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Author Topic: NPR's Juan William Fired after comments made on Fox News  (Read 9083 times)
veggiewolf
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« Topic Start: October 22, 2010, 09:41:23 am »

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NPR has terminated its contract with Senior News Analyst Juan Williams. The decision was made in the aftermath of Muslim remarks made by Williams on The O'Reilly Factor that NPR says are inconsistent with its editorial standards and practices.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130732174

In light of this, is NPR deserving of the criticism it is now receiving?
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« Reply #1: October 22, 2010, 09:47:24 am »

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130732174

In light of this, is NPR deserving of the criticism it is now receiving?

Actually, I don't have a real problem with this. I know NPR has had some issues in the past with some of the comments that he made on Fox. My perspective is that as a news analyst for NPR, he was trying to wear two hats (pretty unsuccessfully from some of what I've seen in the past), and expecting listeners to totally ignore what he said on Fox just wasn't going to happen.
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« Reply #2: October 22, 2010, 10:16:34 am »

Actually, I don't have a real problem with this. I know NPR has had some issues in the past with some of the comments that he made on Fox. My perspective is that as a news analyst for NPR, he was trying to wear two hats (pretty unsuccessfully from some of what I've seen in the past), and expecting listeners to totally ignore what he said on Fox just wasn't going to happen.

The question is, is NPR justified in expecting it's employees to have second jobs that do not affect their first, and this isn't just a parochial school teacher having a second job behind the counter of the local XXX video shop, this is a very visible spokesperson for the parochial school espousing one set of views having a second job as a just as visible person on the billboards for the highly advertised XXX shop.  I don't have a big problem with it either.
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« Reply #3: October 22, 2010, 04:38:28 pm »

Actually, I don't have a real problem with this. I know NPR has had some issues in the past with some of the comments that he made on Fox. My perspective is that as a news analyst for NPR, he was trying to wear two hats (pretty unsuccessfully from some of what I've seen in the past), and expecting listeners to totally ignore what he said on Fox just wasn't going to happen.

As I understand it, he had been warned about this before, then moved from a "host" position to a "news analyst" position, etc. So it is not like he did not know there were problems. I read he was fired by phone. If true, that part is tacky.
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« Reply #4: October 23, 2010, 08:02:13 pm »

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130732174

In light of this, is NPR deserving of the criticism it is now receiving?

I'll be honest, this move by NPR smacks of censorship to me. Williams spoke some uncomfortable truths and was open about the situation. From what I'm seeing, he did not say he agreed with O'Reiley that Muslims should be blamed. He said the connection to radical Islam could not be denied and he experienced a normal fear reaction to open Muslims in airports following 9/11. A fear that most people are too cowardly to admit to having had themselves.

So why exactly was he fired? So NPR could cover their a**es when the rights groups with hurt feelings came knocking. Ridiculous. Why shouldn't people talk about these things? This is why intelligent discourse is gone from the media. Whenever someone makes an attempt at it on either side, they get the sack.
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« Reply #5: October 23, 2010, 09:12:22 pm »

So why exactly was he fired? So NPR could cover their a**es when the rights groups with hurt feelings came knocking.

He was fired because he repeatedly violated his contract with NPR and they finally decided enough was enough.  It wasn't that Williams was speaking about Muslims or any other group in particular.  It was that he repeatedly stated his political opinion publicly.  Reporters at NPR are not permitted to publicly make political remarks.  They are not allowed to attend political rallies (unless providing coverage); they aren't allowed to donate money to politicians of either party; they aren't allowed to publicly endorse a political cause of any sort.  They are supposed to remain as neutral and objective as possible.  This is a common restriction for reporters of reputable news organizations.  The New York Times and the Washington Post have similar restrictions.  Williams knew these rules.  He had been warned repeatedly about these behaviors.  He had already been demoted because of these behaviors.  If he wanted to express his own personal political opinions, then NPR was not the home for him. 

