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He’s now paid to give his opinion (emphasis added), and with three decades in the news business, it is often a valuable take on today’s politics.”
Is opinion-giving by NPR news analysts really off-limits? Does “the same go with anybody,” as asserted by its CEO?
Senior news analyst Cokie Roberts called Glenn Beck a “terrorist.” Legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg once said she hoped conservative Sen. Jesse Helms or his grandchildren would contract AIDS, and she called the Bush tax cuts “immoral.”
Tavis Smiley, who once called pro-death penalty then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush a “serial killer,” isn’t a news analyst, and he works in public broadcasting on TV, not on radio. But consider this jaw-dropping — but apparently non-newsworthy — exchange on PBS between this left-wing host and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim author, as she criticized Islamic terrorists:
Smiley: But Christians do that every single day in this country.
Ali: Do they blow people up?
Smiley: Yes. … Every day, people walk into post offices; they walk into schools. That’s what Columbine is. I mean, I could do this all day long. … There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.
Now, what exactly was Williams’ “offense”?
He said people in airports wearing “Muslim garb … identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims” make him “nervous.” Because Williams expressed an opinion likely shared by a large majority of Americans, NPR’s CEO questioned his mental stability.
Isn’t vigilance, post-9/11, the job of the citizenry, part of a national neighborhood watch? What kind of twisted political correctness is it to say, as did then-Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, that a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach deserves the same level of scrutiny in an airport as does a young Muslim man from Jersey City?
NPR and PBS are supposedly nonprofit. But shows like “A Prairie Home Companion,” through a complex weave of private holding companies and licensing deals, made a phenomenally rich man out of Garrison Keillor. NPR and PBS executives and on-air talent enjoy salaries and benefits higher than the private sector pays comparable positions.
That NPR and PBS receive public money — in a world of hundreds of competitive television and radio stations — is outrageous. More galling, they push a leftist worldview while taking tax dollars from non-liberals for the privilege.
Pull the plug on NPR and PBS. No, don’t cry for Juan Williams. Cry for America.
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