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View Diary:  Hey Juan, your free speech is just fine. You are a victim of Capitalism... (14 comments)

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  •  The problem here is that (1+ / 0-)
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    NPR takes some -- I know, very little -- money from the federal government.  When an entity takes some money from the federal government, the federal government is thus entitled to insist that governmental protections like freedom of speech be upheld by that organization.

    Think of it in terms of schools and discrimination.  Private schools that do not take one dime of governmental funds are entitled to discriminate all they want, because private discrimination (though morally wrong) is not against the law.  However, any private school that takes governmental funds gives up the right it has to private discrimination and becomes subject to the government rules.  Frankly, the amount of money it takes from the government is not important.  An institution either takes government funds or it does not.  And if it does, governmental protections like laws against discrimination and First Amendment rights apply.  

    Now, if NPR did not take one cent of government money, you're right -- it would be just like Limbaugh or anybody else who controls the content on a private radio show.  

    Since NPR gets so little of their money from federal funding, frankly, they'd do better to give it up completely and then do what they want.  

    •  To take your argument full circle, why can't (0+ / 0-)

      NPR say that as an organization that does take federal money, thereby leaving it responsible for not offending the tax-paying Muslims (or merely those who wear head-gear)?

      This is the same "well the government took my money and then they can't use it to do something I don't want them to do" that the RW fundies use to slam public schools and the which I've always wondered why lefties can't say "well, that's my tax dollar that just funded your last military operation and I don't want it used for that" -

      It's all in the same puddle of mud.

      Nobody discriminated against Williams - they didnt' fire him because he was black, or NOT muslim -

      Discrimination, let's be clear, is abject hostility based on percieved or inherent characteristics.

      Williams was not discriminated against in any way for some personal characteristic that models his character or personna; until he said something unacceptably provocative to the listnership of NPR, he still had a job.

      I just got a job for a temp agency working for in a warehouse; and right there in my contract it says that I can be fired on the spot for making any public statement to the media without approval from my bosses.

      Now, for the record, there was no "discrination" against Juan Williams -

      "discrimination" would have kept him from getting the job in the first place.

      It was his actions that got him fired - NPR is beholden to it's listenership, and as they might lose more of them who found Williams words out of line. And does taking government money require NPR to support all points of view regardless of content?

      Think David Duke could get a spot, or would his point of view be outside the acceptable boundaries of what NPR could get away with selling to it's audience.

      I'm not sure why Williams has free license because there are tax dollars are involved, when the tax-dollars-from-the-listenership would for the same reason carry more weight.  

      no foul by NPR at all when one sees it that way.

      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 01:09:25 PM PDT

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      •  The argument is not (0+ / 0-)

        "the government took my money and they can't use it to do anything I don't want them to do."

        The argument is, "this is (in part) and operation by the government, and the government cannot penalize anyone for the exercise of free speech."  Private companies can penalize someone for the exercise of free speech.  The government cannot.  

        •  There are limits to free speech (3+ / 0-)
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          myboo, snafubar, susanala

          when you work for government if what you say interferes with your ability to do your job.

          Mr. Williams was a contract worker for an organization that is not an arm of the government.
          Even if it were, he could be fired at any time because of his employment status.

          There is no constitutional right to work for NPR.

          "A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care." John Wing

          by marigold on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 03:37:13 PM PDT

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          •  State university employee here. (1+ / 0-)
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            Most of my salary comes from federal grants and contracts. The other big money-maker on campus is standard medical care.  

            Our speech is limited by state and federal regs in all kinds of ways. We are not free to call participants by racial slurs. We may not post campaign materials in our clinics. No proselytizing allowed OTJ.

            All just as it should be.

            The plural of anecdote is not data.

            by susanala on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 04:58:14 PM PDT

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