The Juan Williams debacle may be over. But accusations of a lack of diversity at NPR are not. Early this morning The Root‘s Managing Editor and founder of the Nat. Assoc. of Black Journalists Joel Dreyfuss sent an open letter to Gary Knell, the new chief of NPR, on what he sees are the station’s lingering “diversity” problems.
Drefuss first praises Knell for taking steps to embrace diversity and said he has said “all the right things” since his appointment was announced last week.
But he warned him not to conclude that NPR’s problems with race are over: “Don’t mistake the fiery exit of Williams as just a nasty personnel matter gone nuclear. His departure was a sad commentary on the monochromatic vision of many liberal institutions — a disease that NPR has not escaped.”
He remembered a conversation he had with the now former NPR employee who fired Williams, Ellen Weiss. at a convention of the Association of Black Journalists. He asked her why “All Things Considered” was “so white.” She said it wasn’t — they had Williams. Dreyfuss recalled, “I almost choked on my stuffed mushroom.” He later added this zinger, “NPR has never been comfortable with black voices and brown voices and white voices that challenged conventional liberal thinking.”
Read the full letter here.
We’ve requested comment from NPR. Should they have one we’ll bring it to you.