Beef: Juan Williams

Juan Williams- Sellout or Saint?

A new report has raised questions over NPR’s firing of Juan Williams. According to the report, the executive who terminated Williams may have done so without checking with CEO Vivian Schiller first. You can view the full report at The Washington Post.

The event received lots of coverage not simply because of the prominence of the analyst, but also the implications of what he said. Back in October, Williams appeared on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor and stated that when he is on a plane with Muslims, he gets nervous. He was soon fired by NPR immediately after these candid comments were made. This story really seemed to peak a lot of interest from people because it made them re-examine their own views and question their interior motives.

I have beef with Juan Williams. But it’s not because of his comments. Not at all.

It’s really more of a love/hate relationship. I’ve followed this man since my sophomore year in high school. I’ve even attended 2 discourses he’s given to the pubic. The last was a 2009 speech he gave at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. He outlined his thoughts on the Obama presidency and what it would do for America. Williams is an intelligent man and such an eloquent speaker. He’s also a great writer. As an African American broadcast journalist, he seems to be everything I should aspire to be.

So what’s the problem? Well, you see, he’s kind of a sellout.

In one of the speech’s I heard him deliver, Juan spoke of standing up for what you believe in and making the right choices in life. All that sappy stuff you see on those elementary school posters. He’s also a self-proclaimed advocate of supporting and honoring one’s heritage and background.

I feel this is something he does terribly. Why? Well, look who he just signed a lucrative long-term deal with…Fox News. Political biases aside, Fox News is infamous for their racial agenda. They spread a doctrine of fear…fear of black people and minorities. This is the same network that blamed America’s financial crisis on African Americans. The same network with Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly. His affiliation with the Fox News probably had him on the hot seat at NPR for awhile anyway.

I see Juan Williams as a “token” analyst on the network. You can’t say Fox News is racist, right? I mean, they have a black man working for them (SARCASM ALERT). He even defends the network against claims of racism.

Juan also falls into the social group University Of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson named “The Afristocracy”. I wrote a whole 6 page paper on this issue, so i’ll try to be brief. The Afristocracy in America is driven by the black elite. These upper-middle class blacks rain down fire and brimstone upon poor blacks for their lack of couth and culture. Juan does this very thing on Fox, and the network loves it. He smears the African-American community like a Larry Elder would, and Fox cheers in support.

Juan Williams often appears on Bill O’Reilly’s show and refers to him as “Mr. O’Reilly”, while Bill simply refers to Juan Williams by his first name. Maybe I’m being nit-picky, but…. maybe i’m not. Everything Bill O’Reilly says, Williams backs up with head nods and “yes, Mr.O’Reilly” or “you are right Mr. O’Reilly”. It has an Uncle Tom feel to it.

Let me make this clear– This is not an attack on Juan Williams’ opinions and beliefs. Those are his own and I respect and them. I even agree with him on many issues. He unfairly takes a lot of heat for his criticism of Barack Obama. I say all the power to him. I have no problem with his views. I just question his values and his pride.

This really is a touchy issue. I can only hope that if I reach the level of success he has attained, i won’t turn my back on my people as I feel Juan did. He’s become a drone, a token, a facade for Fox News and their “Fair and balanced” campaign. And he seems to be fine with that.

Am I being too critical? Am I over-analyzing? Or am I addressing a real issue in media today?


  1. I agree 100% with you Brandon! It’s really sad that Juan Williams has become a sell out. As an aspiring journalist myself, I looked up to minority journalists like Williams, but now I can’t stand to listen to his viewpoints anymore (not that I will ever look at Fox to get them). It’s sad that Williams is seen now as a sellout, but what is more saddening to me is that Williams has let down many younger minority journalists that looked up to him. Another thing that annoys me is that to people that may not interact with black people, some may take his action and viewpoints as how all black people think and act.

  2. You’re definitely not being too critical and you’re not over-analyzing. It’s a big issue: especially the whole “hey, we’re not racist! we have minority journalists! hey we’re not sexist! we have females!” bit. You’ll have journalists who are perfectly content to be the little puppets for the big media. They dance around and say they’re treated well, and for all purposes I’m sure they are. Yet they no longer can embody the places they came from or the people they should be representing. But they parade as if they still do. It’s a sad thing, all for money.

  3. That is a very nice a rational look at a hypocrite like Juan. I like to see rational reporting because seeing things blown out of proportion is annoying and happens way too often in the media. Money is good and all, but giving up your beliefs for it isnt worth it.

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