Posts Tagged ‘National Public Radio’

NPR fires Juan Williams for anti-Muslim comments: intolerance, political correctness, or a stand against bigotry?

October 21, 2010

 

“Juan Williams, Martyr to Tolerance.” That’s the title of a provocative Ethics Alarms piece by Jack Marshall. Juan Williams was fired by NPR for saying this on to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News:

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the 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.”

Marshall excoriates NPR’s action as the intolerable “intolerance of the self-righteous heralds of toleration.”

I’m conflicted over this one. I don’t think Juan Williams should have been fired, but I find his statement very unfair, and somewhere between ignorant and bigoted.

Ignorant, because Muslims wear all kinds of garb, including the sporty American look that the 9/11 hijackers apparently tried to present. Bigoted, because it’s bigotry to assign stereotypical characteristics to individuals, whether to assume that Jews are money-grubbing, that Irish are drunks, that black men are sex-crazed, or that evangelical Christians are gay-bashers.

For Americans in 2010 it’s particularly hurtful to stereotype Muslims as terrorists, as many on the political right are now doing. A scary portion of the population is buying into the idea of Muslims as “other.” It’s horribly unfair to people who are (more…)

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Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC) batters questioner, Dems defend the attacker, mainstream media do their job

June 17, 2010

Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC) was walking down a Washington sidewalk when a short (half-a-head shorter than the Congressman) young man in a suit approached him with a camera—perhaps in a cell phone—and asked him if he supported the Obama agenda. “WHO ARE YOU?” the Congressman demanded, before he lunged at the camera, grabbed the young man’s arm, and then his neck, before letting go.

My favorite ethics blogger, Jack Marshall, labeled Etheridge an “ethics dunce” in his EthicsAlarms.com. Shamefully, some in the liberal media, including MSNBC’s Chris Mathews the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza, and the Charlotte Observer, defended Etheridge. Worse, Politico reports that the DNC is blaming the Republican party.

The story on the right from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and their friends, is that the mainstream media don’t cover bad behavior on the left. Not so in this case: The incident was immediately covered by CBS News, CNN, National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, the (more…)