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Publisher's Summary

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 outrage and led to calls for Congress to end its public funding of the media organization.
In Muzzled, Williams uses his very public firing as a launching pad to discuss the countless ways in which honest debate in America - from the halls of Congress and the health-care town halls to the talk shows and print media - is stifled. In today's partisan world, where media provocateurs rule the airwaves and political correctness dictates what can and cannot be said with impunity, Williams shows how the honest exchange of ideas and the search for solutions and reasonable compromise is deliberately muzzled. Only those toeing the party's line - the screaming voices of the extremist - get airtime and dominate the discussion in politics and the media. Each side, liberal and conservative, preaches to a choir that revels in expressions of anger, ideology, conspiracies, and demonized opponents. The result is an absence of truth-telling and honest debate about the facts. Among the issues denied a full-throated discussion are racial profiling; the increased reliance on religious beliefs in debating American values and legislation; the nuances of an immigration policy gone awry; why abortion is promoted as a hot button wedge issue to incite the party faithful and drive donations; the uneasy balance between individual freedom and our desire for security against terrorism; and much more.
A fierce, fresh look at the critical importance of an open airing of controversial issues, Muzzled is a hard-hitting critique of the topics and concerns we can't talk about without suffering retaliation at the hands of the political correctness police. Only by bringing such hot-button issues into the light of day can we hope to grapple with them and exercise our cherished, hard-won right of free speech.
©2011 Juan Williams (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Flavius on 10-07-11

Should Be Required Reading

I say without hyperbole that this is the most important book I have read in some time; I hope its message is widely embraced.
Williams' book is a reminder that not every news personality is so ideologically blinded that he or she can't see merit in opposing viewpoints. Williams artfully illustrates how dialogue in our culture has become a screaming match where we can't discuss what we need to, and aren't concerned with being right so much as we are with winning the argument.
Largely, Williams' views are nuanced and well-crafted. There are a very few times when Williams himself seems to fall unknowingly into the political correctness (used broadly in this work, applied to both the left and right equally) he criticizes. However, this never seems hypocritical, because it's easy to imagine that, if you pointed these moments out to the author, you might very well get him to see your point.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Elton on 08-23-11

Fair and Balanced

Mr. Williams does an excellent job presenting his case in a fair and balanced view (pun unavoidable due to true reporting skills presented). Though it is clear he is right of center on many issues, he refrains from building straw man arguments in most cases. There are some glaring short-comings, e.g. he does not present a good balance of the abortion riff by leaving out details then, unwittingly, fails to heed his own advice. It happens so quickly you wonder what the editor was thinking.
All-in-All it was a really good listen and has helped me to balance my thinking a little more. I have begun to split my time between Fox, CNN, and MSNBC a little more evenly now. If you are looking for a political screed, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a level headed and ever so slightly right leaning view. Get Muzzled (Pun intended).

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7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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