I guess that you should not preach Juan...

Funny story but when I was in MN, I hung out with a dude named DD, my dude from way back.  We were hosting a small soiree at our pad and we hang out with Juan Williams’ son.  Needless to say, that dude liked to party, which made him aces in my book.

At our party, there were always all types at the party.  We didn’t discriminate based on politics, only on your party quotient.  If you brought something to the party, then we wanted you around.  At our spots, politics were not really discussed, so your political identity  normally got checked at the door, with the coats.

Looking at the Juan Williams situation, the terrorists have clearly won.  The inability to express your beliefs is the hallmark of a totalitarian regime.  If we can’t discuss our feelings, then covert racism will rule the day.

By Matea Gold

Tribune Washington Bureau

12:35 PM PDT, October 21, 2010

Reporting from Washington

As NPR weathered a storm of criticism Thursday for its decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams for his comments about Muslims, Fox News moved aggressively to turn the controversy to its advantage by signing Williams to an expanded role at the cable news network.

Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes handed Williams a new three-year contract Thursday morning, in a deal that amounts to nearly $2 million, a considerable bump up from his previous salary, the Tribune Washington Bureau has learned. The Fox News contributor will now appear exclusively and more frequently on the cable news network and have a regular column on FoxNews.com.

“Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News in 1997,” Ailes said in a statement, adding a jab at NPR: “He’s an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis.”

The worst part about this is that it allows FOX to come off as the reasonable party here.  For once, I have to agree with FOX here.  While they are not really fair and balanced reporting in any sense of the phrase, the ability to paint a picture of intolerance to set up another, major point is necessary in discussion.  His beliefs are ones that others share and he was talking about how to combat and recognize that subconscious discrimination.

Meanwhile, conservative leaders lambasted NPR for firing Williams and called for cutting public funding for the media organization. By midafternoon Thursday, more than 4,900 comments had been posted on NPR.org, including many from people who said the media organization was bowing to political correctness and unfairly punishing Williams for expressing his personal opinions.

“In one arrogant move the NPR exposed itself for the leftist thought police they really are,” read one typical post. “After this November elections I hope one of the first things the new Congress does is to defund this poor excuse for public radio.”

NPR serves a public good, a necessary purpose.  I want them to re-examine their hiring practices, I want them to bow less to political correctness, but I want them on the radio.  Just like NPR overreacted to this situation, the public needs to take a step back, take a deep breath and then keep it moving.

The controversy kicked off Monday night when Williams, a Fox News contributor, made an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor.” In a conversation with host Bill O’Reilly about how fear of terrorism affects perceptions of Muslims, Williams noted that he harbored some anxieties, even as an author of books about the civil rights movement.

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot….But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous,” Williams said.

He also noted that it was not fair to cast all Muslims as extremists.

On Wednesday, NPR told Williams it was terminating his contract, saying his remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

The abrupt break came after years in which Williams’ role at Fox News caused internal tension at the public radio organization. Many NPR listeners registered complaints about comments he made on the cable news channel, particularly remarks last year in which he described First Lady Michelle Obama as having “this Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going” and saying she could become “an albatross.”

In response, NPR executives asked Williams to request Fox News not identify him as an NPR analyst when he appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Dana Davis Rehm, NPR’s senior vice president for communications, said in an interview that Williams’ comments violated internal ethics policies that prohibit NPR journalists from going on other media and expressing “views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist.” The guidelines also prohibit NPR journalists from participating in programs “that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.”

Isn’t it a fact that Juan felt that way?  He is analyzing his personal beliefs and how that colors some of the things that he thinks about, and he even claims that approach is wrong.  NPR is really asking him to lie about what he thinks.  If it really is National Public Radio, then the some in the Public think the same things.  Exposure can only help, since it leads to discussion that might help people to recognize the other side and have more tolerance.

Rehm said Williams had been warned several times in the past about making personal comments that violated the policy.

