Last night Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly aired an ambush interview that "O'Reilly Factor" producer Jesse Watters sprung on Vivian Schiller, National Public Radio's president.
Last week, Schiller fired Williams over the phone in reaction to a comment the Fox News contributor made on the October 18 edition of O'Reilly's eponymous program.
Schiller, no stranger to cable news -- she used to head up CNN's documentary division -- also put her foot in her mouth last week by flippantly dismissing Williams's comments on the "Factor" as something he should have kept between himself and his psychiatrist.
If you were wondering just how far to the left Joy Behar's political views skew, wonder no more.
Discussing National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams, Behar pitched the tired line that NPR is actually a middle of the road news organization. Her logic (I use the term loosely): "NPR has been vetted by objective Media Matter-type people and they have found that…NPR is very balanced."
You know it's time to recalibrate your metrics for political neutrality when the far-left blog Media Matters earns the label "objective" (video and transcript below the fold).
Whatever happened to Ed Schultz's solidarity with the working man? Isn't that supposed to be the essence of Schultz's shtick? But on his MSNBC show this evening, Ed played the paid-by-management Pinkerton, busting his nightstick over the head of . . . Juan Williams.
Proclaimed anti-worker Ed: "when you fire somebody: it's over, move on. Don't go back over spilled milk."
Ed Schultz, tool of the bosses--who knew? Video after the jump.
On Monday's "Morning Joe," co-host Joe Scarborough cast Fox News as an unabashedly conservative network while trumpeting his own show as a neutral voice of sanity in a polarized news environment. "In this world of Balkanized cable news outlets...it is kind of nice being Switzerland," he gloated, asserting the neutrality of his "Morning Joe" program.
"This show is a safe house where people can come and talk whether they are on the right or the left," Scarborough described his MSNBC morning show. "But there aren't many places left like that outside these three hours."
"Morning Joe" by-and-large leaves guests the freedom to express their own opinion. But Scarborough's assumption leaves out the fact that an overwhelming number of liberal guests and analysts appear on the show. Jon Meacham of Newsweek, former MSNBC host Donny Deutsch, and Tina Brown of The Daily Beast are three of many liberals who appear regularly on "Morning Joe."
In contrast, a far-right conservative appearing on "Morning Joe" is rare. MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan is one of the few conservative voices appearing regularly on the show. RedState's Erik Erickson appears infrequently and contributors from publications like National Review appear rarely if ever.
Congressman Joe Barton, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that authorizes spending for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, sent a letter Friday to Media Research Center President Brent Bozell about his call for an investigation in the firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio.
The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne said Sunday that NPR is one of the best news organizations in the world and challenged anyone to find evidence the radio network is the slightest bit liberally biased.
To prove his claim, Dionne hysterically pointed out to his fellow "Meet the Press" panelists that whenever he's on NPR, he's often countered by "conservatives" - like New York Times columnist David Brooks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume condemned NPR for its “howling double standard” in firing Juan Williams for expressing an opinion, a standard “manifestly not being applied to other NPR people.” He forwarded the theory that “in the culture of NPR, appearing on Fox is a sin” and “for an African-American man” to “be kind of a Bill Cosby liberal, not a down-the-line liberal, is a sin as well.”
Hume’s assessment came after host Chris Wallace read from a column in which Cokie Roberts denounced Glenn Beck as “worse than a clown. He’s more like a terrorist,” showed a clip of her disagreeing with a court ruling on partial birth abortion and ran a soundbite of Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legal correspondent, attacking a Supreme Court decision. Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton recalled how Daniel Schorr “did a biting, acerbic, liberal commentary regularly on NPR” where “he called the 2000 Supreme Court decision, that gave George Bush the right to take office as President, he described that as a ‘junta,’ as ‘a coup.’”
“So much to dislike about NPR, it's hard to know where to begin,” Bill Kristol later quipped.
Andrew Sullivan on Friday said that if you say something bigoted on Fox News, you get rewarded, promoted, and celebrated.
As the topic of NPR's firing of Juan Williams was raised on the syndicated program "The Chris Matthews Show," Sullivan was far more critical of the cable news station than the radio network (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“Why is it okay for Nina to express opinions, as she has tartly, sharply, unashamedly and openly” while serving as “an honored correspondent” for NPR, while Juan Williams, “because he expresses his opinions, gets canned from NPR?” So Charles Krauthammer demanded while sitting Friday with Totenberg on the same Inside Washington set. “In fact, the standard ought to be lower in the case of Juan because he’s an analyst, whereas Nina is a correspondent.”
