Friday, 22 October 2010

THE JUAN WILLIAMS FIRING (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Here is an excerpt from the editorial in today's New York Post, which analyzes Juan Williams' firing - and dismantles the disgraceful nest of ideologues that comprise NPR:

NPR says Williams got the boot because his comments "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices."

 

This we don't doubt.

 

The network leans so far to the left that the center looks radical-right there -- and common sense makes no sense at all.

 

Yesterday, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller said Williams, a respected liberal writer, should have kept his views between himself and "his psychiatrist."

 

Right. It's just crazy to worry about Islamist terror in a nation that's been under jihadi assault for years.

What a foolish, foolish woman.

 

What's particularly galling about the firing is that NPR gets tens of millions of taxpayer dollars annually -- either directly, in government grants, or indirectly, via the tax-deductiblity of private donations.

 

NPR stalwart WNYC radio, for example, got $10 million in public funds, almost a fifth of its revenues, for 2008-09.

 

Speaking of funding, here's a clue to NPR's likely real motives in trying to cast Williams as anti-Muslim: It may help drive donations from lefty listeners.

 

"We're profoundly sorry that this happened during fund-raising week," Schiller wrote in a memo about Williams' firing.

(Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

I couldn/t have said it better. 

Later today I will put up a link to this morning's Today show segment, in which Lou Dobbs does an equally effective job at exposing these hypocritical frauds for what they really are.


REPUBLICAN NUTCAKE ALERT

Ken Berwitz

Lest anyone think the only nutcakes are on the Democratic side, we have Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden, who is challenging incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson in Texas's 30th congressional district.

Here, excerpted from Melanie Mason's article in today's Dallas Morning News, is how Broden sees redress of grievances:

WASHINGTON Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden stunned his party Thursday, saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.

In a rambling exchange during a TV interview, Broden, a South Dallas pastor, said a violent uprising "is not the first option," but it is "on the table." That drew a quick denunciation from the head of the Dallas County GOP, who called the remarks "inappropriate."

Broden, a first-time candidate, is challenging veteran incumbent Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in Dallas' heavily Democratic 30th Congressional District. Johnson's campaign declined to comment on Broden.

In the interview, Brad Watson, political reporter for WFAA-TV (Channel 8), asked Broden about a tea party event last year in Fort Worth in which he described the nation's government as tyrannical.

"We have a constitutional remedy," Broden said then. "And the Framers say if that don't work, revolution."

Watson asked if his definition of revolution included violent overthrow of the government. In a prolonged back-and-forth, Broden at first declined to explicitly address insurrection, saying the first way to deal with a repressive government is to "alter it or abolish it."

"If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary," Broden said, adding the nation was founded on a violent revolt against Britain's King George III.

Watson asked if violence would be in option in 2010, under the current government.

"The option is on the table. I don't think that we should remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms," Broden said, without elaborating. "However, it is not the first option."

The bad news is Eddie Bernice Johnson desperately needs replacing.  The good news is that, since Stephen Broden is one of the few candidates I would prefer Ms. Johnson to, her re-election will be a net gain of sorts for congress.

But not to despair, Mr. Broden:  Your views are very popular in some places.  I suggest you consider relocating to the Gaza Strip because, by violently overthrowing fatah there, hamas has shown it is in full agreement with your position.

Dress light. 

Ken Berwitz free - ok, I admit it was exaggerated. But there was a basis for the comparison. hamas didn't like the fact that some fatah members were elected in the Gaza Strip, so it violently removed them and took the government over completely. Similarly, Broden says he would not rule out violently overthrowing the elected government here. It is possible that he didn't really mean it that way, and got trapped in his own rhetoric. But the fact remains that he said what he said. If Broden were a Democrat, I'd be nailing him every bit as hard. (10/22/10)

free` Comparing him to hamas? That doesn't seem fair. Ken, Do you have other reasons for not liking this guy? Or is this report the only reason? (10/22/10)


ISRAEL AND CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS

Ken Berwitz

Some things just don't mix very well.  And, lamentably, these days Israel and congressional Democrats are an all too frequent example.

Daniel Pipes, of National Review and frontpagemag.com, has written a fact-filled piece in which he shows just how great the disconnect has become.  Here are some of its key excerpts:

How should American voters concerned with Israels welfare and security vote in the U.S. Congressional elections on Nov. 2?

This much is clear after almost two years of Democratic control over the executive and legislative branches of government: Democrats consistently support Israel and its government far less than do Republicans. Leaving Barack Obama aside for now (hes not on the ballot), lets focus on Congress and on voters.

Congress: The pattern of weak Democratic support began just a week after Inauguration Day 2009, right after the Israel-Hamas war, when 60 House Democrats (including such left-wingers as Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters) and not a single Republican wrote the secretary of state to respectfully request that the State Department release emergency funds to [the anti-Israel organization] UNRWA for reconstruction and humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

In the same spirit, 54 House Democrats and not a single Republican signed a letter to Barack Obama a year later, in January 2010, asking him to advocate for immediate improvements for Gaza in the following areas and then listed ten ways to help Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization.

