Juan Williams: Defund NPR

posted at 8:48 am on March 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

After being fired from NPR for expressing a controversial opinion on Fox News — along with a suggestion that he had mental problems — Juan Williams remained supportive of federal funding for public broadcasting.  What Vivian Schiller couldn’t do, apparently House Democrats could.  After the DCCC sent out a fundraising letter based on Democratic support for NPR lauding its ability to get out the progressive message, Williams now says enough is enough:

But last week my line of defense for NPR ran into harsh political realities. Rep. Steve Israel (D- N.Y.) chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising letter with the following argument for maintaining public funding of NPR:

“They [Republicans] know NPR plays a vital role in providing quality news programming – from rural radio stations to in-depth coverage of foreign affairs. 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. 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.

Rep. Israel has unintentionally endorsed every conservative complaint about NPR as a liberal mouthpiece.

Kudos to Williams for his honesty and open-mindedness.  The Democrats fear the end of control over NPR that comes with federal funding.   Williams writes that NPR has to “stick its finger in the wind” to ensure that its Capitol Hill patrons like their coverage in order to ensure that their funding continues, and whatever else that might be, it’s not journalism in any significant sense.  Rep. Israel has let the cat out of the bag and revealed the real reason Democrats keep funding NPR, which is that they believe that progressives can’t compete in the marketplace.

But Israel’s missive reveals even more than that.  It confirms that progressivism is antithetical to open markets and private enterprise.  Israel and the DCCC want to keep government in the position of picking winners and losers in markets through heavy-handed interventions, a form of corporatism that distorts markets and leads to irrational and inefficient outcomes.  That’s true in every area of enterprise, from health care to the Internet and to political thought.  It’s an elitist philosophy that assumes that everyone except for an elect few lack the sentient ability to choose for themselves.  If progressives can’t get good ratings, well, it’s because the sheeple need to be spoon-fed progressivism at their own expense!

Hopefully Williams will someday realize that the NPR episode is merely a single manifestation of a larger problem with liberals and Democrats.  That column will be awesome.  Until then, this one’s well worth the read, too.

Besides, do we really need to throw taxpayer dollars at this smug and utterly heartless example of NPR humor?

The “best and brightest” include a Muslim comedian named Maz Jabrani, whom NPR has been promoting as“the face of Middle Eastern humor in America today.”

Judging from his latest bit performed on this weekend’s show, the face of Middle Eastern humor looks a lot like the face of your typical CAIR mouthpiece. Tea Party-bashers Ron Schiller and Vivian Schiller may be gone and the House may have defunded the public radio enterprise, but the conservatives=racist smear narrative is alive and well at NPR. ….

The premise of Jobrani’s p.c. comedy gag is completely false, as actual readers of my work know. I was one of the first conservatives to criticize Birthers who go to the extreme and have never accused President Obama of being a “secret Muslim.” To the contrary, I’ve criticized him for his rather open and out-of-the-closet apologias for jihad and his perfunctory, bloodless, vague public condemnations of Islamic terror attacks on Americans. As for my “fear that there are Muslims amongst us who are hiding their true identity,” go ask Attorney General Eric Holder what “keeps him up at night.”

Jamie Huston sums it up well:

NPR’s mistake goes far beyond mere slander. Their joke targeted the family of a specific conservative at a time when that specific conservative’s family is suffering a tragedy. Quite a coincidence. It’s been two weeks since Malkin’s cousin Marizela Perez went missing…Malkin has used her media presence tirelessly since then to help find her young relative. Either NPR and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me are not nearly as well-informed in their news awareness as they’d like us to believe, or they cruelly decided to go ahead with a particularly tasteless joke.

Ironically, just before this segment aired, they made fun of Gilbert Gottfried getting fired for his tasteless jokes about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Pot, meet kettle…

…On top of that, here comes a radio show that singles her out during this crisis and makes fun of not just her, but goes out of its way to talk about her family. …If she were a liberal and Glenn Beck had made a joke like this, the mainstream media would be calling for blood.

Michelle has been my friend for many years, and for a couple of years my boss as well.  She’s certainly not above being criticized, as Michelle herself would be the first to tell you; in fact, when I first started writing here, Michelle said she looked forward to getting into open disagreements with me between our blogs, although those were few (but memorable).  But criticism of Michelle should stick to what she actually writes and says, not with silly strawmen that lie and mischaracterize her position — and shouldn’t involve her family at all.

Remember, your tax dollars went to support this.  And they shouldn’t.

Update: Michelle has an update on the search for her cousin Marizela Perez, and the fundraising that is allowing her family to work full time on finding her.  Keep up to date at FindMarizela, and thank you in advance for your generosity.


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Defund NPR and let it fall into ruin!

No way do I want another penny of my tax dollars going to this type of garbage!

And by the way, my respect for Juan Williams is now up 10-fold!

pilamaye on March 21, 2011 at 8:54 AM

NPR?

