Much has already been said about Juan Williams’ firing from NPR, and there is little I can add. The item that strikes the hardest blow is at Chicago Boyz. It is a must-read. All I want to add is that, after watching Vivian Schiller justify the firing, I feel defiled, as if she had deliberately dunked me in an open sewer, to the sound of millions laughing at me.
What Schiller said is a complete reversal of reality. I have listened to NPR for forty years now and, over the years, I have seen the quality of commentary steadily deteriorate from intelligent to silly, from decent news coverage to all opinion, and often quite malicious at that. And, of course, she had to resort to an ad hominem attack. Psychiatrist, indeed. Difference in opinion equals mental illness, indeed. This is Moscow, 1938 or Berlin, 1938. Take your pick.
I have not often agreed with Mr. Williams, I often thought him wrong and/or simple-minded. But his input has always been indispensable because he is a profound thinker who argues cogently and intelligently and who truly respects differences in opinion. In this situation, I might dust off a cliche and say that we are all Juan Williamses now.
A couple of recommendations, in addition to defunding NPR:
Mr. Williams should write an expose of the inner workings of NPR. It would make a fascinating read for anyone interested in propaganda. (I’m sure that’s already occurred to him.)
Schiller should be fired and sent to do penance on some shovel-ready project (the NAS Oceana MWR stables come to mind), and Juan Williams should be hired in her stead.
I’m sure the latter will never happen, but it’s a thought.
As to the tone of this missive… I must admit that this event has me running scared and, as a consequence, I might not be thinking straight. But that’s another story.