Ousted NPR Analyst Jokes and Jests with Hannity on Night of Termination
If Juan Williams knew at 9:45 p.m. yesterday that he was out of a job, he sure didn't show it.
The same night he was fired by NPR, Williams appeared on Sean Hannity's "Great American panel" segment in an ostensibly cheerful mood, exchanging playful banter with the host and panelists.
"I love the sartorial splendor of his mutton chops," quipped Williams, referring to New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillian's facial hair. "And I'm thinking what would you look like with this? A little bit of that deputy dog look. You know what I'm talking about? You would look marvelous, my friend. That would be you as more liberal. That was a hip, younger Sean."
"You calling me fat, old Sean?" retorted Hannity.
In an ironic twist, Williams then joked: "You can't kick me out. Kick your wife out, but not me." At 9:01 p.m. yesterday, Andrew Breitbart's BigJournalism.com reported that NPR's senior news analyst was fired for admitting on the "O'Reilly Factor" that he gets "worried" and "nervous" when traveling on planes with Muslims.
According to The New York Times, NPR notified Williams of his termination sometime Wednesday night. In a statement to the paper, NPR claimed Williams's remarks "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
Indicating that both Fox News and Williams were aware of the firing, Hannity made no mention of Williams's affiliation with NPR, introducing him as a Washington Post "editorial writer, op-ed columnist, White House correspondent, Fox News contributor, and author of the New York Times bestseller 'Enough.'"
A transcript of the "Great American panel" segment can be found below:
9:45 P.M. EDT
SEAN HANNITY: And tonight on our Great, Great American panel. He worked at "The Washington Post" serving as an editorial writer, op-ed columnist, White House correspondent, Fox News contributor and author of the New York Times bestseller "Enough" Juan Williams is here. And he is a certified financial planner, author of the brand new book "The Buckets of Money Retirement Solution: The Ultimate Guide to Income for Life." By the way, I'll take some, Ray Lucia is with us and she is a radio talk show host Mary Walter is back with us. Guys, good to see you. Thanks for being here.
MARY WALTER, talk show host: Thank you.
HANNITY: All right, there's a little bit of fun going on this election season. Nothing was better than the New York gubernatorial debate. The rent is too high, too damn high. Watch this.
JIMMY MCMILLIAN, candidate for NY governor: I represent the Rent is Too Damn High Party. People are working eight hours a day and 40 hours a week and some a third job. Women can't afford to take care of their children, feed their children breakfast lunch and dinner. My main job is to provide a roof over your head, food on the table and money in your pocket. This is politics as usual, playing the silly game. It's not going to happen to the Rent Too Damn High Movement. People can't afford to pay their rent. They're being laid off right now as I speak. They can't eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. Your child's stomach just growled. Did you hear it? Got to listen like me.
HANNITY: Rent is too damn high. Guess what? Doesn't pay rent.
WALTER: It's a pretty good gig if you get it.
HANNITY: Well, he is.
RAY LUCIA, financial planner: You know, one of the things that we have got to get started in this country is we need to figure out how these people that aren't paying rent should be paying rent. Because, think about it all these foreclosures, got all these programs going on right now to keep people in their houses many of whom shouldn't be in the houses in the first place. The programs have not worked.
HANNITY: That is such a good point. In New York, they have rent control, rent stabilization. You know what? I'm sorry, Juan, the government has no right dictating what somebody will or will not pay for an apartment. You don't have to live in, you know, conveniently located midtown Manhattan. You can live out on Long Island. You can live in New Jersey or Brooklyn or Staten Island. You know, do you support rent control?
JUAN WILLIAMS, Fox News contributor: Yes.
HANNITY: Of course.
WILLIAMS: I love the sartorial splendor of his mutton chops. And I'm thinking what would you look like with this? A little bit of that deputy dog look. You know what I'm talking about? You would look marvelous, my friend. That would be you as more liberal. That was a hip, younger Sean.
HANNITY: You calling me fat, old Sean?
WILLIAMS: No, no, no. Hey.
HANNITY: Last time you are on this program –
WILLIAMS: You can't kick me out. Kick your wife out, but not me. Here's the thing. You know what? You don't want people exploited and so you want fair rent that allows the owner of the property to make a profit, but you don't want to exploit. In New York City, people get exploited.
HANNITY: Do you know what rent control is? The government forcing owners of buildings at apartments to pay the rent of somebody else. Supply and demand dictate in price, Juan. You don't believe in freedom.
WILLIAMS: Wait, what is this? You know me. Of course, I believe in freedom. I don't believe in exploitation. Capitalism has to have some limits so that you don't hurt people.
HANNITY: The price is offered. You either pay it or you don't. The government say well you can only charge x number of dollars. Who are they to tell somebody of that?
WILLIAMS: Because of exploitation.
WILLIAMS: They can't charge you whatever they want.
HANNITY: Live somewhere you can afford to live.
WILLIAMS: That's a good principle, but this says we are going to make sure that there is some subsidies. There are subsidies to make sure there are mixed up housing. Government has an interest in stable community.
WALTER: But, Juan, how is he not exploiting the owner of the building who's not getting any money for that apartment.
WILLIAMS: Not getting any money.
HANNITY: Eight hundred bucks when the real market value is 3,000? Why should that -- have to pay the $2,200 so he can have the convenience of living where he wants.
LUCIA: Got to get the government out of this stuff. We have making homes affordable deals, right? A million of these people. Two thirds of them after 60 days are in default anyway. So the governments have got to stay out of our business, especially the capitalism business.
