In an interview with the Huffington Post recorded before this week’s NPR video sting debacle Juan Williams said he considers NPR to be a all-white organisation.
“I think when it comes to NPR’s decision to, without any reason, throw me out the door, I think that for them, especially for some of the people who created NPR, it’s an all-white operation,” Williams said. He added that he thought NPR “felt they had never had much success” with black or Hispanic journalists, and that they had had “more success with white women.”
That’s an interesting statement. Does Juan listen to NPR? He worked there for 10 years, during which time he presumably stumbled across Michelle Norris, host of NPR’s most popular show ‘All Things Considered’ and frequent Meet The Press pundit. Or Michel Martin, host of Tell Me More.
This is not to suggest that NPR couldn’t work on its ratio. All of media could do some serious work on its ratio. Including Fox News. But Williams’ assertion on this front doesn’t exactly seem tethered to the reality of NPR’s public line-up.
Mostly it seems tethered to the barely contained bitterness he still feels over his firing last October, which has been spilling over once again this week with great frequency (and subsequently being lapped up by Fox).
And while you can’t blame him for being angry, you can certainly blame him for not lifting a finger in an attempt to even pretend to be objective on this subject. Something that is presumably, technically in his job description.
He goes on to say: “For them, I think the fact that I was a journalist who was not being pigeonholed as just a black journalist, but something larger and sometimes even conservative in a point of view, made them have great difficulty with me.”
Which is maybe closer to the point, in so far as, NPR clearly has zero idea how to handle Fox News or the people who tune into Fox News (Bill Keller has lately been suffering from a similar problem) and would do well to tune into it more often, if only to avoid ridiculous, over-the-top knee jerk reactions such as we have seen from them in the last six months.
Vid from HuffPo below.
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