Friday, October 22, 2010
Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee defend Juan Williams after NPR firing, call to slash NPR funds
Two days after Juan Williams was fired from his job as an NPR analyst over making controversial comments about Muslims on Fox News, conservatives are leaping to Williams' defense, and demanding that NPR not get any more public funding.
And two of those conservatives – Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee – just happen to be two of Williams' newest colleagues.
"NPR should receive NO fed tax dollars if it operates as intolerant, private radio. Mr. President, what say you?" Palin said in a series of tweets about the issue on Friday.
Huckabee called on Congress to stop funding 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 the purveyor of politically correct pabulum and protector of views that lean left," Huckabee said on his political action committee's website.
After Williams was booted from his job earlier this week over comments he made on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" about his fear of flying with Muslims, the network offered him a 3-year, nearly $2 million deal.
Huckabee, the former GOP vice presidential candidate, currently hosts a Fox News talk show. Palin is a political contributor on the network as well.
"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot," Williams told O'Reilly. "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're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
NPR issued a statement saying the remarks were "inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
But it's not just Williams' new comrades who are outraged. Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said on Friday that he'd introduce legislation to halt NPR's funding.
"Once again we find the only free speech liberals support is the speech with which they agree," DeMint said in a statement. "The incident with Mr. Williams shows that NPR is not concerned about providing the listening public with an honest debate of today's issues, but rather with promoting a one-sided liberal agenda."