NPR Doesn't Feel 'Comfortable' With Controversy

An anonymous NPR executive tells The Washington Post's Paul Farhi that Juan Williams' comments  brought "'a huge storm of criticism' to NPR, even though Williams spoke on Fox, according to a senior news executive who asked not to be named because NPR hadn't authorized him to speak on the record." The executive went on to say:

"Everything he says on Fox comes back to us and it has for years. We were never comfortable with his comments" on Fox. We can't make corrections or apologies for what he says there. It's very problematic."

To which I say, to this anonymous executive, so what? So what that it comes back on you? So what if you weren't comfortable? Is your job to avoid controversy at all costs? Is it NPR's job to make people comfortable? Thank God Andrew and Ta-Nehisi and Fallows and Megan and I and all the rest work for a publisher with guts. Yes, this sounds like a suck-up post, but it's true. 

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.