Today, NPR terminated Juan Williams because of his comments on the The O’Reilly Factor. In NPR’s statement, they said:
“His remarks on The O’Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”
When they issued this statement, they should have also published their editorial standards and practices, so we can see where the inconsistency lies.
Whatever the right or left, red state or blue state, want to argue about this firing, there are two simple thoughts to consider.
- In our eagerness to make a statement about tolerance, we seem to have become intolerant. What Williams was expressing was not bigotry; it was an expression of his reaction in certain situations and how we need to guard against over-generalizing when it comes to any group.
- Civility is essential in our discussions; it is the only way to learn and grow in our understanding. Having civil discussions and disagreements seems nearly impossible today. Maybe we need to institute the standards of debate in our televised discussions. Yelling and being outrageous in comments, unfortunately, have become commonplace today. We are not all identical in thoughts and opinions. Let’s have rational, civilized give-and-take on topics. Let’s listen to each other and be civil in our discourse.
In my opinion, NPR is not demonstrating tolerance with respect to Juan Williams. With their intolerance, the likely result will be a cranking up of incivility as others respond to NPR’s action.
Watch the discussion between Bill O’Reilly and Juan Williams and form your own opinion. Listen to the discussion, and then please be civil and rational in your response.
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On Being Civil, Tolerant
Juan Williams wrote a response entitled I Was Fired for Telling the Truth. This is Juan’s take on being fired by NPR yesterday.