By William Kristol
My Fox News Sunday colleague Juan Williams has been fired by NPR for telling an inconvenient truth. Juan was appearing on Bill O'Reilly's show Monday night, when O'Reilly asserted, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.” Juan didn't disagree with this claim. Would President Obama, for example, disagree? I don't think so. Isn't this why, for example, we are fighting a war to prevent jihadists from re-establishing a terror base in Afghanistan? (It's a war, by the way, that Juan happens to oppose.) But do the powers-that-be at NPR really think that jihadists, especially if aided by state sponsors, are not a serious threat? Do the powers-that-be at NPR think their analysts shouldn't be allowed to say they are?
Juan cited the words of the Times Square bomber: “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." Do the powers-that-be at NPR deny that jihadists have made countless comments of this sort? Are NPR analysts not allowed to cite them?
Juan also commented, “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've 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. Do the powers-that-be at NPR think Juan Williams is a bigot? Do they think a traveler who has a reaction (fair or unfair) like the one Juan describes, in our age of terror in the name of Islam, is a bigot?
Of course the powers-that-be at NPR know he's not. In fact, I suspect the powers-that-be at NPR pretty much think what Juan thinks. But the standards of political correctness must be maintained. Pressure groups speaking for allegedly offended Muslims must be propitiated. And so Juan had to go. NPR--unfair, unbalanced...and afraid.