Opinion: Social media wrap: Juan Williams’ firing sets Twitter world alight


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Here’s how a hot media story explodes on Twitter and becomes national news:

It erupted Wednesday night but actually began Monday, when NPR analyst and Fox News contributor Juan Williams told Bill O’Reilly:

‘I think, look, political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality.


‘I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.

‘Now, I remember also that when the Times Square bomber was at court, I think this was just last week. He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts.’

Left-leaning political organizations such as Think Progress and the Huffington Post jumped on Williams’ comments, but the story didn’t gain significant traction until Wednesday, when Williams’ NPR colleague and media commentator David Folkenflik tweeted:

#NPR terminates contract of longtime analyst Juan Williams for comments made on Fox News about Muslims. More to come.

The nugget was picked up by cable news blogger Johnny Dollar, and then when conservative blogger Michelle Malkin got hold of it, the story of the latest talking head to roll went stratospheric.

-- Craig Howie

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