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Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate
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Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  43 reviews
“You can’t say that. You’re fired.”

Prize-winning Washington journalist Juan Williams was unceremoniously dismissed by NPR for speaking his mind and saying what many Americans feel—that he gets nervous when boarding airplanes with passengers dressed in Muslim garb. NPR banished the veteran journalist in an act of political correctness that ultimately sparked nationwide outr
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Crown (first published January 1st 2011)
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Kevin Bittner
Juan Williams has hit it on the head in this book concerning the absence of debate in the face of Political Correctness. Both the far left and the Far right are walking hardened defensive walls and refusing to compromise on any point of contention. This leaves us in the unfortunate position of consistently waiting for our government to do something because nobody is willing to listen to what anybody else has to say, before automatically condemning it for the simple reason that a member of the "o ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Muzzled is Juan Williams' report on his much-publicized firing from National Public Radio, apparently because he said it was hard not to see people getting on a plane "in Muslim garb" and not be concerned that they identified themselves so strongly with their religion. This, said Williams, is a natural reaction but we mustn't let it influence our view of moderate Muslims. This is a fairly frank statement and I think it reflects well on the reporter that he is aware of his own prejudices and cons ...more
In Muzzled, Juan Williams takes on the difficult task of exposing polarization within our society in an engaging and persuasive way. Williams was fired by NPR for being at philosophical and political odds with NPR management, with his comment about feeling uneasy about those in Muslim dress when traveling being the excuse for NPR to let him go, and then to demean him personally and publicly. Using that event as a springboard, Williams examines many topics within the public arena (9/11, taxation, ...more
Gary Braham
Juan Williams book is an interesting read. Most people would agree that he is right, that politics have become too partisan, and too negative. However, political moderatism has been losing ground. Mr. Williams explains why the moderate movement is failing, and how the political extremes are able to control the debate.

He also tells the story of how he was fired from NPR. While he generally liked most of the people he worked with. His disagreed with their leadership, in particular their insistance
Barbara Lovejoy
After hearing Juan Williams speak about his experience and his book on Q&A with Brian Lamb I knew that I wanted to read his book. I was not disappointed. In fact, I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. I would recommend that everyone--no matter what his/her political persuasion is or whether one feels he should or should not have been fired from NPR--to read this book. The bottom line that I most appreciated was how important it is for us to start listening to each other, including t ...more
If you think political discussion in this country has become too much "us vs. them, if you're not with us you're against us" then you'll probably enjoy this book as a history on how we got here. Additionally, there are good examples of how both sides, Left and Right, aren't really doing anything about it, despite complaining about the other side. Unfortunately, this book is light on ways to improve national debate. Would recommend to anyone looking for information to help them pick a workplace p ...more
As the next presidential election is gearing up, I have been increasingly frustrated with the extreme polarization in modern politics. Juan Williams addresses how we got to this point in a balanced way. Yet, as I was reading, I wished the author offered more solutions rather than the same old, "let's all work together and compromise" mantra. That clearly isn't working. What's next?
First, a disclaimer. I read an occasional book about politics, but am in no way a political junkie. That might be why I loved this book so much. Juan Williams always struck me as an inoffensive news analyst. He never ranted and raved, and I could usually understand his point of view even if I didn't agree with it. And NPR (when my radio could pick up a station) was often my station of choice. They had interesting programming, and I could do other things while I listened. My other disclaimer is, ...more
I purchased this book because I wanted to get the real story behind NPR's firing of him and he does a very kind and reasoned review of what went on behind the scenes and how he feels about NPR, their staff, their management and their funding and I found that to be the strength of the book. He also does a very good job of detailing why the country seems to find itself in distinct political and social camps to the point of exclusion from and ridicule of each side by the other. I found this to be a ...more
Rachel Wagner
A bit repetitive at times but makes some quality points about the madness of our politically correct society. Everyone has to watch each word that they say or they are lambasted and in the case of Williams fired. If we truly believe in free speech and press then we need to allow expression of diverse opinions. It would be one thing if Williams was caught falsifying documents or skewing the facts. He was fired for offering an opinion- stating a fear, which he then qualified and explained.
I think
I listened to the audible version. Mr Williams is reading the book for us, so it is more interesting to hear his emphasis. It certainly outlines his version of what happened when he was fired from NPR. (Even though I'm an NPR-fan, I know no broadcasting company is perfect.)

It's a great discussion on "PC" vs "non-PC." I wish there was a way to highlight an audible book.

