Juan Williams Takes Gloves Off: Defund NPR Now

Monday, 21 Mar 2011 10:12 AM

By Dan Weil

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Juan Williams has opposed defunding NPR — until now. But his opinion changed after comments from Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in a fundraising letter, Williams writes in The Hill.

Juan Williams, NPR, defund, Democrats, Republicans
Juan Williams: Congressman Israel, in effect admits NPR is for liberal Democrats. (AP Photo)
In the letter, Israel wrote that Republicans “know NPR plays a vital role in providing quality news programming – from rural radio stations to in-depth coverage of foreign affairs. If the Republicans had their way, we’d only be left with the likes of Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to dominate the airwaves.”

That convinced Williams, whom NPR fired last fall because of comments he made that were judged offensive to Muslims.

“With that statement Congressman Israel made the case better than any Republican critic that NPR is radio by and for liberal Democrats,” Williams wrote. “He is openly asking liberal Democrats to give money to liberal Democrats in Congress so they can funnel federal dollars into news radio programs designed to counter and defeat conservative Republican voices.”

Stoking the NPR funding controversy of late has been a sting that caught a former NPR exec making offensive comments about Christians, tea partyers, and Republicans. That controversy propelled the ouster of CEO Vivian Schiller.

Last week, the House voted 228-192 to defund NPR, with no Democrats voting for the measure but seven Republicans voting against it.

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