Censorship at NPR

By now many of you are probably aware of what happened the other night. Juan Williams, a long time reporter and news analyst for NPR (National Public Radio), was fired two days ago for speaking his mind while appearing as a guest on The O'Reilly Factor. It wasn't because he threw a desk, or got up and punched someone in the face, or that he lied, or did anything wrong. No, they fired him for speaking his mind about his personal feelings with regard to muslims and being on an airplane with them.

The exact quote:
I don't want to get your ego going...you know Bill, I'm not a bigot...but...but when I get on a plane, I gotta tell you if I see people who are in Muslim garb and, you know, I think they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims I get worried, I get nervous...


For this, NPR immediately terminated his contract as a news analyst, and despite the huge firestorm that has erupted since then, they are standing by their decision.

So how does this qualify as censorship? For those who are not aware, NPR is funded in part by taxpayer dollars. They are effectively an arm of the federal government. This falls squarely under a violation of the First Amendment protections for free speech. Williams is entitled to speak his mind as he sees fit, and the government has no authority to regulate this. I don't generally agree with a lot of what Juan has to say, but he is honest about his positions, debates them with others in a respectful manner, and handles himself with the utmost of decorum in his public life.

George Soros has recently donated millions of dollars to get NPR to hire more "journalists" in an effort to cover the midterm elections. Any organization which accepts funding from George Soros (via the Tides Foundation) does not have any legitimate need to be leeching off of taxpayer funding. They can survive just fine on their own, and when the feds stop sending them money they'll be free to be as bigoted and intolerant and biased in favor of monolithic left wing thought as they want.

For this gross violation of Juan's right to free speech, NPR needs to have all federal funding terminated immediately. Censorship has no place in America.

As a foot note, Juan Williams has been offered an extended contract by Fox News to become a full-time news analyst for the network, which is reported to net him an increase of $2 million salary. I wish him good fortunes in his new role.
.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Oct 22, 2010 7:29 pm by Samson in: | 157 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
Maybe making racist statements on air, be that in his own program or someone elses, is against the terms of his contract. When you sign a work contract you give up certain rights that an individual might have, because, the employer wants to keep their image and integrity clean and intact, and people do not see Reggy the Reporter, they see NBC, CNN or FOX. So without seeing the terms of his contract, it might be fair to assume that he did not have the right to free speech or be in a position to offer his personal views at all during that interview.

Good thing for him, being fired has resulted in a pay increase.

       
Fury may have a point in that, without knowing what breach of his contract he was actually fired regarding, we don't really know if it was a question of free speech or another issue entirely. As to it being a racist statement, who wouldn't be a bit concerned these days seeing folks getting on a plane with you in full muslim regalia??

I do agree that for a $2 million raise, I'll bet he isn't that worried about being released from his contract with NPR himself.

       
Well don't take my word for it. Take it from Juan Williams himself. He was fired point blank for what he said on O'Reilly.

You're also failing to see the point - NPR is publicly funded. Meaning with tax dollars. That means it's essentially government radio. This isn't a generic cry of censorship here, this is the real deal, Big Brother style.

       
Well, clearly Fox has no issue with him speaking his mind. Between that and Fox's refusal to blindly endorse Obama in the past, maybe Fox should be getting NPR's government funding instead. Should we demand a special election in order to tell our government where we, the people, want our tax dollars spent? Could we even manage it in this day and age?

Face it, Samson, we've all known for years, even those of us who still refuse to admit it, that Orwell was right about his entire notion of Big Brother in every facet except for the time line. We're basically there and we have been for some time now, well before Obama if we're honest about it, but it's definitely becoming rapidly more pronounced as the government determines that most of us don't care enough to notice and the ones who do aren't in positions to effectively do anything about it.

[Edit] In fact, if you want to be totally honest about it, Orwell was not the only one to predict that government would become like this. Look at Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury or To Serve Man by Rod Sterling, and those are just the first couple of examples I could think of off the top of my head (and still remember the titles of to find corresponding links for...), but I do recall several others as well, even if I don't remember their titles well enough anymore to find links for them.

