The Juan Williams controversy ought to seem awfully familiar—because it’s a complete rerun of the Shirley Sherrod debacle. Only this time, it’s left-wingers promoting an edited, misleading clip, writes William Saletan for Slate. The video, which was quoted by the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR, cuts off right after Williams admits that Muslims on planes make him nervous, and that the would-be Times Square bomber spoke of Islam’s war with America.
But just as with Sherrod, the video clip ends just before Williams changes course. Listen just a second longer, and you’ll hear him say, “But I think there are people who want to somehow remind us all as President Bush did after 9/11, it's not a war against Islam.” He goes on to criticize O’Reilly’s statements on the View, saying that in the case of Timothy McVeigh and other homegrown miscreants, “you don’t say first and foremost we’ve got a problem with Christians. That’s crazy.” Adds Shafer, "It's certainly unsettling to hear [Williams] admit that he worries when he sees Muslims in distinctive dress. But admitting such fears doesn't make you a bigot."