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Juan Williams fired by NPR

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by hbarcat, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    This seemingly low profile story has become a very hot topic of discussion over the past several days and it seems that just about everyone has a strong opinion about it in one way or another.

    I've been listening to Juan Williams analysis on my local NPR station for years and I've always though he was one of the most insightful and knowledgeable journalist/commentators around. What I really appreciate about him is he seems to bring up profound and meaningful points that other commentators miss.

    Since there are now countless stories about his being fired by NPR I won't link to any of them but the main two. NPR and FoxNews.



    A little background on Mr. Williams from a site that arranges for public speakers including Williams:

    Williams' breadth of experience spans over 20 years, ranging from his tenure at The Washington Post , where he served as an award-winning editorial writer, op-ed columnist and White House correspondent, to his current role as Senior Correspondent for NPR and a political analyst for FoxNews, Williams understands the hot button topics that affect the way we live and do business.

    . . .

    Williams generates informed and intelligent discussion, whether engaging an audience or appearing on Nightline, Washington Week in Review, Crossfire, and Capitol Gang Sunday. Stimulating and compelling, he is a credible and experienced voice of the media.


    I have a lot of thoughts about his being fired but foremost among them is that NPR's stated reason for it is false. They claim he violated their news standards as being a journalist precludes one from giving personal opinions on other venues. They say this compromises the integrity of the journalism. I don't buy this argument since journalists - including others at NPR - do this routinely and it's never been considered as a standards issue. In addition, his job description is "commentator/analyst" not just a news reporter.

    I can only guess that the leadership at NPR felt that it was simply a slap at them that he would be over at FoxNews (which they detest) with a much larger audience and I think this is just petty payback.

    In any case, I believe Juan Williams is much better off career- wise (as he's now employed by FoxNews) but I don't think this makes NPR look good.

    What are your thoughts on this?
  2. ()smoke()


    Feb 25, 2006
    without delving into the politics of the issue (which is how it should be considered, imo), i pretty much agree with you, aside from feeling that he's better off at Fox News (edit: or that he's one of the most insightful or knowledgeable around, but i haven't listened to him for years)

    ...even someone on NPR this morning said that media is enamored of the perception of lack of personal opinion on news topics by journalists (summarized, not quoted)...at any rate, NPR will likely reap good and bad publicity for this, but as the saying goes, it's all good...
  3. Juan Williams ain't hurting for his next meal. Shortly after NPR let him go he signed a multimillion dollar contract with Fox.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think Williams is a better fit at Fox News than NPR, and I can see why NPR let him go. As someone said, he just signed a $2,000,000 contract with Fox. I could take getting fired if I managed to get a new contract and probably a pay raise the very same day with someone else.:D

    Juan Williams is at least the third high profile journalist to be fired or forced to retire by an outlet in the last three or four months counting Helen Thomas and Rick Sanchez. Politics were at play in all of the moves. That's just the way it is nowadays.
  5. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Banned

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    I was watching O'Rielly when Juan made his comments, and I've been a fan of Juan for a long time when I've seen or heard him on Fox or NPR. While I might not agree with him, and while I think he's wrong on some things, I have great respect for the man and the way he conducts himself. What happened to him is a travesty and frankly I think the CEO of NPR should lose her job after the comment she made about him in Atlanta about how his thoughts are his own business between maybe his psychiatrist or publicist.
  6. I'm skeered to post anything in this thread :eek:
  7. ducknturtle


    Dec 28, 2006
    New Jersey
    Nothing he said should have led to a firing, nor was it even very contraversial. I have no problem with NPR's decidedly left wing slant, but I have no idea why they are being subsidized by the rest of us.
  8. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Politikal korrectness > honesty.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    NPR's federal funding is about 2% of it's budget. An amount probably much smaller than most corporate tax breaks. If it lost the money, it would easily survive.
  10. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    What the doctor said..
  11. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    meh..nothing new or exciting to see here. just business as usual I guess
  12. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    That's only true for the "National" part of NPR. The member stations receive substantially larger percentages of funding from federal subsidies which varies from station to station.

