By Elizabeth Tenety
Sarah Palin is campaigning again, today calling out NPR for firing Juan Williams for his controversial comments on Muslims.
We have to have an honest discussion about the jihadist threat. Are we not allowed to say that Muslim terrorists have killed thousands of Americans and continue to plot the deaths of thousands more? Are we not allowed to say that there are Muslim states that aid and abet these fanatics? Are we not allowed to even debate the role that radical Islam plays in inciting this violence?
If NPR is unable to tolerate an honest debate about an issue as important as Islamic terrorism, then it’s time for “National Public Radio” to become “National Private Radio.” It’s time for Congress to defund this organization.
And now Bill O’Reilly, on whose program Williams made the comments, has also called for NPR to be de-funded, calling the radio outfit a “left wing outfit that wants [to advance] one opinion.”
“I’m calling … for the immediate suspension of every taxpayer dollar going into the National Public Radio outfit,” O’Reilly said Thursday.
Newt Gingrich has also said that “US Congress should investigate NPR and consider cutting off their money.”
Here’s the clip from O’Reilly that got WIlliams fired:
WILLIAMS: “Well actually, I hate to say this to you because I don’t want to get your ego going. But I think that political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality. I mean, look Bill, I’m not a bigot, you know the kinds of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country.”
WILLIAMS: But when I get on a plane, I gotta tell ya, 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.
WILLIAMS: Now I remember also that when that Times Square bomber was in court, I think this was just last week, he said “the war with Muslims -America’s war with Muslims -is just beginning, the first drop of blood.” I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts. But I think there are people who want to somehow remind us all us as President Bush did after 9/11: It’s not a war against Islam. President Bush went to a mosque —
O’REILLY: Well there isn’t any theology involved in this at all in this from my perspective Juan. But you live in the liberal precincts, you actually work for NPR, okay its not about, its about politics as I said. My analysis is that this Israel thing and that liberals feel that the United States is somehow guilty in the world of exploitation and backing the wrong side and it makes it easier for them to come up with this kind of crazy stuff that –well you can’t really say that Muslims attacked us on 9/11. Well, what were they, Norwegians? I mean, come on.
WILLIAMS: Wait a second though, wait wait hold on. Well if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals, very obnoxious. You don’t say first and foremost “we’ve got a problem with Christians,” that’s crazy.
O’REILLY: Well it’s not at that level, it doesn’t rise near to that level.
WILLIAMS: Correct, and when you said in the talking points memo a moment ago that there are good Muslims, I think that’s a point. You don’t want to be -I mean-
O’REILLY: But everybody knows that Juan. What are we in the 3rd grade here or what?
WILLIAMS: No, but you gotta be careful: This is what Barbara Walters was saying and you disagreed with it.
O’REILLY: “You gotta be careful,” there, you just said it. “I gotta be careful.” I have to qualify everything 50 times. You know what Juan? I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not doing it anymore.
WILLIAMS: So be yourself Bill, take responsibility.
O’REILLY: I will say Muslim terrorist but I’m not going to say “it’s only a few. It’s only a tiny bit.” It’s not Juan. It’s whole nations: Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Whole nations.
Was what Williams said about flying with Muslims bigoted? Or is Palin right that NPR unfairly shut down debate on Islam’s role in terrorism? Do we still need to have what Palin called “free and honest discussion of the jihadist threat”?
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