I really hate to beat a dead, already signed by Fox News horse but…I keep thinking about the Thursday night Bill O’Reilly and Juan Williams love fest where O’Reilly told Williams; “I’ve got your back” and then Williams told O’Reilly; “You know what, you are a standup guy”. When Williams uttered those words on O’Reilly’s show, I knew he had been bought by Fox News, hook, line and sinker. Of course as we all know now, by the next day (Friday) Williams had a $2 million contract with Fox. It was like the mutual admiration society of these two spawned a new reason for living. Plain and simple; NPR bashing.
I like Juan Williams and you can tell by sifting through my blog archives that I am not in the O’Reilly or Fox News fan club. I have already noted in my Thursday blog that I felt NPR’s firing of Williams was done in an unprofessional, and thoroughly distasteful manner, so no need to re-tread that. Not many of us would get the opportunity to bash our ex-employers in a public setting but hardly anyone gets the national platform to do so, lucky him. I found myself amazed that Williams was so totally hyped up on O’Reilly’s show Thursday (with a ton of prodding from O’Reilly) that he appeared to gleefully relish knocking an employer of 10 years (an employer that helped make him pretty famous by adding to his credibility).
While I understand that he was upset with his firing, as anyone would be, I didn’t really notice the calm, classy, voice of reason that I had come to expect from him over the years. When O’Reilly’s Friday show hit the airwaves and Williams was pitch-hitting for an absent O’Reilly, much of the show was about the Williams and NPR continuing saga as everybody and his brother was dragged out to be “shocked” and “horrified” by what Williams had been subjected to. It seemed quite weird to me that Juan Williams was doing a show about Juan Williams. Pushing his case, bashing NPR, explaining away and dissecting his Muslim statement as if we had all not heard it 100 times in the last 48 hours.
It was as if in the blink of an eye, the flash of a lost job and the promise of $2. million , Williams fell quickly into Fox mode. Journalism be damned, I’m a Fox pundit now for real, no more treading lightly as an “analyst’. So, welcome to the “Fair and Balanced News” Juan Williams, and oh yeah, watch your back.