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The Assault on Honest Debate

Muzzled by Juan Williams
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“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 policym 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 more.
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.
Crown/Archetype; July 2011
224 pages; ISBN 9780307952035
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Title: Muzzled
Author: Juan Williams
  • News
Former NPR Ombud fact checks new Juan Williams book, 'Muzzled' -
Tue, 26 Jul 2011 04:08:25 -0700
Business InsiderFormer NPR Ombud fact checks new Juan Williams book, 'Muzzled'Poynter.orgWhen Fox News' Juan ...
Williams on NPR: Elitist and white - Politico
Thu, 21 Jul 2011 04:43:52 -0700
PoliticoWilliams on NPR: Elitist and whitePoliticoNo single person has had a greater impact on National Public Radio in the ...
On Murdoch and Liberal Bias At NPR - NPR (blog)
Tue, 18 Oct 2011 14:10:16 -0700
NPR (blog)On Murdoch and Liberal Bias At NPRNPR (blog)They had good fodder, for example, in NPR's bungled firing a year ago ...