So what’s the story with Juan Williams, a news analyst I’ve listened to and respected for years? He talks intelligently on NPR week after week, has become a leading go-to guy on politics and race.
I don’t have television (I have a television, but it gets no reception, so it really just functions as my Netflix viewer). So, without regular access to TV, I had no idea that Juan had a non-NPR job over at Fox news. Apparently he’s been hanging out at Fox News Sunday and on O’Reilly, being another kind of go-to guy, one who can be counted on to say unfavorable things about black folks … how is that possible, exactly? Or maybe the question is, how can NPR still be working with him when he’s being this other guy on Fox?
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying Juan has to be left-leaning, that he must always espouse the same views I hold. In fact, I shouldn’t have any idea what views he holds. He’s supposed to be impartial, objective. I mean, isn’t he? He’s not reading editorials on NPR. He’s supposed to be telling me what’s going on in the world, giving me the facts and breaking them down so that I can make some informed decisions of my own. This is what I keep talking to my students about, the objectivity of the press. (Yes, because I live in some alternate-universe Shangri-La that looks a lot like Brooklyn.)
So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that Williams shares some of his personal views. But I am surprised that he’s sharing such ugly views about my new First Lady. Yes, because that’s where I’ve been headed all along, didn’t know you? Williams would seem to have a problem with this strong, confident black woman who has landed the role of love interest in our new political drama.
Here is is on O’Reilly:
Yes, there he was. What do you think that was about? Is it just Juan exhaling? He bites his tongue when he’s on NPR and then lets it all hang out on Fox? Is it just naked ambition? He knows he can get plenty of air time if he says things like this? Does he just really dislike strong black women? He’s offended that this powerful woman is getting such positive air-play? Is he suffering from Barack-envy? Obama not only gets to be president, but he’s got a really amazing wife, too?
NPR is sufficiently miffed by this last round of bile-spewing that they’ve asked Fox to stop referring to Williams as an NPR political analyst. I have to say I’d be a bit happier to see Williams get the boot all together.
Oh, wait. He’s apologized. For what he calls a ‘faux controversy.’ Yeah, that apology sounds so very sincere. Thanks, Juan. I feel so much better now. Feh.