Friday, October 22, 2010

Thoughts on Juan

Today I am going down to the payroll office to terminate my monthly support for NPR.  I’ve been giving for 19 years.

I have been thinking about it for quite some time.  And one of the forces keeping me from doing it has been that I do what they apparently don’t.  I constantly question my own attitudes.  It’s my way of keeping myself honest.  Mind you, I don’t change those attitudes unless, upon that inspection I find one to be off the mark.  Constantly changing your attitudes does not constitute questioning them any more than being anti-establishment for the sake of being anti-establishment does.  It’s more likely a sign of appearing to question them so that others can be impressed about how deep and introspective you are.

Of course, the last straw was this Juan Williams thing.  It really brought into clear focus (what I already deeply suspected) that NPR is nothing more than a publicly funded, leftist PAC, organizing the academic Left and those who like to see themselves as “intellectuals” by aligning themselves with the academic left.   I’ve got no problems with the idea of PAC’s.  But they shouldn’t be publicly funded.

And when their political action runs counter to mine, I don’t have to fund them, either.  So I won’t.

Now what lit the fire under my butt to do it today was NPR CEO’s Vivian Shiller (oh, here’s a cheap shot, guys, but shouldn’t “Shill”er have tipped you off?  If you can’t take it, Vivian, don’t dish it out.  Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled post) saying that Williams’ views should stay between him and his psychiatrist.

In other words say certain things even though they are the truth and 90% of Americans (and probably French and Brits) feel the same way – if you say them out loud, you have a mental problem.  I don’t know about you, but I find this to be Orwellian, especially in light of the fact that Mark Lloyd (Obama FCC appointee) has tipped his hand as being an admirer of Chavez and notes that in Chavez’s first revolution attempt he failed because he didn’t take the Venezuelan media seriously enough.   We’ve seen this administration directly take on Fox News, trying to castigate it as a network of lying crackpots with extremist views – even though they regularly have people like Juan Williams and Mara Liasson from NPR, Kirsten Powers and people active in the Democratic Party on giving opposing views every day.  This is, I more than just suspect, is the crux of the matter.  In its arrogance, NPR feels that Williams and Liasson are lending the massive “credibility” of their name to the Evil Fox Network™.

Add to this at $1.8 million donation by George Soros to NPR and givien Soros’ statist, socialist agenda, one might even suspect that Soros himself may have pressured NPR to get them off of Fox, or, failing that, get them off of NPR.  Back in the fall of 2009, NPR hauled Liasson herself into the principal’s office and encouraged her to stop appearing on Fox.

The fact of the matter is, Fox’s opinion programming – the hosts, mainly … is undoubtedly conservative, especially when compared to NPR and probably more especially when you compare it to MSNBC.  But when you compare it to the American People’s point of view, it’s pretty mainstream, and the ratings show it.  Fox New’s programming consistently beats all the other major players in cable news combined.   Hate to break it to ya. That’s not extreme.  That’s America.   Yet Fox is constantly referred to as extreme by those on the Left and by those who don’t watch it because those on the Left keep telling them it’s extreme and only crazy people watch it.

Crazy people like Juan Williams, who should keep his honest fears that 90% of America shares between him and his psychologist.

Leaders should be very careful about calling half of their population crazy.  The results of this upcoming election will be due in at least some part to that.

If Fox had fired Williams, for whatever reason -- it would have been deemed "racist" and that story would have run on NPR.  If Murdoch came out and said verbatim what Shiller said about him, there would be calls for his head, and more shrill charges of racism.

The rest of the flock in “the middle™” who don’t watch it because they don’t want to be viewed as “extreme” by people they think are “intellectual” – will go ahead and echo the “extreme” charge not because they’ve watched it and come to the conclusion that it “extreme”, but because they have been instructed to believe that it is extreme.

Just as they have been instructed to believe that the Tea Party is “extreme”. 

They, if they’ve even paid any attention to this … are probably stunned to find out that Juan and Mara or anyone ideologically like them  appear regularly on Fox News, because they’ve been instructed to believe that Fox only offers one point of view, and it’s not theirs.

NPR asked Juan if he would have said what he said in the O’Rielly interview on NPR.  Juan said “of course I would”.   I’m not sure he would have.  I believe he believes he would have, and that at least he shouldn’t have felt so constrained in any venue.  But the words we choose are often affected by the least tolerant of those in our presence, and Juan had to know that most of those around him in front of NPR microphones are politically correct to the point of denial.  Like Whoopie Goldberg (Noooooo!!! Oh my GOD, that is such bullsh*t!).  

My point here isn’t that it is somehow less noble for him to have said it on Fox than it would have been for him to say it on NPR.  My point is the chilling effect political correctness has on free speech and what journalists can and can’t say.  No, firing him is not a violation of the first amendment, but it sure shows a tremendous amount of disrespect for the spirit of The First from one of the named entities in it that benefits from it.

Now put yourself in Mara Liasson’s chair next time she’s on Chris Wallace’s Fox Sunday Morning Show.   Knowing that NPR might fire her (and how long has she been with NPR?   As long as I can remember.  I know, Juan’s “only” been there 10 years) … anyway, knowing that her career is on the line if she says something that displeases the publicly funded and Soros funded NPR … and having a recent example of a colleague who was just fired for it … Mara’s opinion on the opinion show – through no fault of her own necessarily – is now devalued.   Is she saying what she’s saying, or not saying what she’s not saying – because it’s not something that meets NPR’s Standards?  Standards that do not allow you to even acknowledge a bare fact because it doesn’t fit the PC narrative?

No more of my funds will be going to support that standard.

Let this be a lesson to those who are under the illusion that because something is "publicly funded" its motives are somehow more pure and objective than a privately funded entity.

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