       
Edited by Conner on Oct 23, 2010 12:21 am
Nope, Fox has no issue with him at all, whether he speaks his mind or not. He wouldn't be a regular guest on so many panel shows like O'Reilly and Hanity if he were a political hot potato. I think anyone with an ounce of sense can see this was about NPR being pissed that he appeared on Fox and openly told everyone he was an NPR analyst. He used to have a radio show there but NPR pulled him off of it because he wouldn't toe the progressive line.

Yes, Orwell was definitely right. You can see 1984 everywhere you look, and not just here in the USA either. It's gone viral, world wide. A cancer spreading that needs to be stopped. Unfortunately the only way to stop it isn't something any of these pundits on either side will talk about openly.

       
Oops, took too long with my edit. :redface:

It really does sound that way. Actually, it sounds like NPR's been trying to find an excuse to fire him for representing himself as their agent for quite awhile but knew, for whatever reason, that they couldn't get away with it before this. :shrug:

Yes, it is going worldwide mainly because other governments are neither blind enough to not see it working here nor stupid enough to not realize the benefits to that sort of society for those in the government. If it's working here, why wouldn't they want it there too?
No, the only way to stop it is going to be for the public to refuse to continue to take it and basically that's very likely to lead to a government being toppled completely, certainly not what anyone in government wants to see happen.

       
@Conner

Well, we pay the taxes to the government so we have the right to be able and stand up and tell that we don't want any more of this shit. And yeah, you're right, its going worldwide. In my country at least, there was recently an attempt to put a government filter on the internet (stopping child porn was the excuse, even though the filter didn't actually function in a way that could stop it), though I think it was brought down due to general outrage from the public. One thing's for sure though, these things are going to get through in Australia eventually though (in fact, they almost certainly already have) :headbang:

On the actual comment made by Juan though...I don't see how what he is saying could be deemed as offensive. He's not said anything that actually criticizes Muslims. Its an irrational fear, yes (what terrorist is going to dress up as a Muslim?), but I mean...well, check this out. There's a lot of people share his same irrational fear in Australia too.

       
Yes, but the mere fact that we pa taxes so that we have that right (amongst many others that the government clearly handily ignores) doesn't mean that anyone will actually listen.

Oh? Was it actually dropped then? I thought I'd read that it was just delayed for awhile so they could revise the original plan, but I could easily have been mistaken on that one as I can't honestly say I was watching it as closely as I could've been.

Hmm, you do have a point, most terrorists aren't going to advertise themselves and risk being stopped before they achieve their goal. Even so, when you're about to board a plane, seeing someone advertising that they're of a large group you know to be at least segmentally responsible for the majority of terrorism in the world, how can you help but be concerned? In fact, can you honestly say that it wouldn't bother you at all to enter a bus, plane, building, etc behind someone essentially advertising that they're completely rejecting your societal culture for one that is known to be at the root of the majority of today's terrorism?

       
Well, one or two or three or four Muslims wouldn't bother me, but a big crowd that represents a decent portion of the people in the area certainly would. Yeah, I can emphasize with Juan. That said, Australia hasn't had to put up with Muslim terrorist attacks and doesn't have quite the same booming media outlets to fill us with fear (actually we do have those sorts of outlets, but they're enormously incompetent), so my natural mindset probably isn't on the same sort of high alert as the average person in the states.

As for the other two points...

Yeah, there's no guarantee anyone will listen :sad:

As for the internet filter, I'm not sure whether its been canned or delayed, but I can promise you that shit will fly if our government decides to bring it back into contention.

       
That sounds fair enough. We may very well be getting hit much harder with the propaganda that affects how we perceive Muslims here, but you can clearly understand how we feel and why.

It'd be nice. Unfortunately, the reality is that no one's going to suddenly declare a special election to see if this is what we really want and no one's going to take a few voices onine seriously enough to go reallocating budget allotments that were determined last year or even to just seriously reconsider how next year's budget should be allotted. :shrug:

:lol: Well, I suppose time will tell yet then. ;)

       
Ah, actually, the Republicans have picked up the issue and are planning to add it to some thing they're doing for "what does the public want cut" when they win Congress in 2 weeks. I'd be tickled to death if NPR lost its funding over this. It would be about time, they haven't been a legitimate source of whatever they used to peddle in years. Probably decades.

(edited - typo)

       
Edited by Samson on Oct 23, 2010 7:00 pm
Ah, actually, the Republicans have picked up the issue and are planning to add it to some thing they're doing for "what does the public want cut" when they win Congress in 2 weeks.


Hasn't the GFC been great! :smile:

(sarcasm)

       
Hmm, how'd the Republicans pick up on this on? Not that I'm unhappy to hear that they did, but let's face it, it's not exactly a high profile major event that's triggered national highly visible protests...

       
It triggered a swift and sound response from practically every commentator on Fox News for one thing. The Republicans in Congress are not as out of touch as Nancy Pelosi would have us believe. Plus even the LA Times editorial section came to Juan's defense and said NPR was utterly wrong. The only place I've found who thinks Juan got what he deserved is Daily Kos, but who here is surprised by that?

       
I do not know what kind of communist hippy dictatorship nation you live in, but in the rest of the free world, there are laws that prevent someone from being dismissed for no reason at all, or for unfair or trivial reasons, and if you are unjustly dismissed, you then have recourse though legal avenues to get compensation.

The fact that this guy is not talking legal recourse for unfair dismissal says to me as an employer, that he is in breach of his contract and was able to be dismissed.

I think that it is kind of sad that people need to try and join dots back to Obama and lay the blame on him for this when he has no part in making appointments or firings of any kind. Obama has done many things wrong, promised lots and delivered nothing, it is on those grounds that those who supported him will then dump his ass at the next election, by either not voting or by voting for some marginal party like the Greens or Independents, as happened here in the recent Aussie election.

And here is my prediction for the up coming mid terms, a swing against the Democrats, a slight swing towards the Republicans and Minority parties, and a lot of people choosing not to vote at all, because no matter who wins, they will promise a lot and deliver nothing. Allowing openly Gays in the Army is a prime example of this, both sides support it and yet, it cant get through because it only takes one idiot to attach something to the bill that will ensure that it will never pass at all.

       
Well he has grounds, and I think he should sue them, if not have them charged with violating his civil rights. Allowing this to go unanswered other than an angry blog post is only going to embolden Obama and the progressives to push even further into Big Brother land.

       
violating his civil rights


You need to show me where his rights were violated, because unless we can see the terms of the contract he had with his employer, you can only make very bold assumptions that his rights were violated. And common sense must take precedence here, unless he sues for breach of contract, the only assumption we can make is that what he said, was in breach of his work contract and was thus terminated lawfully and that at that point of time, he had ceded his right to free speech to his employer.

Nothing big brother about that at all, you sign the contract, you sign away your rights, you do or say something dumb that is in breach of your contract, you get fired. Seems like a pretty simple and rational explanation of the events that occurred above, happens everyday in the free world and no one blinks an eye.

       
He was fired for speaking his mind while on the O'Reilly show. NPR is a government funded entity, and is therefore bound by the First Amendment. A civil contract has no legal weigh when brought to bear against one's Constitutional rights.

I don't know how it works in that pinko fascist state you call Australia, but around here one cannot simply sign away their God given rights.

       
Why does it say 'Fox News Political Analyst' beneath his name. Does that imply that he works for both Fox and NPR?

And, geez, I don't know how it works in America but in Australia if you sign a contract you have to follow it conditions or can loose it. And if you've signed a contract that says you're not allowed to speak you're mind when you're on TV, well, fuck it, it doesn't matter whether its a God given right or not, the contract gets cut.

