City Journal Winter 2016

Current Issue:

Winter 2016
Table of Contents
Tablet Editions
Click to visit City Journal California

Readers’ Comments

Andrew Klavan
Juan Williams Told the Truth « Back to Story

View Comments (17)

Add New Comment:

To send your message, please enter the words you see in the distorted image below, in order and separated by a space, and click "Submit." If you cannot read the words below, please click here to receive a new challenge.

Comments will appear online. Please do not submit comments containing advertising or obscene language. Comments containing certain content, such as URLs, may not appear online until they have been reviewed by a moderator.

Showing 17 Comment(s) Subscribe by RSS
Hey Andrew, you are entirely and empirically correct. Sadly, cultural and security suicide by denial and the oppressive coercion via the law of those who speak factually, is now the dominant modus operandi of the powerful today.

Dig my rather extensive [url=]experience[/url] regards the testing the er, "competence" of our laughable National Security Hotline, ASIO and other PC multicuti dhimmie twerps.

No, really. Colonel Neville.
Well said Mr. Klavan. NPR has shown its true colors. Their thinly veiled attempts at masking their inveterate liberalism hasn't worked. I believe strongly that they should lose their federal funding. I do hope Congress takes appropriate action shortly.

Robert Marchenoir October 26, 2010 at 9:36 PM
Let me throw a wrench into a common American misconception once again voiced here.

Hating a person because of his race would be despicable, but disliking his ideas (such as the Muslim religion) would be OK.

All right, this is a convenient way of fending off accusations of racism whenever Islam gets criticised. It's a legitimate weapon against Leftists and Islamists. Go on, use it.

Unfortunately, there is no real difference between disliking someone because he's black or disliking him because he's Muslim.

In both cases, the dislike stems from the usual pattern of behaviour of Blacks, or Muslims. Not because some theoretical or religious belief that Blacks or Muslims are bad to the core in principle.

And this is entirely legitimate.

It is entirely legitimate to try and put some distance between yourself and people who have a disturbing tendency to blow themselves up, or sexually assault your daughters (that's Muslims -- at least that's what they do in Europe).

And it is entirely legitimate to try and put some distance between yourself and people who have a disturbing tendency to mug and kill you, or sexually assault your daughters (that's Blacks -- but you could substitute another human group according to the actual facts in your part of the world, if you like).

Does that mean you "hate" them ? Well, I dunno. It probably means you are not wildly in love with them. Is it wrong to hate people who hate you, to the point that they rape your daughters because they are not black / not Muslim / not something else ? I'm not sure.

Anyway, what's that bit about "denying people their humanity" ? If that means that people can change their ideas but not their race, it is disingenuous. The distinction is wrong on both sides.

Failing to protect yourself from threats to your property, family, health or life is not "recognising thiefs', rapists' and murderers' humanity".

And a religion is not just a set of ideas you can change, just the way you can switch brands in a supermarket. It's a culture. It's bred into you since you were a baby. It takes hundreds and thousands of years to shape people's behaviour.

People don't chose to be black, but they don't chose to be Muslim either. Of course they can chose not to blow up planes (and most Muslims do exactly that), but the nefarious aspects of being Muslim go way beyond that.

One could even argue that outright terrorism is the least of all Muslim evils, since it's so visible, rather limited, and (at least officially) frowned upon by most of the involved parties.

If I ask that lions be kept out of my neighbourhood, because they tend to eat people, does that mean "I'm denying lions their lionness" ? No (I should say : on the contrary).

Does that mean I'm a lionophobe ? Yes, in a way ! Although I might still like and even admire lions, provided I can watch them safely behind bars in a zoo, or look at photographs of them in the wild. Is "lionophobia" legitimate ? Hell, yes !

Well, men do dreadful things at times. "Humanity" does not mean men are all cuddly and nice and gentle. They are not.
Christopher Pierce October 25, 2010 at 2:50 PM
Very well said.
I love NPR. Years ago I was having trouble sleeping past 5 AM. Now with the help of NPR's droaning monotones it is easy for me to fall back for a few more Zs. I was sorry to lose Juan. Though I did not always agree with him, I enjoyed his commentary. His comment about airline security was straight forward just like his political and economic insights. PML
Anyone here who is criticizing NPR in general does not listen to NPR. It is not some leftist enclave. It is actually pretty moderate. They have a wide range of news and trust me they cover a lot of news from a lot of perspectives. Give it a listen some time. You might learn something. It is much much better than ANY news on TV.

That said, I disagree with the decision to fire Juan Williams. But that was one person's decision not all of NPR.
The NPR I listen to is not the one referred to in the other comments or in the essay. The shows I enjoy, whether originating in DC/LA or at an affiliate radio station like On the Media's @ WNYC All Things Considered or Talk of the Nation are devoid of liberal bias. They serve to stimulate discussion on air and off.

That said, the senior NPR management seriously blew it. NPR, just like Fox News, needs the common sense views of Juan Williams. They played right into the hands of the ideologues. Very inept and insensitive to a man who has worked at an organization for 11 years. They cut off their nose to spite their face.
"Whether Islam is in itself a hateful system is a fair subject for discussion, . . ."