In dramatic contrast, 78 House Republicans wrote a Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu letter a few months later to express their steadfast support for him and Israel. The signatories were not just Republicans but members of the House Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus.

So, count 54 Democrats for Hamas and 78 Republicans for Israel.

In the aftermath of the March 2010 crisis when Joe Biden went to Jerusalem333 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to the secretary of state reaffirming the U.S.-Israel alliance. The 102 members who did not sign included 94 Democrats (including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) and 8 Republicans, a 12-to-1 ratio. Seventy-six senators signed a similar letter; the 24 who did not sign included 20 Democrats and 4 Republicans, a 5-to-1 ratio.

An April 2009 poll by Zogby International asked about U.S. policy: Ten percent of Obama voters and 60 percent of voters for Republican John McCain wanted the president to support Israel. Get tough with Israel? Eighty percent of Obama voters said yes and 73 percent of McCain voters said no. Conversely, 67 percent of Obama voters said yes and 79 percent of McCain voters said no to Washington engaging with Hamas. And 61 percent of Obama voters endorsed a Palestinian right of return, while only 21 percent of McCain voters concurred.

Almost a year later, the same pollster asked American adults how best to deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict and found a strong divide on this question. Seventy-three percent of Democrats wanted the president to end the historic bond with Israel but treat Arabs and Israelis alike; only 24 percent of Republicans endorsed this shift.

Given that most Jews - and a strong majority of all U.S. citizens - support Israel, you would think these facts would affect a lot of votes in November. 

But you almost certainly would be wrong.  Because, the estimable Daniel Pipes notwithstanding, most of our wonderful "neutral" media will continue their ongoing policy of not informing voters that there is a vast difference between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to Israel.

Better to pepper the airwaves with Christine O'Donnell "I am not a witch" images.  That's a far better journalistic decision.

Keep 'em ignorant and you own 'em.


THE JUAN WILLIAMS FIRING: NPR'S OMBUDSMAN RESPONDS

Ken Berwitz

Alicia Shepard, NPR's ombudsman (Or is that ombudswoman?  ombudsperson?  We don't want to offend anyone at NPR, do we?) Has now reacted to the network's firing of Juan Willams.

I will put up part of her reaction (in rust) with my comments (in blue).  Then you can read the rest by clicking here and, I'm guessing come up with a few choice comments of your own:

NPR's Firing of Juan Williams Was Poorly Handled

October 21, 2010

by Alicia Shepard

Juan Williams once again got himself into trouble with NPR for comments he made at his other job, at Fox News. Nice.  You start this supposedly dispassionate explanation by telling us that Mr. Williams is a serial offender.  And NPR's reaction has unleashed an unprecedented firestorm of criticism directed not at Williams but at NPR.  That is written as if Ms. Shepard is surprised.  And I dont blame her, since our wonderful neutral media have kept NPR scrutiny-free for years and years, no matter how partisan, how one-dimensional it has been.

NPR fired Williams Wednesday night after 10 years with the network for comments he made about Muslims on Fox News. Ok, fair enough.  What comments?

Thursday was a day like none Ive experienced since coming to NPR in October 2007. Office phone lines rang non-stop like an alarm bell with no off button. Weve received more than 8,000 emails, a record with nothing a close second.  Who cares?  You just told us that Juan Williams made comments about Muslims that got him fired.  Tell us what comments he made that were worthy of the firing.

NPRs initial story garnered more than 6,800 comments, many supporting Williams and others asking why it took so long to fire him. Here's Thursday's story.

At noon, the deluge of email crashed NPRs Contact Us form on the web site. Can you possibly stop whining about how put-upon you are, long enough to tell us what Juan Williams said that caused NPR to fire him?

The overwhelming majority are angry, furious, outraged. They want NPR to hire him back immediately. If NPR doesn't, they want all public funding of public radio to stop. They promise to never donate again. They are as mad as hell, and want everyone to know it.  It was daunting to answer the phone and hear so much unrestrained anger. Waaaaahhhhhhh.  Poor babies.  WHAT DID JUAN WILLIAMS SAY THAT GOT HIM FIRED???????????

 

The latest, and final, episode involving Williams took place Monday on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor. He and host Bill O'Reilly discussed whether America had a "Muslim dilemma."

In response to a provocative question from O'Reilly about Muslims, Williams said:

I mean, look, Bill, Im not a bigot. You know the kind of books Ive 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.  Wait a minute.  Thats it?  Thats it?????  Willliams specifically outlines his credentials as a non-bigot, and then acknowledges a visceral emotional reaction:  i.e. that he gets worried and nervous on a plane if he sees people in Muslim garb? That is a firing offense in the happy horsemanure world of NPR?

Earth to Alicia Shepard: about Mr. Williams having that worried and nervous reaction?  SO WOULD JUST ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE.INCLUDING, I AM DEAD CERTAIN, MOST MUSLIMS ON THE PLANE.

If this is a firing offense, we can end the unemployment problem right now.  Because there will suddenly be tens of millions of jobs available.  All the new applicants have to do is convince employers that if they see Muslims in muslim garb on a plane they are 100% worry-free; not a concern in the world.

