I haven't blogged about NPR's clumsy firing of commentator Juan Williams for saying he gets nervous when boarding an airplane when there are Muslims in line with him, mostly because I'm not exactly sure I think about the issue.
Sure, it's scapegoating and bigotry and inappropriate. Sure, I've felt the same way sometimes. It's hard to sort out.
What is clear: NPR's leadership didn't think through the consequences of their actions in firing him, and in the process gave their conservative opponents the best possible gift.
If a mosque near Ground Zero is a national story, let alone a Jewish story — as is the proposed burning of a Koran by an obscure Florida pastor; as is the perceived surge in Islamophobia — with each of these stories inspiring endless Jewish statements, columns, and rabbinic sermons from here to Israel, then what are we to make of Molly Norris?
Is she a Jewish story, too?
And when so many in the media have so focused on how “moderate” an imam can be, what are we to make of Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki?