Let the Fox News hypocrisy and trend of double standards continue in the wake of the firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio for his comments about fearing Muslims or people in Muslim garb when he is in airports or on airlines.
Conservatives now are bringing the heat to NPR with threats. Ah, the far-right hypocrisy continues. Many of these are the same people who attack the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton for using boycotts to fight what they see as injustices.
From Think Progress:
THE DOUBLE STANDARD: ThinkProgress first reported Williams’ comments to highlight the bigoted nature of his remarks. ThinkProgress never called for any specific action to be taken, and NPR’s firing of Williams came as a surprise. Many media figures, including NPR’s own ombudsman, questioned NPR’s decision to fire Williams before providing him with a chance to clarify his statements. As Serwer notes, “firing people for things like this tends to chill the public discourse. Misconceptions should be discussed publicly rather than driven underground.” While arguably premature, the network is within its rights to terminate an employee whose public statements undermine its reputation as a credible news source. According to the announcement, NPR decided to terminate Williams’ contract because his remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.” As stated in NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s email to member stations, his comments violated NPR’s long-standing ethics code in which all journalists and contracted analysts like Williams cannot “express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist” nor “participate in shows…that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.” Nor was this the first time NPR admonished Williams on this issue. Last year, after Williams compared Michelle Obama to “Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress,” NPR requested he no longer be identified as affiliated with NPR when appearing on Fox. The radio network’s decision does advance the idea that there shouldn’t be a double standard in what is and is not appropriate rhetoric on the airwaves. CNN host Rick Sanchez and White House correspondent Helen Thomas were fired for insensitive and irresponsible remarks about non-Muslims. CNN also fired Octavia Nasr for comments about a popular Muslim Lebanese leader which were deemed impolitic. If media figures can be fired for anti-Jewish or pro-Muslim comments, then the principle should be applied for anti-Muslim comments as well. But as Fox News proves time and again, anti-Muslim remarks are generally appreciated — if not promoted — on the network.
You see, it’s OK for Fox News to use this kind of tactic or a similar kind of tactic when they want to protect one of their own or to protect an opinion for which they agree.
I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Williams, who has willingly been used as a pawn by people at Fox News to attack black people and to stand in as a fake liberal.
As the excerpt illustrates, where was Fox News when Helen Thomas and Rick Sanchez were fired in high-profile dismissals?
Where were they when Octavia Nasr was let go?
They were silent because they’re hypocrites.
Now, Fox News and others on the far right are calling for NPR funding to be revoked because it stood out against Williams’ bigoted comments:
SELF-RIGHTEOUS: As if to prove the point, conservative pundits and politicians whipped into an apoplectic rage yesterday over NPR’s announcement, with many decrying the termination as a quintessential attack method of the “super-liberal, politically correct goon squad .” An irate Fox News host Megyn Kelly blamed Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper– who had called for “swift action” against Williams — for the firing, repeatedly asking “are you happy now?” Right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart launched a boycott of NPR, declaring, “I refuse to be guest on NPR until Juan Williams is reinstated. I suggest all BIG editors, contributors follow same course.” Former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee not only joined in boycotting NPR’s “censorship,” but called on the government to “start making cuts to federal spending” by defunding NPR. Despite the fact that NPR gets less than six percent of its revenue from government grants and “receives no direct federal funding for operations,” several more Republicans jumped on the defund bandwagon. “At a time when our country is dangerously in debt and looking for areas of federal spending to cut, I think we’ve found a good candidate for defunding” in NPR, wrote Tea Party maven Sarah Palin. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on Congress to “investigate NPR” and “consider cutting off their money,” while House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said, “I think it’s reasonable to ask why Congress is spending taxpayers’ money to support a left-wing radio network — and in the wake of Juan Williams’ firing, it’s clearer than ever that’s what NPR is.” O’Reilly said he “wanted to take it further than that. I want it suspended today while the investigation takes place.” GOP operative Karl Rove enthusiastically concurred, quipping “our country needs to save money.” Last night, O’Reilly even announced to a distraught Williams that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) will introduce legislation to defund NPR. “Congress is going to defund NPR,” O’Reilly assured Williams, “and you did it.”
Republican hypocrisy at its dubious worst.