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NPR Fires Juan Williams: Enough!

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Juan Williams, in response to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, made an impolitic remark—well, stereotype. He said the comment was taken out of context. The facts: he said that while flying, if he sees a man wearing Muslim garb professing alliance to Islam first, he gets worried.

The firing of this freethinker, over a cell phone, after 10 years of service, has fired up both the right and the left in his defense. The Muslim group who complained seems to be alone in their condemnation. On NPR’s blog, more than 4,000 comments have been registered in defense of Juan and many of them threaten to cut off support and pledges. Will Juan’s firing affect the bottom line for NPR? Is this PC run amok?

This stereotype, now “stereohype,” by the media may have helped him get a newly-minted multimillion dollar contract from Fox. The Web fodder is that Juan had a target on his back for having the gall to wear a conservative tie on Sunday and skirt the ethics of his professional contract repeatedly.

Juan’s comment reminds me of one made by Jesse Jackson decades ago when he said that he would cross the street if he saw some black youths out late at night. He took a lot of heat for it. We know that journalists can harbor prejudice too. But Muslims come in all colors; the Nigerian underwear bomber was black and flying while dressed in American garb. Juan, would you have been nervous on that flight before that Muslim lit up his underwear?

I think Juan, with passion, spoke his mind. But if his contract with a left-leaning, public radio entity owns the right to squash opinion and bias while analyzing news, then Juan had it coming.

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About Heloise

  • Darrell

    I have supported National Public Radio for 22 years. My support stopped today.

  • joban

    you lie

  • Joshua

    “On NPR’s blog, more than 4,000 comments have been registered in defense of Juan and many of them threaten to cut off support and pledges.”

    You’re honestly taking those comments seriously? First time commenters who signed up today and are ranting about leftists, communists, Soros and defunding CPB make for believable long time NPR donators?

  • Chris Cerceo

    I am canceling further financial support to NPR

  • Jordan Richardson

    I am cancelling my subscription to Time magazine and buying an apple juice.

  • Heloise

    Joshua, I can’t vouch for the veracity or the people who made comments. But it should scare the bejeesus out of NPR.

    Juan is one of the few African Americans in such a high profile job. Rove, Whoopi and Palin defended him. Are we not to believe that they were just kidding.

    Juan is on GMA with George today. Juan should not have been surprised. They were after him. But the talk to your psychiatrist comment was below the belt and they apologized for it.

  • Clavos

    Were I to board a flight and see Muslims dressed in traditional garb aboard, I too would be “nervous.”

    It’s not bigotry, it’s a sad condition of life in the 21st century.

  • Cindy

    Life itself is a sad condition in the 21st century. Makes one wonder when the majority of folks will recognize the need for a radical change in society.

  • Cindy

    wakey wakey…

  • Cindy

    …as the Brits say.

  • memory

    cindy mispelled. she is wacky wacky

    I am a conservative who really likes Juan Williams. I love Fox because they are willing to present the other side. Are you tired, like me, of political correctness and political infighting? what ever hapened to free speech?

  • Clavos

    I don’t see the firing as a move against Williams so much as a condemnation of Fox News Channel.

    I believe that if Williams had made his remark on the air at NPR, he wouldn’t have been fired. Reprimanded, maybe even made to retract the comment in a broadcast, but not fired.

    NPR saw this as a means of making a statement about FNC and Williams’ association with them.

    Their loss.

  • fandnago234

    Affect the bottom line at NPR?

    What “bottom line?”

    Does this mean Obama will quit printing money?

  • Heloise

    Right Clavos. And recall that there is no right to a posh job analyzing the news with a “public” radio or on TV.

    You have to right to say what you want in a public venue or privately at home.

    I was trying to think of a good analogy and came up with if you transgress over employer rules about use of internet while at work, then you can get canned. If it’s pornography then you can get in trouble at home or at work.

    Some stupid teachers were watching porno at work and maybe even some kiddie porn and they got fired. There was evidence that gov employees did the same but did not get fired.

    The moral is not if you get caught but don’t do anything you don’t want to get caught doing is my take.

    I love listening to Juan but he had NO amended right to this leftist job.

    I find it ironic that Jews (NPRs two fat cats both women too who fired him) are now defending the defaming of Muslims, including Arabs, their cousins. Would Muslims or Palenstinians return the favor? I don’t think so.

    It is not about money but saving PC, liberal elitist face.

  • Heloise

    fand I don’t get your comment. NPR is indirectly receiving fed funds. It is funneled in through other public station affliates or something like that.

    But I will make one disturbing observation: many high profile radio and TV talkers, right and left wing or wind, are also JD’s.

    So for me it begs the question do you have to be a damn lawyer to get such a job in the first place? That’s a sad state of affairs IMHO.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    I am a conservative who really likes Juan Williams. I love Fox because they are willing to present the other side. Are you tired, like me, of political correctness and political infighting? what ever hapened to free speech?