One discussion, it seems, we are never destined to have. Can't offend the adherents of the Religion of Pieces and Flying Body parts.
Mr.Klavan, not only is Williams "a moderate liberal" he is also a sensible one. He's a person that allows dialog with those who hold different views and can still walk away with a handshake. Liberals only respect those who throw bombs, either verbal or literal ones - like Bill Ayers. Juan is not that kind of liberal. He's a gentleman liberal and that kind of person just doesn't fit in their world.
"It may be unreasonable to expect Bob Edwards, Carl Kasell, Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg, and other NPR staffers to come around to our way of thinking. No doubt, they will continue to promote the socialistic aims that make National Public Radio repugnant to all conservatives. But, even if they are on the wrong side, the folks at NPR do recognize what’s important in this world. Conservatives know what they’re after, what makes them tick. What we can’t comprehend is that vast majority of people in the middle who don’t even know what’s going on, or don’t even care." — “Different Sides, Same War,” F.R. Duplantier

The peculiarity of a person of my political persuasion listening to National Public Radio inspired the column excerpted above, originally published in 1990. I was naive enough to think that the folks at NPR might be flattered, or at least amused, by my listenership, so I sent a copy of the column to Bob Edwards — and soon received an utterly graceless response. Genuinely surprised by his rebuff, I replied, assuring him that I had made my overture with the best of intentions — and got an even nastier response. My professional courtesy was not to be reciprocated.

I resisted the impulse to tweak this pompous ass as long as I could, but eventually succumbed to temptation, reprising the unappreciated column in 1998 in a syndicated commentary entitled “Bob Edwards, You’re Being Monitored.” Knowing that it would be broadcast nationally on 100+ radio stations, and published in 500+ newspapers, I refrained from forwarding a copy.
I hope others do what I have done, and write, write, and write:

Vivian Schiller
President and CEO
National Public Radio
635 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Jon C. Randall
PO Box 309
Cascade, WI 53011

October 21, 2010

Dear Miss Schiller,

Due to your lack of sound judgment and credible skills as a “CEO” and “President” of National Public Radio (a taxpayer funded entity), in the “firing” of Juan Williams and your scornful public comments, I am going to recommend to the congress and all parties concerned, to have your organization de-funded permanently.

Your radical extreme far left views, and forcing your intimidation tactics upon the public and those who work for you, run contrary to the basic tenets and character which makes up this great country of ours and the population contained.

I hope you enjoy your remaining tenure as the “President” and “CEO” of NPR, as those days will now be short lived. I’m not sure what you will be able to do with the rest of your life, as your skill level reveals the core of your essence and abilities. I don’t think, in the current job market which is in the decline due to those you support, will have room for someone of your “qualifications.”

Respectfully submitted,

Jon C. Randall
Yes, he told the truth. Even Muslims have those feelings. Consider these remarks by an American Muslim journalist interviewed at NPR:

Professor ASRA NOMANI (Author, "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam"): "Well, you know, I see Juan Williams' firing as a window into a larger problem we have in America right now in our conversation about Islam. We've seen it from this summer's coverage of the, quote, unquote, "ground zero mosque" controversy, the Quran burning story. You know, we are a nation that still doesn't know how to talk about Islam.

What I believe Juan Williams did was express, unfortunately, the position of many Americans in their distrust of Muslims. I am Muslim. My father's name has Muhammad in it. We would be profiled if we go through airports because, you know, I buy tickets at the last minute and I fall into the classic profile that you have.

But I got to tell you, when I went to Great Falls Park the other day, and I saw a woman in an full-face veil and her husband had a little leather bag that wasn't looking like a picnic basket, I felt a little nervous. And there was a park ranger behind me who clearly was on their tail.

What Juan Williams expressed, I believe, is the sentiment of many people and including Muslims. Muslims profile each other all the time. When you walk into a mosque and you see other Muslims, you say, oh look, he looks like a Jihadi. Or, that's a niqab, a woman who wears a full-face veil. It doesn't mean, you know, that we need to go to the point of civil liberties, you know, offensive or anything like that.

But Juan Williams was basically, I think, having a commentary that is very true in America today. And I believe, unfortunately, that NPR short circuited a conversation that we really need to be having."
Two matters that Klavan and Williams seem to ignore:

1) The fundamentalist Muslims who perpetrated the September 11 attacks were not dressed in "Muslim garb".

2) Saying something is true, as Klavan does about how "everyone" feels, does not make it true. Evidence must be adduced and subject to scrutiny. Klavan does neither.
As usual, Andrew Klavan nails the crux of the matter: "To hate a person for his race is despicable because it denies him his humanity. To reject a system of ideas, however, is well within the prerogatives of decency."

And by its actions, NPR has revealed its level of decency.
This was a very thoughtful commentary. Unfortunately, the leftists at NPR and elsewhere are so insulated in their bubble world that reason and common sense cannot penetrate their bunker.
True and beyond honest dispute.
It is ironic that Fox News has some real diversity in its opinion & discussion segments (after all, it is a privately funded entity) while NPR has little diversity of opinion even though it is government subsidized through the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. Or maybe it is not so ironic - Fox wants to make sure that it's content is stimulating to watch. At any rate, this was a dumb move by NPR, because there is long-term discontent out there regarding their subsidy, and it could be revoked. In fact, a lot of government dependent organizations that engage in issue advocacy or other questionable activities may be vulnerable these days. Just ask Indiana residents about the Kinsey Institute affiliated with Indiana University !! To quote a liberal favorite: "Oh the times, they are a-changin' ".