Facing resistance to the outlines of a deal from his own party, President Barack Obama is again making the case to the American people that a package to raise the nation's debt ceiling should include major deficit reduction.
It's great that the government shutdown was stopped just before the midnight deadline. But it's pathetic that it got so far. And the damage done during the bitter and contentious debates is a troubling sign for what lies ahead.
The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that would bar federal funding for National Public Radio -- a longtime target of conservatives irritated by what they consider the outlet's liberal bias.
On Tuesday, National Public Radio CEO Vivian Schiller lost her job, thanks to the antics of conservative trickster James O'Keefe. O'Keefe, you may remember, is the guy who tried (unsuccessfully) to lure a CNN reporter onto a boat under false pretenses, so he could record a seduction scene.
News accounts of the sacking of National Public Radio Chief Executive Vivian Schiller are careful to point out that she is not a blood relation to Ron Schiller, who, until Tuesday, had been NPR's senior vice president for development -- before he was caught on tape disparaging Tea Party members and the Republican Party in general.
Imagine for a moment that there was a prominent American conservative journalist who ignorantly disparaged an entire minority group on national television, got fired for it by the nation's largest public radio media organization and then still managed to pull down a $2 million payday with the television network where he made the remarks.
So much for National Public Radio's commitment to freedom of speech. As just about everyone now knows, NPR fired commentator Juan Williams for expressing not an opinion but a fear -- one that millions of Americans almost certainly share.
Fired NPR news analyst Juan Williams slammed his former employer Sunday, saying it had engaged in "character assassination" against him and calling comments from the company's president about him "despicable."
The uproar surrounding National Public Radio's decision to terminate Juan Williams' contract is partly a reflection of changing standards in journalism and an evolving understanding of the line between news analysis and commentary, according to one former media insider.
NPR's president and CEO defended Thursday the network's decision to terminate the contract of Juan Williams after the news analyst made remarks elsewhere that she said veered from analysis into opinion, adding that it was not the first time.