Morning Links

Thursday, October 21st, 2010
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66 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Chuchundra | 

    Williams is an a-hole and NPR is well rid of him. He used his NPR credentials to play the “sensible liberal” role on Fox News. From the linked article:

    Alicia C. Shepard, the NPR ombudswoman, said at the time that Mr. Williams was a “lightning rod” for the public radio organization in part because he “tends to speak one way on NPR and another on Fox.”

    I’m sure this will work out well for Juan. He can now go full wingnut and play the “liberals can’t handle the truth” card for all it’s worth.

  2. #2 |  Joe | 

    Apparently all things cannot be considered.

  3. #3 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    IMHO Chuchundra is on the right track. Juan Williams is an actor and the big money is on Fox. Juan’s bank account is better off getting rid of NPR.

    Mind you, I’m not hating Juan for playing the game.

  4. #4 |  Joe | 

    This quote seems to fit this Juan Williams matter pretty well:

    “A managed democracy is a wonderful thing… for the managers… and its greatest strength is a ‘free press’ when ‘free’ is defined as ‘responsible’ and the managers define what is ‘irresponsible’.”

  5. #5 |  digamma | 

    I predict the right wing spin will be “NPR fires Williams for appearing on Fox News”.

  6. #6 |  Joe | 

    digamma, there is no spin about it. Williams got fired for stepping off the NPR libtard reservation one time too many. But in the symbiotic relationships between the right and left media, Williams will actually benefit from it in the long run. It gives him street cred with the right.

  7. #7 |  Bot | 

    Jobs blows off RIM accusation by citing flaccid market share.

  8. #8 |  JS | 

    Maybe government shouldn’t be in the business of providing people with housing.

  9. #9 |  SJE | 

    Ever since Juan Williams did the great “eyes on the prize,” he has been banking on his racial cred, despite many years of intolerant remarks concerning Muslims, whether certain politicians are “black enough.” He comes across as old school civil rights era black thinker who could not adjust to the modern realities. He used his NPR cred to be the “liberal” on Fox, even though many of his views are conservative, and his son worked for Strom Thurmond.

    I think that NPR could do with more conservative and libertarian voices, but Juan Williams just ran his mouth off too often. Bob Edwards’ ego got too big for NPR and they let him go too.

  10. #10 |  JS | 

    Guys like Juan Williams are not liberals or conservatives, they’re entertainers first of all. I mean, come on, his whole job is doing what we all do here-commenting on stories. He gets paid for it! So maybe it will turn out to be a good career move like everyone said and he’ll become a fulltime foxnews guy and sell a lot of books or something.

  11. #11 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Helen Thomas, Juan Williams, Don Imus getting fired over
    comments. Hmmm.
    Getting canned for reckless comments is a little harsh.
    How about this for first-time offenders:
    they have to submit to the Dunk Tank in their underwear in 40-degree
    weather. Jews, Muslims and Blacks (respectively) can chuck
    the bean bags.

  12. #12 |  Cackalacka | 

    Personally, I don’t know if I loath NPR more for Juan Williams, or if I loath Juan Williams more for NPR.

  13. #13 |  Nemo | 

    The last time I went flying about 4 years ago, standing in line at Dulles, I was given the ‘The airline has selected you.’ for the ‘special treatment’.

    This…from a turbaned, floridly bearded and mustachioed TSA worker whose English sounded like he learned it while riding a roller-coaster.

    I could care less where someone came from, their ‘race’, their ethnicity, etc. so long as they’re not in a position where their backgrounds may influence my safety. But who the hell hired all the foreigners I see running exactly such operations? And I am not supposed to voice my concern as to their ultimate loyalties? In whose book?

  14. #14 |  qwints | 

    Juan Williams’ firing is consistent with many other recent firings, e.g. Rick Sanchez and Helen Thomas. Expressing fear, distrust or antipathy towards an ethnic or religious group is looked down upon by many in society. Some companies choose not to employ those who do so for a variety of reasons. His firing may be overly harsh but it is neither novel nor an attack on freedom of thought.

    The DePaul University story, however, is much more disturbing and would cause me to avoid and advise others to avoid it.

  15. #15 |  Bob | 

    “MIT scientist building machine to determine whether or not we’re living in a hologram.”

    Wait, MIT has a machine that builds scientists?

