Well, in all honesty, they have been unworthy of taxpayer support for quite some time. No more than a government-funded mouthpiece of the Left, they have rarely tolerated conservative thought, and thus have been a sanctuary for those who simply do not want to be bothered by opposing views.
Now, in an attempt to cast their intolerance in stone, NPR has chosen to fire long-time Senior News Analyst, Juan Williams. His crime? According to the New York Times:
The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”
Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.
He continued: “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 the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.
Juan Williams is a liberal, but in my mind, he's a commodity that's scarce among liberals these days; a reasonable individual. For that reason, I enjoy hearing his take on Fox News, though I don't always agree. His reasonableness is on display in the views he expressed on O'Reilly and I thoroughly concur. Not surprisingly, NPR saw it differently:
NPR said in its statement that the remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”
First, given the long history of worldwide Islamic terrorism, it is difficult, if not impossible to argue with what Juan Williams said. The fact that his remarks were "inconsistent with" NPR's "editorial standards and practices" says more about NPR than Juan Williams.
Secondly, what part of "News Analyst" does NPR not understand? Their claim that he "undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR" clearly illustrates the leftist nature that NPR wants to preserve. He's an editorialist giving his opinion! Again, it appears that any opinion other than that of NPR's management will simply not be tolerated, even though NPR's middle name is "Public":
Mr. Williams’s contributions on Fox raised eyebrows at NPR in the past. In February 2009, NPR said it had asked that he stop being identified on “The O’Reilly Factor” as a “senior correspondent for NPR,” even though that title was accurate.
Alicia C. Shepard, the NPR ombudswoman, said at the time that Mr. Williams was a “lightning rod” for the public radio organization in part because he “tends to speak one way on NPR and another on Fox.”
Ms. Shepard said she had received 378 listener e-mails in 2008 listing complaints and frustrations about Mr. Williams.
378 complaints over an entire year is only one per day! Let's face it, this is not exactly a groundswell of discontent on a national radio network in a country of more than 300,000,000 people. Rush Limbaugh likely gets more death threats than that from disgruntled liberals than that in a given day, and he is not partially funded by taxpayer dollars.
It's the same old story; those who bemoan the lack of tolerance are the least tolerant of opposing views. In Juan Williams, liberals have a voice of reason; one that can be respected by liberals and conservatives alike. In the final analysis, Fox News can handle principled, diverse viewpoints, yet NPR can not