Krauthammer had picked up on NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s contention that the network had canned Williams because he violated the policy that “news analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts, and that's what's happened in this situation.”
An uncomfortable Totenberg asserted “it’s a very, very difficult line to draw. And NPR tries to draw it, in my view, using rules that don’t exist anymore.” To which, Krauthammer wondered: “But what’s the difference between you and Juan expressing opinions? You on this show, and him on Fox?” He condemned NPR: “It’s completely illogical and hypocritical.” (Audio: MP3 clip)
Juan Williams struck back at his former employers on Friday by pointing out the hypocrisy of him being fired for his comments about Muslims when others at NPR have said far worse without receiving any disciplinary action whatsoever.
Filling in for the regular host of Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," Williams gave the radio station he dutifully represented the past ten years a well-deserved piece of his mind (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It appears Juan Williams’ firing is just what the public needed to realize their tax dollars are being poorly handled through subsidies from the federal government given to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to prop up National Public Radio.
However, “Red Eye” host Greg Gutfeld makes the most reasonable case not to deprive NPR of its taxpayer subsidies. On the Oct. 23 broadcast of his program, Gutfeld explains to his viewers his case for not defunding the radio organization, but not without taking some jabs their decision to fire his Fox News colleague.
Hey, it's Friday night. Time to kick back, relax, and have a few chuckles, courtesy Ed Schultz. On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz, somehow managing to keep a straight face, claimed that NPR is "as down the middle as you can get."
Schultz served up his side-splitter in condemning Jim DeMint and other Republicans for proposing the federal defunding of NPR. In the world according to Ed, the Republican suggestion to withdraw NPR's taxpayer subsidies reflects a GOP plan to "shut down any dissenting voices in this country." Ed, buddy: Dems control the White House and both houses of Congress. NPR is the voice of pro-government flackery, not dissent. The rebels are . . . the Republicans!
At the end of Friday night's PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff asked their political analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks about NPR's firing of Juan Williams. Shields said "NPR made a serious mistake...and I think they did it in a terrible way, by a telephone call without a personal chance to explain himself. You know, I think it's given the right wing a tremendous opening to attack NPR, which I hate to see happen, because I think it's a valuable public institution."
Brooks disclosed "I work at NPR somewhat" (as part of a similary analyst duo with liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne). Brooks agreed with Mark about the firing and its lack of personal contact. "I think what was said is perfectly within the bounds of debate." But then he insisted NPR has achieved sensible centrism in recent history:
And the damaging thing to me is NPR's worked really hard over the last 10, 20 years to become a straight-down-the-middle network. I'm not sure they were decades ago, but not they really are. And now because of this unfortunate episode, they're beginning to get some ideological baggage again, and that's damaging.
>Former NPR senior analyst Juan Williams told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" Friday that his surprise termination has changed his view of which side of the political aisle is actually the tolerant one.
"I've always thought the right wing was the ones who were inflexible and intolerant, and now I'm coming to realize that the orthodoxy at NPR, if it's representing the Left, is just unbelievable" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Trying to write off calls—in reaction to the Juan Williams firing fiasco—for the federal defunding of NPR as mere right-wing electoral politics and "cable catnip," Norah O'Donnell has grossly understated the proportion of its budget that NPR obtains from the feds.
Aided and abetted by Chuck Todd, Norah offered her misleading math on today's Daily Rundown on MSNBC. O'Donnell claimed that only 1-3% of NPR's budget is derived from federal funding. But as you'll see, the real number is at least double that.
Juan Williams's firing from National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this week was not only animated in part by the liberal George Soros-backed radio network's disdain of Fox News, it also reeks of a double standard, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of Friday's "Fox & Friends" program.
"If [Juan Williams] had said those words on the Charlie Rose show, it would have been seen as provocative or thoughtful.... This is the same network that featured Nina Totenberg hoping that Senator Jesse Helms would die or one of his grandchildren would die of AIDS because of his position on gay rights and nothing ever happened to her."
