Saturday, 23 October 2010

Juan Williams's "nappy-headed hos" moment [Updated]

Who wants to place a bet that NPR backs down on the Juan Williams incident? [see below]

Naturally Preppy Radio has never distinguished itself for courage in the face of pressure, and its desperate anxiousness to be part of the Beltway gang above all else has oozed from its every audio pore for decades. The sudden decision to can Williams is uncharacteristic, but the hilariously wrong justification utilized is completely in synch with the NPR approach.

Instead of saying Williams’s comments were racist and therefore unacceptable, NPR trotted out the flimsiest imaginable justification for canning him: violation of ‘impartiality’. Suddenly? Williams has faithfully played the liberal foil for the most screechingly partial medium in the history of broadcasting for years, which never bothered the public radioheads, half of whom would be delighted with a gig on Fox. True to form, NPR could not manage simply to say that racism was incompatible with its mission.

Williams then promptly showed how much of a ‘liberal’ he really is. Freed from the terrible constraints placed upon him by NPR, he penned an essay calling his dismissal ‘an outrageous violation of journalistic standards and ethics by management that has no use for a diversity of opinion’. Williams also rushed to remind us that he is black as if black people are somehow immune from having racist ideas.

Williams also accused NPR management of Stalinism, referring to the ‘one-party rule and one-sided thinking’ of NPR, which sounds pretty funny for someone now getting $2 million from the broadcast arm of the Republican Party. Williams even had to balls to compare his dismissal to ‘being sent to the gulag’, this from a guy now working for the outfit that engineered the recent Shirley Sherrod firing based on a speech she didn’t even give.

Okay, now let’s do a thought experiment: replace ‘Juan Williams’ with ‘Don Imus’, the guy who called black female basketball players from Rutgers ‘nappy-headed whores’. Run back through Williams complaint and put Imus in there instead. Would anyone be listening to this whiny shit? Or did Don Imus just have and express an unpopular ‘opinion’ that no one should get too upset about?

On top of Williams’s depressing defense of the racial demonizing of Muslims is the double standard quickly applied by one and all to the incident, including the New York Times, which stroked its grey-stubbled chin and mused about ‘competing views of journalism’ and the tension between ‘analysis’ and ‘reporting’.

Oh, please. Would the Times or any other major outlet have tolerated a reporter saying on national television that she is afraid to get on an airplane full of black men because one of them might molest her en route to the washroom? It’s an indication of how debased our public language has become that people can suppose their personal race-based stereotypes are someone else’s problem.

Not to be left behind, Time magazine echoed the ‘free-speech’ meme as if Williams were being sued or fired like Sherrod. So not only is it okay to trash a whole group of people as terrorists, but also any news outlet that doesn’t play along is undermining the Bill of Rights. What a twisted, helplessly bipedal state of affairs. No doubt it will get worse soon.

P.S. Who is going to get fired to failing to check subject-verb agreement in this cover-page headline?

[Update] Chortle, chortle.

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