       
... and then the lawsuits fly. Honestly, I don't know why Juan hasn't filed suit yet because he has infallible grounds to do so.

What you and Fury seem to be missing here is that NPR isn't in a position to draft normal contracts like that. They're not a private company.

       
Samson said:

It triggered a swift and sound response from practically every commentator on Fox News for one thing. The Republicans in Congress are not as out of touch as Nancy Pelosi would have us believe. Plus even the LA Times editorial section came to Juan's defense and said NPR was utterly wrong. The only place I've found who thinks Juan got what he deserved is Daily Kos, but who here is surprised by that?

I don't know how I missed it then, but if pretty much every major news source was covering it, then no it's hardly surprising that the Republicans have jumped on it.

The_Fury said:

I do not know what kind of communist hippy dictatorship nation you live in, but in the rest of the free world, there are laws that prevent someone from being dismissed for no reason at all, or for unfair or trivial reasons, and if you are unjustly dismissed, you then have recourse though legal avenues to get compensation.

I don't know what sort of laws you've got in Australia, but here several states are "at will" states and as such an employer or employee need no reason at all to terminate employment. That includes both Texas and Virginia, as it happens.

The_Fury said:

I think that it is kind of sad that people need to try and join dots back to Obama and lay the blame on him for this when he has no part in making appointments or firings of any kind. Obama has done many things wrong, promised lots and delivered nothing, it is on those grounds that those who supported him will then dump his ass at the next election, by either not voting or by voting for some marginal party like the Greens or Independents, as happened here in the recent Aussie election

I think it's rather telling that you've assumed we're blaming Obama for this because, at the very least, it clearly shows you haven't read the posts that came before yours. (Samson's response to your post doesn't count...)

Samson said:

but around here one cannot simply sign away their God given rights.

Well, constitutional rights anyway...

       
California is also an "at will" employment state. The obvious exception to laws of that nature is when the termination results in a violation of one's Constitutional rights.

I also didn't blame Obama, I blamed NPR and the federal government in general. However people like Obama will take advantage of things like this if they think they can.

       
I figured it probably was, but I didn't know for certain so I only mentioned the two states I knew for sure right off-hand. Actually, it's also excepted if it can be proven that the termination was a result of discrimination too.

No, you really didn't but I didn't want to leave the opening for him to say it was anything to do with you having said:
Samson said:

Allowing this to go unanswered other than an angry blog post is only going to embolden Obama and the progressives to push even further into Big Brother land.

And, yes, that's the worst aspect is that things like this can become precedents for folks who want to further the big brother aspects of our government, including Obama.

       
NPR can't draft contracts? Well, ok, maybe you are right. Publicly funded TV and radio in Australia can though, so I just make my assumptions based on that.

Allowing this to go unanswered other than an angry blog post is only going to embolden Obama and the progressives to push even further into Big Brother land.


Oh right, so what, the Republicans are going to move you back away from Big Brother Land. As if they're any different.

       
Edited by prettyfly on Oct 24, 2010 12:17 am
but around here one cannot simply sign away their God given rights.


Yes they can and they do it all the time. Anytime you sign a contract, you cede rights to the person you make the contract with.

They're not a private company.


Do they have to be, workplace legislation is the same no matter if it is a private company or the public service.

California is also an "at will" employment state.


Then his rights have not been violated at all, he had no rights to begin with and his employer can do what he likes, when he likes and for whatever reason he likes and the employee has no recourse at all. They could have fired him because he has funny shoes, because we wore the wrong cologne or because thy just did not like him at all.

I still cannot see some Commie conspiracy against free speech here, your own laws allowed for this to happen, no matter what the constitution says.

I think it's rather telling that you've assumed we're blaming Obama for this because


By Obama i mean some Democratic, Liberal, Progressive, Communist, Stalinist, Fascist, Nazi, "Insert Tag Here" agenda.

       
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