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« Reply #6: October 24, 2010, 08:22:03 am »

He was fired because he repeatedly violated his contract with NPR and they finally decided enough was enough.  It wasn't that Williams was speaking about Muslims or any other group in particular.  It was that he repeatedly stated his political opinion publicly.  Reporters at NPR are not permitted to publicly make political remarks.  They are not allowed to attend political rallies (unless providing coverage); they aren't allowed to donate money to politicians of either party; they aren't allowed to publicly endorse a political cause of any sort.  They are supposed to remain as neutral and objective as possible.  This is a common restriction for reporters of reputable news organizations.  The New York Times and the Washington Post have similar restrictions.  Williams knew these rules.  He had been warned repeatedly about these behaviors.  He had already been demoted because of these behaviors.  If he wanted to express his own personal political opinions, then NPR was not the home for him. 

Sperran

I didn't realise this, but it makes sense.  It might have been tacky to do it over the phone, but on the other hand, when they called him to come in to give him the news, he probably knew it was coming.

Are there jobs at NPR where people are allowed to publicly state their political views?
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« Reply #7: October 24, 2010, 09:43:48 am »

Are there jobs at NPR where people are allowed to publicly state their political views?

I don't know if there are restrictions on anyone but the news people.

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« Reply #8: October 24, 2010, 06:53:56 pm »

I didn't realise this, but it makes sense.  It might have been tacky to do it over the phone, but on the other hand, when they called him to come in to give him the news, he probably knew it was coming.

Are there jobs at NPR where people are allowed to publicly state their political views?

Yes.  Political commentators can publicly state their views, but NPR reporters are expected to be unbiased in public...or at least not to let their biases affect the way they report the news.

I don't believe that "actual journalists" should be holding jobs as political commentators while also holding jobs as journalists.  It becomes too difficult for the public to accept stories reported by those journalists as unbiased.
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« Reply #9: November 05, 2010, 03:46:03 pm »

Yes.  Political commentators can publicly state their views, but NPR reporters are expected to be unbiased in public...or at least not to let their biases affect the way they report the news.

I don't believe that "actual journalists" should be holding jobs as political commentators while also holding jobs as journalists.  It becomes too difficult for the public to accept stories reported by those journalists as unbiased.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/keith-olbermann-suspended-from-msnbc-indefinitely/

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« Reply #10: November 05, 2010, 03:49:31 pm »


"NBC has rules regarding employees donating to political campaigns, discouraging it and impressing that it’s a “a breach of journalistic independence to contribute to the candidates they cover.” Here’s a key part of that policy: “You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee.”"

Yep. If you don't like this agreement, you are free to find work elsewhere.

I have no problem with this.
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« Reply #11: November 05, 2010, 04:22:36 pm »

"NBC has rules regarding employees donating to political campaigns, discouraging it and impressing that it’s a “a breach of journalistic independence to contribute to the candidates they cover.” Here’s a key part of that policy: “You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee.”"

Yep. If you don't like this agreement, you are free to find work elsewhere.

I have no problem with this.

he knew the rules.
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« Reply #12: November 05, 2010, 04:26:26 pm »

he knew the rules.

One thing I'm seeing, and I have only seen it on one blog post, so I'm not going to cite it, but apparently Joe Scarborough has made GOP contributions and NBC knew it and defended it.

That shouldn't be. If you've got these agreements in place, then they need to apply to all your people who fall into the same job category.
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« Reply #13: November 05, 2010, 04:34:18 pm »

One thing I'm seeing, and I have only seen it on one blog post, so I'm not going to cite it, but apparently Joe Scarborough has made GOP contributions and NBC knew it and defended it.

That shouldn't be. If you've got these agreements in place, then they need to apply to all your people who fall into the same job category.

agreed.
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« Reply #14: November 05, 2010, 07:56:17 pm »

One thing I'm seeing, and I have only seen it on one blog post, so I'm not going to cite it, but apparently Joe Scarborough has made GOP contributions and NBC knew it and defended it.

That shouldn't be. If you've got these agreements in place, then they need to apply to all your people who fall into the same job category.

ditto this. I saw reference to this as well, but damned if I can find it back--and I've not seen it again, so I don't feel justified to dig up that one reference. Need backup!
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