We’re in an extremely touchy social/political climate right now. But is it really Americans in general, or big media and politicians and powerful interest groups who are generating such sensitivity to how we express ourselves?

It’s the latter. There was the blowup on The View earlier this week when Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly spoke about Muslims and the cultural center/mosque planned for the neighborhood of Ground Zero. That started a round of talk show debates over how far is too far when talking about Muslims in just about any way.

NPR revealed their limits of tolerance (funny word, that)….by firing Juan Williams for his comments on the O’Reilly Factor. That was a jaw-dropper, because Williams has been politically liberal and racially sensitive throughout his career, sometimes going out of his way to criticize anyone who holds conservate views on issues like immigration, among many others.

Now he’s being accused of bigotry? That’s preposterous and offensive to the sensibilities of Americans who have already tolerated enough verbal engineering and political posturing in our media. Williams is one of the many regular Fox News contributors who presents a consistently liberal counterbalance to the conservative analysts there, which allows the network to claim the ‘Fair and Balanced’ motto.

This should come as no surprise from an outlet that continues to go through semantic gymnastics to fine tune their effort to shape public opinion. But it is.

And NPR is getting swift backlash from other members of big media for this ridiculous move. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Congress should investigate NPR (it is public radio) and people ought to boycott the organization for this outrageous excuse to censor Williams. He also mentioned one of Williams’ remarks that wasn’t getting much attention, the court documented statement by a would-be terrorist.

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.

NPR does. Puts all their other work in perspective.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....