Ever since the mostly unremarkable pundit-analyst Juan Williams was sent packing from his perch at National Public Radio, his former employer has been deluged with criticism and phonecalls and letters and whatnot. Also, people are threatening them with bombs! Well, apparently, some of the simmering rage is being directed in the direction of the Public Broadcasting System as well. So, PBS ombudsman Michael Getler has taken a moment to explain to all of the angry and confused people that they are not the same thing as NPR, please stop sending us bombs!
Unless you have been on Mars for the past week, you probably know as much about this as you want to, and I don't intend to get into it. My fellow ombudsman at NPR, Alicia Shepard, got many thousands of emails and phone calls and has dealt with the continuing arguments about this episode in her online columns and in various interviews.
My interest in mentioning this is simply to remind the vast majority of those who wrote to me or called is to explain that PBS is not NPR, that Juan Williams does not work for PBS, that PBS did not fire him, and that both organizations, while part of public broadcasting in this country, are separate organizations and separate public media entities.
Getler adds: "They are also quite separate in other ways. NPR does radio. PBS does television." And that's basically the level of intellect Getler is contending with, here.
Again: PLEASE DO NOT SEND BOMBS TO SESAME STREET, OKAY?