MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — National Public Radio has fired news analyst Juan Williams after Williams appeared on a Fox News broadcast and shared a personal opinion about Muslims and airplanes. Now Republicans are saying it was censorship, and want public funding of NPR stopped. Don Shelby says the debate over Williams’ words has gone beyond what he said.
Williams said that he gets personally uncomfortable when he gets on a plane and sees people in traditional Muslim dress. I knew when he said it that he wanted those words back, but the damage had been done. NPR fired him.
Then, Newt Gingrich, no fan of National Public Radio because of its seeming liberal positions, said the government should stop giving money to NPR because it engages in censorship.
Republicans have long tried to stop giving taxpayer money to NPR, and the Williams’ flub is just what the doctor ordered.
But, it is disingenuous. Most conservatives would have liked to quiet the liberal Williams a long time ago, flub or no flub.
It is a problem when talking out of your hat and not from a vetted script. One’s personal feelings have no place in factual journalism. Williams made a mistake. But two wrongs won’t make things right.