NPR’s Senior Vice-President Ellen Weiss, who was responsible for the firing of Juan Williams, has just quit her post. The media organization’s VP was most famous for this firing, which caused a national uproar in 2010 between free-speech proponents and censorship advocates. Get the full story, plus pictures and video below!
While no one objects to the principle of firing a contributor after such a comment, NPR showed a substantial double standard with their treatment of Juan Williams. In 1995, contributor Nina Totenberg said the following about a Senator Jesse Helms, who was then bitterly opposed to research into the treatment of AIDS and HIV:
“I think he ought to be worried about what’s going on in the good Lord’s mind, because if there’s retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.”Totenberg was not disciplined for her statements, for which she later apologized. So the message sent by NPR was: implying that innocent children should get AIDS is acceptable, but saying you’re afraid of Muslims on an airplane is not? It’s no wonder Ellen Weiss quit.
There is, however, a simpler explanation. Williams pointed out after his firing that it wasn’t what he said that got him fired, it’s where he said it. Long known as a liberal-biased news source, National Public Radio may have just been displeased about their contributor regularly appearing on the conservative Fox Networks. Of course, after he was fired, their contributor went right back to Fox to take a shot at his recently resigned former employer.
“She essentially called me a bigot for saying that I feared and felt when I am in airports and about to get on a plane and see people dressed in Muslim garb a moment of anxiety about that presence. That statement she said was evidence of bigotry, that she felt there was no longer any place for me because I crossed the line of her journalistic standards. What I think I crossed was her politically correct line in the sand.”At the same time Ellen Weiss quit NPR over the Juan Williams firing, the news radio’s board also announced that they were canceling CEO Vivian Schiller’s bonus this year, presumably over her handling of this sticky situation. Is this basically a public admission of guilt from the news organization? Get more on the story with the pictures and video below, and then let me know your thoughts in the comment section!