Former Politico reporter Joe Williams — ousted from his job covering the White House for making a series of offensive remarks — is now saying his woes are the result of the same “right-wing noise machine” that conspired against Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Appearing Thursday on the Moscow-funded RT television network (formerly Russia Today), Williams blamed “certain elements of the extreme right” and “radical folks in journalism” for his ouster from Politico.
“I think the right has honed it to an art form,” he said, suggesting it wasn’t newsworthy for news organizations to publish stories about his racial remarks on MSNBC and Twitter.
Watch the interview:
Williams compared his situation to the “rumors about Bill Clinton when he was first sworn into office about being affiliated with Vince Foster’s suicide.”
He also compared himself to Obama, who is “continually being painted” as someone born outside the United States, even though “there’s overwhelming evidence … that he is, in fact, born in American.”
“You have in my particular case — you have them trying to portray me as a biased, distasteful journalist, although my record over 28 years, you simply can’t make that claim,” Williams argued.
News organizations cited by Williams as part of a the conspiracy to have him fired include The Daily Caller, Breitbart.com and FishbowlDC.
He said these organizations are groups that “seem to have taken upon themselves to be watchdogs for the media, whether or not they have the credentials to do so.”
Williams accused them of having an agenda to “bully and silence and negate, basically, some voices on the left.”
“The right will not stop when they believe a reporter is biased,” he said. “Whether there’s justifiable evidence to do so, they will continue. They will push, they will push, they will push, and they will rally their forces to get whatever penalty they think is appropriate.”
Williams found himself in trouble with Politico after a June 21 appearance on MSNBC when he explained that presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was more comfortable around “people like him” — white people.
He was subsequently suspended by the news organization after a number of outlandish tweets from his Twitter account were revealed, including a penis joke about Mitt and Ann Romney.
Asked about that joke on Thursday, Williams admitted he went too far: “I didn’t have, necessarily, the proper decorum as a reporter considering that I was representing my organization,” he said. “I regret to this day that I wasn’t a little bit more cautious with my tweets.”
“I absolutely think it was poor judgment,” he added. “I think I made a big mistake and, certainly, sitting here without a portfolio at the moment, I do absolutely regret doing that.”