their co-religionists who share no guilt for these crimes." --columnist Linda Chavez

For the Record

"NPR deemed [Juan] Williams' remarks 'inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices.' The oh-so-thoughtful people at NPR obviously believe there are certain things that can't be thought or expressed, even if those things clearly aren't bigoted and are uttered by someone who clearly isn't a bigot. In its unwillingness to tolerate Juan Williams, NPR has shown how little regard it has for even the slightest dissent from approved orthodoxies, especially if broadcast on the hated Fox News network. Just because you speak in dulcet tones, it doesn't make you any less close-minded. I often find NPR informative and enjoy my occasional appearance, but with this decision, it has chipped away at the country's shrinking common ground for discourse. Let the record show that it wasn't Fox News that severed its relationship with Williams because he said unacceptably liberal things, and it wasn't Fox News viewers who agitated to have him dumped over his appearances on NPR. It's the self-consciously tolerant people who behaved illiberally, not for the first time, and certainly not for the last." --National Review editor Rich Lowry

Political Futures

"[T]he tea party is not a 'threat' to the Republican Party, the tea party saved the Republican Party. In a broad sense, the tea party rescued it from being the fat, unhappy, querulous creature it had become, a party that didn't remember anymore why it existed, or what its historical purpose was. The tea party, with its energy and earnestness, restored the GOP to itself. In a practical sense, the tea party saved the Republican Party in this cycle by not going third-party. It could have. The broadly based, locally autonomous movement seems to have made a rolling decision, group by group, to take part in Republican primaries and back Republican hopefuls. ... Because of this, because they did not go third-party, Nov. 2 is not going to be a disaster for the Republicans, but a triumph. The tea party did something the Republican establishment was incapable of doing: It got the party out from under George W. Bush. The tea party rejected his administration's spending, overreach and immigration proposals, among other items, and has become only too willing to say so. ... Finally, the tea party stiffened the GOP's spine by forcing it to recognize what it had not actually noticed, that we are a nation in crisis. The tea party famously has no party chiefs and no conventions but it does have a theme -- stop the spending, stop the sloth, incompetence and unneeded regulation -- and has lent it to the GOP." --columnist Peggy Noonan

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