How pathetic can the legacy media get? Juan Williams is a thoughtful, highly educated and well connected liberal media pundit. He makes absolutely no pretense of objectivity whatsoever. He’s liberal, he supports Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress and he’s all for the progressive movement.
But don’t you dare take those credentials, appear on the most watched cable news program in the country, and agree with the host that islamic terrorists are a legitimate threat to the country. And don’t you dare compound your transgressions by agreeing that because islamic terrorists are indeed Muslims, an airplane passenger dressed in Muslim garb might make Americans nervous:
The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”
Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.
He continued: “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.
Taking the threat seriously is not a crime, nor should it be a firing offense. I have many, many philosophical and ideological differences with Mr. Williams. But as Fox’s Shannon Bream tweets, he’s a decent man.
There have been no less than five attempts—some successful—undertaken by Muslim extremists in the last few years. Williams did nothing more than acknowledging the threat.
If I were Roger Ailes, I’d find a one-hour slot somewhere on the weekend, either on Fox News or Fox Business, and put Williams on it. Not only would it allow Williams the journalistic freedom he deserves to express his considered thoughts on this and other subjects, it would be another hammer blow on the stake that Fox is driving through the hearts of its competition.
UPDATE: Here’s the full segment.