Fired NPR Analyst Stands by Muslim Statements
"It’s an honest experience that when I’m in an airport and I see people who are in Muslim garb who identify themselves first and foremost as Muslims… I have a moment of anxiety or fear, given what happened on 9/11 -- that’s just a reality,” he says.
Juan Williams stands by his comments that he's afraid of Muslims in an airport -- even though he was fired as an NPR analyst Wednesday for expressing those thoughts.
“It’s an honest experience that when I’m in an airport and I see people who are in Muslim garb who identify themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I do a double take. I have a moment of anxiety or fear, given what happened on 9/11–that’s just a reality," Williams said Thursday on the Fox News Channel, where he also regularly appears as a talking head.
Williams said he was fired without talking to his bosses face-to-face, despite the fact that he'd been at the company for 10 years.
Bill O'Reilly and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich have asked Congress to open an investigation into NPR and cut its federal funding as a result of Williams' firing.
"I'm calling immediately... for the immediate suspension of every taxpayer dollar going into the National Public Radio outfit," O'Reilly told Scott on Fox News’ "Happening Now" Thursday. "We're gonna get legislation, we're gonna freeze it down... they don't get any more money."
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also called out NPR.
"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 in a statement to CNN.
Sarah Palin wrote about it on her Facebook page.
"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,'" she wrote. "It's time for Congress to defund this organization...President Obama should make clear his commitment to free and honest discussion of the jihadist threat in our public debates - and Congress should make clear that unless NPR provides that public service, not one more dime."