The Ministry of Truth: National Public Radio
If there are any defenders of free speech out there who are undecided about whether to vote in this mid-term election or not, the firing of Juan Williams, National Public Radio’s only African-American on-air journalist, should get them to the polls in droves.
Last week, Juan Williams was on Fox News trying to get Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly ‘Factor” to be more careful about making statements that could be taken to imply that all Muslims are radicals like the 19 Muslims who murdered over 3,000 Americans on 9/11. After getting O’Reilly to concede the point about distinguishing between the radical Muslims and other Muslims, Mr. Williams went on to say, “Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. But when I get on a 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.”
While we might forgive Williams’ run-on sentence, NPR president, Vivian Schiller, speaking from NPR’s Ministry of Truth, was unforgiving in her Orwellian condemnation of Mr. Williams. As she fired Juan Williams, Ms. Schiller said, “Juan Williams should have kept his feelings about Muslims between himself and his psychiatrist or his publicist.”
Mr. Williams, as those who have heard him on NPR or watched him on Fox News well know, is a liberal through and through. In fact, Williams has written several best-selling books about the civil rights movement and his role in it. The back story, however, is that Juan Williams’ willingness to engage in honest debate with both conservatives and liberals on Fox News gives the liberal executives at NPR the vapors. At NPR, there is only one viewpoint and that is the world view of the liberal Left. There is no debate.
On the same day the president of NPR was busy firing Juan Williams, Ms. Schiller also found time to accept a donation of $1.8 million dollars from left-wing, multi-billionaire, George Soros. Go figure.
Ironically, one of NPR’s favorites is African-American leader, Rev. Jesse Jackson, who once referred to New York City as “Hymietown.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson also said “There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery—and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” Nevertheless, at NPR, Jackson gets a pass. Williams does not. Clearly, NPR’s Ministry of Truth uses a double standard with regard to which kind of free speech is permissible and which is not.
Leading the charge to remove your tax dollars from public radio and TV are Congressman Doug Lamborn (R) and U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R); however, that probably won’t happen because too many soccer moms fear the de-funding of public television will cause Big Bird to starve and the de-funding of public radio will be the end of classical music and Western Civilization.
Speaking of free speech, while the stage was being set in Los Angeles for an appearance of the Obamessiah, the local stage-hand union fired one of its workers for wearing a ball cap and sweatshirt bearing the name of (drum roll) no, not former President George W. Bush, but the name of former President George H.W. Bush. To paraphrase George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some free speech is better than some other free speech.
So, the future of free speech in this nation may come down to how many true conservatives can get elected or reelected to Congress on November 2, 2010. They could be Republicans or Democrats or Independents. What matters is their willingness to defend the principle of free speech for everyone, not just for the favorites of the ruling-class media.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2010. William Hamilton.