There are two parts to the Juan Williams story that broke last week. Part one of course involves NPR abandoning any pretense of impartiality in its rush to fire a journalist who isn't in lockstep with their leftist worldview. But the other part of this story is just as important: the role that the Council on American Islamic Relations played in the sorry affair. CAIR's bullying tactics were a big part of the reason that NPR took such dramatic action so quickly, without even bothering to get Williams' side of the story. The reaction to Williams' firing across all parts of the political spectrum has been one of disgust and anger, which isn't exactly what CAIR bargained for. They figured they could play the victim card once more and Americans would dutifully shed crocodile tears over their plight. Now that the magnitude of the backlash against NPR is plain to see, CAIR spokesmen are trying to distance themselves from the decision. But, they can't. This assault on free speech has CAIR's fingerprints all over it.
On Wednesday afternoon CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad sent out a press release denouncing Williams, saying: "Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR." Soon after, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller dutifully bowed to CAIR's harassment by terminating the network's relationship with Juan Williams. Like most leftists, Schiller seems to laboring under the misapprehension that CAIR is what it purports to be: a civil rights organization. The truth is, of course, far more sinister.