Friday, October 22, 2010

Am I the last person left with long-term memory?

By Edward Copeland

You will see me shedding no tears for Juan Williams' firing from NPR. It's not a First Amendment issue. Free speech gives you the right to say whatever you want, but when you are a paid commentator, it doesn't protect you from getting the heave-ho from your employer when you say something stupid and are being promoted as a representative of their brand. Besides, a $2 million consolation prize from Fox News is a nice consolation prize for someone who is Fox's idea of a liberal the way that Alan Colmes was. The only real liberal I ever saw was on the only show Fox ever aired that used to be truly fair and balanced, "Fox NewsWatch." His name was Neal Gabler but he criticized the boss and co-workers too often so he got shown the door as did the impartial moderator Eric Burns and the show turned into a propaganda fest like every other program. (One of the replacement "liberals" was Juan Williams.)

Before I move on to my other reasons for why I think his NPR firing was long overdue, just let me add that the comment that got him axed showed his ignorance. He admitted getting nervous when he got on a plane and saw people dressed in "Muslim garb." None of the 9/11 hijackers wore Muslim garb, brain wizard. If you saw people dressed in Muslim garb, that probably would be more of an indication of safety.

Of course, I've disliked Williams since long before Fox News even existed. No one seems to remember (and no one would probably have remembered this week if not for the fortuitous timing of that famous Teabagger, Mrs. Clarence Thomas, calling Anita Hill for an apology) that Juan Williams is a sexist moron.

Back during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, Williams, thought of as a "liberal" wrote scathing columns against Anita Hill, saying her story was full of holes. What he didn't say was that he was sympathizing with Thomas because at the time he was being accused of sexual harassment by 50 (you read that right, that's why I put it in bold) Post employees and was disciplined, though it amounted to a slap on the wrist, considering the numbers involved.

Of course, though Firedoglake remembered that and reported it today, I seem to be the only one that recalls that Williams scoured his copy of the novel The Exorcist to find a passage he remembered about a pubic hair and a drink and showed it to Arlen Specter who then brought it up in his questioning of Anita Hill to accuse her of having read the book and having it inspire her to make up the pubic hair on the Coke can incident.

One positive thing did come out of re-opening the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill can of worms: It inspired Thomas' former girlfriend to finally come forward and back up her charges of how he was obsessed with porn and would comment on female office workers' breast sizes. We've always known he committed perjury (I mean, he never discussed Roe v. Wade? Yeah, right), but this is more evidence of it. Still, nothing will come of it. They don't have the balls to pursue the last administration's far more serious crimes, you think they'd try to go after a Supreme Court justice for perjury? They wouldn't have even done that back in 1991.

To me, the most sickening display is watching all the talking heads on all sides of the political spectrum take to the airwaves to defend Williams because they all are on the same D.C. party circuit. Truth doesn't matter. Actions don't matter. No one remembers anything.

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  • Thanks for writing this.

    By Anonymous Itchy Brother, at 11:25 AM  

  • And thank you especially for mentioning his Roe v. Wade statement, which always infuriated me. Before Anita Hill even stepped before the microphone, Clarence Thomas committed perjury when he said that he'd never discussed Roe v. Wade with anyone and had no opinions about the decision. NOBODY ever mentions this, so I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers it.

    By Anonymous Nora, at 8:26 AM  

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