October 22nd, 2010
03:27 PM ET
3 years ago

DeMint takes steps to cut NPR funding

(CNN) – Amid growing conservative outrage over National Public Radio's firing of journalist Juan Williams, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is introducing a measure to strip the organization of government funding.

"Once again we find the only free speech liberals support is the speech with which they agree," said DeMint in a statement. "The incident with Mr. Williams shows that NPR is not concerned about providing the listening public with an honest debate of today's issues, but rather with promoting a one-sided liberal agenda."

NPR fired Williams after the liberal journalist told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Monday that he gets "worried" and "nervous" on flights when he sees people wearing "Muslim garb."

NPR says federal funding comprises less than 2 percent of its budget, with most of its financial support coming from station fees, sponsorships and grants.

"Since 2001, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds programming for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service, has received nearly $4 billion in taxpayer money," DeMint also said in the statement. "The country is over $13 trillion in debt and Congress must find ways to start trimming the federal budget to cut spending.

Several conservatives have called for NPR to be stripped of its funding, including former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.


Filed under: Jim DeMint
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. David

    Yes, please cut their funding. Firing Williams was outrageous. They do not need to be federally funded if this is how they run their program.

    October 22, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Sam Sixpack

    This could have happened at any network. VIP's are very particular about their propoganda.

    October 22, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Eloise

    I'd feel sorry for the Repubs' ignorance if they weren't so downright mean. To them politics is just a game, to win, to get what only they want–not what all America needs. Public service to them is two four-letter words.

    October 22, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. GuyinVA

    So a liberal like Juan Williams states his opinion, and a leftist outlet, NPR, fires him. FOX renews his contract. Love those free speech defenders from the left. I don't hear the screams of "censorship" from our oh-so-sensitive friends. As for Voter's comment... The ratings show that there is NO media outlet that's much of a threat to FOX News.

    October 22, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Phoenix86

    Finally. NPR has become a liberal rag, worthless and so partisan that you cannot distinguish it from move on.org.

    October 22, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. barry

    Good job. There is no need to treat Juan Williams the way they did. Most Americans are concerned when they see people in Arab garb on planes. After all it was Muslims who hi jacked the planes and killed thousands of innocent people. I can't tell the extremist from the non extremist Muslim until he hi jacks the plane.

    October 22, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Shubham

    Why should government fund NPR to start with? Cut the funding and let Mr. Soro's fund it.

    October 22, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Augsbee

    NPR should lose federal funding for firing a person who expressed his fear. Juan Williams has the right, freedom to be afraid of whatever makes him afraid and Juan, we should have the right to express our fears without losing our jobs whether people like it, agree with it or not. People are afraid of millions of different things in life, who are we to pass judgement.

    October 22, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Don

    DeMint[ed] is disgusting. We have more to fear from the Tea Party and the Republican Party than Arab terrorists.

    October 22, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Adalbert

    South Carolina is the most backwards state in the union and DeMint is the most backwards senator is the US senate. NPR is way above his second grade intellect. He is an ignorant religious fanatic elected and supported by same ignorant crowd.

    October 22, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. GuyinVA

    @Lynda/Minnesota,
    The reason you think those things is because you're a conspiracy theorist from the same state that elected Al Franken and Jesse Ventura.

    October 22, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Steve in North Carolina

    They shouldn't have received tax dollars in the first place. If they can't survive in the marketplace without taxpayer support they need to go away! That goes for PBS and any other so called public interest organizations who are doing nothing more than shoving their agendas and propaganda down our throat. If that's what they want to do, they should use their own money and quit using ours.

    October 22, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Samantha

    He should not have been fired. His comment was stupid, stereotyping, but he should not have been fired. NPR should apologize for firing him, because by doing that they stereotyped themselves the same way he was stereotyping. I have heard people say that people in strange black hats and suits with beards make them uncomfortable on planes. Those are Orthodox Jews of one sect or another or perhaps Amish. People are just uncomfortable with people who look strange to them. Williams and NPR are both wrong.

    October 22, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Lori in St Pete

    To the reichwing nuts feigning outrage over his firing, you're all hypocrites! When CNN fired Rick Sanchez a few weeks ago for declaring that the media is owned by the jews, you hypocrites were all over these message boards calling him terrible names and giving kudos to CNN for their decision.

    When Helen Thomas was forced out of her job for her comments pertaining to jews you hypocrites were all over these message boards calling her terrible names.

    P.S. One side of my family is Jewish and they had no problem with either Rick Sanchez or Helen Thomas stating FACTS, so dont' even try to play the anti-semitism card.

    October 22, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Holy Cow! Billy D! Cincinnatus? You may have gone over his head on that one! But the Cincinnatus of American legend would be appalled by the current state of American Politics and media.

    October 22, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Richard

    I am more cautious around ppl of Middle eastern decent with or without garb and I wonder why, I was in lebanon in 83. Do not lecture me on your opinion or your feelings. I also saw alot of the Muslim world cheer on 911....pull the funding Senator if you can, I would agree with you.

    October 22, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. L.P

    Ok, so they would like to strip NPR of it's funding, citing this as a reason? I think they just had it in for NPR, but whatever. At least they got the Freedom of Speech thing right this time, since the Government can be said to be somewhat involved, if that's why the journalist was fired.

    October 22, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Melanie

    Hmmmm...smells like hypocrisy. NPR allowed Nina Totenburg to smash people with AIDS but Williams can't mention a fear or an opinion that many Americans now share? Methinks it's his appearances on FOX that really pissed them off.

    Liberals are giving me nightmares!

    October 22, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. mar

    NPR is corporation and it must learn to sstand on its own. There should be no public funding to provide a service that is already being provided by other corporations and entities. NPR is a liberal leaning brodcasting entity with most of its employees pushing the liberal and progressive agenda on the American society. Good riddance no more ublic funding.

    October 22, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Layne

    This literally makes me feel sick. I feel like they're attacking yet another thing I hold dear.

    And so many of these people don't even listen to NPR and have no clue at all what they're talking about.

    This is a gross overreaction. I just keep reminding myself it'll never pass, Obama has the veto pen, and that once the elections are over and conservatives don't need a big controversial distraction, it'll all die down.

    October 22, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Lori in St Pete

    Two percent of NPR's budget comes from the government, so it really won't hurt them much if the wingnuts get their way. NO business should receive a penny of taxpayer funding. If they can't survive in the marketplace without taxpayer support they need to go away, especially if are doing nothing more than shoving their agendas and propaganda down our throat with lies disguised as political ads, and paid for by shadowy orgainzations! Say goodbye to pretty much EVERY corporation in America.

    October 22, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    But didn't Williams break the terms of his contract? Why is DeMint jumping into this. And if he doesn't drop this, though I don't think of NPR as liberal, I think the rest of us need to go after Fox "News," the fundraising and lying propaganda right arm of the right wing fringe. How about it? Maybe we should do that anyway, before Glenn Beck starts a civil war with his hate filled craziness.

    October 22, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. vic nashville tn

    All color; all race media personal fired or ask to quit their jobs by their bosses

    Every year it’s happen

    Why this news so big FOX control republicans simple Big Bullies

    October 22, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Shannon

    Williams was fired for breach of contract. End of story. Anyone in any position in this country can be fired for the same thing.

    Sniffit's got it on the button. Right on, dude.

    October 22, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. stufthis

    Fox and their media outlets are so worthless, you cannot discern them from anti government extremists and militias.

    October 22, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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