  16. #16 |  ClubMedSux | 

    I don’t have the visceral reaction to Juan Williams that some of the other commenters here do (with the caveat that I don’t listen to NPR and don’t watch the Fox Sunday show very often) but to me that’s beside the point. I think the real question is if he should be fired for admitting not to any prejudicial action but to an emotional response. On one hand, I think he certainly could have phrased things better and the context of the comment doesn’t help things. On the other hand, though, I’m guessing the majority of people who board a plane and see a couple of people dressed in full Muslim garb have at least a fleeting moment of fear, even if the rational part of them realizes the odds of the couple being terrorists is infantesimal. Should they (we?) all be fired?

    I guess my concern comes down to this… Issues such as racism and xenophobia are the result of human imperfections. I don’t believe that ignoring such imperfections will allow us to overcome them; we have to first acknowledge them. Now obviously we don’t want to tolerate racism, but I also don’t think we want to make people afraid to talk about such issues openly. To me it sounds like the Juan Williams incident falls somewhere in the middle and I think it’s worth discussing when (or even if) we should punish somebody for admitting to fears that are more a result of emotion than contemplative thought.

  17. #17 |  Joey Maloney | 

    MIT scientist building machine to determine whether or not we’re living in a hologram.

    Oh, good, I’ve really been worrying a lot about that lately.

  18. #18 |  Medicine Man | 

    Speaking of bare-knuckled government power: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/101021/world/as_china_forced_abortion

    Just appalling — inhumanly so.

  19. #19 |  Billy Beck | 

    Juan Williams’ defect is not that he name muslims. His defect is in the fact that he is afraid.

    Williams is a punk.

  20. #20 |  DarkEFang | 

    People are misunderstanding Juan Williams’ firing. He wasn’t fired because of anything he said about Muslims. He violated his contract. It states specifically that at no time is anyone working for NPR allowed to say anything even remotely interesting.

  21. #21 |  Aresen | 

    Report: Bell, California public officials used low-income housing funds for personal slush fund.

    The shock of this news almost caused me to raise an eyebrow.

  22. #22 |  Chuchundra | 

    This was kind of interesting:

    http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2010/10/20/buying_gun_protect_from_stalker

    Although if you surf on over to her site, you’ll note that she’s a bit of a whack job.

  23. #23 |  Stephen | 

    I was reading along just fine on the poker player article till I ran into this,

    “Especially the people of the Pacific Northwest who tend to be slightly more intelligent and slightly less politically apathetic than the people of say, the southwestern United States.”

    Anybody that believes that can kiss my cat’s ass.

  24. #24 |  Joe | 

    You cannot take any of this media brew ha ha that seriously. We all know the news media feeds off each other. Fox has a bigger share because it leans right and the other outlets lean left (so Fox get its slice of the pie to itself). Fox is occasionally over the top. CNN and MSNBC are occasionally over the top. If you are vilifying one over the other you are not being objective, but partisan. Own up to it. As for the Network News stations, most are unwatchable due to their chronic boringness. I listen to NPR all the time, then switch to Rush, then listen to ESPN, then its on to music. I do not agree with everything I hear on any of those venues, yet often time they have good stuff.

    That said, NPR was stupid for firing Williams over that comment. It was pablum. Pleaaaaase, didn’t Jesse Jackson comment once he sometimes gets nervous walking at night if he hears somone behind him, only to get relieved if it is some white person (a comment a lot more racially loaded than what Williams said)? None of you check out Muslims when you get on a plane? Really? Come on. Never? And is just saying that so outrageous? Especially given what the Times Square Bomber just said in Federal Court? Give me a fucking break. This would not even be being discussed but for NPR firing Williams. Hardly anyone would have cared.

    What Williams got fired for was NPR getting mad Williams goes on Fox and uses his NPR gig as part of his resume. This comment was the excuse to give him the boot. Mara Liasson has been questioned about it too (and there have been in house efforts at NPR to give her the boot too). You guys are supposed to be libertarians. You are supposed to be smart free thinkers. You are supposed to figure this out.

  25. #25 |  Cynical in CA | 

    •MIT scientist building machine to determine whether or not we’re living in a hologram.

    If nothing else, I end up being smarter every time I visit The Agitator.

  26. #26 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “From an interview with RAND Corporation terrorism expert Brian Jenkins, in the November issue of Los Angeles magazine …”

    You mean FORMER Rand Corp. terrorism expert Brian Jenkins, right? That’s assuming they even let him live after he publicly states something like that.

  27. #27 |  JS | 

    DarkEFang “He wasn’t fired because of anything he said about Muslims. He violated his contract. It states specifically that at no time is anyone working for NPR allowed to say anything even remotely interesting.”

    hahahaha…that was pretty good!

