Remember when Juan Williams was a respected NPR journalist? It seems so long ago. He said something dumb, got fired, got bitter, got picked up by Fox News, and now makes a living as a sort of reformed liberal talking clown, paid to confirm the right wing's prejudices. Today: Juan Williams doesn't like that rapping music, either!

His op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal (naturally) is a deft combination of the "I'm an old person here to declare that music was better in my day" genre and the "I am a black conservative here to reassure white conservatives that it is okay to dislike modern black youth culture" genre. Williams takes the occasion of the anniversary of the March on Washington to note: Hey, these hippity-hoppers today with their baggy trousers and backwards baseball caps are no Peter, Paul, and Mary, that much is for sure!

In Jay-Z's current hit, "Holy Grail," he sings about "psycho bitches" and uses the n-word seven times while bragging that he is "Living the life . . . Illest [n-word] alive." Another top rapper, Lil Wayne, released a song in the spring with an obscenity in the title, using the n-word repeatedly and depicting himself as abusing "hoes" and "bitches."

Similar examples abound in the rap-music world and have persisted for years with scarcely any complaint from today's civil-rights leaders.

Why don't "civil-rights leaders" (read: black people) complain about the songs made by popular rappers (read: other black people)? The answer is: they do. The other answer is: maybe they have better things to do, like, I dunno, working on civil rights issues? The other answer is: Why don't white Republicans complain about Keith Urban and Tim McGraw? That shit is real wack.

You coulda been a contender, Juan Williams.

[WSJ. Photo: AP]