WILLIAMS: What we have and I remember that President Bush had this an ownership society trying to encourage people to own homes because it develops more stable communities. We want that.
HANNITY: This is what got us into the financial.
WILLIAMS: I agree, but I'm just saying this was a Republican goal. Just say it's some liberal, crazy, conspiracy, Sean.
HANNITY: Warning that Freddie and Fannie were going bankrupt. We played the tape --
HANNITY: Wait a minute, but the whole premise was the Community Reinvestment Act, this notion that everybody in America should own a home whether they can afford it or not. The government forces banks and financial institutions to lower their standards and what a shock people can't pay their mortgage anymore.
WILLIAMS: You are really wrong on this one. The government wanted to encourage people to own property.
HANNITY: That's what Barney Frank said.
WILLIAMS: Let me just say. It wanted to encourage people to observe properties. I think it's a good goal. The mistakes were made by the likes of Fannie and Freddie and the banks and Wall Street who saw they could make profits by giving mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. The rating agencies are absolutely corrupt.
LUCIA: Juan, I love you, but you are wrong. Listen, on my radio show a lady called me one day she made 49,000 bucks a year. She bought three condominiums with no money down in Las Vegas. She called up and said how can I get out of this? I'm going to lose all my money.
WILLIAMS: She is crazy. That's one of the people flipping properties. They should have no protection. Get them out of here.
WALTER: What makes me crazy is there are people who will go in and rent those properties who can afford the pay the landlord what it is worth.
HANNITY: He would empower the government to force citizens to subsidize people they don't know.
WILLIAMS: You know what? I hate to break it to you, but Republicans and Democrats already say we want to subsidize low and middle income people to live all over.
HANNITY: And we will continue.
HANNITY: And we continue now with our Great American panel. By the way, I got a great e-mail from a friend of mine. Well, the title is Juan Williams is coolest. Juan exploiting Fox. Anyone who pays him, if his consistent then why does it Juan make himself available at 33 percent of market value or accept 33 percent -
WILLIAMS: I'm glad to do it if they give me 33 percent of Sean Hannity's salary. I want the boss to know right now I will take it.
HANNITY: The point is that somebody else should subsidize you that's the point.
WILLIAMS: Imagine in America we are caring about people. I will tell you why.
HANNITY: Hang on a second. I take a risk. I buy some apartment buildings. This is what you do for a living. You know economics. I buy apartment buildings and I want to rent out apartment buildings. We say and what can he afford.
Why should the government decide if I want to rent the apartment for 3,000, why do I have to rent it for 800?
WILLIAMS: Well, because, you know what? It's not just government by the people for the people and obviously what you hear was that the people of New York City at some point said, you know what these landlords are exploiting people. Rents far too high to justify their profits, Sean.
LUCIA: That's the problem we don't get rewarded for risk anymore in our society. That guy that owns the apartment is probably going to get sued about 8 times. Spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on litigation and we're going to have to give up free rent and now that's baloney.
WALTER: And what prevents me from quitting my job or not working a second job in order to make less money and then my rent goes down because I can't afford it at the price it's at now because my income has gone down.
HANNITY: You are advocating pure unadulterated socialism.
WILLIAMS: New York is a socialist government.
HANNITY: Honestly? Game on and so is Washington right now.
WILLIAMS: I don't think so. I think that we have limits on capitalism when too much -- when people are being exploited.
HANNITY: Empowering the government to liberally force charitable donations from investors to want the convenience of living in a beautiful apartment. Wait a minute. I never thought that the government should subsidize or a landlord should subsidize me. Why can't people live where they can afford to live.
WILLIAMS: That's your point earlier, right? And I don't think rating agencies should unfairly say to people you can have this mortgage when, in fact, they know they can't afford it, but the mortgage agency makes money off the deal so they get complicit.
LUCIA: Nobody wants to throw anybody out in the streets. Let's make that clear. But the fact of the matter is when people are not paying their rent, it doesn't help them to keep them in the apartment.
WILLIAMS: Of course not.
HANNITY: Wait a minute. When I was starting out my adult life and I had to buy $200 cars and $300 cars. You know why? That's all I could afford. Based on your theory, GM, Ford, Chrysler. Wait a minute. The government should have forced them to give me the price that I wanted that I could afford so I can get the car that I like.
WILLIAMS: Caricature of the argument. All I'm saying to you, Sean --
HANNITY: There is no difference.
WILLIAMS: You and I both started out trying to hustle, make a living. Nobody is subsidizing you or me. All I'm saying to you in New York City where the rents are very high, you know what? People can be exploited and this was an attempt by the city council, the people of New York City --
HANNITY: Nobody has a right. This is what is driving me crazy. Nobody has a right to live in somebody else's property or building. What Juan is advocating here a total, complete repealing of property rights in America.
WALTER: There is low income housing. That's right.
LUCIA: You have got low income housing right now. The government subsidizes that. They'll give us tax credits and buy low income housing.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
LUCIA: So there is nothing wrong with that.
WILLIAMS: I agree with you, but the government helps you.
LUCIA: That's my decision. Buy low income housing apartment building, I can do that. But the government should tell you how much rent you should pay or how much you have to subsidize.
WALTER: Tell you how much money you can make, that's ridiculous.
HANNITY: Under Juan's plan you won't have a bucket of money.
WILLIAMS: You think this guy is an idiot. He is making money. He wouldn't be in the business if he couldn't make money?
LUCIA: I can tell you. I own apartments in Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm not making money. There's a lot of risk.
HANNITY: I have a line for you. Liberals too damn selfish to steal innocent people's money.