I listened to this book on a round trip between Chicago and SW Minnesota, so I would like to listen to it again to make sure I d
Ron Cole
Since we don't have cable TV and I don't listen to NPR, I didn't know much about Juan Williams until engaging a friend in some political back and forth months ago. I like what he says about how so many topics are primed to explode with partisan battle with little room for finding solutions in the middle. Now if more hotheads would read this book and try to ratchet arguments down to actual discussions, progress could be made. Alas, that doesn't seem to be the way the world is going.
Juan Williams was fired from NPR for speaking openly and truthfully. This book is the end result of that firing. Williams maintains that civilized debate has been forgotten in the fight for ratings. Both left and right have gone to extremes, shouting out and shutting down the other side. Politics has stalled out due to neither side willing to listen and work together. His key message, according to this book, is listen to the other side and respond with respect.
I found this to be a very interesting and - at times scary - book. I've always liked and respected Juan, and it was interesting to hear his perspective on his firing from NPR and other current media issues. As a person with a BA in journalism I found a lot of what's in this book to be almost unbelievable ... but, unfortunately, not surprising.

Enjoyable, but not quite four stars due to some repetition that caused me to gloss over some parts.
This was clearly Mr. William's impassioned defense of his position on saying that he was scared of Muslims. While I ultimately think he was trying to discuss our biases by admitting to that-- and that is a good thing-- it clearly had an agenda of painting NPR as the "bad guys" and FOX as the "good guys" and Mr. Williams himself as the best guy who was just trying to keep everything "fair and balanced". Not sure what to make of it.
Mr. Williams should have stopped after the first chapter; that would have made a great pamphlet. I managed to make it through the second chapter, but had to stop at this in the third:

"Impish, venting archpartisans have created a subculture of celebrity provocateurs who make outlandish statements to grab attention, entertain, and mock but rarely advance the nation’s critical debates."

Physician, heal thyself.
This is a well thought-out and excellently written book. I thought it took a bit longer to express the ideas than was necessary, but the subject matter was relevant and the anecdotes interesting. This book helped me understand better our first amendment and its affect within American society. I would suggest this to anyone with political interests or interest in the constitution.
Juan Williams has written a thought provoking account of his firing by NPR and the media storm that followed. This is a tough, hard look at the absence of honest debate on both sides. While I don't always agree with Williams, I found his arguments to be intelligent and fair. In this age of political correctness, Juan Williams' book is a breath of fresh air!
Even though, I fundamentally disagree with Juan Williams almost every time I see him on TV, he tells his story about getting fired from NPR very well and I see the point he makes in this book, but Juan, you gota start the balance, not add to the bias! He makes good points in the book, he should use them on TV, so he doesn't come off looking like a blabbering idiot!
Good book--- wish I could give it 3 1/2 stars. Good read on a wise topic. I wish the last couple chapters could have been on how to become more active in trying to solve the problem of honest debate in this country

I liked reading about his story. He phrases it well to explain his side. Very interesting and sad for our country.
Rhonda Wentz Wathen

"No one at Fox has ever told me what to say. The same, sadly cannot be said of NPR." - Journalist Juan Williams
I recommend this book for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of the news outlets' attempt to control speech and thoughts here in the U. S. I have not been able to put the book down so far.
Steven Spector
NPR ain't perfect and Juan Williams makes a solid case for that proposition. With that said, he loses me completely towards the end of the book when he recommends government defunding. That is the point that I yell sour grapes and wonder whether he was "better fit" for full-time work at Fox after all.
A clear, straight down the middle, analysis of public debate in America. Williams details why the extreme opinions control the National conversation and stifle moderate positions. This book is not a polemic, but a well reasoned call for everyone to engage with opposing points of view.
I have always known that Juan Williams is has the possibilities to be an awesome author..His personality just oozes it. Muzzled was a fantastic book on the attacks of first amendment rights from multiple outlets from politicians to the media..I will def. read more by him.
I almost gave this book one star. It was well written but it is basically a rehash of politics and media coverage that you see on cable every day. The author seems to think that the only commentators with integrity are Bill O'Reilly and he, himself.
Sofia Galvez
The book is worth reading. I learned a lot about how PC the media has become. The biggest complaint I have is how much Mr. Williams sucks up to fox news. They could do nothing wrong except Glen Beck. Other than that it was a good book.
Not a bad read, a frank discussion of political discourse in this country. Juan WIlliams tried to occupy the middle ground in presenting the problem and the debate, I think he succeeded - his views on NPR were very visible.
Vernon Jr.
It was an informative take on the current state of the media and how they cover the news. Felt it was a bit slanted toward the author looking above the fray, which made some points feel to me as not genuine.
In light of Juan Williams firing by NPR, this is his retort on how free speech is being muzzled in America due to political correctness and the slant offered by many news operations. It is worth reading.
My admiration of Juan has gone higher w/this book. He's a level headed liberal. It is very revealing in spelling out his treatment by NPR. I also learned a good bit re: Ronald Reagan's tenure.
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“The Tea Party is a fitting representation of our era of no-debate, politically correct politics, where each political side has its own media, and opposing views are almost never given a fair hearing. Conservatives listen only to conservatives, and liberals listen only to liberals. People are spared the inconvenience of facts that don’t fit their beliefs and the unpleasantness of seriously considering a point of view other than their own.” 2 likes
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