Friday, October 22, 2010

Um…Say what? (Or, do words have meaning?)

Dear, Sweet Juan Williams has found a new permanent home, and good luck to him.

His firing from NPR, and subsequent commentary about that firing, however, raises an old question: do words have meaning?

For instance, when Williams worked for NPR, as little as three days ago, he was a “reporter.”  Now, Michelle Malkin, in a column published in, begins with “commentator Juan Williams.”

And that, Dear Gentle Reader,* is the problem.

In NPR’s eyes, Williams’ “I get nervous” moved him into the category of commentator and out of the category of reporter.

Reporters need to be as objective as possible so that those of us relying on them have the sense that facts are being offered for our edification and consideration.

Otherwise we have entertainment, but not material with which we can make informed decisions.

Listening to some clips of Williams on O’Reilly’s show last night (Sorry, no citation available at this time), one might think Williams was ready for the change in title.

NPR had good reason to let Mr. Williams move on to more lucrative pastures (a lot more money is made bloviating than reporting…alas).

Ladies and Gentlemen, we present the erstwhile reporter, Juan Williams.

Trust, but verify.

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The courage of your conviction virtually demands your name, if we don't know you.