Juan Williams' Pathetic Attempt To Curb Criticism of O'Reilly

Time magazine gives space to Juan Williams to attempt to shut down criticism of Bill O'Reilly. Jaun Williams, like O'Reilly, is an employee of Fox News. Williams writes two things that struck me as pathetic and ridiculous. The first:

That twisted assumption led me to say publicly that the attacks on O'Reilly amounted to an effort to take what he said totally out of context in an attempt to brand him a racist by a liberal group that disagrees with much of his politics.

Um, so Juan, you feel comfortable smearing poeple while at the same time taking umbrage that you were smeared by ONE commentator on CNN?

But the out-of-context attacks on O'Reilly picked up speed and ended up on CNN, where one commentator branded me a "Happy Negro" for allowing O'Reilly to get by with making racist comments without objection.

Well, shame on that commenter Juan, but shame on you for smearing people yourself. For smearing people like Eugene Robinson:

ROBINSON: Well, you know I'm not going to go inside of Bill O'Reilly's head -- you know, is he racist, what does he know? You know, all I know is that it was, at best, a casually racist remark. But you know, what really ticks me off is that when you say that, when you point that out, you know, immediately you get charged by O'Reilly and cohorts with, you know, you're the thought police, you're the thought Gestapo, you're the word Nazis, you're interfering with free speech, and somehow cutting off an honest debate about race. . . .

And for the record Juan, Eugene Robinson is a black man too. I wonder if Time will give him a chance to respond to your smears.

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    But O'Reilly's so "clean and articulate" (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kovie on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 04:00:30 PM EST
    I can't imagine what problem anyone could have with his remarks. Is this part of the Global Jihad on Falafel in the Central Front of the War on Loofahs?

    What a wanker. Like every last wingnut thug he can dish it out but he can't even begin to take it. Glass-housed stone-throwers. Pantywaists all.

    I would just love to see one of these Voices of the Common Bigoted Moron try to sue their accusers for libel and slander. Freedom Falafel Now!

    I think you're wrong about this BTD, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jerry on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 04:25:09 PM EST
    but thanks for tackling it head on.

    From the Time article, I don't see Williams decrying all liberals, and I don't see Williams calling anyone the Gestapo or Nazis.  He doesn't do that in his rebuttal either: You can that here:

    Calling people Nazis, Gestapo, Thought Police, etc. sounds more like BillO than Juan Williams.

    On the other hand, as a lifelong liberal and Democrat, I have to say there is in fact a lot of politically correct speech that various special interest groups try to force on Democrats and others.

    Conservative special interest groups do it too.  Hence, the outcry against "Betrayus" but not against "Phony Soldiers"

    As I pointed out (off topically) in the thread below, William's message is not new.  It's been discussed by Cosby, by Spike Lee, by D'Mite (in the video, "Read a Book") and by many many others.

    It's BillO's tactics to call anyone that disagrees with him a traitor to various causes.  Williams lets him get away with that, but I think Williams is justifiably upset with seeing BillO charged with racism when Williams feels there was no racism involved whatsoever.

    Williams does say in his video with BillO "They."  "They", could be "the left", but in the context of the book he was pushing, Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It, I think what "They" are are the Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and the various players in Big Media including in this case, MediaMatters.

    I want Media Matters to have a good and well known reputation much as I think the ACLU and AI enjoy.  Charging BillO with racism here does damage and does stop good honest discussions of race, and so, I am upset with Media Matters in this regard.  

    Anyone that wants to read some more of my thoughts about this can find them in the earlier thread.

    But if folks are really interested in how pervasive and damaging politically correct, thought police ARE damaging honest discussions, read or join TheFire.org

    The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education was founded by liberals, conservatives, feminists, and past and present leaders of the ACLU in order to

    The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America's colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience--the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE's core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.

