NPR, Juan Williams and the Clash of News and Talk

"Would you have fired Juan if you were still Vice President of News at NPR?" asked a longtime friend. He was referring of course to NPR News analyst Juan Williams' expression of concern about fellow airplane passengers in "Muslim garb." (Rhetoric note: He was trying to make the exact reverse point than his subordinate preamble suggested, so he's due demerits for poor phrasing.) My answer: It's not a hypothetical. We actually faced these same issues in the late 1980's, when I was head of NPR News: Cokie Roberts, who was covering Capitol Hill for NPR, received an offer from ABC…