Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Should NPR Apologize About Juan Williams? They Never Apologized For Equating Jews With Nazis...

"Let's face it. The Jews are colonizers. They're colonizing there."
NPR's Foreign Editor Loren Jenkins

With the firing of Juan Williams, NPR has left itself open to criticism of statements made by other members of the station that have been ignored--or even perpetuated. That gives rise to Edward Olshaker's contention that Comparing Jews to Nazis Meets NPR's 'Editorial Standards and Practices':
Remember what National Public Radio did to its foreign editor Loren Jenkins last year after he said, "Israel has used Gaza as a bombing target practice"?

They did nothing to him, for he was simply espousing the reckless anti-Israel hyperbole that is business-as-usual for NPR.
Addressing an audience at an Aspen public radio event, Jenkins also said that Israel "created the biggest ghetto we've ever known" and is therefore responsible for the likelihood that Gazans "are all going to be turned into Palestinian terrorists because they have nothing else to do."
He quotes CAMERA, which reveals that not only Jenkins has a history of anti-Israel bias, but also reporter Kate Seelye as well:
Significantly, Jenkins has regularly appeared at events sponsored by the stridently anti-Israel American-Arab Anti- Discrimination Committee (ADC), and [reporter] Kate Seelye was for a number of years beginning in the late 1980's the ADC's Manager of Media Relations.

In recent years Seelye has written for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, in one article accusing Israel of engaging in state-sponsored terrorism. The Washington Report is an extremist magazine which has referred to Jewish supporters of Israel as a "cancer" and as "Israel-firsters," and has carried ads for Roger Garaudy's notorious book, The Founding Myths of Israeli Policy, which denies the Holocaust. That NPR would hire a contributor to such a magazine, that it would welcome such extreme partisans, is testament to the network's own highly partisan agenda.
There is also Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, who demanded an apology from NPR for having anti-terrorism expert Steve Emerson on the show and then successfully having NPR ban him from appearing again. As for Abunimah himself and his statements when appearing on NPR:
Abunimah's views provide revealing insight into the nature of commentary that meets NPR's standards. Echoing NPR foreign editor Loren Jenkins' likening of Jews to Nazis, he has denounced Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority as "quislings" who run a "Vichy-style" government, terminology that casts Israel as the Third Reich and Hamas terrorists as the heroic Resistance. He divides Palestinians into "the minority who have cast their lot in with the enemy as collaborators on the one hand, and those who uphold the right and duty to resist on the other."

On PBS' Newshour, Abuminah told interviewer Gwen Ifill that Israel's government includes "people that called for the annihilation of the Palestinian people." On the "progressive" radio show Democracy Now!, broadcast on NPR, he emphasized that "we have to recognize and celebrate the [Hamas] resistance" and claimed that "what Israel is trying to do is a massive experiment in ethnic cleansing to get rid of a million-and-a-half people who do not fit its demographic desires." (Host Amy Goodman's response to the genocide claim was simply to go on to the next question.)
Read the whole thing.

If the firing reveals NPR's biases that years of vicious anti-Israel statements have not, that is a good thing. There is talk that NPR's controversial firing of Juan Williams could go so far as to cause them to lose federal funding.

It would be about time.

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NormanF said...

If they want to spew hatred, let NPR do it on its own dime.

Works for me.

Anonymous said...

There's an NPR ombudsman (Alicia Shepard) blog post completely defending the firing, just that they should have done it more gracefully and gradually to save themselves the criticism. Yet 4 months before, Ms. Shepard blogged a plea that Helen Thomas' nameplate be left on her former seat for sentimental reasons, because a lone slip of the tongue shouldn't have any bearing on Ms. Thomas' greatness as a journalist.