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Juan Williams: Fired For Telling The Truth

1055 words - 5 pages

Former NPR personality Juan Williams was fired in October 2010 for a politically incorrect statement he made on the Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor. Williams was discussing with host Bill O’Reilly about his feelings on seeing Muslims on airplanes dressed in their garb. His remarks led to his termination at NPR, and sparked massive debate between some journalists and conservatives about whether or not Williams went too far with his comment.
Juan Williams served as NPR’s news analyst for the Talk of the Nation program, which he hosted for ten years. During those ten years of service at NPR, Williams was no stranger to controversial comments. However, those comments were never made on ...view middle of the document...

Washington Post writer Adam Serwer stated, "whether or not Williams 'is a bigot' is beside the point, this is a bigoted statement." Indeed. Being ‘nervous’ about someone wearing ‘Muslim garb’ is profiling, plain and simple (David Swerdlick par. 5).” Although many were against Williams statement about Muslims, could it be possible that the consensus of Americans may feel the same way?
After being fired from NPR, Juan Williams promptly released a statement about his side of the story. Williams tries to defend his statement by saying in his Fox News blog, “my point in recounting this debate is to show this was in the best American tradition of a fair, full-throated and honest discourse about the issues of the day (par. 7).” In a post-9/11 world, many Americans have insecurities about Muslims. This might be because of how the media portrayed them and Americans have developed a negative connotation about Muslims over time. Even though Williams was sharing a notion that many post-9/11 Americans feel, does the way he revealed himself come off a bit hasty, and lacking a certain journalistic professionalism? “But a quick dismissal for stating a fear that many Americans share, media experts say, also sends a puzzling message to reporters, who are laboring under increasing demands to share their personality and opinion while at the same time abiding by ethics rules (Patrik Jonsson par. 2).” In a nation so concerned with political correctness, journalists are more concerned with pleasing one sect, they neglect the concerns of others. “But Williams' remarks reflect a view widely held among Americans, raising accusations that his dismissal is the result of overly sensitive political correctness. According to two recent polls, Williams' remarks reflect the opinions of many Americans, leading some observers to suggest that Williams was fired for saying what everyone else is thinking (Russell Goldman par. 11).” This incident involving Juan Williams can be a learning experience. News organizations should loosen up on being overtly politically correct, but maintain a professionalism that fair and balanced to all ethnicities and religions.
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