Fired NPR analyst Juan Williams is pushing back hard against the taxpayer-funded network firing him over his appearances on the Fox News Channel. In an opinion piece for Foxnews.com, Williams says he was a victim of political correctness and increasing ideological orthodoxy in media, and concluded that NPR is worse than Richard Nixon and his enemies list:
I say an ideological battle because my comments on "The O’Reilly Factor" are being distorted by the self-righteous ideological, left-wing leadership at NPR. They are taking bits and pieces of what I said to go after me for daring to have a conversation with leading conservative thinkers. They loathe the fact that I appear on Fox News. They don’t notice that I am challenging Bill O’Reilly and trading ideas with Sean Hannity. In their hubris they think by talking with O’Reilly or Hannity I am lending them legitimacy. Believe me, Bill O’Reilly (and Sean, too) is a major force in American culture and politics whether or not I appear on his show.
Years ago NPR tried to stop me from going on "The Factor." When I refused they insisted that I not identify myself as an NPR journalist. I asked them if they thought people did not know where I appeared on the air as a daily talk show host, national correspondent and news analyst. They refused to budge.
In the wake of commentator Juan Williams' feckless firing by National Public Radio, supporters on the Internet sounded a cheeky rallying cry: "Free Juan!" But Williams has now been liberated from the government-funded media's politically correct shackles. It's taxpayers who need to be untethered from NPR and other state-sponsored public broadcasting.
Public radio and public television are funded with your money to the tune of some $400 million in direct federal handouts and tax deductions for contributions made by individual viewers, not to mention untold state grants and subsidies. Supporters argue that this amounts to a tiny portion of state-sponsored media's overall budget, and an even tinier portion of the overall federal budget.
If it's so negligible, why do NPR's government-subsidized "journalists" cling so bitterly to the subsidies? Leverage. The government imprimatur gives NPR and PBS a competitive edge, favoritism with lawmakers and the phony appearance of being above the fray.
Why, exactly, was Juan Williams fired from NPR? The Council on American Islamic Relations' Ibrahim Hooper appeared on Fox News, Thursday, and proclaimed that the "right"-leaning Juan Williams wasn't a "good fit" for the "more liberal viewpoint" of NPR.
During the extremely contentious interview with America Live's Megyn Kelly, the host pressed Hooper, the national communications director, as to why the organization pushed for Mr. Williams' firing. Hooper admitted, "And I think everyone is recognizing now that perhaps it wasn't a good fit between the network and Mr. Williams..." [MP3 here. Click on blog for video.]
He added that the commentator "was increasingly leaning towards the right and NPR obviously has a more liberal viewpoint and there wasn't a good fit there, so perhaps this was the breaking point." (Williams was fired Wednesday night after saying that he gets "nervous" when Muslims in traditional garb are on planes with him.)
At NPR, you cannot admit your prejudices, even in the context of disavowing them. You can, however, suggest that a U.S. Senator and his grandchildren should be infected with the AIDS virus, claim the world would be a better place if everyone who believes in the Christian rapture did not exist, claim that Newt Gingrich seeks "a civil way of lynching people," and, as long as you are just a freelancer, call for Rush Limbaugh's death.
That is National Public Radio's editorial (double) standard. NPR fired analyst Juan Williams, an 10 year employee of the organization, for admitting that he gets "nervous" when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane. But NPR employees (and a freelancer in one case) have made each of those statements above without suffering the swift action brought against Williams.
Managing Editor's note: National Public Radio (NPR) has fired longtime analyst Juan Williams for admitting he gets nervous on a plane when he sees a person dressed in Muslim garb. What follows is a statement from NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell.
Juan Williams has done nothing wrong. 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-Americans like CAIR, and doing the bidding of George Soros, who hates Fox News with a passion.
And since when did NPR have standards? Here are just three examples of left-wing statements 100 times more outrageous than what Juan Williams said, with no reaction from NPR:
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."
It shouldn't be shocking that as many NPR stations are conducting pledge drives of their liberal audiences, NPR has found a pretext to fire its longtime analyst Juan Williams for an appearance on Fox News. NPR listeners have complained loud and long that NPR analysts should not dignify that right-wing media outlet with their presence. Williams admitted on The O'Reilly Factor "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."
It should be noted that the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent around a press release on Wednesday afternoon. CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad called for action against Williams: "Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR." The New York Times somehow omitted CAIR from its Juan-is-gone story.
Brit Hume on Sunday took Juan Williams to task over the Democrats adjourning Congress without voting on extending some or all of the Bush tax cuts.
