Friday, October 22, 2010

A Shot Across The Fox's Nose

Andrew Sullivan is right that Juan Williams' complete statement about Muslims doesn't meet the standard of gross wrenching-out-of-context set by the Obama administration when it panicked and fired Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod. He continues:
The truth is: we can all have bigoted thoughts and say bigoted things because we are human beings, but we should seek to suppress them in a multicultural society within ourselves, let alone lend them actual legitimacy on air. And if you do lend them legitimacy - like Rick Sanchez did and Juan Williams did and Bill O'Reilly did and Brian Kilmeade did - I don't think it's inappropriate for a broadcasting company to say it doesn't want to be associated with it.
And here's another thing. Fox News, on which Williams appears regularly, has openly allied itself with Republicans who believed they could increase their chances on Nov. 2 by whipping up anger against Muslims, which Williams hardly discouraged, and encouraging the idea that Obama isn't Christian. I still don't think that Williams' comments, in the usual scheme of things, justified his being fired. But maybe NPR (which after all has been accused for years of liberal bias, often unfairly) was sending the message that when a news organization really does associate itself explicitly with the fortunes and tactics of a political party, the usual rules don't necessarily apply.

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