February 22, 2020         
The Association of Black Cardiologists Celebrates Fourth Annual Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day in Harlem   •   RRD’s Customizable Kits Streamline the Path to a Better Brand Experience   •   LeapFrog® Announces New Blue's Clues & You! Toys Joining Expanded Infant and Preschool Learning Toy Collection   •   VTech® Grows Baby, Infant, Toddler and Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Lines with Engaging New Additions   •   Every Kid Counts: Census Bureau Partners With Pediatricians and Child Advocates in Effort to Count Every Child in 2020 Census   •   CEMEX Announces Ambitious Strategy to Address Climate Change   •   SmartBear and Drift Present Candid Panel Discussion to Spotlight Racial Challenges in Tech   •   2nd STREET USA, Inc. to Open First East Coast Store on February 22, 2020, in Manhattan’s NoHo Neighborhood   •   Survival Guide for Allergy Season: Latest Tips According to Shirin Peters, M.D. With Bethany Medical Clinic   •   Top Toy Trends of 2020 Revealed at Toy Fair New York   •   Yellowstone Co-Creator Taylor Sheridan Signs Overall Production and Development Deal with ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Br   •   BodyLogicMD Announces $5,000 Scholastic Scholarship for Medical Students Interested in Pursuing a Career Focused in Achieving Be   •   The Mexican Ministry of Tourism Has Been Recognised by Queer Destinations and the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Associa   •   It's A Three-Peat! L.O.L. Surprise! Wins Toy Of The Year!   •   HITN’s Inaugural ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival Announces Call for Entries   •   ADDING MULTIMEDIA Clean Beauty Meets K-Beauty: Feminine Care Brand Rael Expands Into Wellness Skincare Products   •   Blake Shelton Joins the Lineup for the 2020 ‘iHeartCountry Festival Presented by Capital One’   •   L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment Snags Prestigious "Toy of the Year" Award for Third Straight Year   •   Coding Critters from Learning Resources® Codes Its Way To The Top As This Year's Preschool Toy Of The Year Award Winner   •   Toy Fair New York Opens Today; Exclusively Unveils 100,000+ New & Trending Toys & Games!
Bookmark and Share

Fired NPR Journalist Called "A Fraud"

 New America Media, Commentary, Earl Ofari Hutchinson

 

WASHINGTON - It didn’t take long for the predictable to happen when NPR canned faux liberal analyst Juan Williams. Fox’s Bill O’Reilley, perennial GOP gadfly Newt Gingrich, Tea Party grand-mistress Sarah Palin, and the shrill pack of right-wing talk-show hacks and bloggers screamed bloody murder and demanded that so-called “left-leaning” NPR be defunded. 

They played the First Amendment card and claimed that Williams had a right to utter his silly, bigoted crack about Muslims making him nervous. He did have that right—and NPR had the right to can him, not for the remark, but for saying it on another station while he was still a key fixture at NPR. 

Whether intended or not, Williams’s crack carried the implicit endorsement of NPR, since he wore that hat as well. Williams’s longstanding play at talking out of both sides of his mouth on right-wing commercial Fox and cautious, middle-of-the-road public network NPR finally caught up with him. It should have long ago.

NPR, if it had an ounce of the integrity and fairness that it incessantly brags about, should have dumped Williams long ago for an equally great offense: his two-decade con job as a liberal civil rights expert and supporter. 

Williams never missed a chance to boast about his two-decades-plus stint with the “liberal” Washington Post and tout his track record of authoring books on the civil rights movement. He sold himself as a man who backed, even championed, the civil rights struggles of the past, and whose sworn mission was to accurately and instructively chronicle those struggles. Here are a few of the titles that he used to sell this self-serving image of himself as Mr. Civil Rights: Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965.Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, This Far by Faith: Stories from the African-American Religious Experience, I'll Find a Way or Make One : A Tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience.

But Williams was a fraud. This was more than apparent in the clashes I had with him on Fox, when he instantly assumed the requisite attack-dog role and jumped on any criticism of the dumbest inanities from black conservatives. 

That was a consistent pattern with Williams. He fronted himself as a Dr. Jekyll moderate— a thoughtful and balanced commentator who strived for fair and accurate analysis of issues on NPR. But he would quickly transform himself into a raving, take-no-prisoners, right-leaning Mr. Hyde on Fox— bashing Obama and civil rights leaders and shilling the GOP line on race. 

Still, Williams couldn’t have gotten away with this con job without the wink-and-nod complicity—or disingenuousness—of NPR. NPR officials certainly were not clueless about their analyst’s two-faced con. Williams was there for all to see, shaking and nodding his head in agreement with every conservative flack who paraded across the stage on “The O’Reilly Show” and other conservative gabfests. His confrontational style on Fox fit in neatly with the tone, temper and rabid-right echo-chamber of the network.

No, NPR knew exactly what Williams represented and stood for—and it was not balance, moderation or liberalism. Williams, in fact served a purpose for NPR. The network has sweated—and at times has been scared stiff by—the conservative hitmen who for years have kept their hawk-like watch for any hint of a “liberal bias” on publicly funded radio and television. 

Williams was their answer—and in some ways their protective cover. After all, how could NPR be accused of liberal bias when one of its most prominent commentators is a guy who routinely flashes across Fox?

The truth is, NPR needed Williams far more than he needed them—that is, until he became a liability. Yet Williams’s phony liberal front was, and should have been, a liability from the start. The pity is that it took an outrageous, bigoted crack by him for NPR to do what it should have done a long time ago— given him the boot. 

Now the question is: given NPR’s past terror of losing even a nickel of government funding for being “too liberal,” will the network cave at the criticism by Palin and company and bring Williams back? Stay tuned.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk show on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.


STORY TAGS: HISPANIC , LATINO , MEXICAN , MINORITY , CIVIL RIGHTS , DISCRIMINATION , RACISM , DIVERSITY , LATINA , RACIAL EQUALITY , BIAS , EQUALITY



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
Breaking News
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News