O'Reilly has been looking for support for his own remarks on a recent episode of ABC's The View in which he directly blamed Muslims for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set in the middle of his appearance.
Williams responded: "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
Williams also warned O'Reilly against blaming all Muslims for "extremists," saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
UPDATE: Mike Huckabee wins the race to be the first to capitalize politically. He says he'll no longer agree to be interviewed by NPR and urges Congress to cut its funding. His statement on jump.
UPDATE II: Salon remembers that Mike Huckabee was all for firing Helen Thomas when she made unpleasant remarks about Israel. Censorhip, to Huck, is punishing those with whom he agrees. (We've resisted until this memory jog mentioning how Huckabee denied publicly financed press services to a certain local newsweekly whose opinions he didn't like.) Mike Huckocrite.
MIKE HUCKABEE STATEMENT
NPR has fired Juan Williams as a result of comments he recently made on The Bill O'Reilly show. The comments were his personal admission that while he is certainly not a bigot, he said he was nervous when someone in Muslim garb and spouting Muslim doctrine got on an airplane on which he was a passenger. I know Juan and am proud to be a colleague of his as a fellow Fox News contributor. There isn't a more honest and fair-minded person in journalism. He is refreshingly honest and candid and unusually objective when it comes to analyzing the events in the news.
NPR has discredited itself as a forum for free speech and a protection of the First Amendment rights of all and has solidified itself as the purveyor of politically correct pabulum and protector of views that lean left.
While I have often enjoyed appearing on NPR programs and have been treated fairly and objectively, I will no longer accept interview requests from NPR as long as they are going to practice a form of censorship, and since NPR is funded with public funds, it IS a form of censorship. It is time for the taxpayers to start making cuts to federal spending, and I encourage the new Congress to start with NPR.