    But that seems to be a political concern which isn't appropriate for this thread (though I know you weren't the one who brought it up) and I don't really think it's relevant to the story anyway, IMO.

    And this is the relevant point - Helen Thomas and Rick Sanchez each said something that was an embarrassment to their employers because it was offensive to their audiences. In Juan Williams' case neither NPR nor Juan Williams is saying that it was the content of what he said which was offensive. This is NPR's statement:

    Late Wednesday night, NPR issued a statement praising Williams as a valuable contributor but saying it had given him notice that it is severing his contract. "His remarks on The O'Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR," the statement read.

    I heard some woman head honcho at NPR (I didn't get her name but I believe she was one of those directly responsible for letting him go) saying that the standard he violated was in going on another public forum and letting his opinions be known regarding news topics where he is expected to be an objective journalist at NPR. THIS is the part I don't understand because journalists do this all the time and it's NEVER a considered any kind of ethical problem.

    It seems to me they've wanted to fire him for awhile (which is their right, whatever the reason, as far as I'm concerned) yet they don't want to admit the reason is they think it's unseemly for him to be appearing on O'Reilly's show all the time. If that's the case they should just say so. Tell him if he wants to stay employed at NPR then he needs to refrain from appearing as a guest on shows hosted by people who are unpopular with the typical NPR listener.

    The only politics is the politics of business where backstabbing is common and people are targeted for termination for petty reasons and they get fired the instant management can contrive some way to justify it.
  13. emor


    May 16, 2004
    About time.

    Now get rid of Mara Liasson.
  14. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I've been listening to a lot of opinions regarding this story for the past two days and I'm a wide range of views from those who generally are on Juan Williams' "side" of this but I'm consistently hearing the same thing from those on NPR's "side" and that's this: They all have very negative things to say about FoxNews and this is almost always listed as the prime reason or the only reason why he should be fired. It seems just appearing as a guest at FoxNews (O'Reilly) is enough to justify termination. Apparently, a lot of NPR fans have been miffed about this for a long time - years even.

    I guess I just didn't realize how much hatred there was for FoxNews and how much that could spill over onto anyone who might be associated with them in any way, however minor. :rollno:
  15. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    Case in point - She has also appeared as a guest on FoxNews. Guess she's next to go.

    If she wants to stay employed at NPR she should be very careful about her conduct 24/7 to make sure she doesn't break some rule that NPR has but is never enforced - or one they just make up after she breaks it. :meh:
  16. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Banned

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    I'm not sure if this statement is sarcastic or pathetic.
  17. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    "Fox News" is an oxymoron... :ninja:

  18. chondro776


    Mar 6, 2008
    Very big fan of NPR in general here, though I have never really liked Juan that much (I did not 'dislike' him, he just was not one of my favorite reporters/analysts). Scott and Maura are probably my favorite regular personalities. I think Fox news is a joke.

    Biases are now all out in the open....

    I am a little dissapointed in the seemingly knee-jerk reaction of NPR. I must chuckle when I hear about the 'left leaning' qualities of the station (which are utterly ridiculous to anyone who actually listens to the station), though in this case they seem to have just dumped chum in the water for those who wish to say these things.

    To me, an analyst is by definition giving an opinion.

    I do think that the current media environment has blurred the lines between the various forms of 'journalism'. I think Fox News shares a disproportionate amount of blame in this area.
  19. beggar98


    Jan 23, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    The core issue is that a journalist admitted on the air to an inability to withhold judgment against people of a certain religion. It is that lack of impartiality that violates the journalistic standard any "news" agency should hold its employees to.

    Imagine if Brian Williams went on the air and admitted he suspected all Latinos of being illegal immigrants. Or if Katie Couric espoused a prejudicial belief that all black men were dangerous criminals. It isn't a question of their right to say what they think or of whether or not those particular beliefs go against the beliefs of their employer, but whether or not the public's knowledge of those beliefs in any way devalues their journalism.

    Think about it the next time you hear Juan Williams report on anything relating to Muslims in America. Won't his professed prejudices be on your mind? Isn't his ability to appear impartial completely destroyed?
  20. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    They should lose it.

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