An open letter to NPR

Sent to NPR HQ, and hundreds of NPR Employees around the country on 10.26.10:

NPR Ombudsman,


The shameful debacle made of the dismissal of Juan Williams, and the subsequent nasty and tactless remarks made to the media about his mental state, coupled with the brazen discrepancy between Mr. William's treatment by NPR when juxtaposed with your network's treatment of other reporters, such as Totenberg and Schorr, have left me with a pit of boiling acid in my stomach. Collectively, all of you who represent this network are responsible. Were you a conservative organization by nature, the howls to shut you down for this action would be truly deafening. The fact that your Network lauds tolerance and equality, while at the same time attempting to destroy Mr. Williams’s career and reputation, makes your organization truly beneath contempt. National Pariah Radio. Has a more accurate ring, doesn’t it?

Integrity and Fairness. Apparently NPR is now completely devoid of these principles, no matter how much you might protest otherwise. Thus, I and my family will not only withhold any future donations and I and several of my friends and associates from around the country are joining with a new group that is committed to defunding your organization, to dismantle NPR by dollars and cents - no matter what venue that money comes from. Federal funding and the small role it plays in your organization is NOT our primary target - we are going to launch campaigns aimed directly at your sponsors and other funding sources, to enlighten them as to the egregious double standards and editorial schizophrenia that plagues your network.

I grew up in the south - I know first hand the struggle of minorities there during the dawning days of the civil rights movement. To in anyway try and paint Mr. Williams as a bigoted person, in the slightest, is to spit squarely in this fair and decent man’s face. He deserved much better from NPR, and yet, he was denied any semblance of respect and further, his dignity and integrity were disparaged and made light of. UNFORGIVABLE.

So get ready, we are going to be quite instructive and matter of fact with businesses, civic organizations and any other venues we can identify that give money to NPR. We will make it a point to lay down the gauntlet so that they can choose between supporting an organization that has lost its credibility, destroyed any vestiges of public trust it may once have possessed and that does not, as an organization, reflect even a basic understanding of FAIRNESS, or they can side with those who remember this basic concept and consider it to be a guiding principle.

This is a war of the pocket book - and we the consumers decide who wins and who loses. I think you all need to start sprucing up those resumes...I have the feeling there will be layoffs in your network's immediate future. Or, ignore this and wait and see how you feel when it is your own job that gets shot down the tubes...what goes around does indeed come back around. Hey, do you folks remember Air America? Hmmm.

Sick of Elitest Ideologues and Double Standards in Media,
R. Stewart

PS. OR....You could call for your national leadership to step down, REALLY rethink your editorial standards and guidelines and practice two foriegn concepts - Respect and Fairness.

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