  28. #28 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “When you live in DC, school field trips consist mostly of observing and interacting with the psychopaths who make our country’s laws.”

    He had me at “hello.”

  29. #29 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Joe wrote:

    None of you check out Muslims when you get on a plane? Really? Come on. Never?

    Joe, I’m a normal guy and I check out people the following way:
    1. Burn a mental image of any hot women for later “thinking about”.
    2. Everyone else.

  30. #30 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    OK, Joe’s comment about “checking out Muslims” deserves a bit more discussion.

    1) Joe, you need to realize that YOU miss out on identifying dozens of Muslims every day. Same with the gays. You may think (I don’t know) that they all look alike, but they actually don’t. Do you check out the Indian in a suit who is actually a Pakistani or maybe a Saudi or maybe Mexican or Phillipino? How many times have you misidentified a metro man or a dude from London as being gay!?! He’s just from London and they trend toward fancy!

    2) By now you might be saying “I meant the ones who wear Muslim clothes!” But, the last time I checked the 9/11 hijackers wore jeans, t-shirts, and dress shirts.

    3) And finally, if I (a Sikh) had a dime for every time someone called me a Muslim because I was wearing my kara and turban I’d be able to fund another illegal US war.

    So tell me, what do the Muslims look like that you and Juan Williams are checking out?

    I hope you are now more paranoid at not being able to easily identify the Muslims.

  31. #31 |  awp | 

    “RIM, Jobs, get down and dirty; debate the accessibility of tight spaces.”

    #24 Cynical in CA

    I don’t know sometimes,very rarely, i feel i get a little dumber.

  32. #32 |  JS | 

    This thread needs something to pick it up:

    http://breakwatercooler.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/boobs_videos.jpg

  33. #33 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Boobs make me dumb.

  34. #34 |  Joe | 

    Boyd. Yes, I check out the hot women first. Then I look at people who are mildly amusing to observe. Then I might watch the CNN on the monitor (which of course has the sound turned off), or read the paper, or go get muchies from the overpriced news store, or get a drink in the over priced bar. Looking for terrorists is pretty low on my priority list.

    I lived in Egypt for years. Been to many Muslim countries on both business and pleasure trips. Have a lot of Muslim friends. I do not consider myself anti Muslim, nor to I equate the vast majority of Muslims with terrorism.

    But if I am on a plane and I see some guys who look arab and in their twenties, have I ever thought about them and terrorism in the same thought since 9/11? Yeah. So what. I suspect you have too on occasion, but if not, so what. Do I complain to the flight attendant, or give any overt shade to those individuals? No. Do I recognize that my response is to a threat that is highly remote? Of course. I also recognize that a Muslim terrorists is probably unlikely to dress like an observant Muslim on a terrorist attack.

    Is what Williams said a firing offense? No. But given the hypocrisy that is the MSM, Williams will likely benefit from this. NPR will benefit from this by appeasing more of its listeners than it will offend by this.

    NPR should not be getting any public money, not because of its content, but out of principal that it should not be publically subsidized.

  35. #35 |  Joe | 

    You are free thinkers! Libertarians, the small “l” kind, right? Were you really offended by Juan Williams and what he said on O’Reilly? Or do you not like Juan Williams because he whores around on the Factor and Fox News Sunday.

    Be honest.

  36. #36 |  Joe | 

    I am not promoting Juan Williams subjective thoughts as the model for TSA enforcement and screening. I am just saying, so what. Is really expressing such a thought on TV a legitmate basis to fire someone? NPR can do what it wants. If it wants to fire Williams, it has the right to do so, for no reason whatsoever. But I would suggest it was not so much what he said on O’Reilly the other night that got Williams fired, but the fact he was on the Factor and on Fox News Sunday. I suspsect insider work place politics in play.

    Other NPR contributors/employees/management do not dig Williams and Liasson going on Fox because 1) Fox is EVIL EVIL EVIL and, (more importantly) 2) they are jealous Williams and Liasson are getting all that Fox money for doing so.

    If you work at the church of NPR you have to maintain your vow of poverty. Violators will not be tollerated.

  37. #37 |  Cynical in CA | 

    … raises hand …

    Who is Juan Williams? Why am I supposed to care what he thinks?

    I’ll shut up now.

  38. #38 |  Stephen | 

    “#32 | Cynical in CA | October 21st, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Boobs make me dumb.”

