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Another C-SPAN Morning, and a very unhappy vote…

I’m watching the vote as the Republican majority votes on debate rules to defund National Public Radio. So far all Republicans are voting to cut the funds and all Democrats are voting to save the funding. If it keeps up like this, NPR has no chance.

C-SPAN is taking in phone calls during the vote, alternating between Democrats and Republicans, and the trend among callers of both parties is that NPR should keep its funding. Oh, there are a few who are supporting it because they claim it’s the government telling people what to watch (where they get that from, I don’t know.)

There us a predominance of callers from small towns and farm areas who realize that NPR and PBS allow broadcasts of unbiased news that they certainly don’t get from commercial stations. They are not looking forward to the cuts… however, the funding from the government is very small and NPR will work very hard in their other fundraising channels (like you and me).

I don’t know when they are having the final debate (they are apparently going to debate troops in Afghanistan next.) But I don’t hold out a lot of hope.

Dr. Billy Taylor, Jazz Great, Died on Tuesday at Age 89.

It was Dr. Billy Taylor who first called Jazz “America‘s Classical Music” and he spent close to seven decades bringing that message to everyone and anyone who would listen.

Back in the late 70s I spent a year as Administrator of the Jamaica Arts Center in Jamaica, NY, and one of my assignments was producing Jazz Concerts to go with our art exhibitions and other programs. When I approached Billy Taylor to do a concert, he suggested that the Center have him come in to do a 1-person program for children, explaining what Jazz was and getting them involved.

I must say, it was great. My admiration for this man only grew over the years… watching him on CBS Sunday Morning interviewing (and playing with) a couple of hundred Jazz Musicians through the years, or hearing him on NPR, or seeing him in his presentations from Lincoln Center. Because of Dr. Billy Taylor (and the “Dr.” was earned, btw… Taylor got his PhD in Music from the University of Massachusetts in 1975), generations of Americans were exposed to the brilliance of improvisation and composition. He wrote over 300 pieces, led a diverse career and never seemed to lose his energy.

The cause of death was heart failure, said his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson. I don’t think the “heart” of this man will ever fail.

Here’s a sample in remembrance:

Another Quote… Juan Williams, on FOX on Sunday…

… once again put his foot in his mouth when commenting on singer Yusuf (a Muslim) and Ozzie Osborne at the Stewart/Colbert Rally:

“I KNOW THIS IS POLITICALLY INCORRECT, BUT I’D RATHER TAKE MY CHANCES GOING OFF THE RAILS ON A CRAZY TRAIN … THAN RIDE WITH A MUSLIM ON A PEACE TRAIN.”

Juan Williams demonstrating his fears once again.

Juan Williams Fired by NPR…

…over anti-Muslim remarks on Fox.Here’s part of the story from HuffPo… go in and read more:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Juan Williams
Juan Williams

NPR announced late on Wednesday night that it has terminated the contract of longtime analyst Juan

Williams over his comments on Fox News that, when he is on a plane with Muslims, “I get nervous.”

NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik broke the news on Twitter.

Williams’ comments came during a discussion with Bill O’Reilly on Monday’s “O’Reilly Factor.” O’Reilly asked Williams if he had been in the wrong during his now-infamous appearance on “The View” last week. (There, O’Reilly’s statement that “Muslims killed us on 9/11” caused Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to walk off the set in anger.)

Williams replied that he thought O’Reilly had, in fact, been right.

“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. But when I get on the 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 had been a contributor and analyst at NPR for decades, but his dual role on Fox News — where he has also been a longtime and frequent contributor — drew so many complaints from NPR’s listeners that it asked Fox News to stop identifying Williams as an “NPR News Political Analyst” in 2009.

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