Vivian Schiller, Ceo of NPR, really should talk to her psychiatrist. Or to her publicist. Her disgraceful role in firing Juan Williams for calmly stating an opinion that was factually based, her persistence in defending her actions indicates she needs help. Badly. It also indicates NPR should and could do without her services; should and could restructure to diversify to reflect the public that once was its middle name.
Schiller apologized to her colleagues--not to Williams--for the way Williams was terminated but not for the decision itself because
This was a decision of principle, made to protect NPR's integrity and values as a news organization. Juan Williams' comments on Fox News last Monday were the latest in a series of deeply troubling incidents over several years. In each of those instances, he was contacted and the incident was discussed with him. He was explicitly and repeatedly asked to respect NPR's standards and to avoid expressing strong personal opinions on controversial subjects in public settings, as that is inconsistent with his role as an NPR news analyst. After this latest incident, we felt compelled to act. I acknowledge that reasonable people can disagree about timing: whether NPR should have ended its relationship with Juan Williams earlier, on the occasion of other incidents; or whether this final episode warranted immediate termination of his contract.In any event, the process that followed the decision was unfortunate - including not meeting with Juan Williams in person - and I take full responsibility for that.
As of now, President Barack Obama (D), Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson senior have not been heard from demanding an explanation from Schiller and NPR of why a black man should be fired by telephone for stating his opinions while white women--and men--do the same and are promoted.