    The other side? You mean like the side where they just make things up and they become “truth” via repetition?

    Fox makes us conservatives look bad.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Life itself is a sad condition in the 21st century. Makes one wonder when the majority of folks will recognize the need for a radical change in society.”

    First, you have to make them “recognize” the load of steaming BS that is your first sentence, once that is done you got it licked. It’s hard for one not properly indoctrinated to understand how truly miserably bad we have it here in the 21st century. You’ve got an entire army of activists pumping out reams of propaganda which I’m certain you’d be glad to link to telling us how bad it is. The problem is that reality, which doesn’t need an activist report to get it’s message across or to raise ‘awareness’, keeps getting in the way of your plans.

  • doug m.

    This article is incomplete as the context is not included. What was O’Reilly saying to which Williams was reponding? Does anyone know? There’s a very good piece at the Wash Post that provides a better analysis of the situation.

    Btw, I imagine Williams is happy with the firing considering he got a pay raise from the new job at FOX.

  • Heloise

    doug this is a short spot. Get it? Bill O’Reilly wanted some sympathy for his comments on the View when Whoopi, cape crusader, walked off. Juan provided some cover for him and got canned.

    If you want more then google it. cheers

  • Dan

    This is a good lesson for the evolution of Juans ideological conscious. His most ardent supporters are people who disagree with most everything he espouses.

    Wonder what he’ll think about that?

  • roger nowosielski

    Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey

  • zingzing

    juan got the “you want him, have him” treatment. you can treat like what you want, but he belongs over there if he’s going to make statements like that, and he’s over there now. oh, boohoo for him. he made 2 million dollars. wah. fuck off.

    should he have been fired? shrug.

    should he have been let go? yep. go on where you wanna. be happy. if he wanted to make his former employers happy, he would have not made his current employers happy, they both have their scripts.

    one is hateful and racist. the other won’t tolerate that. oh, freeeedom of speeeech? where have yooooooou gone? oh whyhyhyhyhyhyhy?


  • Clavos

    Williams’ firing by NPR is inconsequential, even to him. Its chief importance is that it negates once and for all NPR’s indignant protestations that it is not biased and does not present a lefty perspective in all its programming, not to mention its disdain for the Bill of Rights. It’s time ti withdraw its government funding and force it to survive on its own merits — if it has any.

  • El Bicho

    “not to mention its disdain for the Bill of Rights.”

    How so?

    It doesn’t get as much govt funding as people think so all that will do is cost a few jobs. Great idea in this economy.

  • zingzing

    “it negates once and for all NPR’s indignant protestations that it is not biased and does not present a lefty perspective in all its programming, not to mention its disdain for the Bill of Rights.”

    you really don’t listen to npr too much, do you?

  • Dr Dreadful

    I was under the impression that NPR’s entire scheduling consisted of closet lesbian chefs chatting to novelty food vendors about their various innuendo-laden products.

  • Ruvy

    I can’t believe I was once so stupid as to contribute to National Palestine Radio!

  • El Bicho

    I can believe it

  • Zedd

    NPR has to maintain its reputation. Juan Williams got too sloppy. Yes loving up to Fox was problematic (they are cheesy and represent the opposite of what NPR is… they just are… ewww). Juan yapping like a talk radio wako isn’t good enough for what that institution represents. It certainly isn’t good enough for what long time NPR listeners like myself expect. I am beyond grateful that this institution exists. Without it there is no good source of smart, balanced, information besides the programs that are produced by PRI like the BBC.

    Everything is not permissible. Everything cant be watered down just because we want to be nice to everyone. Juan is at work whenever he says something. Firing him is not PC. It’s just he opposite. What he says is job performance. He was reckless with his words. He had to go. That’s not PC that is very hard-line, hard nose, just the facts ma’am. He can now as a journalist say as many stupid things in public as he wants because he works for a last rate operation.

  • Zedd


    The one problem that I DO have with NPR is their ridiculous obsession with Israel. They above everyone have kept the Israeli conflict(drama fest)in the hearts and minds of the American public more than everyone else. It’s really annoying.

  • Zedd

    Juan Williams was also a light weight. He rarely seemed to get to the meat of things any way. I often thought they kept him because they didn’t want to seem racist. His commentary lacked depth. He never seemed to get the bigger picture. Very simple minded. He also seemed to be fighting his own battles with his comments. He also was always trying to make commentary from the Black perspective and because he was so dense, he was always off. His being there added no value. He actually watered down the discourse.

  • Ruvy

    Zedd, there is a simple solution to your problems. Don’t contribute to them, and tell others not to.

    As for us, eventually there will be a big war here, with tens of thousands, if not millions, dead and you’ll just be stuck listening to the news. And you can hold your nose and whine that coverage of the war only contributes to the drama queens.

    In the meantime, when your dollar finally collapses, it will be good news for me, and I’ll celebrate the fall of an evil country. And you folks won’t annoy me any more.

