Dear Sarah Palin:
Since you’re so invested in defending your FOX buddy Juan Williams and his bigoted remarks, would you care to address this little sexism eruption of his:
Washington Post Magazine reporter Juan Williams said yesterday [November 1, 1991] that the newspaper has disciplined him for what he called "wrong" and "inappropriate" verbal conduct toward women staffers and he apologized to his colleagues.
Williams’s letter came several hours after about 50 female employees met with Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. and said they objected to The Post’s refusal to say how the paper had resolved allegations of verbal sexual harassment against Williams. The newspaper’s management has maintained that such personnel inquiries must remain confidential.
The disclosure came five days after a Williams column on The Post’s op-ed page in which he said that Anita Hill had "no credible evidence" for her allegations of sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, but that Hill was "prompted" to make her charges by Democratic Senate staffers. The Post’s personnel inquiry had begun more than two weeks earlier, but the column angered many women in the newsroom, and several came forward to say that they had also had problems with Williams. Post editors say they decided to make a public statement after WRC-TV aired a report on the controversy.
Seven women said in on-the-record interviews yesterday that Williams had repeatedly made hostile and sexually explicit comments to them, in some cases over a period of several years. All of them said they believed the comments were meant to embarrass them, not an attempt to date them, and most said that Williams persisted despite their protests.
Jo Ellen Murphy, art director of the Weekend section, said that "he was obsessed with my sex life and that’s all he wanted to talk to me about . . . . I raised my voice at him and said, ‘Just don’t talk to me again.’ "
It was speechifying like this by sexists and sexism enablers like Juan Williams — and the climate of fear and intimidation this engendered against women, such as Thomas’ then-girlfriend Lillian McEwen, that kept them from speaking out to stop Thomas — which helped slide Clarence Thomas into a Supreme Court seat for which he was manifestly unfit.
In 1991, Williams got off for his sexually harassing behavior with a slap on the wrist that in no way hindered his increasingly lucrative career path. Now, having exercised his bigotry yet again — this time against Muslims — he is rewarded by his pals at FOX News with a few extra million.
This morning on Fox Business Network, Juan Williams discussed the circumstances of his recent firing from NPR and revisited comments he made in early 2009 saying Michelle Obama has "this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going." Williams claimed that what he really said was Michelle Obama "has to avoid being what I said was ‘Stokley Carmichael in a designer dress,’" but Media Matters took his comments "out of context" to falsely claim he had accused her of being "Stokley Carmichael in a designer dress."
This is absolutely false. Williams, appearing on the January 26, 2009, edition of The O’Reilly Factor, said affirmatively and in his own voice of Michelle Obama: "If you think about liabilities for President Obama that are close to him — Joe Biden’s up there — but Michelle Obama’s right there. Michelle Obama, you know she’s got this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going. If she starts talking, as Mary Katharine [Ham] suggested, her instinct is to start with this ‘blame America,’ you know, ‘I’m the victim.’ If that stuff starts to come out people will go bananas."