“This wasn’t the first time where we felt Juan crossed the line in terms of what’s permitted for NPR analysts and journalists as a whole,” she said. “We felt we really didn’t have an alternative. And it was not without regret, and it was not a decision that was made lightly by any means. We do appreciate the work he has done.”

Williams told Fox News on Thursday that he was let go over the phone and taken aback that he wasn’t given a chance to defend himself.

“It’s not a bigoted statement,” he told Fox News in an interview the cable news network ran throughout the day. “In fact, in the course of this conversation with Bill O’Reilly, I said we have an obligation as Americans to be careful to protect the constitutional rights of everyone in our country and to make sure that we don’t have any outbreak of bigotry. But that there’s a reality. You cannot ignore what happened on 9/11, and you cannot ignore the connection to Islamic radicalism, and you can’t ignore the fact of what has even recently been said in court with regard to this is the first drop of blood in a Muslim war in America.”

Fox News made the most of the incident, rerunning a package about the controversy throughout the day. Williams was scheduled to appear on “The O’Reilly Factor” Thursday night to further address the issue and will guest host the program Friday.

In the meantime, NPR was slammed by conservative leaders such as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, who tweeted, “NPR defends 1st Amendment Right, but will fire u if u exercise it. Juan Williams: u got taste of Left’s hypocrisy, they screwed up firing you.”

NPR, if you really are defenders of the left, why would you give them this ammunition?

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who hosts a show on Fox News, said he now plans to boycott NPR and decline its interview requests.

“NPR has discredited itself as a forum for free speech and a protection of the First Amendment rights of all and has solidified itself as the purveyor of politically correct pabulum and protector of views that lean left,” Huckabee wrote on his blog, adding: “It is time for the taxpayers to start making cuts to federal spending, and I encourage the new Congress to start with NPR.”

NPR receives no direct federal funding for its operations, but between 1% and 3% of its $160-million budget comes from competitive grants awarded by publicly funded entities such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 2009, NPR has received $8 million in competitive grants from the CPB for technology development and journalism initiatives. It also received a one-time grant of $78 million between 2007 and 2009 to upgrade satellite technology.

Local NPR stations receive $90 million in annual appropriations from the CPB that amount to about 10% of their revenue, on average.

Rehm said it was inappropriate for politicians to interject the issue of federal funding into an editorial decision, adding that she hoped the controversy would not affect financial support for public radio. “Stations are in fund-raising season,  so it is unfortunate that this occurred at this time,” she said.

Here is the nomination for the next justice of the Supreme Court.

The honorable Sonia Sotomayor was chosen by President Obama to potentially serve on the highest court of the land, pending nomination.  Now, I thought and still think that she was a good, and clearly somewhat safe pick. I don’t mind the fact that the pick is safe, since there will be others during the Obama presidency. ( I am going out on a limb and claim that he will be a two term president and he will make at least one more nomination)

What gets me is how fast the tide has changed against this pick.  One of the somewhat liberal sites I read for fun is the Confluence.  I disagree with a lot of what transpired over there post election, since their movement has seemingly coalesced into a pity party.  It’s funny that with some frontpagers, they have no problem posting my comments, but a certain clown (his words not mine) is obviously intimidated into answering the call to actually have a spirited forum debate on issues that he posts on.

One of the current topics is on the nomination and the insidious behavior of our President to cheat, lie and steal from everyone.  When the nomination was not known, here is a sample of the comments. This one is in regard to comments about her (being Sotomayor) looks

cwaltz, on May 7th, 2009 at 4:54 pm Said: There is alot of pressure on women to appear a particular way. It doesn’t help that many women are just as guilty as men at judging a book by its proverbial cover.

Personally, Judge Sotomayer looks perfectly fine to me. Even more important is the fact that she has opinions and isn’t afraid to be vocal regarding those opinions. I can’t believe anyone would consider that a detriment, particularly in a judge. Isn’t the idea to argue or debate an idea on their merits? I was always under that impression perhaps since the courts themselves take the time to issue opinions and dissenting opinions.