Seriously?

Isn’t there something else we could defund like, mmmmm, maybe $100 plus billion to enable the creation of OBAMACARE?

This NPR blowup is just a distraction.

Hey Boehner what about REPEAL and DEFUND Obamacare do you NOT understand.

Congress just sucks.

PappyD61 on March 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM

despicable…

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Read the comments at the “smug” link. Pretty despicable and delusional.

tree hugging sister on March 21, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Where’s Krauthammer to tell us not to focus on these piddly things … you know like expensive wars in Libya that are apparently unconstitutional per one law school grad and now you know, talking about defunding the Voice of Progress (NPR), I mean… CRAZY talk!!!

MeatHeadinCA on March 21, 2011 at 9:01 AM

I’m not following that link, my rabies shots aren’t up to date.

Bishop on March 21, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Is it any wonder that NPR is the liberals’ favorite “unbiased” source for news? It’s a perfect fit.

JetBoy on March 21, 2011 at 9:07 AM

NPR is a very good example of what we see taking place with-in every faction of the Progressive movement. When you remove the mask and expose the real face of this ideology, it’s repulsive and equally as ugly as the vision of the Nazi gas chambers.

We all knew phony people growing up, those who would say one thing to your face and then another behind your back. Once these people had burned every bridge, they could no longer hide their ugliness and were shunned by all. This is what I believe we see taking place with the Liberal-Progressive movement right now. Having had complete power over the American government, the mask came off. When nancy Pelosi told the American people that the bill would have to be passed in order for us to find out what’s in it; this was the moment the mask came off in my view. Even some of my Democrat voting friends has no answer for that one.

Keemo on March 21, 2011 at 9:08 AM

The commies at NPR jokes about Michelle Malkin

Nearly Nobody on March 21, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Williams is gonna turn yet.

Anecdotally, I was channel-flippin’ the other night, and came across our local PBS station going through its periodic fund-raising gyrations, with the shill begging for cash in exchange for lame “gifts”, with a phone-bank in the background.

He directly addressed the “threat” of Republicans to eliminate funding for all of their “quality” programming, using it as leverage not only for donations, but also to make a political statement.

Oh, and guess who was manning the phone-bank? Every single person on the phone in the background was wearing an IBEW T-Shirt.

Tentacles of the same monster.

IronDioPriest on March 21, 2011 at 9:16 AM

I watched the audio-vid. Was that even an attempt at humor or just a smear job?

MeatHeadinCA on March 21, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Aside from being a voice for liberal ideals, NPR is also the way liberals want othersvto view them — urbane, wry, and with a wide breadth of knowledge about a variety of topics.

What the liberals actually are when they don’t control the game is MSNBC — paranoid, angry, and feeling wholly justified in making baseless, unsubstantiated rants against their perceived enemies. Defunding NPR and forcing it to do shows that must cater to the marketplace — even and especially if it’s a liberal marketplace — risks removing the veneer or erudite sophistication from the liberal voice on air, and making people think of Ed Schultz or Lawrence O’Brien before they think of Robert Siegel or Terry Gross. That’s because as low a rating as Ed and Larry get, they may still draw better than an “All Things Considered” or “Fresh Air”, if those shows also had to live and die by their quarterly ratings books and an NPR that had to fend for itself might be an NPR that can no longer afford to cloak their liberalism in refined condescension.

jon1979 on March 21, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Being forced to fund NPR and CPB is sort of like the condemned prisoner being forced to dig his own grave.

Metanis on March 21, 2011 at 9:34 AM

NPR and PBS have become very sophisticated and crucial propaganda tools for the democrats. It’s no wonder the democrats want the taxypayers keep funding it. The arrogance of forcing us to pay for slanted and biased reporting, programming, cultural performances, and even sad to say, childrens’ programs. These people have no shame in their grab for power. As an artist myself, it is pathetic how the arts are being used to promote political agenda and for political purposes. Yes, music and drama are used to make statements, etc. but then it should be balanced with opposing viewpoints which it’s not on NPR or PBS. Michelle Malkin nails it in her piece today by pointing out the pathetic lack of conservative perspectives. Or if there is any that slips in, that they don’t bombard with liberal responses and misrepresentations. I’m appalled but used to the hatred shown by my liberal actor and musician colleagues to any conservatives, but to have to fund it with public tax money is a farce!

mozalf on March 21, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Better late than never, Juan.

Not one more dime of taxpayer money for these progressive shills.

Naturally Curly on March 21, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Juan had an awesome interview with professor Caroline Heldman when he filled in for O’reilly on 3/18/11, I wish I could find the video. He used simple logic & had that Phd professor very flustered. The camera actually caught him rolling his eyes & almost wondering aloud WTF?

Such a great interview!

poppieseeds on March 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Kudos to Williams for his honesty and open-mindedness.

