Juan Williams launched another salvo in his ongoing war with former employer NPR on Monday with an op-ed in The Hill calling on Congress to defund the public broadcaster
“Even after they fired me, called me a bigot and publicly advised me to only share my thoughts with a psychiatrist, I did not call for defunding NPR. I am a journalist and NPR is an important platform for journalism,” Williams wrote. “But last week my line of defense for NPR ran into harsh political realities.”
According to Williams, he was moved to sharpen his call for defunding in response to fundraising emails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week asking for donations to help stop Republican efforts to cut off NPR. The email in question, written by DCCC chair Steve Israel, said that “If the Republicans had their way, we’d only be left with the likes of Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to dominate the airwaves.”“With that statement Congressman Israel made the case better than any Republican critic that NPR is radio by and for liberal Democrats,” Williams wrote. “He is openly asking liberal Democrats to give money to liberal Democrats in Congress so they can funnel federal dollars into news radio programs designed to counter and defeat conservative Republican voices.”
Williams was forced out of NPR last year after he made on-air comments describing his fear of Muslims in religious garb on planes.
Last week, the House passed a bill that would prohibit funding to NPR after an emergency hearing on the issue, but the legislation has little chance of passing in the Senate. A previous bill passed in the House that would cut all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides financial support to both NPR and PBS, but was rejected in the Senate.