The Firing of Juan Williams-not justified but an issue was at stake

I am a Juan fan. He presents mostly the liberal side of issues but in a way that makes room for discussion. He is a gentleman but with backbone and a willingness to fight when fighting is called for.

I do believe his comments about fearing people in Muslim garb when about to board an airplane were inappropriate for a news analyst. A professional does not comment on personal states of being when covering an issue or group in the news. He can interview people on how they feel, summarize what research shows, analyze their fears. Whatever… But as soon as he personally identifies how he feels about a situation or person, the perception of him is changed.  When the listener is aware of the personal inner workings of an analyst when listening to the news, it is a distraction and the analyst becomes part of the news.

Juan should not have been fired, but his protestations that his feelings are real and therefore a fact are not relevant to the case. He is a news analyst who is not hired to report the facts of his personal experience. That other NPR figures are outrageously partisan is true, particular Nina Tottenberg. She should have been fired many times over. But that does not vindicate Juan. His case stands on its own.

I will look forward to seeing Juan on Fox News. I need to hear his side. But I wish he was still at NPR and not caught up in the firestorm that shows like Fox News encourage and stoke. I listen to NPR more than any other station just so I won’t have to hear all the screaming and planned antics to fire ratings, like Bill O’Reilly appearing on The View. He knew what an outrageous performance on that show would do for his exposure. And so did Whoopi and Joy. These are performers, not participants in a serious adult conversation. They are the story, and many times more so than the story they are covering.

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