Williams' presence on the largely conservative and often contentious prime-time talk shows of Fox News has long been a sore point with NPR News executives.Most probably, NPR had a partner in the decision. This was the opening shot of the White House's escalation of its war on Fox News. Its intent was to send shivers down the spine of any journalist or news network that cooperates with Fox News
Williams is one of the regular liberal voices on the O'Reilly Factor (as well as other Fox Programs). On Monday's show Juan said:
I mean, look, 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 are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.NPR felt that comments "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
Huh? For one thing Williams comments were more tame than President Obama's late grandmother:
....my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street...Williams he was not even given a chance to defend himself, his boss said the decision was made "above me"
This is not the first time NPR's thought police publicly criticized Williams association with Fox. In February 2009, NPR asked Juan Williams to no longer identify himself as NPR Political Analyst when “O’Reilly Factor.”
It's also not the first time NPR had a problem with the fact of one its reporters appeared on Fox. Last December, according to Politico, NPR tried to strong-arm Political Correspondent Mara Liasson off of Fox News.
Executives at National Public Radio recently asked the network’s top political correspondent, Mara Liasson, to reconsider her regular appearances on Fox News because of what they perceived as the network’s political bias, two sources familiar with the effort said.
According to a source, Liasson was summoned in early October by NPR’s executive editor for news, Dick Meyer, and the network’s supervising senior Washington editor, Ron Elving. The NPR executives said they had concerns that Fox’s programming had grown more partisan, and they asked Liasson to spend 30 days watching the network.
At a follow-up meeting last month, Liasson reported that she’d seen no significant change in Fox’s programming and planned to continue appearing on the network, the source said.The Liasson request was also part of White House's "war" against Fox News.
A year ago the White House tried to convince other news organizations to stay away from Fox News. Senior WH Adviser David Axelrod called on other news outlets to reconsider their approach to Fox. “They are not really a news organization,” Axelrod said in an interview on ABC. “It’s really not news, it’s pushing a point of view; and the bigger thing is that other news organizations, like yours, ought not to treat them that way.”
In recent weeks the White House has been preparing to "ramp up" its war on Fox
- George Soros' Open Society Foundation (OSF) is donating $1.8 million to NPR for a project planned to add at least 100 reporters across the country to cover local state house politics to fill the holes left by the firing of so many local reporters due to the contraction in the field of journalism over the last decade. Soros is not only the Chairman of the OSF but their 2008 tax return reflected Soros donation of over $400 million.
- Yesterday, Media Matters announced that George Soros is giving them $1,000,000 specifically to target Fox News.
In the end the NPR move has nothing to do with Juan Williams, just like their strong-arming of Mara Liasson the move was orchastrated by the White House to frighten others from appearing on or cooperating with Fox.
Anybody who believes in the First Amendment should be very frightened because this is one more gun shot in the battle of the Obama administrationto silence free speech in America. If they silence Fox, who will they attempt to silence next?