Friday, October 22, 2010

An open letter to our local NPR affiliate

Dear KSTX:

I know that you do not control NPR's decisions. But you are their local affiliate. If the local affiliates are significantly hampered by the actions of NPR, I’m sure you will all let it be known to NPR, and “voting” locally with my checkbook is my only leverage in a situation like this. I have also already told my national political representatives how I feel.

I’ve been a staunch supporter of NPR as a balanced news source and have greatly appreciated your work. But this was more than a mere parting of ways with a reporter. This was a rude, uncalled for dismissal of an icon of the trade. Not only is Juan Williams a well-known and valuable key asset to any organization he has been a shining light of fairness and equality in the messy world of Journalism.

Over the years I have heard many NPR journalists and analysts say much, much more controversial things than Juan’s admission of a natural fear fed by the evil rantings of extremists who **self-identify** very publicly as the leadership of the Islamic faith. I have heard Judaism and Christianity bashed. I’ve heard heterosexual males stereotyped as hatemongers. I’ve heard Nina Totenberg rave that she hoped a person’s family all dies of Aids. Yet Juan’s simple admission merits firing and public jokes about his sanity or motives? Juan “crossed the line” with his simple statement? NPR’s stated position is so far beyond inconsistent that it boggles the mind.

When NPR clearly and publically shows that it values truth over political correctness, that it supports true journalism (which certainly includes commentary and opinions when clearly stated as such), that it can provide a balanced forum for all reasonable points of view, that it is not cow-towing to any special interest group—not “bought” by left or right, or, when KSTX is no longer affiliated with NPR, you may ask me again for my financial support.

NPR fires Williams for speaking the truth.

October 21, 2010: How ironic! Just this morning, on their fall fund drive, our local NPR affiliate was bragging that our donations help them maintain their "editorial independence." Right. Apparently a frank and honest expression of one's opinion or feelings, i.e., the truth as Juan sees it, has no place in the life of NPR personnel unless it is P.C.--how does NPR's action support "editorial independence"? I think this a disgusting and cowardly act by NPR!

October 22, 2010: Ah, 'tis a thing of beauty, indeed! Our local NPR station, KSTX, now on the last day of their fall fund drive, are falling all over themselves on air this morning to emphasize that they are a LOCAL non-profit with a LOCAL board of directors reporting on LOCAL issues, with less than 7% of their funding from taxpayers. They claim they are getting content from a wide variety of producers and not solely dependent on NPR, and have, in their words, "no influence in any way on decisions made at the national level by NPR." Heh, heh. Rats deserting a sabotaged ship. With their national leadership having proven NPR has no common sense, let alone integrity, KSTX now proves they have no loyalty but DO have a strong sense of survival. I wonder if they have read the words of the greatest of all: "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." Of course, our local announcer is not Peter, and Vivian Schiller is certainly no Christ. - Dan (a FORMER member of KSTX's McLean Circle)