As host Chris Wallace moved the panel segment of "Fox News Sunday" to last week's decision by legislators to head home to their states and/or districts in preparation for the upcoming elections, he asked Williams for his opinion.
Williams said that he had spoken with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) on Friday, and she told him she had the votes to get an extension passed for all but the top wage earners.
This led Hume to ask, "Then why didn't she call the vote?"
And that's when the fun started (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Juan Williams on Saturday said when it comes to news stories about race, America's media always make black people the victims and white people the perpetrators.
As the discussion on "Fox News Watch" turned to last week's murders at a Hartford, Connecticut, beer distributor, host Jon Scott read clippings from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press all claiming the killer had been responding to years of racist treatment.
When done, he said incredulously, "Juan, the guy was caught on camera stealing beer and the media turned it into a racial story."
Williams responded in a fashion that likely shocked many viewers (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Juan Williams on Sunday said the passage of Missouri's anti-ObamaCare ballot initiative last week is irrelevant because only older white people voted for it.
Discussing the issue on "Fox News Sunday," the liberal FNC contributor said, "As far as the Missouri vote, you get 70 percent inside an echo chamber of older white people, no not in St. Louis not in Kansas City, saying, 'Oh yeah, we don't like a requirement that everybody has to have healthcare even though the hospitals in Missouri say it's gonna drive up our costs.'"
Host Chris Wallace seemed somewhat stunned by this and asked, "What happened to respect for democracy?"
When Williams elaborated saying that he believes this will eventually be decided by the courts, Liz Cheney rightly scolded her colleague, "I think it is stunning you and the White House are unwilling to heed the votes of the people in Missouri" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as host Maddow complained that a video clip of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod had been edited to make it appear that she currently has a tendency to discriminate against white farmers at USDA – a clip that led to her firing by the Obama administration – the MSNBC host not only incorrectly claimed that FNC coverage of the clip had helped incite her firing, but she also suggested that FNC would never show her side of the story even though, by that time Tuesday night, several FNC shows had already informed viewers of some of the details in Sherrod’s favor. And, in fact, Sherrod had already been forced to resign before the O’Reilly Factor became the first FNC show to report the story of her comments on Monday night, although host Bill O’Reilly at the time did not realize she had already been fired.
Maddow’s show even chose to only present to her viewers clips from FNC that ran Monday and Tuesday morning which portrayed Sherrod’s comments as racist, without airing any of the clips from shows later Tuesday which showed FNC personalities conveying more of her side of the story. As Maddow filled in her viewers on some of the details in Sherrod’s favor, the MSNBC host used such phrases as "you would never know this if you got all your information from Fox News," and, after explaining that Sherrod, in fact, helped the white farmers in question, she added: "That`s what happened – unless, of course, you watch Fox News." FNC had already reported most of those same details hours earlier, and O’Reilly even informed his viewers Tuesday that Sherrod had declined an invitation to appear as a guest on his show, so liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes appeared in her place.
NPR's Juan Williams on Sunday spoke an astonishingly inconvenient truth about the Gulf Coast oil crisis: "[President Obama] just hasn't conveyed that he really cares about this issue, and that he's not off to the side watching."
This was in stark contrast to Time's Joe Klein who said this weekend, "This is more Bush's second Katrina than Obama's first," and New York Times columnist Frank Rich who on Sunday blamed the oil spill on George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and Rand Paul.
No, Williams, participating in bonus online coverage of "Fox News Sunday," made it crystal clear that unlike many of his colleagues in the Obama-loving media, he's not carrying the administration's water on this critical issue facing the nation (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, relevant section at 5:50):
On Friday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, substitute anchor Juan Williams devoted a segment to the recent inclusion of Iran on the United Nations Commission on the Status for Women, despite the draconian treatment of women by government authorities in the nation. The FNC host was reminded of Libya's leadership of the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 2003. Williams:
Another outrage courtesy of our friends at the U.N. Iran has just been selected to sit on the United Nations commission on human, on women's rights. Iran, which requires that women who don't dress modestly enough get stoned or lashed. Iran, which threatens to arrest women with suntans. I guess we shouldn't be shocked. In 2003, Libya was selected to head up the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
Williams brought aboard author Brigitte Gabriel for further discussion of the issue. Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Friday, April 30, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC: