Saturday, October 23, 2010

NPR...I love you

If you've been watching, or internetting the news today, you've heard that NPR has got itself in a bit of a bruhaha by firing renowned news analyst, Juan Williams.  Now, Juan Williams knows his stuff, but it turns out, he's also a bigot.  A bigot who gets nervous when he sees people in "Muslim garb" getting on the same plane as him.  And people are saying it's okay for him to say those things because that's how he feels, it's honest, and we need to be honest when we talk about these things...bullshit.

Side note, here is a fantastic site to check's a bunch of Muslims, in some garb...

I'm all for being honest, but not when your honesty is defending Bill O'Reilly for saying that "Muslims killed us on 9/11."  I'm all for honesty but not when it only applies to this one group...although I think in the minds of people like Juan Williams, it applies to maybe Mexicans, feminists, Gays and Lesbians, and yes, even African Americans.  Why are people defending him for saying this about Muslims when it's certainly not right to say, "I get nervous when I get on a plane and see someone in Black/street/gang garb."  Maybe Juan Williams should be saying to himself,
"Hmm, I've been on several planes now where anyone could have been Muslim and still those planes have not blown up or crashed.  Maybe my view of Muslims is a bit skewed by media sources like Fox News and Bill O'Reilly.  Maybe I should go out and befriend some people who practice the Muslim faith.  Maybe I should see what it's all about before I decide that I'm afraid of it."
Now I know NPR is Liberal leaning, especially compared with that bastion of morality, knowledge and truth, Fox News.  But I stand by their decision.  This isn't the first time Juan Williams said something inappropriate, and it's certainly not the first time he has violated NPR's code of ethics which says journalists should not participate in media "that encourages punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis."  And besides, why should a news group like NPR have to support an "analyst" who does double duty with their complete opposite, Fox "News."

So, I was a rock; I ignored the Fall Pledge Drive, listening while they berated me to pledge my money...the money I use to buy the Top Ramen that feeds me.  But today I ask myself, what's more important, my "nutritional" well being, or my intellectual well being?  The $40 I just gave to KUOW seems to point to the intellectual.

Please, if you have any positive feelings about NPR's decision to fire Juan Williams, I urge you to pledge now.  I finally did.  I want a news outlet that doesn't just claim to be "fair and balanced"; a news outlet that may have liberal leanings, but leanings that I equate with intelligent, rational, kind thinking...even if Garrison Keillor wheezes through his nose when he exhales.

NPR is important, and if Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are going to convince the federal government to revoke what funding it does provide (less than 2% of NPR's actual budget), they're gonna need my $40 bucks...and yours too.

Seattlites, click here for KUOW
Everyone else, find your station here and support it