Juan Williams, the former National Public Radio news analyst who was abruptly fired this week for expressing a personal view on Fox News, called for the federal government to stop funding the radio organization.
“If they want to compete in the marketplace, they should compete in the marketplace,” Williams said Friday in an interview on “Fox and Friends”. “They don’t need public funds. I think that they should go out there. They think their product is so great, go out and sell the product.”
Williams lost his job as a news analyst for the organization Wednesday after he said publicly that he sometimes gets nervous in airports when he sees passengers who appear to “identify first and foremost as Muslims.”
About two percent of NPR’s budget comes from grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the organization receives dues from local member stations that are largely taxpayer-funded. Williams joins a growing chorus of policymakers and commentators who have also called for the federal government to cut the organization off and force it to compete on its own like other news media outlets. A majority of the organization’s funding already comes from private donors and sponsors.
Williams also suggested that NPR feels entitled to taxpayer money, and called its need for public funds “nonsense.”
“And too often, they make it out like, ‘you know what, we are a public jewel and we need the protection of the federal government, we need federal funds that come through the member stations and they pay for this product.’ Nonsense,” he said.