The fallout from the video conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe released Tuesday morning has been devastating for NPR. However, Juan Williams, a former NPR analyst who was fired unjustly even according to NPR President Vivian Schiller, finally had his turn to sound off about the video, which apparently showed an NPR senior executive, Ron Schiller, making some disparaging remarks about the Tea Party, the Jewish people and Williams himself.
In an appearance on “America’s Nightly Scoreboard” on the Fox Business Network, Williams described the video as an inside look at how the power structure inside of NPR really thinks.
“I think it is a look inside what NPR executives really think, and for me this is a revelation in the sense that here they are saying exactly how they view the world,” Williams said. “And what’s incredible to me is here they are doing business with people who identify themselves as members of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Reflecting upon his firing at the embattled taxpayer-subsidized radio network, Williams, now a full-time Fox News contributor, had some harsh words to describe his former colleagues.
“To me, this is so bitter,” he said. “These are people who are saying they are intellectuals. They are elitist and they understand the rest of us, especially somehow if you’re in the Tea Party, you’re a racist and me sitting here, David, I’m a bigot. Remember that? He says in another part of the tape they were right to get rid of me because I have no credibility.”
Williams added this was par for the course at NPR, a place where different views are frowned upon.
“I’m just saying, you listen to this guy and the way everybody who has a non-liberal orthodox point of view is somehow a bad person and you say, you know what, these are people who are anti-intellectual. They do not want to hear and engage in an honest debate.”
The bigotry in the video directed towards Jews seemed to alarm Williams the most.
“This is unbelievable,” Williams said. “I mean, it is just so awful. Imagine he is sitting there having dinner or lunch and he is saying this to a man who says he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and on the website wanting to the advance Sharia law and buying into libel against Jewish people who have had success in the newspaper business but nothing illegitimate, nothing wrong about it, and he buys into the stereotyping and bigotry and then points the finger at others to say people like me are bigots. This is unbelievable.”
According to Williams, both Ron Schiller and Vivian Schiller (no relation) need to leave NPR. (According to Slate’s Dave Weigel, Ron Schiller was let go by NPR earlier today.)
“Look, this guy Schiller, this guy Ron Schiller, you know the president of NPR is Vivian Schiller [and they] are not related, but in my book, they got one too many Schillers remaining,” he said. “Because what you see here is — I think this is a window inside the way they really think. When it came to public funding, federal funding for NPR, just yesterday Vivian Schiller is at the National Press Club saying, ‘Oh, NPR desperately needs this federal funding.’ In this luncheon he’s saying we don’t need federal funding.”
And this latest revelation is the reason why NPR should no longer be a priority when it comes to federal money, he explained.
“This comes down to my opinion, but to me, there is no way that you would say NPR is a priority given our financial struggles in this country in terms of poor, in terms of any of the needs, health care or anything you want to put on the table,” Williams said. “It’s hard to make it out that NPR is a priority. What we can say is you know, if we look at The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Fox News Channel — these are institutions that gather news and rely on advertising to support a product that the consumer says is worthwhile.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor agreed with that assessment, saying it is time to cut funding for NPR on Tuesday. But Williams pointed out the prevalent double standard at play after his firing.
“Look at this — you know, talk about hypocrisy, David, and who has credibility and who doesn’t. I said what I said publicly,” he said. “I do not differ from it and I expressed a personal feeling. It was that a policy prescription and I was not selling as a basis for bigotry. I think what he was doing was selling his position in order to get that $5 million, and he didn’t care where it was coming from, even if it came from people associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.”