  • Heloise

    Ruvy you are the one that’s evil only you don’t know it. What you wish on the US like the other leftists here, will only come to visit your country instead.

    His bosses were Jewish women and they fired him. If I did a search I am sure that the majority of the staff there are Jewish. So, what they are throwing black people a damn bone by hiring them? That’s how it looks to me.

    Juan was not the best commentator ever. But hell Bill Crystal never got anything right but no one fired him.

    The latest I watched Juan sit in for O’Reilly and he was screaching so loud I had to turn the sound down.

    He dances around the subject but he often nails the topic. He is not as intellectual as the majority of the Jewish women who make up the staff of interviewers.

    BTW they really don’t like black men, or maybe don’t like men. They fired a another less-prominent black man two years ago. I used to listen to him all the time. An African woman took his place. I stopped listening to NPR when they fired that brother. They are haters anyway.

  • Zedd

    Heloise, getting rid of two black guys, one obscure and the other who worked there for over a decade and is obviously clueless for saying what he did, does not mean they don’t like black men. Come on that’s just ridiculous.

  • Heloise

    Zedd it is not ridiculous if there were only THREE working for them! I know the news voice, forget his name, is a black gay guy. He has kept his job.

    Yeah, if there are only two straight black men and you fire them both, then it is not so ridiculous in my book. What if the only blacks at any job are both fired? Wouldn’t you think something of that?

    The only blacks kept and liked are NOT even American at NPR.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Heloise –

    Check around a bit and you might find that Juan Williams had a bit of a history. Back in the 90’s he was publicly reprimanded for repeatedly making sexually inappropriate comments to women who worked with him.

    If the comment Juan made on Fox News was the only act that NPR considered in their decision to fire him, then I’d agree with you…but I strongly suspect that’s not the case.

  • Heloise

    What does his sexual history in the 90s have to do with NPR firing? He was not even working for them then.

    I stated that they no like him hanging out with the right wing folks on Fox. If there is right to work law then they DO NOT NEED a reason to fire him. But since this is high profile they had TO WAIT for a reason.

    Juan ain’t the best but he’s one of the few black faces on Sunday. And for now that is all I really care about. Have I set the bar too low? Too bad.

  • El Bicho

    “If I did a search I am sure that the majority of the staff there are Jewish.”

    Based on what? Rick Sanchez would like to see that info.

    “But hell Bill Crystal never got anything right but no one fired him.”

    That’s not true. If you did a search you would know that, although you may have trouble if you google that spelling.

    “What if the only blacks at any job are both fired? Wouldn’t you think something of that?”

    Not since, as you stated, one was replaced by a black woman.

  • Zedd

    Having a black face does not render you “unfireable”. He was not NPR quality. I wondered what the deal was about him for years.

    Its not about Fox being right winged, (if Fox was part of the reason). It’s that they are of poor quality. They represent the worst in journalism and and everything that is bad about where our news media is headed. They are not right winged, they are dumb, opportunistic and vacuous. Big difference.

    Also again Heloise, he had the job for a long time (average and unimaginative as he was).

  • Zedd


    I have to disagree with you. If Ted Koppel had said he gets nervous when Blacks sit next to him on the subway, and got fired for it, you wouldn’t think that was an injustice.

    How is Juan Williams going to purport to be unbiased from this point on when everyone knows he’s scared of Muslims.

  • Heloise

    Zedd that’s funny. So you think he was of poor quality or average quality and NPR has low standards. Is that what you are saying? I don’t think they would see it that way. Besides did you read my comment? I DON’T care. I am glad that Donna Brazile is on Sunday TV and she is good to great sometimes.

    If Juan is the best of blackness for now, then so be it. And yes they would fire Koppel for what you said.

  • Zedd

    Williams’ comments on Michelle Obama:

    “Michelle Obama, you know, she’s got this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going.”

    A great loss for NPR… wow.

  • Zedd


    I meant that when he was on, YES NPR’s quality was diminished. He lacked depth. He didn’t seem to get the bigger picture. He seemed really proud of himself and his knowledge but missed what the meat of what was being discussed was. Kinda wanted to nudge him on a little because he was just a few thoughts behind it seemed. He was very knowledgeable about occurrences. His analysis however, was shallow and unsophisticated. He probably thought the more considered view points were because of liberal thinking but it was just THINKING.

  • Heloise

    Yes, I just heard about the Michelle comment you mention. I think it was too little too late. He was pandering in that comment to the right in their bashing the Obamas as socialist, which they are. The ties to Ayers are striking. Ayers is one hell of a writer and one guy believes that he wrote all of Obama’s books for him.

    I think Juan was being too cute, too poetic and like myself takes heat for creativity. He is getting a lot more money though than I will ever make.

  • Clavos

    a last rate operation… that is first in audience share.

  • Clavos

    They represent the worst in journalism and and everything that is bad about where our news media is headed. They are not right winged, they are dumb, opportunistic and vacuous. (emphasis added)

    Just like the American people,which is why FNC is #1 in audience share.

