Friday, October 22, 2010

Tolerance is as tolerance does 

Snarky it may be, but Michael Barone's observation about the relative intolerance of NPR listeners and Fox News viewers strikes me as spot on.

Reading between the lines of Juan’s statement and those of NPR officials, it’s apparent that NPR was moved to fire Juan because he irritates so many people in its audience. An interesting contrast: while many NPR listeners apparently could not stomach that Williams also appeared on Fox News. But it doesn’t seem that any perceptible number of Fox News viewers had any complaints that Williams also worked for NPR. The Fox audience seems to be more tolerant of diversity than the NPR audience.

The vitriol of the left toward Fox News is startling and, frankly, hard to square with intellectual honesty. Yes, we righties extract huge utiles from hammering on the New York Times and CBS News and such, but I have never heard of viewers demanding that Fox News fire putative conservatives because they also traffic in the liberal media. Bill O'Reilly would have been gone long ago if Fox News viewers were so closed minded.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Fri Oct 22, 01:46:00 PM:

But it doesn’t seem that any perceptible number of Fox News viewers had any complaints that Williams also worked for NPR. The Fox audience seems to be more tolerant of diversity than the NPR audience.
What makes the difference in tolerance between Fox viewers and NPR listeners even more telling is that Juan Williams was much more likely to disagree with Republican/conservative points of view on Fox than he was to disagree with Democratic/liberal points of view on NPR.

Note that one reason that Williams was allegedly fired was that he stated an opinion on Fox, that journalists should be “objective” and stick to “facts.” This reminds me of the long-standing liberal mantra that libs are objective and fact-based, while wingnuts are opinionated. According to libs, NPR is “objective” and Fox is “opinionated.” This is a joke with regard to NPR, as its liberal bias has been obvious for decades. The sneer that seeps into NPR commentary when discussing wingnuts was readily evident to me even when I was neutral in my politics.

As another example of liberal "objectivity," recall Jonathan Chait at TNR claiming that wingnuts had "epistemic closure" with regard to diversity of news sources, and libs did not. For those not familiar with the article, "epistemic closure" refers to choosing only news sources that agree with your point of view. IOW, according to Chait, wingnuts had closed minds because they chose news sources that agreed only with their point of view, while libs had open minds because they also chose news sources that disagreed with their point of view. As Chait once wrote an article on the reasons he hated George W. Bush, he is anything but an objective judge on differences between libs and wingnuts. Opinion masquerading as "objectivity" is what the libs do all the time.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Oct 22, 02:01:00 PM:

I think one of the reasons that Fox viewers could "tolerate" Williams is because he was outnumbered by his co-panelists not only in number but in debating abilities. Frankly, he was lousy spokesperson for the left giving tepid rebuttals to the conservative talking heads such as Kristol and Krauthammer.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Fri Oct 22, 07:11:00 PM:

Williams and, for that matter, Alan Combs may be "poor spokespersons for the left" because of their debating skill, but that only opens up another sore.

Liberals don't debate...they decree.

If you disagree with a Progressive, by their definition you are a drooling fool who is "clinging" to God and Guns, reading the wrong books, listening to the wrong news, etc., etc.

...or, if that doesn't work...you are a racist.

So Liberals don't seem to be very good debaters. Their de rigeur behaviour is to smear the opponent rather than offer a rational exchange of ideas.

From my perspective, this only falls back to the obvious concept that they have elementally silly ideas that are simply indefensible to a rational audience.

Can anyone give me the name of a great liberal debator????  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Fri Oct 22, 10:29:00 PM:

I think Combs is pretty good in debate. He's better than O'Reilly and has to argue O'Reilly's chose points, too.

But O'Reilly deserves to get paid well. His show is very entertaining and informative. I think he could lose the body language lady and the trivia game with the daytime host(s). Dennis Miller is hit and miss.

It's sad because O'Reilly is a great journalist who purges bias however right of center he obviously (a human must be something and yet can still do objective journalism). The best part about him is his courage. He has Sharpton on, anyone. And Sharpton and him have great debates. I DVRecord O'Reilly every night and it's all education.

He was a high school teacher and he seems to aspire to be one as a TV journalist.  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Fri Oct 22, 10:30:00 PM:

What's sad is the attempt and some success in branding him unfairly right-wing.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sat Oct 23, 09:42:00 PM:

BT - a great reminder. Liberals believe they must be smarter because they use phrases like "epistemic closure" - which doesn't mean what Chait thinks it does, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/closure-epistemic/ but sounds really cool - when they mean "limit their sources of information to the ones whose bias they share" (or even, more cynically "don't believe what we tell them").

Liberals are deeply tribal, and as they constitute only about 19% of the population, constantly engage in social signalling to identify themselves and indirectly discipline the wavering by demonstrating on non-tribe members how the errant shall be cast into the outer darkness.

See CS Lewis's "The Inner Ring." http://www.lewissociety.org/innerring.php  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Oct 26, 12:53:00 AM:

It clear, nay, unambiguous, that the ONLY reason NPR got rid of Williams is because Williams is BLACK. As flaming liberals, NPR management believes that it doesn't need to have coloreds on it's staff. They used his comments to get rid of an uppity black. So far as I can tell (I don't like to watch racist TV) the ONLY other black NPR has on staff is Gwen Ifil. Gwen better watch her back and tongue before racist NPR management terminates her as well.  

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