    I had that problem the other night playing poker at Clicks (local pool hall/bar). This woman across the table had big boobs and a low cut shirt. She kept bouncing her leg and the motion tranfered up her body and made it very difficult to concentrate on the cards. I’m sure she did it on purpose. :)

  39. #39 |  Stephen | 

    transfered – duh, just thinking about it makes me dumb.

  40. #40 |  MacK | 

    I for one do not think the pilot,or co-pilot need to be screened for weapons, bombs, or any other type of device that could bring a plane down, because it would be kinda useless.

    Think about it, they are the ones flying the plane, they can lock the door no one else can enter to stop them now (since 9/11).

    The pilot wants to fly into a building he waits for the navigator to use the head, asks the co pilot to check on the passengers, locks the door, viola he takes himself, and all others aboard straight into hell on a set of wings.

  41. #41 |  JS | 

    Cynical “Boobs make me dumb.”

    Yea but in a good way right?

  42. #42 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Thanks for the response, Joe.

    I do not care for Juan Williams because of the content of his ideas. He could appear on a podcast and I’d still judge his statements the same way.

    I like Stossel and he whores around of Fox. That’s just the game to get paid, but Stossel has been consistent in his beliefs way before he got slapped by Schultz.

    BTW, if you look close at Stossel when he’s on Fox you can almost hear him thinking “Enjoy the blonde eye-candy while you can, John. As soon as there’s a Republican in the White House it’ll be back to the frumpies at NPR and MSNBC.”

  43. #43 |  Joe | 

    Boobs, nice legs, a cute ass,

    these things make life sooooo much better.

  44. #44 |  Aresen | 

    @Cynical in CA | October 21st, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    … raises hand …

    Who is Juan Williams? Why am I supposed to care what he thinks?

    Bingo.

    Only I would have said “Why the fuck am I supposed to care what he thinks?”

    Only the chattering class thinks this is important.

  45. #45 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Genie: “You can have boobs all around you, but they’ll make you dumb.”
    Me: “You, sir, have a deal!”

  46. #46 |  Joe | 

    Boyd, I like Stossel a lot. Was he ever on NPR? I thought he jumped ship from ABC to Fox. I am not much of a fan of Juan Williams, but I do not have a lot against him either. I do not follow his opinions that much. But I find his firing and the reactions to it interesting.

  47. #47 |  Les | 

    I don’t care whether or not Williams should have been fired. What he said wasn’t offensive so much as it was stupid. Juan Williams has said stupid things before. The highest paid talking heads on TV say really stupid things every day. NPR has lots of stupid stories and its anchors frequently say stupid things. All news organizations are like this. None of this matters.

  48. #48 |  EH | 

    Now if only NPR would do something about Cokie Roberts. She’s too milquetoast to say anything untoward, but man is she a dolt.

  49. #49 |  Let's Be Free | 

    Geez people. Whenever I am boarding a plane I take a few seconds to look around and see if there is anything notable about the other passengers, including something unusual in their dress, behavior and/or appearance. If there is, I make a mental note and go about my business, but in the back of my mind I maintain a wariness that keeps me alert to the possibility that one of those standouts does something to arouse my suspicion. It doesn’t mean I think everyone who is dressed unusually is a terrorist, or that I hold any animus against these people. It’s just being rational, awake and alert so I can react in the extremely rare event it becomes necessary.

    In my mind this behavior is really no different than glancing left and right before proceeding on a newly green light to see if the cross traffic is coming to a halt. I know a couple people who would be alive to day if they had put those 2 seconds to work.

    Or there was the time my sister got creeped out by the odd appearance of a fellow sitting across from her at a library so she found a friend who would walk her home — months later she saw the creep’s picture in the paper — it was Ted Bundy.

    Be real, be alert and be responsible all.

  50. #50 |  Thyrezene | 

    1: Impugning all those associated with a political group based on the words of a minority within that group = standard partisan rhetoric, accepted everywhere

    2: Stating personal feelings (thoughts, not actions) towards those displaying membership in a religious group that has members who have committed terrorism (actions, not words) around the world = verboten

    They seem pretty similar to me, although if anything #2 is less egregious than #1.

  51. #51 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #37 | Stephen —

    “Boobs make me dumb.” — CinCA

    “I had that problem the other night playing poker at Clicks (local pool hall/bar). This woman across the table had big boobs and a low cut shirt. She kept bouncing her leg and the motion tranfered up her body and made it very difficult to concentrate on the cards. I’m sure she did it on purpose.” :)

    Couldn’t figure out her tells, eh?