  • zingzing

    “Just like the American people,which is why FNC is #1 in audience share.”

    that’s not a good thing.

  • handyguy

    Most Americans don’t watch any cable news. A substantial fraction of that small number watch Fox. A growing but smaller number watch the other station with opinionated shows, MSNBC. The big loser is CNN, which tries to be objective and often ends up boring.

    But purely in terms of quality of reporting and overall intelligence, NPR is vastly better than any news on TV.

    The NY Times had a pretty good article on the Williams firing today. NPR has a very specific policy, of which Williams was aware: don’t say anything on Fox that would be inappropriate in your NPR job.

    He has said other things that made them squirm, including some infelicitous remarks about Michelle Obama last year: “She’s got that whole Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going on” or something to that effect.

    I’m sure they wish they had quietly not renewed his contract. The PR is awful, and it gives Fox a ridiculous opportunity to gloat. Yecch.

  • STM

    Clav: “Just like the American people,which is why FNC is #1 in audience share.”

    Yep, no brainer for Fox. It’s all done as a business model … what works for audiences and pulls in the revenue stream.

  • Clavos

    Yep, no brainer for Fox. It’s all done as a business model … what works for audiences and pulls in the revenue stream.

    Quoted for Truth.

    News is a business and the smartest man in that business today is Rupert Murdoch — he reads what the masses want better than anybody else — certainly better than that pompous fop, “Pinch” Sulzberger, whose paper is sinking — rapidly.

  • handyguy

    You are really letting the ugly invective fly fast and furious tonight, Mr C. Too much caffeine perhaps?

    Few if any print newspapers are thriving, but the Times is in no danger. And Rupert lusts desperately to turn the Wall St Journal into the NY Times. Pouring money into it, probably at a loss.

  • Heloise

    Do you guys read online or in print the UK rags? They have taken yellow journalism and pop culture icons as god and they are the NEWS over there. I think America does have a higher standard. We just don’t include worldly news so well.

    I hate the news about the wars and the wikileaks. Have to fast forward that mess.

  • Dan

    NPR is clearing their decks of moderate, honest voices like Williams’ and further compromising their already stained integrity by whoring after George Soros’ money.

    I’m glad. If public funding for NPR is only two percent, then great, they shouldn’t miss it. I look forward to their descent into the same ugly, factually absurd, hate show that bankrupted air amerika.

    Juan Williams is representative of the reality that there are indeed a few honest lefties with integrity, but the grim progressive totalitarian machine demands evermore adherence to zealotry as it’s objectives become clearer.

  • handyguy

    Has Dan ever even listened to NPR news?

    It is not partisan or biased. It’s really top-quality reporting. When commentators rather than reporters are on, there is always a liberal and a conservative viewpoint represented [such as EJ Dionne and Bill Kristol].

    You can create a fantasy left-wing radio network in your head if you wish, but it has nothing to do with NPR. Air America couldn’t be more different.

    NPR’s best defense is its own excellent programming.

  • Zedd


    Your commentary on these threads is a clear indication that you are no fan of NPR. Of course you don’t value their contribution. You don’t know what it is that they do because you are not a listener. Your comments are evident of the effects of the intended disinformation that has stolen the hearts and minds of the good people of this nation. Your views are a methodically devised stew that’s designed for the financial and career benefit of certain individuals. These individuals would be media personalities (talk radio, FOX commentators), power hungry politicians (who are too lazy or dumb to fully prepare for the posts), and the ultra powerful who need your stupidity and gullibility in order to manipulate the democratic system to work for their own aims.

    So yes, we know you don’t have value for NPR. It’s very clear, sad to say.

  • zingzing

    it becomes painfully obvious when someone hasn’t listened to npr. like dan’s little fascist fantasy up there. it’s idiocy and it’s just another symptom of the insanity that is spreading all over the right wing.

    but you see… i know they’re sneaky. they’re spreading lies about us, and they are printing up their propaganda to convince themselves of the lies they spread about us… and one day, they’ll round us all up, and put us into ghettos, then camps. yes. yes, you see? they accuse us of the very thing that they would do… yes… that’s how these things work. first it’s the lefties, then it’s the arabs, then they build a wall around the country and drown all the immigrants, and then they’ll devour themselves from within, bingeing and purging, til all that’s left is the richest, whitest, most liberty-loving and freedom-loving, oldest, most misanthropic, greedy old baggers who can’t even get it up anymore. then the terrible lack of women becomes an issue. and the lack of scientists! 97% of them were slaughtered with the left! all they have left is a few lazy scumbags they bought out years ago. and not a one of them knows what to do with a stem cell, as all those things were killed as well. and so, slowly, slowly, behind its walls and amongst the giant corpse bonfires that used to be our major cities, america’s leftovers slowly march west, to arizona and to new mexico, and they play golf. until they wither in the sun, unburied for the lack of mexicans willing to do it.

    i see their plan. i know it because i see things like this. it becomes more clear all the time.

