Monday, October 25, 2010

Juan Williams stinks

Good riddance to bad rubbish

From Stan Cox:
http://www.counterpunch.org/cox10222010.html:

NPR should have fired Juan Williams not last Wednesday but nine years ago. The cause for dismissal should have been this radio commentary that I recall hearing him deliver as I was driving through Salina, Kansas on September 14, 2001:
He said in part,

“This week, Neil Livingston[e], an anti-terrorism expert, told me there is only one meaningful response to terrorism. That is to absolutely extinguish the terrorist. That means using nuclear weapons on terrorists in any country that harbors them . . . Despite my non-violent instincts, I found myself reluctantly agreeing with Neil.”

Williams noted that soon after he drew that radioactive conclusion, James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, got him to reconsider it “for a little while.” But then, he said, “I went back to Livingston’s camp” because “these are unreasonable times.”

...

...By dumping him in 2001 when he should have been dumped, NPR could have reduced somewhat its output of bland conventional wisdom—a variety of verbiage that sounds especially irritating when rolling off the tongue of a fanatic.

And from Dedrick Muhammad and Barbara Ehrenreich in August, 2009:
Just last month on NPR, commentator Juan Williams dismissed the NAACP by saying that more up-to-date and relevant groups focus on "people who have taken advantage of integration and opportunities for education, employment, versus those who seem caught in generational cycles of poverty," which he went on to characterize by drug use and crime. The fact that there is an ongoing recession disproportionately affecting the African American middle class - and brought on by Wall Street greed rather than "ghetto" values - seems to have eluded him.
http://www.counterpunch.org/muhammad08052009.html


And a from Ishmael Reed in 2008:
Blaming black men exclusively for the abuses against women is a more profitable infotainment product. Hypocrisy is also involved. MSNBC host, Joe Scarborough, who welcomed Juan William’s latest demagogic attack on blacks, printed in The Wall Street Journal , still hasn’t addressed the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of his staffer, Lori Klaustis who was found dead on the floor of his office or why he had to resign abruptly from Congress. And is Juan Williams, whose career has been marred by repeated sexual harassment complaints against him really one to criticize the personal morality of others?
http://www.counterpunch.org/reed06242008.html


Juan Williams, sexually harassment

In the early 1990s, Juan Williams worked at The Washington Post where it seems Williams had been sexually harassing female coworkers:

Jo Ellen Murphy, art director of the Weekend section, said that "he was obsessed with my sex life and that's all he wanted to talk to me about . . . . I raised my voice at him and said, 'Just don't talk to me again.' "

After Williams made some "hostile remarks" in late September, Murphy said, a male co-worker reported it to an editor, which triggered the personnel inquiry.

Nancy McKeon, the magazine's features editor, said she told Williams that "you've got a little problem here" after she complained about a sexual remark he made to her. Karen Tanaka, an assistant photo editor, said Williams had been "nothing but nasty to me." Deborah Needleman, the magazine's photo editor, said that when she objected to Williams's "demeaning" comments, he said: "What's wrong with a little flirting?"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/10/21/ST2010102102028.html

Williams was under investigation for sexual harassment, but the Editorial Page Editor Meg Greenfield wasn't informed of this. So she ran Williams' column defending and supporting Clarence Thomas, chortling over the charges Anita Hill made against him, unaware that Williams was himself a pervert.

The disclosure came five days after a Williams column on The Post's op-ed page in which he said that Anita Hill had "no credible evidence" for her allegations of sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, but that Hill was "prompted" to make her charges by Democratic Senate staffers. The Post's personnel inquiry had begun more than two weeks earlier, but the column angered many women in the newsroom, and several came forward to say that they had also had problems with Williams. Post editors say they decided to make a public statement after WRC-TV aired a report on the controversy.

Williams returned to the newsroom Monday after working away from the office for two weeks, and the controversy seemed to have died down. But emotions began running high again Wednesday when Williams was quoted in USA Today as saying the complaints stemmed from "my attempts at being friendly" and saying "Hi. How are you? . . . Hey, did you have a date? How was your weekend?" He also said The Post had "said basically, 'Come back to work. We're sorry this happened.' "

A letter to Downie signed by 116 newsroom employees yesterday said: "We feel Juan's unrefuted false statements to the national media continue to cause anguish and professional harm to the women involved. They have also left many people inside and outside The Post with the impression that either the complaints were not serious or were not taken seriously . . . . The Post has an obligation to set the record straight by refuting such comments."

After this, Williams was forced to sit in an isolated part of the office where he could be watched at all times.

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