    America's colleges and universities are, in theory, indispensable institutions in the development of critical minds and the furthering of individual rights, honest inquiry, and the core values of liberty, legal equality, and dignity. Instead, they often are the enemies of those qualities and pursuits, denying students and faculty their voices, their fundamental rights, and even their individual humanity. The university setting is where students are most subject to the assignment of group identity, to indoctrination of radical political orthodoxies, to legal inequality, to intrusion into private conscience, and to assaults upon the moral reality of individual rights and responsibilities. Illiberal university policies and practices must be exposed to public criticism and scrutiny so that the public is made aware of the violations of basic rights that occur every day on college campuses.
    In 1998, Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate co-authored The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses. In response, they received hundreds of communications and pleas for help from victims of illiberal policies and double standards that violated their rights and intruded upon their private consciences. To answer these calls for help and to transform the culture, Alan and Harvey founded FIRE.

    If you visit thefire.org, you can read their archives of cases and see for yourself how political correctness IS damaging honest discussions in the University setting.

    What did he call them? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 04:39:43 PM EST
    Are you pretending he did not call them anything?

    Are you pretending he did NOT prtetend everyone was calling him a Happy Negro?

    I find your comment extremely disingenuous.


    Williams in the second video said "They" (none / 0) (#7)
    by jerry on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 04:47:50 PM EST
    And IIRC, he did say they are trying to "shut up [BillO], they are trying to shut up anyone who wants to have an honest discussion about race" shut down honest debate, but he didn't call anyone gestapo, nazi, or even thought police.

    He said CNN's actions were rank dishonesty.

    From the context, they seems to be, as I have said, MediaMatters, and others players in Big Media, and the Phony Leaders that Williams writes about in his book.

    I don't see him saying "The Left", or "Liberals" -- that's Bill's spin.

    If you can find him saying that himself, please show that.  I have seen the original clip, the Time article, and the second clip, and I don't see that anywhere.

    I am not sure why you think I am being disingenuous -- please show me where I have taken something out of context.


    Who is he talking about?i (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 04:58:40 PM EST
    Who are you kidding with this? Yourself? I am sorry, but this is disinegenuous in the extreme.

    Perhaops someone else will wantto go further with you on this.


    Remember the Vast right wing Media Conspiracy (none / 0) (#10)
    by jerry on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 05:48:16 PM EST
    Williams isn't castigating the left.  I think he is castigating:

    1)  "Phony Black Leaders"
    a)  Black Politicians
    b)  Black Civil Rights Leaders

    1.  Major Media including Record Companies
    2.  Black Artists working what he calls "minstrel shows"

    Bill O'Reilly turns that into "The Left", and you are falling for that.

    BTD, a lot of this has very little to do with BillO, a lot of this for Williams is concerning the controversy in the Black Community regarding Bill Cosby's speech and what that said about Blacks and what that said about Cosby.

    If you get a chance, listen to the Dyson / Williams interview.

    NPR : Juan Williams on African-American 'Victimhood'

    Crown | Enough

    The souls of American folk.(books, arts & manners)(Enough:


    Oh please (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 06:22:53 PM EST
    Williams is expressly defending O'Reilly as such, he is endorsing what O'Reilly said.

    Just stop it please.


    Sometimes (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by glanton on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 08:27:32 PM EST
    Sometimes you see a post, or a part of a post, that's so true, so pertinent to the thread, and yet at the same time, exhibits the playfulness of a cat batting away the balls of string that are Juan Williams' defenders.

    This is such a post:

    Juan Williams has another agenda. Juan wants to sell books. Or at least one book. Speaking of Juan and NPR, Bush wanted to do an interview with NPR, but he would only do it with Juan. NPR said no, you don't get to dictate who does the interview. So Bush and Juan went to Fox, where apparantly Bush can dictate who does the interview. What does that tell you about Juan?

    I think that ... (3.00 / 2) (#19)
    by jerry on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 08:55:12 PM EST
    1. If that were the case then why doesn't Billo play the entire tape to show the context?  Because his main job is to sell ads?  Because he linked to it?  Because we all have teh Intart00bs?

    2. The statement that Black Americans are beginning to think for themselves implies that there was a time (apparantly up until recently) that they didn't think for themselves. You don't see that is condescending,  insulting AND based upon RACE?

