The only thing that Juan Williams said that could possibly be construed as offensive is that he gets nervous when he sees identifiably Muslim people getting on a plane–a feeling that is no doubt shared by many millions of Americans. The tenor of his remarks was clearly that this was a regrettable association, along the lines–as Kevin reminds us–of that long-ago Jesse Jackson comment. Juan Williams is as about as anti-Muslim as Jesse Jackson is anti-black. Indeed, consider everything else he said. Williams went on to speak up in favor of those “people who want to somehow remind us all as President Bush did after 9/11, it’s not a war against Islam.” He warned against painting with too broad a brush: “If you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals, very obnoxious, you don’t say first and foremost, we got a problem with Christians. That’s crazy.” He said that, in the German context, the problem is not Muslims, it’s “extremists.” And he cautioned against rhetoric that might incite anti-Muslim violence: “I don’t know what is in that guy’s head [the guy who slashed the New York City cabbie a few weeks ago]. But I’m saying, we don’t want in America, people to have their rights violated to be attacked on the street because they heard a rhetoric from Bill O’Reilly and they act crazy.” I would say it’s unbelievable that NPR would fire Williams over this, but, of course, it is believable, and shameful.
Dear Reader (And especially Martha McSally’s dog), As I often note, I increasingly tend to see the political scene as a scripted reality show in which the writers don’t flesh out the dialogue so much as move characters into weird, wacky, confrontational, or embarrassing positions. It’s a lot like The ... Read More
Jeff Flake may be leaving the Senate soon, but he’s determined that his exit will be one of non-stop moral posturing. The Arizona senator is best remembered at this point for his last-minute delay of the Judiciary Committee’s approval of Justice Brett Kavanaugh when -- along with his pal Senator Chris ... Read More
President Trump has announced his support for a proposal to ease federal sentencing laws that proponents call the “FIRST STEP Act” -- and that Senator Tom Cotton has tartly labeled the “jailbreak” bill. There may not be much time for debate, since the bill’s ideologically eclectic array of champions ... Read More
After what seem like years of a phony war, British and European Union negotiators finally agreed on the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU earlier this week, and Theresa May announced it in the House of Commons. The deal covers more than 500 pages of legal and bureaucratic prose, and few but the ... Read More
Do you know what scares an American outdoorsman more than a grizzly bear? Twitter. In the late summer and early autumn, the hunting world had its eyes on the courts: The Trump administration had issued new guidance that would permit the hunting of brown bears (popularly known as grizzly bears), including in ... Read More
The world's oldest political party has developed an aversion to discretion. The Democratic party is manacled to an over-caffeinated base that believes that deft government can deliver parity of status to everyone while micromanaging the economy's health-care sector, which is larger than all but three other ... Read More