Public Radio… Yes, I’m a Subscriber, But…

…I’m still quite peeved at NPR’s handling of the Juan Williams matter; what were NPR’s Ellen Weiss and CEO Vivian Schiller thinking?

Just for clarification, I’m a long-time supporter of our local Public Radio station here in Atlanta, WABE 90.1, and before that of KPCC in Los Angles.  Like a lot of subscribers, my political views may or may not be what some Public Radio listeners and most non-listeners might expect.  I find their broadcast content interesting, informative and something that makes commuting as well as road trips (thank you Podcasts & iPod) a bit less tedious… well, except during the election cycles when partisianship sneaks in.

While I’ll leave the substance of any breach of contract to NPR’s and Williams’ lawyers to work out, I must say that if I ever fired an employee and made details beyond statements of fact approved by HR and legal known even within the company, never mind to a public audience, I’d be gone in a New York minute.   That’s where I’m at a total loss to understand how NPR could have exercised such poor judgement on what anyone with a brain cell could see was an awkward relationship to begin with.  Again, I suspect many NPR listeners saw William’s dual positions as a news analyst for NPR and Fox News, as well as Mara Liasson’s similar circumstance, as a train wreck just waiting to happen.  That NPR chose to time the wreck to occur during the fever-pitch of the mid-term elections and the annual fall fund-raising drives makes the poorly and publicly mis-handled personnel action even more mind-bending.

Anyway, although I considered withholding my annual pledge as a way of sending a message via WABE to NPR, I’d already made it on-line before the on-air drive began… and even then, I’m not sure penalizing WABE for NPR’s action was appropriate either.  So, I’ve sent off my ‘letter’ to WABE and NPR voicing my displeasure, and have now vented a bit here… so I feel better.   Of course, I’m also about ready to send a ‘letter’ to Juan Williams who seems to be acting with about just as much or perhaps more bad judgement than NPR with his never-ending diatribe on just about every Fox program. So much for exercising restraint, taking the high ground and retaining your dignity… just what did Fox buy for it’s $2m, Juan’s soul?  I’ve always enjoyed hearing from Juan Williams because he truly did speak his mind, now on day 6 the whining… not so much.

Now, on the up side I must say that the editorial cartoonists have certainly done a great job with this one, so with that in mind… this one really made me chuckle (noting you’d need to be a public radio listener / TV watcher who has suffered through pledge drives to get this one).

And then we have the other side of the coin….  where to another audience it was like blood in the water.

I was on Juan’s side last week, but the more he whines the more I begin to wonder if this isn’t just deserts and am rapidly losing interest and respect in Mr. Williams.  As mentioned before, just what did Fox buy for $2m?

UPDATE #2: OK, The Daily Show takes top honors for making funny out of this entire mess last night.  The Daily Show was not taping last week when the story broke, so they had time to come up with a  lot of material that covered all kinds of real estate from the past week.

And, just so y’all don’t get any ideas, I won’t be allowing any comments on this thread. Please feel free to vent on your local paper’s website.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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