  • Zedd


    I am not sure why when our society is crumbling, the worship of business savviness over social responsibility still exists. Murdock has muddied the minds of good people who are looking for answers, distorting reasonable ideas and replacing them with sensationalized garbage and as a result, impacting the political discourse in this country and perhaps our future. How he should be applauded because he figured out how to make a dollar in this way is confusing to me. Maybe you can help me understand.

  • zingzing

    “How he should be applauded because he figured out how to make a dollar in this way is confusing to me.”

    he’s by no means the first. hearst and pulitzer tried to out-do each other for years back in the late 1800s. their “journalism” was eventually to blame for the assassination of a president and ruined reputations and careers all around, although the two at the top got through it, mostly by repudiating their own past as yellow journalists. it was a disturbing time in american journalism and murdock is doing his best to bring it back.

  • Heloise

    Mike Wallace and Juan Williams had a Kumbaya moment on Fox news Sunday. I thought they were both gonna start blubbering LOL.

  • El Bicho

    I am surprised people find Dan’s foolish comments worth responding to.

    what was Mike Wallace doing on FNS?

  • Ruvy


    When I lived in the States, I listened to NPR ALL the time. So, I knew about the trio of Jewish women who run the joint. I also know that merely being Jewish by birth does not make you Jewish in the heart.

    The JAPS at NPR do not represent JEWISH womenhood – they represent a sick perversion of Jewish womenhood. They are quintessential self-hating Jews who run away from their own identity and what it means. They wanna be “liberals”, and part of being “liberal” in this perverted ‘Jewish” world, is kissing Arab ass, spitting on Jewish survival in Israel and whining incessantly about the holocaust and Jewish victimhood. And it all disgusted me.

    Only when I prepared to leave the United States was I willing to openly admit that to myself, and just shut off NPR.

    You Americans will get the economic collapse you richly deserve, along with a good solid dose of violence to “sweeten” it all for you. To those of you who are my friends on this site, I tell you, get the hell out; if you are Jews, come home – if not, try to get into Australia.

  • zingzing

    ah, ruvy’s on the doom patrol again. yay… grumble grumble. don’t worry ruvy, if you say something, it eventually must come to pass somewhere in this infinite universe. one day, israel and palestine will realize how foolish they’ve been, and there will be peace in all the land.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    Why do you say ‘go to Australia’? I mean, don’t they have things like socialized health care, tough gun control laws, and required universal voting – things that most Dems would love and most Republicans would hate….

  • Clavos

    Proof positive that OZ is infinitely superior to Gringo land…

  • STM

    Glenn: No we have universal health care that also offers people the chance to have private insurance cover and thus get the best of both worlds; we have gun control in New South Wales that requires people to have a licence and to understand that the need for an AK-47 with a folding stock-bayonet probably isn’t that strong in a civilised city of 5 million; and there’s no required voting … it’s required that you go to the polling booth on election day (where the ballot is secret) and get your name ticked off the roll. How you vote or whether you vote from that point on is your business, not the state’s.

    On the news media in the US.

    Currently, nespapers are dropping like flies. There are papers that have been going for nearly 200 years that are going under.

    Part of the reason for that is that American newspapers have been extremely boring.

    They have also come to reflect the views and aspirations, political or otherwise, of the people working on them … rather than those of the audience they are supposed to be targeting.

    Yes, there are other reasons, but the fall has been so swift and dramatic, you don’t have to be arocket surgeon to work out the reason why.

    Life is not journalism school at Columbia.

    Journalism is about entertaining, and presentation in bright packages, as much as news; many US newspapers have largely failed to move with the times over the past 60 years or so, and are now paying the price.

    Those suffering a much slower demise are the ones that have moved with the times to a greater or lesser extent.

    Sad, because a lot of worthy journailists are being put out of work, and some of those getting new “replacement” jobs on the internet are having their pay levels scaled down to as little as $20,000. That is apparently what the market values it at when it moves from hard-copy publication and becomes confined to the internet.

    Not good for journalism as a profession, and probably not good for the internet if it wants to be a serious vehicle for journalism.

    As we’ve seen on this site recently with rubbish, untruths and nonsense presented as fact, there’s a reason why most people need to do at least four years’ study (or a four-year cadetship) before they can even think of getting a job as a working journo.

    The only way newspapers, especially, will survive – and news organisations will make money generally – is to remember that providing news is also a husiness, and that a component of it requires journalists to at least have a stabd at entertaining its readers, viwers or listeners.

    Interesting, too, that many people who bang on about falling standards and yellow journalism are often no longer the ones getting their main diet of news from “old media” – radio, TV and newspapers.

    yet smart business operators in Australia, when they realised a year or so ago the country wasn’t going into recession because of the GFC, upped their marketing and advertising budgets to pre-GFC levels and tellingly, most of that money was spent with “old” media.

