Tags: wiliams | muzzled | npr | kerry | debate

Juan Williams Rips John Kerry's Call to Silence Media

Thursday, 11 Aug 2011 09:10 PM

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Honest debate in America is being muzzled by the forces of political correctness, says Juan Williams, a best-selling author and journalists who was fired by NPR after saying that seeing Muslims in airports makes him nervous.

Speaking to talk radio host Steve Malzberg, he said Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s claim that the media should not give equal time to politicians who were promoting a government default was “scary.”

“You don’t want government telling you want you can talk about and what media should be doing. It’s funny because if people on the left had heard that people on the right had wanted to say something about Hollywood, they would go bananas.

“People say there’s such anger right now in terms of what happened, dysfunction in Washington, that people are looking for someone to blame and John Kerry’s saying that some people should be silenced,” Williams said in amazement during a conversation with Malzberg on WOR 710 in New York.

Editor's Note: You can listen to the Steve Malzberg interview of Juan Williams by clicking here.

He said he couldn’t understand why people don’t take a stronger stance, speaking their minds.

“The scary part, kind of 1984-ish George Orwell, is that somehow the government should say to the media, here’s what you should be featuring in your shows and here’s what you shouldn’t be featuring.”

Kerry attacked tea partiers last week on MSNBC. He said that a default would have been “catastrophic,” adding, “The media’s got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion, just because somebody asserts it.”

Williams, who was on the show promoting his book, "Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate," said people should always be free to speak. “They are not going to be told to shut up or ostracized. The media’s not going to be told to censor them,” he said.

He said people should have “more confidence to say ‘I am willing to hear other points of view. I’m willing to listen. I’m willing to have a discussion and debate and maybe even I’m willing to be persuaded to change a point of view.’

“Right now that’s a rarity in terms of American public discourse,” added Williams, who now works as a political analyst for Fox News.

Williams had high praise for Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, who lambasted black youth from his church pulpit at the weekend, saying, “Take those doggone hoodies down, especially in the summer, pull your pants up and buy a belt, because no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt. When you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed, a pick in the back, your shoes untied, your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arm on your face, on your neck and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you.

“They won’t hire you because you look like you’re crazy,” said Nutter, a Democrat, who is the city’s third black mayor.

Williams said he was “thrilled” with Nutter’s impassioned speech. “I just think it was terrific.” saBut he said that too often when black leaders say such things they are attacked.

“When Bill Cosby said the same thing, boy did the black community come out and castigate him, said he was airing dirty laundry, giving ammunition to conservatives. Again, my point is these people want to muzzle honest debate, especially in the black community.

“If you don’t line up and if you don’t obey the orthodoxy, you’re not a good brother, you’re not a good black person and that’s why Mayor Nutter is taking a risk by saying this.

“But do you have any doubts that he’s speaking the truth and if those kids actually cleaned up they’d have a better chance to get a job? They are doing nothing but embarrassing the race. This is the truth, but if a white conservative says it you’re in trouble, people want to call you names.”

Editor's Note: You can listen to the Steve Malzberg interview of Juan Williams by clicking here.

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