I’m not sure I’d go that far, it appears Williams just agrees with whoever is paying him. He used to work for NPR and be pro-NPR. Now he works for Fox and is anti-NPR and pro-Fox. What do you bet if Fox fired him he’d have to say about Fox?

jonknee on March 21, 2011 at 10:10 AM

NPR has a history of going after people in the guise of “news” or “analysis” or whatever it is that “All Things Considered” is supposedly doing. I’m sorry they went after Ms. Malkin, given her nightmare circumstances; however, this is par for the course for them–they’ve made deliberate efforts to ruin people for years.

DrMagnolias on March 21, 2011 at 10:17 AM

It’s really despicable what NPR did to MM and her family.

conservative pilgrim on March 21, 2011 at 10:25 AM

It’s really despicable what NPR did to MM and her family.

conservative pilgrim on March 21, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Agreed.. Sic to say the least.

Keemo on March 21, 2011 at 10:33 AM

We already paid for the infrastructure so what we don’t want to do is just hand it all over to the left. Triple the funding, purge the leftists who are currently controlling it and create a real voice for the real people that will broadcast commercial free 24 hours a day. Or, at the very least, auction off all the assets and return the funds to the treasury. That would bring in billions.

Buddahpundit on March 21, 2011 at 10:33 AM

From NPR to BBC our US tax dollars go.

maverick muse on March 21, 2011 at 10:36 AM

It’s not like Muslims ever harmed any Filipinos, is it?

yubley on March 21, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Juan Williams: Now that I don’t work there anymore, Defund NPR

Proud Rino on March 21, 2011 at 11:16 AM

First, though, Obama has to actually lead, which involves coming home and talking with Americans rather than juggling soccer balls on the streets of Rio while he sends the military into a new theater of action.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, Obama only juggled one ball.

unclesmrgol on March 21, 2011 at 11:17 AM

It is hard to understand the mind set of humans who would take a tragic incident of a missing child to try go after a family member who is just trying to find this child. I continue to talk to God about Marizela, the family members, and Michelle. A small check was sent to help with the expenses.
L

letget on March 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM

This NPR blowup is just a distraction.

PappyD61 on March 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM

No, it’s not. It is part of a bigger problem. A small part, but a part nonetheless.

The bigger problem is Congress wasting taxpayer dollars on crap like this that is unethical, unfair, and unconstitutional.

This is not a distraction. We need to be looking at every instance of this kind of waste, and cutting it out. Now.

UltimateBob on March 21, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Juan Williams: Now that I don’t work there anymore, Defund NPR

Proud Rino on March 21, 2011 at 11:16 AM

I’ll trade you two Schillers for a Williams.

unclesmrgol on March 21, 2011 at 11:53 AM

There are no small distractions, nor small expenses.

When you are laid off, do you keep buying steak?

Every “distraction” can end up an IED, and blow up in our faces. As impossible as it seems, we have to stay alert on all fronts. The libs have gone after all fronts, while we were handling distractions like working and paying our bills, which is how they got control of so much.

So now that we are paying attention, who is trying to convince us to ‘ignore that man behind the curtain’? What are their motives, and why should we listen to them?

jodetoad on March 21, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Defunding NPR is going to be tough. The Republican caucus is full of NPR fans who despise people like us.

FloatingRock on March 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM

The only way that establishment Republicans will cast a vote to defund NPR is if they know their vote isn’t likely to result in the defunding of NPR.

FloatingRock on March 21, 2011 at 1:15 PM

The Dems launder hundreds of millions in tax money for their campaigns thru unions.

The Dems pump hundreds of millions in tax money into NPR/PBS to propagandize for their policy agenda and campaigns.

If the GOP could only figure out how to plunder like this, we’d be awright.

Akzed on March 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Juan had an awesome interview with professor Caroline Heldman when he filled in for O’reilly on 3/18/11, I wish I could find the video. He used simple logic & had that Phd professor very flustered. The camera actually caught him rolling his eyes & almost wondering aloud WTF?

Such a great interview

poppieseeds on March 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM

It is on YouTube. Here is the link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyITKlmw1-w&hd=1

hamradio on March 21, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Sorry. Forgot to use the quote button.

73

hamradio on March 21, 2011 at 4:14 PM

The constant potshots at Sarah Palin and other conservatives have ruined “Wait, wait…” for me. It is like listening to someone read Doonesbury for an hour – unbearable, and about an 11 on the smugometer.

drunyan8315 on March 21, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Kudos to Williams for his honesty and open-mindedness.

To say nothing of his perceptiveness. I don’t often think of him as perceptive, but he’s right on the money on this one.

tom on March 21, 2011 at 6:12 PM

The premise of Jobrani’s p.c. comedy gag is completely false, as actual readers of my work know.

These people make me long for the revival of dueling.

“On you the shame of open shame; on you from North to South
The hand of every honest man flat-heeled across your mouth.”

SDN on March 22, 2011 at 1:05 AM