    They also report that it works.

  • STM

    Clav, I know you know that ad’s not fair dinkum, but others will believe it is and it’s not.

    No one drinks Foster’s in Australia.

  • STM

    STM writes: “Currently, nespapers are dropping like flies.”

    I always wanted to be a journalist, now I are one.

  • zingzing

    “Yes, there are other reasons, but the fall has been so swift and dramatic, you don’t have to be arocket surgeon to work out the reason why.”

    internet. i think “boringness” isn’t as big a factor as “free.” who’d seriously pay the money or take the time to pick up their newspaper anymore? you can just check your phone for the front page.

    “providing news is also a husiness, and that a component of it requires journalists to at least have a stabd at entertaining its readers, viwers or listeners.”

    oi. had a few quiet ones? all in fair game, eh? i’ll have my revenge!

    also, if that ad’s real, i live in france. the design on it is just so shitty. and i don’t think it’d go over well. also, it’s obviously very cold wherever that second shot was taken.

  • STM

    Like I say, zing, no one drinks Foster’s in Australia.

    Also, newspapers in the Uk and Australia aren’t going down the pan anywhere near as fast as they are in the US.

    There’s a slide, but it’s not nearly so dramatic.

    I suppose once everyone in Britain and Australia gets their own computer and doesn’t have to go to the town hall to use the community one that uses pedal-powered generator that previously sparked up the street lights, things might change.

    I do believe, though, the real reason is that US newspapers were univerally regarded elsewhere in the English-speaking world as being among the most boring on the planet both in presentation and style of writing.

    I guess the idea was simply to present fact mostly, and that’s very worthy. But I strongly feel there’s more to it than that. I look at American newspapers and still see the style as being rather archaic. Not all, but a lot of them.

    Using caps at the beginning of each word in a headline still leaves me wondering. I know it’s tradition, but still … people need to move with the times.

    Speaking of which: The New York Times could do with a shot in the arm for a start, but none of us should be holding our breath.

    Some its features are great reading (and features/op-ed sections are the spots where readers expect a good long read), but the news section could do with some jazzing up.

    I love (not) the way a story spills from, say, page 1, to page 365, and then to page 2 of section A, which you can never find.

    That’s what copy editors are for: to turn great screeds of stuff that are a good cure for insomnia into something brighter and more succinct, but which keep much of the detail – and all the info.

    Or maybe reporters should just learn to write to a decent length that will hold a reader’s interest instead of boring us all to death.

    I also maintain: It’s much easier to sit in a cafe having a coffee or eating breakfast or Saturday/Sunday brunch while reading a newspaper (especially a good, serious tabloid) than it is to read a laptop or an iPad (as good as iPads are).

    Much nicer too.

  • STM

    There might also be some commuter train journeys where it really is better to have a newspaper than one of them nice laptops that can be sold for $100 at the pawn shop after sopmeone has kindly relieved you of it.

  • zingzing

    i concur. but i’m not everyone. also, i live in brooklyn. i had a newspaper delivery for a few months, but can you guess that my neighbors stole my paper as often as i got it?* yes, that’s brooklyn. i love the place, but freedom goes very far here. it’s awesome, although you should know your own limits. steal your neighbors’ papers, rather than let them steal yours. uh. now i gotta a paper every damn day. don’t need to pay no nothing neither.

    *it would help if i kept earlier hours. but no…

  • STM

    I like Brooklyn. went to a great party there once. A warehouse-type party.

    Hard to find, then when we did had to go up in what looked like a goods lift.

    All worth the head miles. Good place, good fun, great night, back in the late 80s.

  • zingzing

    i like brooklyn too. it looks like shit til you get inside, then it’s ridiculous. the warehouse areas are full of greatness. some industrial door, a gray hallway, then opulence beyond. such is the beauty of brooklyn. a mystery behind every door.

    brooklyn is the place to be. and the beaches out here are surprisingly great. i’m sure they have nothing on australian coastlines, but they’re east coast, so they’re warm enough to swim and the ocean looks the same from every angle that you can’t see anywhere else.

    add one of the greatest arts scenes on the planet into the equation, you get a fantastic local.

  • STM

    It’s a good place.

    I like American hotdogs; great hotdog joint (Nathan’s??) and an Italian deli/diner famous for chocolate milks.

    I realise Brooklyn has a lot more than that, but I’d go back during the day just for that.

  • zingzing

    yeah, nathan’s. that’s down in coney island. i’ve lived here for three years and never gone to nathan’s or coney island. rich place. such is life.

  • Ruvy

    Being the Brooklyn boy that I am, having worked at Nathans, remembering the stink of the BMT, IND and IRT subway trains and the boardwalk at Brighton Beach where the Liberal Party old farts used to play chess and pinochle, and kids would pee on the floor – hitting the lovers having sex Under The Boardwalk, it is such a pleasure to see folks talking up my old home so nicely. And yes, newspapers are barely worth wrapping fish in anymore.