    I think that Jews are starting to think more and more for themselves.  They're getting away from the liberals and the democrats.  This is an opportunity for us Republicans.

    I think feminists are starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the Dworkins and the Steinems and the people trying to lead them into a sex divided culture.  This is an opportunity for us Republicans.

    I think gays are starting to think more and more for themselves.  They're getting away from the liberals and the democrats.  This is an opportunity for us Republicans.

    I think workers are starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the Chavez and the Hoffas and the people trying to lead them into a class based culture. This is an opportunity for us Republicans.

    I think Republicans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the Hannities and the Limbaughs and the people trying to lead them into a class based culture.  This is an opportunity for us Democrats.

    I think that Cuban-Americans in Florida are starting to think more and more for themselves.  They're getting away from the Bushes and the Tancredos and the people trying to lead them into a race based culture.  This is an opportunity for us Democrats.

    I think that the Christian Fundamentalists are starting to think more and more for themselves.  They're getting away from Falwells and the Robertsons and the people trying to lead them into a religious based culture.  This is an opportunity for us Democrats.

    Condescending?  Yes.  Ignorant and wrong?  Most likely.  Racist?  No.

    2. (Because you number funny) The statement that: And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship" is  revealing. Why would he think it would be different? The man is clearly clueless and has no business lecturing anyone on race or racism.

    IRONY: An intentional contradiction between what something appears to mean and what it really means. Irony is normally conveyed through contradictions between either what is said and what is meant or appearance and reality. There are many forms of irony; verbal irony, the most familiar form, involves speaking words which say something quite unlike what is meant (e.g., I just love to write papers).

    4. Juan Williams has another agenda. Juan wants to sell books. Or at least one book. Speaking of Juan and NPR, Bush wanted to do an interview with NPR, but he would only do it with Juan. NPR said no, you don't get to dictate who does the interview. So Bush and Juan went to Fox, where apparantly Bush can dictate who does the interview. What does that tell you about Juan?

    That is the very definition of an ad-hominem attack.  Bush likes Juan Williams, therefore Juan Williams is a shill.

    The fact that I and others are willing to condemn his causal racism (as Eugene Robinson called it)  doesn't make us some sort of PC police. Billo is free to be a buffoon. He is free to make racist statements. He has no right to expect no one will call him on it.

    The PC Police aspect of this is Juan Williams experiencing for over a year now people calling him Uncle Tom.

    The part of this that makes me ashamed as a liberal is where on so many liberal forums including this one, people feel that it is okay to call Juan Williams an Uncle Tom.

    Remember, we cannot let Juan Williams who is a best selling author and considered an expert on the Civil Rights movement have any thoughts of his own that would make him not a liberal democrat.  If he expresses such thoughts, we must explicitly state that he is selling out to the man for money, and not because he has come to his position honestly and through intellectual process.

    Contradiction (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 09:06:22 PM EST
    The PC Police aspect of this is Juan Williams experiencing for over a year now people calling him Uncle Tom.

    We are talking about OREILLY, not Williams being called an Uncle TOm.

    This is classic GOP "look over there!."


    5 points (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 09:48:34 PM EST
    (I'll try to keep track of the numbering)
    1. linking to it, is not the same. Very weak argument. If I am innocent, I would certainly use every avenue at my disposal to show my innocence. Billo has TV and Radio access without having to pay for it. Is he just dumb? Well yeah, he is, but he is not that dumb. He knows how to get a message out.

    2. You keep interjecting the phrase Uncle Tom. I never used the phrase. I don't need to.  Juan Williams has an economic interest to protect as I pointed out- his book and his paycheck. It would not be an ad hominium attack to point out that Bush thinks he is a softball interview (Bush doesn't do hardball interviews). This is called impeaching the witness, by showing his economic and personal bias. There is nothing wrong with pointing out these facts. Its legitimate criticism.

    3. You put words in my mouth and then construct a rebutal to  an argument I never made. That is the definition of a strawman argument. Don't try it on me.

