NPR’s abrupt firing of Juan Williams for expressing an opinion that is held by many Americans is generating a lot of static.
During an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Williams said:
I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.
While standing by the decision, NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard says the handling of Williams’ inartful remarks was, well, inartful:
I’m not privy to the why this announcement was so hastily made. NPR could have waited until his contract ran out, or possibly suspended him pending a review. Either way, a more deliberative approach might have enabled NPR to avoid what has turned into a public relations nightmare.
Williams has already landed on his feet with a $2 million contract with Fox News. Still, Republicans plan to land a knockout punch and defund NPR.
Sen. Jim DeMint, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee which oversees Corporation for Public Broadcasting, says it’s time to end taxpayer-funding of NPR and PBS:
Once again we find the only free speech liberals support is the speech with which they agree. The incident with Mr. Williams shows that NPR is not concerned about providing the listening public with an honest debate of today’s issues, but rather with promoting a one-sided liberal agenda.
We can’t keep borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars from China each year to fund public radio and public TV when there are so many choices already in the market for news and entertainment. If CPB is defunded taxpayers will save billions. This is just one of the many cuts Congress should make next year.
I plan to introduce legislation to defund CPB and force a vote on it as well as other measures to start getting our fiscal house in order.
Although I don’t agree with the effort to defund NPR, the incident represents political correctness run amok. The PC police who want to silence Williams also want to silence opponents of the Ground Zero mosque.