BY JAMES TARANTO – “According to new research, the happiest man in the U.S. isn’t a billionaire or movie star but a 65-year-old Chinese-American Jewish man who lives in Hawaii,” London’s Daily Mail reported yesterday.

Sorry, Alvin Wong, your day is past and gone. No one can doubt that today the happiest man in America is Fox News contributor Juan Williams.

Vindication is his!

In October, Williams reportedly signed a seven-figure contract with Fox after having been fired by the federally subsidized radio network NPR, the ranks of whose former employees have been rapidly swelling this week. The latest to go: CEO Vivian Schiller. NPR’s own website has a manically updated report attempting to nail down just what happened. It’s more confusing than “Pulp Fiction”: The initial report, posted at 9:19 a.m. ET, is followed by the updates–14 of them as of 12:02 p.m.–which are in reverse chronological order.

The upshot seems to be that the board of directors wanted her out and allowed her to resign to save face: “Schiller, [chairman Dave Edwards] said, told the board members that they should have ‘the flexibility to do what [they] felt was important.’ She ‘offered to step aside if that was the board’s will,’ he said, ‘and the board ultimately decided that was in the best interest of the organization.’ ” Though saying you’re allowing someone to resign to save face saves face in roughly the same sense that Congress saves money when it increases spending by slightly less than it had planned.

Schiller owes her faux-voluntary ouster to fellow Schiller Ron Schiller, NPR’s former senior vice president for development. Although the Schillers are unkindred except in spirit, the Columbia Journalism Review reported in its March 2010 issue that he was “one of her most significant hires.” Man, did that ever turn out to be true! (Less prescient was CJR’s subheadline: “Can Vivian Schiller build a journalism juggernaut?” We’re going to go out on a limb and say probably not.)

 

See the full Wall Street Journal column at here

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