`Download Book ↚ Muzzled ☘ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

As the next presidential election is gearing up, I have been increasingly frustrated with the extreme polarization in modern politics Juan Williams addresses how we got to this point in a balanced way Yet, as I was reading, I wished the author offered solutions rather than the same old, let s all work together and compromise mantra That clearly isn t working What s next Juan Williams book is an interesting read Most people would agree that he is right, that politics have become too partisan, and too negative However, political moderatism has been losing ground Mr Williams explains why the moderate movement is failing, and how the political extremes are able to control the debate.He also tells the story of how he was fired from NPR While he generally liked most of the people he worked with His disagreed with their leadership, in particular their insistance on having all their people share the same viewpoints They had a problem with him associating with Fox News He spends some time comparing Fox to NPR, with the main difference being at least Fox will expose viewers to people who disagree with the prevailing conservatism of the hosts Juan goes from there to say that debates have changed past the point of discussion, to trying to silence the other viewpoint To try and get people fired if they don t agree with you, rather than talk to them To make accusations against a person of differing viewpoints as such to get them to not advance an opposing viewpoint at all So now all disucssions cease, and the least moderate people are the ones with control Politicians can t get very far without money, and moderates have a very hard time raising money, and winning primaries within their own party.Mr Williams goes through a series of issues that have been taken over by a lack of serious debate There aren t a whole lot of solutions proposed, but I think the average person reading the book can have some thoughtful ideas as to where things need to go if there is going to be an improvement. Muzzled is Juan Williams report on his much publicized firing from National Public Radio, apparently because he said it was hard not to see people getting on a plane in Muslim garb and not be concerned that they identified themselves so strongly with their religion This, said Williams, is a natural reaction but we mustn t let it influence our view of moderate Muslims This is a fairly frank statement and I think it reflects well on the reporter that he is aware of his own prejudices and consciously tries to avoid them NPR didn t see it that way and fired him, abruptly, over the phone after many years on the air His former boss then implied he was mentally unbalanced he should talk about that with his psychiatrist The resulting controversy was immense That a medium that pays a man to talk about what he thinks should fire him for saying what he thinks on another network and on another medium seemed to many a symptom of the assault on honest debate, as Williams puts it in his subtitle An excellent, well balanced, non self pitying book that deals with a great deal than the author s own problem Williams, by the way, landed on his feet with a long and lucrative contract with a TV channel.2011 No 154 I wanted to like this book, I really did I have respect for Williams as a journalist and commentator even when I disagree with him What NPR did to him was patently unfair, and that fact made me want to like this book even But I was disappointed.First, something positive Williams is a good writer The text itself is clear and readable, which is than can be said of much political commentary.Nevertheless, I couldn t get past the first third of the book Williams thesis is that political correctness is rendering substantive debate on important issues obsolete But he redefines political correctness so he can say that both sides of the political spectrum exercise it equally.Merriam Webster online defines politically correct as conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities as in matters of sex or race should be eliminated Dictionary.com defines it as marked by or adhering to a typically progressive orthodoxy on issues involving especially ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or ecology The Free Dictionary online defines it as conforming to a particular sociopolitical ideology or point of view, especially to a liberal point of view concerned with promoting tolerance and avoiding offense in matters of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation But Williams seems to define it as using political lingo, slogans, talking points, etc as a way of making opponents seem unreasonable One example he gives is Republicans inferences that people who opposed the Iraq war were unpatriotic That isn t political correctness that s sloganeering or political rhetoric or propaganda Both sides certainly do engage in that If Williams thesis were that political rhetoric was hindering legitimate debate, he would be onto something and this book would make a lot sense But that isn t what he claims.Another complaint I have is that Williams speaks in broad generalities, with very little specificity to back it up I admit that this view may be influenced by the book I read immediately prior to this one, End of Discussion by Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson, which is teeming with specific examples Ham and Benson s reference to and recommendation of Williams book led me to believe that his was similarly specific Perhaps that expectation was unfair On the other hand, broad criticism without specifics is its own problem in political discourse, so I don t feel too badly for pointing it out.Maybe the latter two thirds of the book contains specificity, or reverts to the generally accepted definitions of political correctness If so, I certainly apologize to Mr Williams Unfortunately, I simply ran out of patience before I got that far. If you think political discussion in this country has become too much us vs them, if you re not with us you re against us then you ll probably enjoy this book as a history on how we got here Additionally, there are good examples of how both sides, Left and Right, aren t really doing anything about it, despite complaining about the other side Unfortunately, this book is light on ways to improve national debate Would recommend to anyone looking for information to help them pick a workplace politics fight. After hearing