    But I have other concerns.

    Lately, Bishop Ratzinger, presently of Rome, has been showing the world just what Jew-haters the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ (Vatican for short) really are.

    Lets have a look, shall we?

    Catholic Cleric: Jesus Cancelled Biblical ‘Chosen People’. uh huh….

    US Jews Enraged by Catholic Document Urging Missionizing of Jews. The lie has been put to all the interfaith dialogue bullshit.

    And finally, Vatican Synod features some good old-fashioned Catholic Jew Hatred. We see the Bishop of Rome and his flunkies at their Jew-hating best. So nice to see the mask of compassion come off to reveal the inner Nazi at last.

    I’ll let you chew on why I view the goyisher world with contempt. In the meantime, I’m gonna fix myself a good old fashioned egg-cream.

  • STM

    Mate, was that what I had, Ruve … a chocolate egg-cream????

    It rings a bell. Someone took me there specially to go to this place. It’s a long time ago, but whatever it was, it was good.

    And please don’t put me off Nathan’s hotdogs … I love American hotdogs (yes, they ARE different), and these were among the best I had in the US.

    Like I say, I’d go back to Brooklyn just to have those two things if I were to travel back to New York again.

    The party was pretty damn good too, although what happened afterwards in Chelsea is still somwething I can dine out on.

    No sex or anything sordid involved in case anyone’s wondering … but a near who-knows- what, with me only saved from who-knows-what by the fact that as an Aussie, I really do know my cricket.

    Hope Samaria is OK. Cheers Ruvy!

  • Ruvy

    Stan, this video comes close, real close, to the way it was made in the hole-in-wall New Yorkers called a “candy staw” when I was a kid growing up in Williamsburg and Midwood a half century ago.

    You should use U-Bet Syrup, not Bosco, but who knows what is you have available to you in Oz? Where this goes off in on the seltzer. This video uses club soda fresh UNOPENED out of the fridgidaire. That’s as good as this poor guy could get. You use seltzer – the kind you spray out of those seltzer bottles manufactured in Czechoslovakia in the 1920’s. It’s highly carbonated water – unlike club soda, which is less highly carbonated. And you spray it on the spoon to create the head on egg-cream.

    The reality is that you cannot get a real egg-cream outside of a restaurant that has carbonated water separate from the syrup lines. This soda is what is highly carbonated, and always pressurized.

    Thank you for the kind wishes. It is hot here. Wednesday is supposed to be a Hamsín – hot weather for late October, highly unseasonably so.

  • Ruvy

    Finally, Stan, I just wanted to tell you that when I was a kid, nagging my father or mother for the money to buy these delicious egg-creams (we didn’t have then with hot-dogs- that would be mixing dairy with meat), I lived in the richest, the best, most powerful and most wonderful land on earth – better than Australia was THEN. Today hakol hafukh – it is the opposite. Be nice to the American refugees when they come to your shores from the disaster that will become America. Americans are decent folk, with good work ethics, and good senses of humor. Just keep out the asshole élites that will inevitably try to sneak in with the refugees.

  • Boeke

    Juan Williams shouldn’t have been fired for his injudicious statement, but he should have been fired years ago for his poor reporting.

    Contrary to what radical rightists proclaim as doctrine, NPR is NOT leftist, and could better be described as rightist, or at least super-sensitive to rightist sensibilities.

    For example, here’s an anecdote from FAIR on Howard Zinns obituary compared to obits for several conservatives:


    NPR Puts Right-Wing Hate in Howard Zinn’s Obit
    A double standard for deaths on left and right

    By Jim Naureckas

    When progressive historian Howard Zinn died on January 27, NPR’s All Things Considered (1/28/10) marked his passing with a declaration that his life’s work was worthless.

    After quoting positive assessments from Noam Chomsky and Julian Bond, NPR’s Allison Keyes turned to far-right activist David Horowitz, a practitioner of what the Nation (11/12/07) calls the New McCarthyism, for a ritual denunciation. “There is absolutely nothing in Howard Zinn’s intellectual output that is worthy of any kind of respect,” Horowitz proclaimed. “Zinn represents a fringe mentality which has unfortunately seduced millions of people at this point in time. So he did certainly alter the consciousness of millions of younger people for the worse.”

    Horowitz’s substance-free attack contributed nothing to an understanding of Zinn’s life or work, other than conveying that he’s disliked by cranky right-wingers. (Horowitz has been best known in recent years for his race-baiting and Muslim-bashing—Extra!, 5–6/02; FAIR report, 10/1/08.) He seems to have been included merely to demonstrate that NPR will not allow praise for a leftist to go unaccompanied by conservative contempt.

    NPR has not taken a consistent position that all its obituaries be thus “balanced.” Take its coverage of the death of William F. Buckley, a figure as admired by the right as Zinn was by the left. Upon his death in February 2008, NPR aired six segments commemorating him, none of which included a less than laudatory guest.

