Friday, October 22, 2010

Juan More Victim

Juan Williams was fired from NPR for making comments on Bill O'Reilly's shout fest on FauxNews. The gist of the complaint was Williams agreeing with BillO's assertion that Muslims attacked the US on 9/11 and stating that Muslim garb at airports scared him. There has been outrage, primarily from the Right.

I got home from playing designated driver and pool partner in time to catch the PDT issue of Morning Joe and hear Mika complain that this creates fear amongst journalists and Joe note the liberal bias of NPR. Joe might need to ask a liberal about that so-called bias, though it is surely left of Limbaugh and Beck and in his mind might on that basis qualify. Mika's complaint is a bit odd coming as it has from someone who certainly didn't complain about the firings of journalists who said controversial things about Israel, something that might also be considered as chilling but about a "socially approved" group.

It seems it is political correctness run rampant when Williams is fired but good policy to fire those critical of Israel in the same sort of manner. A couple of things need to be remembered in this context, Israel and by extension Jews form an important voting bloc and political economic interest while Muslims are important for oil and nothing as a voting bloc.

The Right and by extension the GOP has spent decades trying to fix fear as the politically correct attitude. If you do not engage in fear driven politics you are accused of "political correctness." If that seems a hypocritical attitude and are surprised you haven't been paying attention. You could take about any Confederate Party of Republicanism stance and find them immediately violating that tenet if the results don't match their ideology. I give you Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law and State's Rights as one particularly egregious example.

I frankly couldn't give a rat's patoot about Juan Williams as a political analyst. The few times I've given him any attention I did not come away feeling at all enlightened or improved. I got banal talking points dressed up as analysis. The fact that Williams stepped in a dog pile on BillO's shout fest is no surprise to me and why, working for Faux and intimately familiar with that mess, he would have expected any different results doesn't seem reasonable. I won't pollute this site nor offer link credit to FauxNews by putting up the segment but fairness demands viewing the entire 8 minute or so clip to judge Williams fairly.

Williams attempted to serve the dual masters of FauxNews and Muslim-bashing and still keep some credibility as being something other than a bigot. The results were predictable and stupid. To talk about fear engendered by Muslim dress in the face of the dress of any of the terrorists is ludicrous, sorry Juan - they wore typical middle America clothing. It seems pretty sad that someone as pants wetting as that was considered an asset at NPR - or hell, any place other than Faux or Clear Channel.

Anyone who claims to be entirely free of prejudice hasn't engaged in much honest introspection. Prejudice is an emotional response to another emotion, fear. Fear is one of those types of things that help keep humans alive. Being afraid to fall from a high place is rather important in general terms. Being afraid of a sabre tooth tiger isn't a bad thing for a species. That doesn't mean that reason and emotion coincide - as Williams purported response to "Muslim garb" exemplifies - it would be as reasonable to be afraid of the Sabre Tooth Tiger in a Museum of Natural History. Dress does not equal behavior, particularly dress of cultural import, I will give gang inspired dress a second look and then rationally analyze behavior. Droopy drawers don't equal a gun stuck in my face. I might think that such dress is a silly thing that I wouldn't wear, but it does not pose an immediate threat. This is where Williams went on air and publicly endorsed bigotted behavior. His employer didn't like it since they also engage in the business of airing public statements. CNN didn't like it when Rick Sanchez did it and neither did other employers. That's one of the things about blurting out emotional responses to situations that require rational thought, stupidity will out and an employer may just not care for it.

The Right will look out for Juan, no fear *** $2M Faux contract???

1 comment:

Jeff said...

"Joe might need to ask a liberal about that so-called bias, though it is surely left of Limbaugh and Beck and in his mind might on that basis qualify"

So that's how bias is ascertained? I always wondered how 'liberal bias' labels were attached to particular programs.