Friday, October 22, 2010

NPR Listeners - Just as intolerant as NPR management?

Personally, based upon the almost uniform outrage I have witnessed from devoted NPR listeners in response to the utterly unjustifiable firing of Juan Williams, I suspect the alleged intolerance of the NPR audience is more a figment of the NPR management’s imagination. That said, here are some insights into that very disturbing imagination:

Among the many phony excuses offered by NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard, this one stands out as an insight into her perception of the intolerance of NPR listeners:
“In 2008, I received 378 emails complaining about remarks Williams made on Fox – but I heard very little about his comments on NPR. My February 2009 blog post on the Stokely Carmichael incident drew 216 comments – many asking why NPR put up with Williams' dual role.

In fact, since I became Ombudsman in October 2007, no other NPR employee has generated as much controversy as Williams.”
First, I know the NPR audience is tiny; but, unless they had less than 757 listeners (throughout all of 2008), Ms. Shepard was basing her impressions of her audience upon a rather tiny fraction of (like minded) totalitarian extremists among that audience.

There is no evidence that any significant portion of the Fox News audience had any problems with Juan’s dual role at NPR. Or, (lacking any evidence to this effect) even if there was any significant objection, the management of Fox News -- unlike the management of NPR -- had the courage to stand up for the principle of Free Speech and open debate.

Also “interesting” is the following blatant contradiction (typical of the ever vacuous Ms. Shepard) between what she said yesterday vs. what she said in February of 2009.

Yesterday, trying to rationalize the firing of Juan Williams, Shepard said (emphasis mine):
“Many have been troubled over the years by the dual role that Williams has played: balanced news analyst on NPR; more opinionated pundit on Fox.”
In February of 2009, Shepard said (emphasis mine):
“Last spring, NPR's management put him [Juan Williams] on contract with the title ‘news analyst’ largely to give him more latitude about what he says. He's now paid to give his opinion
Okay, Ms. Shepard, which was the real role of Juan Williams at NPR? Or, do you just make it up as you go according to the purely political needs of the moment?

Click here for the previous post
on this national disgrace.

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