Media and religion: If people cannot safely say what they think, what effect can media have?
Media watchdog Brent Bozell charges "NPR's Religion Double Standard'" (Townhall, October 27, 2010), in connection with the abrupt firing of Juan Williams, for saying honestly that people in Middle Eastern Muslim dress on airplanes made him nervous:
National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams tells you all you need to know about the radical, and thoroughly intolerant, left. Williams is a liberal, but still, he isn't liberal enough. The idea that he would acknowledge a mere thought of discomfort at the idea of people in "Muslim garb" on airplanes in a post-9/11 world became a firing offense. It didn't matter that he prefaced it with all the perfunctory and politically correct disclaimers about not being a bigot and we shouldn't blame all Muslims for terrorism.Bozell goes on to talk about insults to the Catholic Church that are supported by NPR types.
Today's left is void of any principles whatsoever. They can be as astonishingly offensive and insulting as they want toward Christians, and no one gets punished. The indefatigable Catholic League provides the documentation.
Fair enough, but the reality is that old atheists and new, and all types in between, have stubbed their toes kicking the Catholic Church for two millennia. So?
A greater concern, in my view, is media that do not seem interested any more in what people actually think. Having bought into the idea that citizens are simply random collections of molecules that can be directed by the will of an intellectual elite (among whom they conveniently class themselves), they think they can simply fix or airbrush everything so that their aggregations do not conflict with each other. And if that doesn't work, they fire someone just to prove they are in charge (in charge, that is, of truckling to the right political correctness icon).
No. We must start by asking people to say - with no fear of editing, censure, firing, or punishment: What do you actually think/feel about this? If we want to solve a problem, we start there and move out from there.
Bozell, and many, want NPR defunded. Hmmm. I'd prefer they be asked to voluntarily revisit what happened here. If they prove arrogant, well ...