Juan Williams: Nix Funding for Partisan NPR

Friday, 25 Mar 2011 02:51 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Matthew Belvedere

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National Public Radio has become just another voice on the crowded partisan airwaves and no longer should receive government funding, journalist, author, and exiled NPR commentator Juan Williams tells Newsmax.TV.

Williams, whom NPR fired last year after he made controversial comments about Muslims, spent a decade working for NPR, vigorously supporting NPR, raising money for the organization, and promoting it as “essential to our democracy.”

Williams, who now has a bigger role at Fox News, wouldn’t make such comments now. But he’s not criticizing his former employer merely because of sour grapes.

“When you hear the lead fundraiser for NPR saying 'you know we’d be better off without government money,' when you come to understand that people in Congress, Democrats, think that somehow NPR should be their answer to Rush Limbaugh or to Glenn Beck, you start to say 'wait a second this is all part of some partisan fray,' ” Williams said during a Newsmax interview at a dinner Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

“Why should the government be supporting any of these outlets and why should good journalists have to be watching over their shoulder waiting to see if some politician, left wing, right wing, whatever, approves of what they say and what they do?” he asked.

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“I don’t think that’s a good climate or situation for any journalist to be in and I think it leads to the kind of compromising situation where NPR’s fundraisers are getting into bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. I just think that’s an invitation to corruption.”

Williams was referring to the sting operation by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, who had two associates pose as members of a Muslim Brotherhood group that wanted to give NPR a $5 million donation. Williams is working on a book to be titled, “Muzzled,” which he described as a book about freedom of speech.

“NPR can fire me,” he said, “but you know the government is not going to put me in jail, thank God for the Constitution, thank God for the Bill of Rights.”


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