Top conservative figures are issuing strong condemnations of NPR for firing commentator Juan Williams after comments he made about Muslims on Fox News. The critics include potential Republican presidential candidates Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, Politico reports
The critics are calling for Congress to eliminate government funding for the radio network. And Democratic allies of NPR worry the station has just presented campaign fodder to Republicans, who can cite the network as extremely liberal and connect their Democratic opponents to it.
As for Williams, he told Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, “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."
Williams says NPR didn’t even talk to him before dumping him Wednesday night. NPR said in a statement that his remarks were "inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
In addition to calling for Congress to cut off NPR’s funding, former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee says he won’t do interviews on the station.
“NPR has discredited itself as a forum for free speech and a protection of the First Amendment rights of all and has solidified itself as a purveyor of politically correct pabulum and protector of views that lean left,” he said in a statement.
Former Alaska Gov. Palin took to Twitter to rip the network, writing: “Juan Williams: u got taste of Left’s hypocrisy, they screwed up firing you.”
Brent Bozell, president of the conservative media watchdog Media Research Center, is upset, too. His group is “preparing letters to the appropriate House and Senate oversight committees to request an investigation,” Bozell tells Politico.
“Juan Williams has done nothing wrong,” he says. “What he said echoes what the vast majority of Americans believe. It’s their tax dollars that fund NPR. But NPR is ignoring them. Instead, they are kowtowing to the agenda of radical anti-American groups.”
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