    4. You correctly show how condescending and wrong Billo was and give similar examples which have a missing ingrediant- race. Yes it would be wrong to make those statements in those contexts as you demonstrated. Billo  also would  have been condescending and insulting had any of those been his statement. But his statement as the added context of race, making it condescending, insulting AND racist. The added context for your examples would be sexist, classicist, homophobic and anti-religion. For some reason, you left those added contexts out, though your example statements would be egregious on those grounds as well.

    5. You don't address the actual context of Billos statements and I wouldn't either, if I were you- its not defensible.

    So ... (none / 0) (#2)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 04:11:45 PM EST
    ... did Juan Williams get his pat on the head yet?

    Good Liberal! That's a good Liberal! You brought me my slippers, yes you did, didn't you! Good, good Liberal!

    Um so honestly, (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jerry on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 04:31:26 PM EST
    I know you're trying to be funny, and snarky, and ironic, and sarcastic,

    but you're being dismissive of Juan Williams, (who is paid not just by Fox, but by NPR, and by whomever buys his books), and in doing so, you are removing any agency of his own, and labeling that with an old racist meme, that of the house n*r

    Why is it hard for you to believe that Juan Williams who has written a book on this subject, and discussed this subject many times, isn't defending BillO out of a sense of principle?  Why is it because he needs Fox, or needs to appease, or doesn't believe these issues are real?

    Or as Juan Williams says,

    The critics want to shut up Cosby, O'Reilly, me and anyone else who points out the crisis in black America. They want anyone who dares to speak publicly about problems in black America to fear being called a racist, if they are white, or a "Happy Negro" if they are black. They want silence so they can continue to make money by distorting black life and allowing black on black murder rates to climb along with the black dropout rate and the black poverty rate.

    The critics want to paralyze efforts to help those locked in poverty and too often in a criminal culture where acceptance of drug use and violence becomes acceptable. They don't want black people to be known as Americans with a long distinguished history of patriotism, reverence for education and a willingness to fight for America's ideals -- justice for all -- despite the harsh facts of slavery and legal segregation.

    They prefer to bash anyone who points out their tragic, mindless willingness to sell out the history and pride of black people to make a buck. But take this from the "Happy Negro." The critics are some Sad People.

    Becvause defending Billo (3.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 04:41:35 PM EST
    is not in favor if his principle.

    I am sorry, but you want to ignore that Williams' biggest paycheck almost certainly comes from Fox News, and you want to ignore the racism in O'Reilly's  comment  and you weant to ignore Williams' own smearing and own pretending that a lot of people called him a Happy Negro.

    Excuse me, you are not being honest in this thread.


    He is acting as if everyone called him a Tom (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 06:24:26 PM EST
    when ONE PERSON on CNN, gawd knows WHO, did.

    All this to distract from what O'Reilly said,w hich he does not discuss at all. The words of O'Reilly are never mentioned by him.

    I have had enough of this.

    Talk with someone else.

    Not one person, did you even read what I wrote? (none / 0) (#13)
    by jerry on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 06:40:03 PM EST
    I just documented from the first page of the google search of Juan Williams Uncle Tom, seven occurrences, including Al Sharpton, Erin Aubrey of the LA Times columnist, another Newspaper columnist and discussions at some of our more important progressive blogs, including C&L, ThinkProgress, and DU.

    That's hardly one occurrence of some random person at CNN.

    How can you have read what I wrote and replied that way?

    And it echoes, as I show, what people have been saying for two years now regarding Bill Cosby.

    In the video I linked to, Michael Eric Dyson comes out and says that Bill Cosby doesn't attack the white man because the white man still signs Bill Cosby's checks.

    Whether it is Williams, Cosby, Spike Lee, D'Mite, or many other black intellectuals, Black Americans are having this conversation.

    Apparently Blacks can hold this conversation in the open, but others are not allowed to join in, unless they want to criticize Williams/Cosby/etc.

    If you go to the prior thread, you can find one commenter explicitly saying that white men have nothing of relevance to say about feminism or race relations and anything they say is probably a tool of oppression.  (The founders of the NAACP and the ACLU might disagree with that.)