Juan Williams speak about his experience and his book on QA with Brian Lamb I knew that I wanted to read his book I was not disappointed In fact, I enjoyed it even than I thought I would I would recommend that everyone no matter what his her political persuasion is or whether one feels he should or should not have been fired from NPR to read this book The bottom line that I most appreciated was how important it is for us to start listening to each other, including those across the aisle, and have honest debates about the critical issues we are facing as a nation. Mr Williams should have stopped after the first chapter that would have made a great pamphlet I managed to make it through the second chapter, but had to stop at this in the third Impish, venting archpartisans have created a subculture of celebrity provocateurs who make outlandish statements to grab attention, entertain, and mock but rarely advance the nation s critical debates Physician, heal thyself. This was clearly Mr William s impassioned defense of his position on saying that he was scared of Muslims While I ultimately think he was trying to discuss our biases by admitting to that and that is a good thing it clearly had an agenda of painting NPR as the bad guys and FOX as the good guys and Mr Williams himself as the best guy who was just trying to keep everything fair and balanced Not sure what to make of it. In Muzzled, Juan Williams takes on the difficult task of exposing polarization within our society in an engaging and persuasive way Williams was fired by NPR for being at philosophical and political odds with NPR management, with his comment about feeling uneasy about those in Muslim dress when traveling being the excuse for NPR to let him go, and then to demean him personally and publicly Using that event as a springboard, Williams examines many topics within the public arena 9 11, taxation, health care, immigration, abortion, and talk radio to name several where it has become nearly impossible to have an intelligent and honest public conversation without personal repercussions.I say that the task is difficult for a couple of reasons First, many people already know what Juan is writing about Other authors have covered essentially the same territory Yet the problems that Williams describe seem to be getting worse, not better The book is timely and valuable.Second, it is difficult to write a book like this without, in effect, taking sides, especially when presenting examples of the suppression of public debate Williams is an honest, thoughtful, and intelligent analyst Yet his opinions still color his presentation He is provocative and maddening, sometimes within the span of a few sentences.I was least pleased with Chapter 8 The Provocateurs , devoted to media opinion programs in general and talk radio in particular His descriptions of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are unfair and the examples he uses are taken out of context or are interpreted simplistically ironic in light of the subject of the book I could cite many examples, but here is one Williams quotes Rush as saying to a black caller take the bone out of your nose and call me back I researched that quote and discovered Rush said it to a caller he couldn t understand when he was working as an insult DJ in Pittsburgh in the early 70s at the beginning of his career Rush since expressed remorse for that comment By including it in the book, Williams implies that it represents who Rush Limbaugh is and what his national radio show has been about for over 23 years.I thought Chapter 7 was among the best as Williams really tries to present a fair and balanced discussion of The Abortion Wars Yet even here, Williams gives me pause He gets into the discussion of the place of religion in society today and through history Some of his points are based on what some say is revisionist history that diminishes the role the Founders assumed for religion in society.All in all, this is a good book on a timely topic I recommend it But read it closely Williams center left foundation is often subtle but it is to be found throughout the book And while I agree with his central thesis that nationally we are stuck in our various orthodoxies, I m not sure how we move beyond that point Perhaps it simply takes enough people of good will and character to say Enough `Download Book ↼ Muzzled ⇞ You Can T Say That You Re Fired Prize Winning Washington Journalist Juan Williams Was Unceremoniously Dismissed By NPR For Speaking His Mind And Saying What Many Americans Feel That He Gets Nervous When Boarding Airplanes With Passengers Dressed In Muslim Garb NPR Banished The Veteran Journalist In An Act Of Political Correctness That Ultimately Sparked Nationwide Outrage And Led To Calls For Congress To End Its Public Funding Of The Media Organization In Muzzled, Williams Uses His Very Public Firing As A Launching Pad To Discuss The Countless Ways In Which Honest Debate In America From The Halls Of Congress And The Health Care Town Halls To The Talk Shows And Print Media Is Stifled In Today S Partisan World, Where Media Provocateurs Rule The Airwaves And Political Correctness Dictates What Can And Cannot Be Said With Impunity, Williams Shows How The Honest Exchange Of Ideas And The Search For Solutions And Reasonable Compromise Is Deliberately Muzzled Only Those Toeing The Party S Line The Screaming Voices Of The Extremist Get Airtime And Dominate The Discussion In Politics And The Media Each Side, Liberal And Conservative, Preaches To A Choir That Revels In Expressions Of Anger, Ideology, Conspiracies, And Demonized Opponents The Result Is An Absence Of Truth Telling And Honest Debate About The Facts Among The Issues Denied A Full Throated Discussion Are Racial Profiling The Increased Reliance On Religious Beliefs In Debating American Values And Legislation The Nuances Of An Immigration Policy Gone Awry Why Abortion Is Promoted As A Hot Button Wedge Issue To Incite The Pary Faithful And Drive Donations The Uneasy Balance Between Individual Freedom And Our Desire For Security Of Against Terrorism And Much A Fierce, Fresh Look At The Critical Importance Of An Open Airing Of Controversial Issues, Muzzled Is A Hard Hitting Critique Of The Topics And Concerns We Can T Talk About Without Suffering Retaliation At The Hands Of The Politically Correct Police Only By Bringing Such Hot Button Issues Into The Light Of Day Can We Hope To Grapple With Them, And Exercise Our Cherished, Hard Won Right Of Free Speech