  52. #52 |  Marty | 

    #40 | JS |

    Cynical “Boobs make me dumb.”

    ‘Yea but in a good way right?’

    I really hope so.

  53. #53 |  Lucy | 

    The only timed I counted Muslims waiting for a flight I was 14 and it was October 2001. And even then I knew that logically Muslims could be white or especially of African descent. And I knew it was stupid, pointless exercise in paranoia.

    My problem with Williams being fired is that tax payer funded journalism opens up a big old can of wars about what’s censorship. NPR, assuming I am not broke, the moment you go off tax dollars, I’ll send you 50 bucks.

  54. #54 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    One interesting point with NPR is that they claimed Juan had a history of comments representing a pattern that put him as the focus of the news…because he was expressing his own views…which undermines NPR’s credibility as a news organization.

    NPR is just as biased as every “network” and their journalists constantly are reporting thru their bias and expressing thier own views. Any libertarian or anarchist most likely would cramp up from cringing and wincing thru a broadcast.

    Wait…even that isn’t interesting. Why does anyone care? It is theater, not credible news.

  55. #55 |  Matt | 

    Or there was the time my sister got creeped out by the odd appearance of a fellow sitting across from her at a library so she found a friend who would walk her home — months later she saw the creep’s picture in the paper — it was Ted Bundy.

    Just because someone looks like Ted Bundy and is Ted Bundy doesn’t mean you have a right to judge them. I can’t believe you people are profiling!

  56. #56 |  Dave W. | 

    Think about it, they are the ones flying the plane, they can lock the door no one else can enter to stop them now (since 9/11).

    The pilot wants to fly into a building he waits for the navigator to use the head, asks the co pilot to check on the passengers, locks the door, viola he takes himself, and all others aboard straight into hell on a set of wings.

    Actually they can probably override and fly the jets from the ground now.

    What will be interesting is if a false flag terrorist gets ahold of the remote control flying room and drops all the jets out of the sky in a matter of five minutes. Would the government admit that it got infiltrated (like it eventually, reluctantly did with the anthrax) or would it try to maintain the illusion that AQ brought them all down (like it did with Flight 93)?

  57. #57 |  OBTC | 

    From the last line of the DHS Policy link:

    “Security theater: if only it provided entertainment commensurate with its expense.”

    Oh it will, when: some “disgruntled” TSA employee exposes the TSA/government employee child porn ring that “was the unfortunate result” of the collection of all those naked “body scans” of children which were “saved and used” for “training purposes.”

  58. #58 |  Cappy | 

    Would NPR have fired Mr. Williams if he had spoke favorably of Muslims? Probably not. No one can say that NPR is a neutral-based news organization.

  59. #59 |  World’s Strangest | Is the Universe a Holographic Illusion? | 

    [...] via The Agitator | Image: [...]

  60. #60 |  Joe | 

    Good thing Juan Williams was not playing on line poker in Washington State, because then he would be in serious doo doo.

  61. #61 |  J.S. | 

    Ahh yes, Washingtons lovely silly hypocritical online gambling ban. Aka, the indians and other vested interests bribed lawmakers to lock out any competition. The best part of that law when it was passed was the notion that they (Olympia) was going to go after people who even talked about poker online/in emails. You’d be a criminal for mentioning a poker website to a buddy. Shovel ready jobs I suppose. Big brother is going through all emails from/to Washington State.

    Of course, state lotteries and indian casinos are a-ok. Oregon’s public service ads about gambling, “know when to quit! Get help here! Oh, and please patronize state run slot machines/poker machines and the lotto/scratch it tickets”. Its for the children! The money goes to kids (when the state doesnt raid the funds for public works).

  62. #62 |  Joe | 

    This sums it up Williams well.

    J.S. summed up the hypocrisy of state gambling policies.

  63. #63 |  Stephen | 

    “Couldn’t figure out her tells, eh?”

    Hell, it was hard to figure out what cards I had.

  64. #64 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    When is Radley going to comment on the passing of Bob Guccione?

    /joking

  65. #65 |  WhiskeyJim | 

    If you’re a minimally capable human being and you are peripherally aware of any Muslims near you on a plane, it doesn’t make you a bigot or a racist.

    I do suggest if you are not peripherally aware, you are hapless.

    Just sayin.’

  66. #66 |  michael thomas | 

    people can be rightfully upset with what Helen Thomas said and her extreme views on the Middle East. But she was a great journalist and she never interjected her views into her reporting.

    http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=100453

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