The reason why this is so funny that they are up in arms now is that this flies against the PUMA provision of 51 percent.  One of the reasons I get their funny form of of temporary time-out is that I bring up the notion of Identity Politics into the discussion.  Synthesizing women down to just gender becomes defeatist to many of the movements that they (and sometimes I) find valuable.

But, Sonia Sotomayor should be right up their particular alley.  She is a woman and if you listen to some of the commentators, thats all that matters. Here is a former frontpager expressing that thought…

I would like the New Agenda to gather with other like-minded groups to form a large voting bloc, made of women and men who understand that it is time for women to be first. I would like this voting bloc to demand of both Parties that at least 30% of the candidates put forth in 2010, and every election cycle going forward, be women. I would like this bloc to withhold its votes, time and money from both parties until this is done. I would also like this voting bloc to demand that the ERA be re-passed and ratified by 2012, and to withhold its votes, time and money from both parties until this is done. Other ways we can make her voices heard are boycotts of press outlets and companies that promote misogyny; demanding that history books include and honor the contributions of women; coordinate work stoppages in companies that practice sexism against their employees; and so on. There are so many possibilities, if we will only band together and act as one.

This viewpoint was furthered in another post earlier this week on why Males rule the world and what they can do about it

What are the key pieces of a strategic plan to challenge and dispel these errant legitimizing myths? I propose that there are three prongs to the approach:

  1. Support (supporting women in their quests for leadership)
  2. Education (providing information and education to society about the inaccuracies of legitimizing myths, the benefits of female leadership, and promoting the positive role models that can impact and change cultural stereotypes about women in leadership)
  3. Recruitment (active recruitment of women for political leadership)

If it comes down to a question of what comes first, women or ideologies, what should we choose?  If we choose ideologies, we are potentially promoting continued male social dominance since males control the message at the moment.  If we choose women first, and we can successfully erode male social dominance, we will then be in control of the message.  I say choose women first.

The problem is, when that is the choice, you still are never satisfied.  Maybe the post should be about just killing all the men.  HelenK seems to love that solution, or at least the Lorena Bobbitt approach.

So, this strategy of course backfires when you have a woman against another woman, as I pointed out, or doesn’t work out so well when the only woman doesn’t support your (somewhat narrow and myopic) point of view.  Now, instead of being happy that the stated goal of appointing  as many women as possible to positions of power, they can only ATTEMPT TO SPECULATE that she will not be friendly to abortion issues and use that as a wedge.  Or, JUST LIKE THE OTHER WOMAN THEY CRITIQUE, THEY TEAR DOWN A WOMAN!  I thought that the post just said…well forget about it…

bostonboomer, on May 28th, 2009 at 12:51 am Said: I always knew Obama would find a way to appoint an anti-choice person to the court. That he would find a woman to do the dirty work doesn’t surprise me one bit. I feel the same way. Young women don’t seem to appreciate what women fought for back in the 70s. Now they are going to find out what it was like back when I was a young woman and we didn’t have access to birth control or safe abortions. Good luck to all those young women who voted for this nightmare we have in the WH now.

Well, Dr. BostonBoomer (since the front page indicated she finished her defense) you got what you wanted in the “elect a woman” (since gender is first) issue.  Maybe you should wait until she actually rules on the issue (or at least wait for conformation hearings) before you tear her apart.

What is clear is the inability to be rational on the nomination and on President Obama ( I know that part must just kill you) and his policies.  Just like you accuse anyone who supports Obama of drinking the kool-aid, (which is racist, since everyone knows that minorities drink kool-aid and other sugar water drinks, which are part of the hidden white agenda to kill blacks with diseases that are self inflicted…)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

but it seems to have the reverse effect.  Any choice by Obama, is a bad choice, cloaked by a political two-step designed to deny precisely those who failed to vote for him.  Your blinders prevent you from seeing the benefits of political action of Obama.  The one that is the chip shot gimme is your own HRC.  Without Obama, there is no her.

But, of course, with conspiracy theories, you have to have someone spreading the theories that people follow.