Wouldnt you love to have Ms. Shepard tell us if SHE would get worried and/or nervous in that situation?  Dont hold your breath waiting.

Later in that segment, Williams did challenge O'Reilly's apparent contention that every Muslim on the planet is an extremist bent on attacking America.  That is an absolute lie.  OReilly said no such thing.  He has, for days including last night made it 100% clear he was not talking about all Muslims.  When you resort to blatant lying to make your case, Ms. Shepard, you dont have one.

It took a day for Williams' remarks to bleed into the blogosphere. But then, it was like opening a fire hydrant.  Hundreds wrote or called demanding that NPR fire Williams or at least discipline him.

Many have been troubled over the years by the dual role that Williams has played: balanced news analyst on NPR; more opinionated pundit on Fox.  The implication that NPR is a source of balanced news is another absolute lie.  NPR is about as balanced as a raw egg.  I dare Ms. Shepard to list out the on-air people at NPR and claim they are all neutral, or that the left side is no bigger than the right side (if there even is a right side).

Tell us, Ms. Shepard, about the 1.8 million dollars that george soros, a nazi collaborator as a teenager, a convicted inside trader as an adult, and for many years a radical fringe leftist, contributed to NPR just last week.  Do you, as the ombudsman, have any concerns about who contributes to NPR?  Do you think soros gave NPR almost two million dollars because he considers it a source of balanced news analysis????

Ok, that's enough.  If you want to read the rest of this mealy, dishonest drivel, use the link I've provided. 

I'm out of here.  After going through that muck, I need a shower.  Maybe a couple of them.


IN CASE YOU THINK NPR HASN'T DONE IT BEFORE....

Ken Berwitz

From Scott Johnson of www.powerlineblog.com:

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby writes with a word on the Juan Williams affair:

Before NPR's disgraceful treatment of Juan Williams, there was NPR's disgraceful treatment of Steven Emerson, one of the world's foremost experts on the threat from Islamist terrorism. In 1998 I learned that NPR -- in response to pressure from Islamist extremists -- had blackballed Emerson from appearing on its airwaves.

When I broke the story in the Boston Globe, NPR denied that it ever blackballed anyone. Yet Emerson was still being kept off the air three years later -- i.e., after 9/11, when everyone could see just how prescient his warnings had been.

In the current uproar over Juan Williams's firing, I thought it might be good to recall that when it comes to ultra-PC genuflecting to Islamist sensibilities, NPR is a repeat offender.

Interested readers may want to refresh their recollection with Jeff's column 1998 column on the blacklisting of Steve Emerson and with his 2002 update.

What a proud history NPR has.

What a paradigm of neutrality and balance.


TPM'S JEW PROBLEM

Ken Berwitz

It appears that talkingpointsmemo.com has a Jew problem.

Today's edition attacks "the right" (its usual bogeyman) for criticizing the firing of Juan Williams, on the grounds that they think it's just fine for people to be canned over comments about Jews, but not Muslims.

Here is TPM's headline (which you can click on to see the entire piece), then its key argument:

If there's one outcome of the Juan Williams firing that should surprise no one, it's that the right has jumped to his defense and condemned the desecration of his first amendment rights by the evil left-wing NPR, (which, by the way, should be investigated for something or other, and who even cares what he said about Muslims because everyone was thinking it anyway).

But what many of these conservative pundits have forgotten is how they sang a slightly different tune when certain other journalists were let go for making comments that offended the right.

Let's take a look back...

Since June, several reporters have been dismissed after media controversies over their offensive comments. Helen Thomas was forced into retirement in June after she said that the Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home." CNN forced out Octavia Nasr in July for tweeting her condolences when a spiritual leader of Hezbollah died. And Rick Sanchez was let go from CNN in October after calling Jon Stewart a "bigot" and suggesting that CNN is run by the Jews.

Interesting.

Let's compare what was said, and see if TPM has a point:

-Helen Thomas, a long-time Israel hater, told all Jews to get out of "Palestine" (not Israel, mind you, but Palestine) and go home (TPM somehow neglected to note that she defined home as Poland and Germany, where Jews had fled the holocaust and where they were annihilated if they stayed.  She did not mention that a a large majority of Israeli Jews were from neither of those countries). 

-Octavia Nasr offered condolences for a leader of a Jew hating, USA hating, murderous, Iran-backed terrorist group.

-Rick Sanchez made a palpably false claim that CNN is run by the Jews - as if Jews as a group have meetings and decide CNN policy.  I'm sure this surprised the hell out of Ted Turner.  Let's just say that he wasn't on his way to shul to be part of the minyon for ma'ariv services when he heard about it.

So we have someone denying the legitimacy of the only Jewish state on earth and suggesting its Jews go back to holocaust countries.  We have a sympathetic voice for a terrorist leader.  We have a blanket accusation against all Jews.

And what do we have from Juan Williams?

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.

There it is.  The Juan Williams equivalent.  A disclaimer against bigotry, followed by an admission that seeing Muslims in muslim garb makes him worried and nervous.  Not a statement of belief, not an accusation or indictment against Muslims, but an admission of a visceral reaction that, I would bet body parts, the people who run TPM share with him.

What frauds.  What hypocrites.


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