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Don’t cry for Juan Williams.
Lurking ahead are probably a seven-figure book deal, larger speaking fees, and loads more face time on television. NPR fired him, reconfirming the organization as a taxpayer-supported bastion of biased liberalism masquerading as “nonpartisan.”
So it’s all good.
Williams, as liberals go, comes across as more reasonable than most. He wasn’t always like that. Years of getting his leftist butt kicked at the Fox round table by the likes of quick minds such as William Kristol, Brit Hume and the brilliant Charles Krauthammer made Williams more sensible. He raised his game, which meant fewer silly emotional arguments and a more nuanced, if still often wrongheaded, criticism of “the right.”
Williams got Krauthammered — almost on a daily basis. The intellectual firepower was so one-sided that if the Krauthammer-Williams exchanges had been prizefights, Nevada wouldn’t have licensed them. So Williams moved toward the center.
Can a lib really say to Fred Barnes/Krauthammer/Kristol/Hume that “Bush Lied, People Died” — and not get his clock cleaned? Could a lib say that the Bush tax cuts “solely” benefited the rich — without one of these gentlemen pointing out that everybody who paid taxes got a break and that the very rich, the top 1 percent of income earners, pay almost 40 percent of the federal income taxes?
Williams, post-Fox News, wasn’t the same guy NPR hired into its insular bubble 10 years ago. He became what leftists dread: thoughtful. More ominously, he learned to respect non-liberals’ points of view and to understand that their worldview is not necessarily evil.
Williams saw that rational, non-racist people can sincerely believe that ObamaCare is a disaster, that “stimulus” prolonged the recession, or that government ownership of car companies, banks and insurance companies is a bad idea.
To NPR’ers gathered at the water cooler, the centrist-trending Williams had become the clichéd Uncle Tom sellout, bought and paid for by Fox’s Rupert Murdoch. Has even one of Williams’ former colleagues at NPR come to his defense? Meanwhile, the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the ACLU and the National Association of Black Journalists remain unavailable for comment.
Incredibly, NPR’s CEO, Vivian Schiller, defended the firing this way: “A news analyst cannot continue to credibly analyze the news if they are expressing opinions (emphasis added) about divisive issues,” Schiller said. “It’s that simple. And the same would go with anybody.” Yet last year, NPR’s ombudsman wrote: “NPR’s management put (Williams) on contract with the title ‘news analyst’ largely to give him more latitude about what he says.
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