According to a Rasmussen poll of 1,000 adults conducted from October 11-12, 2010, 57 percent of respondents believe America today has become too politically correct. Even more telling, 74 percent regard political correctness as a problem in America today.
The latter figure is particularly noteworthy, for it implies that the concept of "political correctness" was conceived and imposed upon us by an unelected eilte. And further fueling that perception of the pervasiveness of political correctness is the announcement by National Public Radio (NPR) that longtime NPR pundit Juan Williams was fired on Wednesday October 20th after saying on the Fox News Channel program The O'Reilly Factor that he gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim garb aboard an airplane.
On October 18th, Bill O’Reilly was discussing his own appearance last week on ABC’s “The View” during which Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set in protest of O’Reilly’s views on Muslims. When O'Reilly asked Williams to weigh in, Williams responded that too much political correctness can get in the way of reality. “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the Civil Rights movement in this country,” Williams said. “But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
Williams also commented on remarks by Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad warning Americans that the fight is coming to the U.S. "He said the war with Muslims, America's war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts," Williams said. Video of segment embedded below:
On Wednesday October 20th, NPR issued a statement saying Williams’ remarks were inconsistent with their editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR. “Juan has been a valuable contributor to NPR and public radio for many years and we did not make this decision lightly or without regret,” NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said in an e-mailed statement. Williams has since responded on Fox News; video embedded below:
Reaction from various notables is posted HERE, and is predominantly unfavorable. Newt Gingrich called it "total censorship" and called upon Congress to investigate, since NPR is taxpayer-funded. Mike Huckabee said he will no longer accept interview requests from NPR as long as they are going to practice a form of censorship, and since NPR is funded with public funds, it is a form of censorship. And Sarah Palin tweeted "NPR defends 1st Amendment Right, but will fire u if u exercise it. Juan Williams: u got taste of Left's hypocrisy, they screwed up firing you."
Ten percent of NPR's funding comes in the form of grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a federally-funded (taxpayer-funded) organization. More specifically, CPB, the parent company of PBS and NPR, received $420 million in taxpayer funds in 2010 and has requested $608 million for the next funding cycle that begins in 2013. NPR says government funding makes up less than 2 percent of it budget, with the rest coming from station fees, sponsorships and grants. Other sources of public funding include local and state governments and government-funded universities subsidizing member stations' fees and dues to NPR.
Utah's two most noteworthy victims of political correctness have been State Senator Chris Buttars (R-West Jordan) and LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer. Buttars has been witch-hunted twice; first, in February 2008 when he made his now famous "black baby" remark (which had no racial context), and again in February 2009 when apostate ex-Mormon interviewer Reed Cowan deliberately baited Buttars into characterizing homosexuality as "pig sex". More recently, Boyd Packer was witch-hunted by gay rights extremists for questioning whether or not homosexuals are born gay; it's considered an article of faith within the gay rights movement that homosexuals are born gay, and any deviation from that official party line is viewed as heresy.