MediaSnob

Juan Williams Sez, “That Stokley Carmichael in a dress comment? Yeah, my bad, but not really.”

The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates reported that Juan Williams offered up a non-apology apology for that comment he pulled out of his ass about his fears of an angry, black First Lady.

Williams recently called out Michelle Obama on some fantasy black militancy that apparently only exists somewhere between Williams’ ears. He really didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but shock of shocks, many others did.

NPR’s obudsman Alicia Shephard tried to address the issue and the complaints, many of which that state that Williams’ “dishonors NPR,” but Williams was a tad glib about it all.

When I asked Williams about his comments, he initially called it a “faux controversy.”

But then he reviewed the tape and realized that “the tone and tenor of my comments may have spurred a strong reaction to what I considered to be pure political analysis of the First Lady’s use of her White House pulpit,” said Williams via email. “I regret that in the fast-paced, argumentative format my tone and tenor seems to have led people to see me as attacking instead of explaining my informed point of view.”

When Williams was speaking of Mrs. Obama as a potential liability, he told me, he was referencing pieces in The Atlantic and Politico. A Politico article listed Mrs. Obama as one “Dem” her husband should watch out for. “She’s glamorous, she’s on message, she’s the nation’s favorite mom — and now she has nowhere to go but down,” said the article.

But anyone watching the O’Reilly segment wouldn’t know Williams was talking about those two articles. He never mentioned them. Those who wrote me felt Williams was attacking the First Lady.

“I am concerned about the objectivity Juan Williams brings to his news analysis,” wrote Alison Fowler. “He has made statements on Fox News regarding Michelle Obama that appear to paint her as an angry Black Nationalist without any basis in fact. Despite the fact that these statements were not made on NPR, they undermine his credibility as an impartial news analyst on your network.”

(Source: NPR)

Coates was skeptical of Williams explanation and psuedo-apology in citing The Atlantic article.

I can’t speak for the Politico, but I’ve spent some time with that Atlantic profile (That Tanesha Coates girl, she sho can write!) and I’m not sure how anyone would read it and conclude that Michelle Obama is either Stokely Carmichael in a dress, or someone who’s likely to blame America first. But that’s just me. I’ve been wrong before.

NPR has since asked Williams to stop name dropping them in his appearances on FOX News. They don’t refer to him as a FOX commentator on the radio. I don’t know what this will solve, considering NPR doesn’t seem to have any designs on dumping him.

But they admit, this whole saga has turned into “The Tale of Two Juans” for the network.

“We don’t monitor what Juan says on Fox — or for that matter, his books or other appearances,” said Simon by email. “Juan is one of the foremost chroniclers of the history of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and African-American life…I think the world of Juan, and he is on our show because the analysis that he offers is insightful, reasoned, fair-minded and interesting.”

But after watching the Fox segment, Simon said, “What can I say? That’s not the Juan Williams who is on our show.”

That may be the cause of the criticism. Williams tends to speak one way on NPR and another on Fox.

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12 thoughts on “Juan Williams Sez, “That Stokley Carmichael in a dress comment? Yeah, my bad, but not really.”

  1. I don’t know what happened to Juan, but this Obama thing has really got him shook. I can’t speak for all of his NPR appearances, but I know on the Diane Rehm he was spouting so much nonsense about Obama’s not being a professor at U. of Chicago that U. of Chicago faxed the show to refute him. He still wouldn’t give it up, and Diane Rehm basically told him to shut the hell up. After that, he didn’t appear on her show for months. The funny thing was, even after U. of C. refuted him, he still went on the national pundit shows spouting the same nonsense. Is he like Jesse–thinking it should’ve been him? I just don’t get it. I used to respect the man.

  2. ZooPath says:

    He seems to really have something against them both and he should seek some therapy about his issues and not spew all this nonsense unless he wants to relegate himself to being a FOX puppet. Maybe that’s what he really wants.

  3. Once upon a time Juan was decent, I remember when he used to host Talk of the Nation, but the brother has lost his way. Personally I think NPR should dump him, the fact that he works for them and Fox is too much.

  4. watchoutmomshome says:

    I wonder what Juan sees when he looks in the mirror? I’d love to have a cut of his psychotherapist fees. Considering the depth of his intellect, I can only assume that he compartmentalizes his mind to allow only the anti-Black political commentary to come forward for presentation, knowing that his obvious self-loathing is the only reason Fox uses his services. He has to make a living after all. "Eyes on the Prize" was a work of gargantuan significance, but it appears Juan is too lazy to apply himself to another selfless act of critical analysis of the American system. He has allowed himself to become a tool.Perhaps he does not consider himself Black. Must we have the "I’m not Black, I’m multiracial" discussion? It takes a lot of energy to maintain the illusion of Black, right-wing relevance. Just ask Condi and Uncle Clarence.

  5. moja31 says:

    Juan is a fool who will say whatever self-hating garbage is required, in order to make a buck; there was absolutely nothing informed about his so called opinion. One minute he’s crying on air about seeing the first black president and what that means to him (because they needed a black person to play that part), the next he’s smearing those folks as hard as he can. i’m not sure what his damage is, but the way he hates on the Obamas you’d think Obama killed his puppy or something. NPR is a loser in this too; they’re just trying to score some points, without actually doing anything; until they start referring to him as the fox news goon that he is, when he’s spouting nonsense on air for them, or better yet fire him, they might as well shut up.

  6. dukedraven says:

    Anyone growing up in New Jersey in the ’60s and 70s knows we didn’t have a TV channel. All of our news and programming came from New York. I watched Geraldo Rivera and Juan Williams when they were young, hip reporters. I don’t even recognize them now at Fox News. It’s like the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Who stole their brains?

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