    In two segments, All Things Considered (2/27/08) presented the remembrances of Rich Lowry (Buckley’s successor at National Review), Buckley’s son Christopher and his reverential biographer Sam Tanenhaus. One of the segments did include a soundbite of Noam Chomsky debating with Buckley in 1969: “No, I don’t believe that.… In fact, I think that….” But what Chomsky did not believe was unclear, let alone what he actually thought.

    Talk of the Nation (2/27/08) featured admirer William Kristol, while Day to Day (2/27/08) had an extended interview with protegee David Brooks. Morning Edition (2/28/08) just quoted Buckley himself. The celebration of Buckley culminated with Weekend Edition host Scott Simon (2/29/08), who turned Buckley’s cause of death itself into a eulogy: “Emphysema, such an unseemly thing for a man who was so often a breath of fresh air.”

    During his life, Buckley was an intensely controversial figure who supported, among other things, white supremacism in the U.S. South and South Africa, McCarthyism, nuclear war against China and the tattooing of AIDS patients (Extra!, 5–6/08). Reporting his death, however, NPR didn’t think it was worth bringing on a critic who would take a negative view. Why would the same outlet take such a different approach when reporting the death of a public intellectual on the right rather than the left? That’s something hundreds of media activists, some of them responding to a FAIR Action Alert (1/29/10), wrote to NPR ombud Alicia Shepard to find out—without getting a straight answer.

    In an online response (2/4/10), Shepard admitted that Horowitz’s “harsh comments” were “not appropriate.” But at the same time, she insisted:

    Obituaries are news stories that place a person in time and history—not tributes. For this reason, Zinn’s obituary did need to mention that he was controversial and that some historians were dismissive of his work.

    “It would have been better to wait a day and find a more nuanced critic,” she concluded.

    It’s true that an ad hominem attack from an ideologue fails to meet any responsible standard of journalism. At the same time, one could justify a rule that obituaries should always include balancing views. But as FAIR and many of NPR’s listeners pointed out, NPR does not consistently follow such a standard—a point Shepard’s response conspicuously ducked.

    She did acknowledge that “NPR was complimentary and respectful in memorializing Buckley”—and added that “the network was equally nuanced in remembering pioneering televangelist Oral Roberts [12/15/09]…and Robert Novak [8/18/09]…. NPR’s obituaries of these men did not contain mean-spirited, Horowitz-like comments.” Shepard, strangely enough, appeared to be using the word “nuanced” here as though it were synonymous with “complimentary and respectful.”

    In any case, her statement did not suggest that those obituaries of right-wing figures should have been handled differently—or that future obits of conservatives would get the “warts and all” treatment that she says is mandatory…for Howard Zinn.

  • STM

    Thanks Ruve.

    Mate, actually, quite a lot of Americans ARE moving here. Not exactly a tidal wave, but it’s noticeable (perhaps now legally being able to have dual US-Aussie citizenship is the clue).

    It’s not unusual to hear an American accent these days in the suburbs. I don’t know what the figures are for immigrants from North America, and I suspect some of them might be Canadian, but I can usually tell who’s who.

    The thing is, despite it being more of a cross between Britain and America, Australia is the country most like America, but it’s just a hair different – so Americans find that a problem sometimes.

    There is an American lady who used to write a blog and at first complained about the things she couldn’t get, and how her kids were speaking with Aussie accents and eating Vegemite. Tongue in cheek mostly, but not always.

    Then one day, she writes something like: “What am I doing complaining. I’m living in the most beautiful city on Earth, maybe I should just embrace it”. Voila, after 18 months, not-quite-instant Aussie.

    Americans complain about the high cost of living and the prices in the supermarkets, though, but then Aussies earn a bit more than Americans so if you’ve got a job here, you are in the same boat as everyone else and it doesn’t equate to being anything that different to the US once you get your head around it. Cars and houses are pricey though: the average family sedan made in Oz will cost close to $A30,000 (about $US29,000). You can’t buy a decent house in Sydney any longer for under $600,000.

    I guess the trick is just to bite the bullet and accept it, rather than constantly doing calculations in your head all the time about what the cost is here vs there.

    One of my mates is an American lawyer; he had to go back to university for a short time to switch over for practice but at the level of common law and criminal law, it is virtually identical as it comes from the same place. He will never go back, not because he doesn’t like the US but because he likes it better here.

    He’s been here for 20 years; another of my mates is from California and has been here for nearly 30 years (although he does go back occasionally for six months to a year or so).

    I stayed with his mum last time I was in the US. She reminded me of my own mother, but with a strange accent :)

    Cheers Ruve, I’m off to check the egg-cream video. Thanks.

  • STM

    Yep, just looked at the video; that’s what I had in Brooklyn Ruvy … egg cream. Just forgot the name. I remember the head on it. A chocolate milk that looked like a beer. The place was supposed to be famous for them.

    Cheers mate!