According to National Public Radio's (NPR) site, this is its stated mission
. Below, a look at item one of three in said mission statement. Is it fair to say that the feelings Juan Williams expressed recently on Fox, ones for which his NPR contract has since been terminated, represent a fair
reflection of what a great many Americans likely also feel in this post 9/11 world? Can you say that NPR is being comprehensive
in its representations of America by, now, not only ignoring, but punishing individuals for having and expressing such feelings?
1. NPR is committed to the presentation of fair, accurate and comprehensive information and selected cultural expressions for the benefit of, and at the service of our democracy. NPR is pledged to abide scrupulously by the highest artistic, editorial, and journalistic standards and practices of broadcast programming.
As for item two, below, NPR often provides programming quite positive as regards to the Muslim world - this being just one example
- so, certainly by allowing someone with Williams' feelings doesn't appear to somehow be providing an imbalanced view. In fact, he didn't even express them on NPR. He simply holds, or has them. And what is the real meaning of diversity in NPR's view if individuals such as Williams aren't even permitted to be associated with NPR, let alone express themselves freely? If anything, for dismissing Williams, the case could be made that NPR actually rejects any concept of diversity where feelings about, or reactions to, Islam and the Muslim world are concerned.
2. NPR is committed to providing diverse and balanced viewpoints through the entirety of its programming. NPR recognizes that its credibility in the minds of the general population is its most precious asset and must be protected.
It also seems, given item three, NPR is careful to give itself fairly wide berth for error, or misstep, when it comes to the content it issues daily. Yet, we now know from his own telling
, Juan Williams was provided no room at all for error, assuming one actually believes what he expressed is somehow so inappropriate. He wasn't even given an opportunity to explain his comments in his own defense.
Where is the sense of tolerance, fair judgment, and redemption one might commonly view as representative of the brand NPR works to carve out for itself everyday?
3. Even a rigorously managed programming organization may inadvertently depart from its own standards and practices, and abuse its freedom and power to inform and entertain. NPR is dedicated to identifying such transgressions if they occur, correcting them, and acting to prevent repetition.
By its own standards, NPR fails at the very mission it, not we the people, has set out for itself. In this age of skyrocketing debt and deficits, it's impossible to come up with a rationale for forcing taxpayers to support something so obviously failed according to its own standards.
It is time to defund NPR. Our Founders never intended for Americans to be forced to fund failure, especially on such a visible, national scale.