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Friday, November 26, 2010

Political Correctness: How Far is Too Far?

When  it comes to being politically correct, just how far is too far?

Perhaps we should be asking Juan Williams. Williams, a former senior analyst at National Public Radio (NPR), was recently terminated for comments about Muslims that he made on The O'Reilly Factor.

 Not long before Williams appeared on his show, Bill O'Reilly
was a guest on ABC's The View ,and expressed his opinions
     Juan Williams (Photo courtesy of NPR)    
about the proposed mosque near ground zero in New York.
O'Reilly and the hosts had a shouting match, and co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set.

Why, then, was Williams fired from NPR for making very similar comments?

It is well known that Fox News is an outlet for conservatives, while NPR is known for its more liberal ideals. Allegations about bias within these two organizations are repeatedly thrown back and forth, but the reality is this: Juan Williams was fired, and Bill O'Reilly was not.

Of course, Williams is not necessarily a victim in this situation. Following his termination at NPR, Williams was hired by Fox News, who reportedly paid him $2 million. Apparently being politically correct is more important to NPR than it is to Fox News.

But let me be very clear about one thing: I am in no way defending Fox News.

What I am defending is s person's right to say what they think and feel. Let's be honest with ourselves. In our lives, we are going to see and hear things that will upset us. We will be offended at one time or another. But we must realize and embrace the beauty in this. Yes, I did say beauty; how boring would life be if we all agreed with one another?

Juan Williams was not wrong for saying what he said. He is just another unfortunate individual who decided to voice his opinion rather than stifle it. While there were some of his comments that I personally agreed with, and some that I did not agree with, I believe strongly in his right to voice them.

I believe that our First Amendment rights are the most important, especially in situations such as this. If we are to be ostracized for exercising those rights, who will ultimately pay the price?

All of us will.