Michael Gaynor
Fortunately, Obama's white grandmother didn't work for NPR
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By Michael Gaynor
October 25, 2010

NPR's firing of Williams is like building a mosque near Ground Zero — there's a legal right to do it, but it's wrong to exercise that right.

Juan Williams used to be on both NPR and Fox News.

Then Williams candidly told Bill O'Reilly, on "The O'Reilly Factor": "Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

After that politically incorrect admission, NPR fired Williams...and Fox gave him a $2,000,000 contract as a full time Fox contributor.

Should Williams have been fired for sharing his anxiety about Muslim airplane passengers?

Would Williams have been fired if he had not been a Fox contributor?

Put me down as a no to the fire question and a probably not to the second.

NPR's firing of Williams is like building a mosque near Ground Zero — there's a legal right to do it, but it's wrong to exercise that right.

After then presidential candidate Obama dealt with his Reverend Wright problem by throwing his white grandmother under the bus by sharing with the world the anxiety about being raped by black men she did not know that she confided to him as her grandson and went on to win the presidency, NPR figured it had a suitable pretense for firing Williams and a great opportunity to exemplify extreme political correctness.

Bottom line: Williams was honest, but not political correct. NPR prefers political correctness to honesty...and preferred Williams not to appear on Fox. NPR was entitled to fire Williams, but it is not entitled to taxpayer money and the sooner its extreme political correctness is not subsidized by the taxpayers, the better.

Silver lining: Williams declared, "I used to think the right was the intolerant side." The man is educable. For Williams, that's the kind of change we hoped for!

Make no mistake: Williams' own words show that he was not always willing to be honest because he was working for NCR.

Williams: "And now they have used an honest statement of feeling as the basis for a charge of bigotry to create a basis for firing me. Well, now that I no longer work for NPR let me give you my opinion. This is an outrageous violation of journalistic standards and ethics by management that has no use for a diversity of opinion, ideas or a diversity of staff (I was the only black male on the air). This is evidence of one-party rule and one sided thinking at NPR that leads to enforced ideology, speech and writing. It leads to people, especially journalists, being sent to the gulag for raising the wrong questions and displaying independence of thought.

Better late than never, Juan! But NCR management had "no use for a diversity of opinion, ideas or a diversity of staff" BEFORE you were fired...and you didn't mention it until AFTER you were fired.

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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