    I think it's incredibly fair to hold BillO up to charges of hypocrisy, but in this instance, I see no racism.


    Regarding O'Reilly (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 08:43:48 PM EST
    You cite none.

    I cite none? (1.00 / 0) (#21)
    by jerry on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 09:01:04 PM EST
    Related to O'Reilly (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 09:03:59 PM EST
    The Shaqrpton one is clearly NOT related to O'Reilly.

    I repeat, you cite NONE.


    Rebuttal (none / 0) (#15)
    by Thirdrailradio on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 07:56:57 PM EST
    To view the rebuttal of Juan Williams and Bill O'Reilly in regards to comments made by CNN, go to thirdrailradio.com

    I am glad you addressed this nonsense (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 08:42:01 PM EST
    because I had no patience or temper for it.

    Great job.

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 09:22:42 PM EST
    I am a Southernor. I was raised in Mississippi, I went to school in Mississippi and Alabama, the first 10 years of my career was spent in Atlanta.

    When I first went to school, white kids and black (and I am using white and black for a reason) kids didn't go to the same schools. When my school system integrated, the first year, they put the black children in a class room with a black teacher, and no white children. It took another year to accomplish the actual integration of classrooms and teachers. Some of my cousins, sad to say, were pulled out of the public school system after that. They were sent to white academies. I still recall my mother saying her sister should not have done that and implying, but not directly saying the reason.

    I like to think things have changed- and it has, But it is still there, underneath the surface with some and when I hear Billo make these incredible statements, it offends me. Its just like the statements I heard at the University of Mississippi. Its just like the statements I heard in Atlanta, among

    the good ole boys from Tennessee,
    the college men from LSU, went in dumb- come out dumb too
    Hustlin' 'round Atlanta in their alligator shoes
    Gettin' drunk every weekend at the barbecues

    Sometime after Reagan was elected, I swear it became, among a certain set, ok to make racist remarks in front of me, because I was a "member of the club". And as a young associate in Atlanta, it was the same. When you went out into the burbs and exhurbs, Atlanta was code for black. And then there are those who make the "casual racist" remarks without thought or clue as to the implications.

    It makes you want to scream and  I guess I am ranting now. Billo was offensive. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that. To excuse it requires wilfull blindness, and while it has been awhile,  I have seen that too much in my lifetime.


    Are STARTING to think for themselves? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dadler on Sat Sep 29, 2007 at 08:56:42 PM EST
    They had a Renaissance in Harlem, Bill.  Almost ninety years ago.

    I liked Michael Eric Dyson's take (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 04:39:15 AM EST
    on BillO from the latest Bill Maher episode.  BillO is flat out IGNORANT!  He is almost a perfect specimen of the "Happy" Republican and completely ignorant about the nature and simple truths surrounding human beings in general!  Absolutely ignorant and coveting proud of it as if a goal of ignorance and being chastely innocent were or could be the same thing!  He's a grown man, he isn't a ten year old walking to the corner grocery alone with his allowance for the first time!

    jerry, (none / 0) (#27)
    by cpinva on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:11:04 AM EST
    o'reilly's comment was racist, it didn't take a rocket scientist to see that, in or out of context.

    was his racism intentional? beats me, i don't have a crystal ball, and i can't read minds. however, based on his history, i would say no, it wasn't. it was a reflection of the ignorance that infects most of his blathering. he's so brain-dead, he just blurts these things out with no thought whatever. it's so ingrained in his psyche, it's natural.

    defending him requires such a tortured, twisted mental effort, the head of your brain ends up inhaling its tail. easier, and more honest, to just say "yes, he's an idiot, what did you expect?"

    juan williams disgraces himself by trying. it's fine that he's friends with mr. o'reilly, and it's natural that he'd want to defend his friend. however, there comes a point where integrity demands you not attempt to defend the indefensible, friend or no. you smack your friend upside the head, say "what the hell were you thinking?", and apologize for his flagrant stupidity. then, you move on. go fishing or something.