On Wednesday’s “The Bill Press Show,” simulcasted on Current TV, Politico reporter Joe Williams spoke up for the first time about the events that ultimately led to his suspension. But according to Williams, it wasn’t his fault.
Williams said his televised words, which were first highlighted by neither the Breitbart sites nor The Daily Caller, but The Washington Free Beacon, were seized upon to make an ideological point about the media.
“In my review — you know, I come from a football background,” he said. “My review of the tapes, when we were looking at the game film — to me and my personal opinion at this point — those two words were the ones that set people off. You know, ‘white folks,’ ‘Mitt Romney,’ it was a match to a tinder keg among certain segments of people who decide that they wanted to push back on what they believe is the liberal media.”
Williams made himself out to be a victim of what he called “radical conservatives” and named two organizations, specifically.
“Clearly in my case it has been two sources that have been the primary ones — The Daily Caller and Big Media, Breitbart’s organization — the late Andrew Breitbart’s organization,” he said.
And their efforts, he said, gained momentum and forced Politico Editor John Harris to act.
“I would say yeah,” he said. “In all the things that I’ve seen and what Politico was reacting to — stories that Big Media had put out, one story specifically that Big Media had put out about me taking this remark, they looked at my Twitter feed. They saw things on the Twitter feed that they thought justified bias, threw it together in a package, put a healthy dose of cynicism on top of it, and put it out and got retweet after retweet after retweet, and that became what John Harris at Politico called a ‘blank’-storm.”
Williams said that he had been warned in the past by Politico and was toning it down.
“I had been talked to about that and I had tried to dial my comments back,” he said.