Saturday, October 23, 2010

Schiller’s Hole in Juan

The recent events at FoxNews: First, the Bill O’Reilly fiasco regarding Muslims on The View; then, Juan Williams getting fired from NPR for making a personal remark about Muslims on The Factor, made me think about what my grandmother always told me about “moderation.” In her opinion, you can do almost anything in moderation, as long as there is no law against it. Her side of the family immigrated to America in 1634, aboard the Christian from London, so I figured she knew something about American freedoms and common sense. At least two of her ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, several in the Civil War, and many in WWII. She lived to be 90 years old remaining true to her convictions. You know, the gallon of blackberry brandy was only consumed during flu season and the only time she called the milkman a “jackass” is when he overcharged her.

On the other side of my diverse family spectrum, we had Italian immigrants, who came here in 1918. From my Italian grandmother, I learned about the negative effects of discrimination, overcoming language barriers, and again moderation. You know, if you watched too many episodes of Combat and called the German bread man a “Kraut” once too often, he’d forget where you live and you could starve; a way never to pronounce “baloney;” and learning that sneaking too much Chianti will make you sick .

As a woman, some of those lessons about discrimination, I also learned first-hand on my job, which adds to my sensitivity on the subject.

Did the Buddhists Bomb Pearl Harbor?

I have to tell you that when O’Reilly said “The Muslims attacked us on 911” on The View, several people in my age-group with similar backgrounds, were about ready to travel to Canada and ask the Dalai Lama first-hand, if Pearl Harbor was a Buddhist conspiracy or if the Japanese government acted alone on December 7, 1941. It was a ridiculous comment by O’Reilly, which he later apologized for and clarified by saying “Not enough Muslim moderates voice their opinions against the jihadists.”

Freedom of Speech in America

Then, we have Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR going to the opposite extreme by actually firing Juan Williams for making a mild personal remark, on The Factor, about being uncomfortable when Muslims in religious attire board his flight. I say mild, because if you have ever heard Beck and O’Reilly go off ranting about Muslims on their respective shows, Juan’s comment, although bigoted, is mild by comparison. However, he said it on Fox, not NPR. The ideology of hate thrives on Fox. I’ve heard more hate speeches on that network than anywhere else and both Beck and O’Reilly still have jobs. Why? Because in America we have freedom of speech, but you should only abuse that freedom moderately.

I did some research and found out that Vivian Schiller did not study American Civil Liberties in college. Instead, she majored in Russian Studies earning a Bachelor’s degree at Cornell and a Master’s Degree in Russian at Middlebury. Beck will be calling her a communist very soon.

I couldn’t feel too sorry for Juan either. He got a $2 million contract from Fox and filled in for O’Reilly on The Factor Friday night. He also managed to eviscerate NPR and Schiller quite nicely. The polls said that over 4.3 million people were watching. By the time those who were watching CSI, The Mentalist, The Big Bang Theory, Sh*t My Dad Says, and Grey’s Anatomy, tuned in at 11:00 pm, The Factor probably ended up with over 5 million viewers.

How to Spot Moderate Muslim Women

I did still more research, and found out what moderate Muslim women do in Saudi Arabia. They take bi-monthly shopping trips to Cairo, Egypt. They board the plane in Burkas and get off the plane in Cairo wearing designer outfits and jewelry, full makeup, manicure, and heels. Evidently, Juan’s Muslims were not moderates. Trust me Juan, it’s like recess in a Catholic school; they can’t unload the burkas fast enough.

The solution to all of this is like my grandmother said, moderation. We need to hear more moderate rhetoric on FoxNews and less ranting and labeling. There are more moderate viewers out there than they think. They also need to watch this video on profiling:

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