WASHINGTON — Sarah Palin has called for NPR to lose its federal funding over the firing of longtime news analyst Juan Williams, after he told Bill O'Reilly that he gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane.
In a statement late Wednesday, National Public Radio said it was terminating Williams' contract as a senior news analyst over his comments on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor."
NPR executives had previously complained about his remarks on Fox and asked him to stop using the NPR name when he appeared on O'Reilly's show.
The latest comments came Monday, when O'Reilly brought on guests to discuss his own appearance last week on ABC's "The View," during which Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set to protest his views on Muslims.
"Where am I going wrong here, Juan?" O'Reilly asked.
Williams, 56, responded that too much political correctness can get in the way of reality.
"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," Williams said. "But when I get on a 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."
He went on to say that not everyone in a religious group — Christian or Muslim — should be lumped together with extremists.
In statement on her Facebook page, Palin called for NPR to lose its federal funding over the incident.
"If NPR is unable to tolerate an honest debate about an issue as important as Islamic terrorism, then it’s time for 'National Public Radio' to become 'National Private Radio.' It’s time for Congress to defund this organization," Palin said.
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