Morning Riverdaughter — another wonderful product of your hypergraphia.

Here are two theories:

1. Obama wants to have as many well-known and respected souls on board as possible when the ship is state is floundering in order to deflect and defend his stolen turn at the helm.

2. He was trying to put a knife in the back of Hillary and Bill by leaking the SoS in order to eventually leak they had “failed” his conflicts vetting. The CDS of the press would have accepted it without question and chewed on it for weeks thereby politically neutering them to some extent. He forgot Hillary and Bill wrote the manual on close-in knife fights.

Well, of course, fail to give credit to Obama for crossing the aisle and extending a hand to make the best cabinet possible, in the land of the Confluence, the mere mention of Obama sends you to the spam filter.  That is how powerful some people dislike him.  And really?? Why didn’t she use it like Lorena Bobbitt when Bill was spreading his “message” on the blue dress?

But, she is considered strong for her ability to forgive an unpardonable sin in a marriage.  The point here is the PUMAS are able to overlook that sin, but they roast Barack for “perceived sexism”, especially acts that are not his own.

BUT, THE BIGGEST SEXIST ACT A PERSON CAN DO TO THEIR PARTNER, they just seemingly sweep it under the rug. (Just wait…at least once a day, someone will mention Bill Clinton and make some snide comment about Barack.  Does anyone but me remember Bill fucking Clinton sitting on his hands when a little issue named Rwanda sprung up on his watch?  I voted for the man, but let’s no act like he was Jesus or something.

But it is not just the liberal section attacking her, the Conservatives are on the prowl as well.

Court Watch: As GOP Hangs Back, Conservatives Attack Sotomayor

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Only one Republican senator, Pat Roberts of Kansas, has come out so far and said he’ll vote against Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, but conservative pundits and interest groups are already working overtime to make her nomination a subject of controversy. Radio host Rush Limbaugh and former House speaker Newt Gingrich have both dubbed her a “racist” for her views on the impact of difference on judicial decision-making within a diverse society, while interest groups and even one potential GOP presidential candidate are using her nomination to raise funds.

That’s the story moving online today.

So, while I get banned for suggesting that Identity Politics are the key to helping building coalitions between groups to get actual change, PUMAS are essentially joining their conservative doppelgangers to attempt to oust Sotomayor or spread the rumor that she was a smokescreen in deference to minority groups, so he can get his true hidden candidate on board. (I stated on the Confluence that I wanted — Leah Ward Sears, (chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, African American woman). Emory JD, 1980; Univ. of Virginia, LL.M, 1995) as the pick, but that Sotomayor would be another good choice.  There is always some sinister method, some smoke arising that we should be concerned with.  But they were ready to jump into the sack with McCain/Palin.

Here is the racism argument that they are so worried about and the reason why the answer she gave is the one that we should want.

No! No! No! and No! While these problems and many more have continued for decades, without nary a peep from these fine gentlemen, what is it that has finally shaken them to their core and made them realize racism is a serious moral problem worth speaking out and fighting against? It is a single comment made by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor explaining that she “would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

The nerve! How could she?

Let’s look at those words one more time. She did not say a wise Latina woman WOULD reach a better conclusion. She tentatively HOPED; and HOPED that someone with this kind of experience might make a better decision not ALL THE TIME, simply MORE OFTEN THAN NOT.

If no one is happy, that means, deep down, everyone was happy.  You may not have gotten what you wanted, but wait to see if it was what you NEEDED. The fact that both sides are up in arms gives me hope that this was a good pick.

UPDATED: Here is another thing that gets me.  If she was good enough for Bill, why isn’t she good enough now?

She knows what the eff she’s doing. The Princeton and Yale grad has served under the Bush senior and Clinton administrations, and her supporters contend this appointment was a long time coming.

As CNN points out…

Sonia Sotomayor, who is on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was named a U.S. District Court judge by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, and was elevated to her current seat by President Bill Clinton.

Your BIG DAWG put her in the position to be selected.  Can we blame Bill if it falls apart?