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Reactions to Juan Williams's Firing, From Left and Right | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

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Reactions to Juan Williams's Firing, From Left and Right

As you may have heard by now, NPR is cutting loose longtime commentator Juan Williams over remarks he made about Muslims over at his other home, Fox News, on the O'Reilly show. I thought it would be fun to take you to the early reactions, including right-wing defense of Williams and attacks on "PC." And now Mike Huckabee has called for Congress to cut NPR funding over this. 

The big question: Will NPR give Juan a tote bag or umbrella? In any case, he was back on Fox today.

Good selection here with Jeffrey Goldberg, Steve Benen, Andrew Sullivan, more. Sullivan: "The literal defense of anti-Muslim bigotry on Fox is becoming endemic. It's disgusting."

William Saletan at Slate claims left pulling a "Shirley Sherrod," alleging Wiliams video edited to give wrong impression. See Glenn Greenwald below for a rebuttal.

Glenn Greenwald: "Williams' trite attempt to glorify his bigotry as anti-PC Speaking of the Truth is inane, as his remarks were suffused with falsehoods, not facts.... Those who cheered on the firing of Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas and Rick Sanchez—and that will include many, probably most, of the right-wing polemicists predictably rushing to transform Juan Williams into some sort of free speech martyr sacrificed on the altar of sharia censorship—have no ground for complaining here."

Bernie Goldberg at Fox: "So Juan Williams is fired for saying something the liberals at NPR find controversial? One more piece of evidence that liberals have forgotten how to be liberal. These are the kind of people who brag about how open-minded they are—as long as you agree with them. And here's the dirty little secret: lots and lots of liberals feel the same way Juan does when they get on an airplane. And a lot of those liberals work at NPR. Juan's 'crime' was saying it out loud." 

From Andrew Breitbart site: Hey, didn't someone on NPR once compare Bush to Hitler? 

Sarah Palin tweets in her inimitable style: "NPR defends 1st Amendment Right, but will fire u if u exercise it. Juan Williams: u got taste of Left's hypocrisy,they screwed up firing you."

Ha, Time calls Williams a "conservative pundit."

Media Matters weighs in. Peter Daou hits Williams, and O'Reilly, on "warped" priorities.

Mike Madden of Washington City Paper tweets: "I'm no bigot, but if I see a cable news pundit walking toward me on the street, I get nervous."

Bill Kristol: NPR is "unfair, unbalanced [and] afraid." Powerline concurs. Cliff May claims Williams schooled Fox audience on liberalism.

Harry Shearer tweets: "Censorship at NPR? I'm shocked... shocked. I'm going to have to sit down now. Uh oh, I'm already sitting down." Dan Kennedy tweets: "NPR should have fired Juan Williams a long time ago. But an apology should have been enough in this case." 

A new edition of Greg Mitchell's book "The Campaign of the Century: Upton SInclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics," winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize, has just been published.

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