October 22nd, 2010
03:27 PM ET
12 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. John

    Joe DeMint,SARAN PALIN ,Glenn Beck and Huckabee are all on fox news payroll they will said anything fox news tell them to. And three out of four of the are RACIST too begin with,maybe all four.

    October 22, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Mom of 3

    NPR is one of the last neutral sources of news left. It is the radio counterpart to Public Television. They are funded by a combination of public funds and donations. Williams was let go not just for his comments regarding Muslims. He had been warned several times and that was the last straw. NPR wants to retain neutrality and we all know that Fox News is anything but neutral. Williams was trying to simultaneously uphold Fox's bias and NPR's neutrality and he was not able to do both. Williams was given a huge raise by Fox because Fox always loves a good Muslim-basher, so he is no worse off. It is pathetic that extreme partisans like DeMint are totally fine with Fox News (their propoganda machine) spewing a constant stream of lies and misinformation, but when public radio chooses neutrality over inflammatory commentators like Williams they have a problem with it. So according to Palin, DeMint and their (bigoted) ilk, it is OK to bash Muslims by calling their religion violent and accusing them all of being terrorists, but it is not OK to refuse to partake in that kind of talk? How backward the right is becoming.

    October 22, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. IHTCF

    Typical RepubliCON Marxist thug. If it gets this idiot and his legion of retards whining to cut funding, then their action was the right thing.

    October 22, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. John

    Darth, I guess that your right, oh except that he wasn't at work and he was voicing an opinion. He wasn't reporting news and he wasn't representing NPR. Don't worry they will be paying Juan alot of money, a costly lesson for an organization that should be anywhere near the news. The Globe could do a better job at reporting the news than NPR.

    October 22, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Former Republican, now an Independent

    DeMint is an outrage himself! The only reason his home network doesn't fire anyone is they only let extreme right wing folks on the show. Juan Williams was on the outer fringe of these wing-nuta anyway. That is why Fox Opinion (this is not a news channel) immediately hired Williams as one of their own. NPR is one of the few unbiased news channels left. It's about time the Democrats quit being limp wristed and stand up against these extremists, or just hand the country over to them!

    October 22, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. AW

    The sheer idiocy of comments on here amazes me. Yes cut NPR and PBS(who had nothing to do with it and has helped countless children). Most of you obviously do not know how NPR works. It is also highly objective. I know I know it's got big words that make you think it's elitist and they don't scream or cry all the time but hey..whatever. You know why Fox makes so much money? They don't do any reporting. Reporting costs money, that's why they are never first on the scene and never first with the story. They do commentary which is entirely to the right. They constantly screen people who come on their shows and deny those who don't fit in with their ideology. You know why Fox ratings are so high? They cater to the lowest common denominator. That means the people who can understand the least amount of information and demand the least intellegence from their newscast. If you enjoy Fox and they cater to those who crave the least amount of information and this makes them wealthy can you connect the dots on the implications they are making about your intelligence? They don't think so.

    October 22, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. GS in IL

    I am a moderate and don't believe that Williams should have been fired for saying something a lot of people think. We all need thicker skins in the country. However, I find it funny that Republicans are so upset about this one firing but have no issue when corporations fire employees for less cause. People need to take off their Political rose-colored glasses and start seeing the truth–greed and partisanship are dragging this country down.

    October 22, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. key

    Then the NIB net work should be next no more tax breaks.

    October 22, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "I guess they must have missed him openly weeping with pride (on FOX News) at the election of Barack Obama. Maybe that part just wasn't in his contract. "

    According to NPR, he's been reprimanded for doing this very thing on Faux Noise several times over the past several months or so. His statements also indicate that it's been an ongoing problem in his employment relationship. I am certain that if he feels as he says he does about it, we'll all get to enjoy the circus that will ensue when he sues NPR for wrongful termination, breach of contract, and, of course, violation of his civil rights...you know, because he, DeMint and the rest of the Faux Noise zombies are claiming this was a gross violation of his Constitutional right to free speech, etc. etc. grumble grumble extremist right wing talking points and misinformation yadda yadda.

    Still waiting for that complaint to get filed tho....

    October 22, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Guess Who

    Except for the Christmas Day attempt, recently al-Queda has moved away from using airplanes as attack points. I wonder what will happen if they make an attack on a bus, subway, Fort Hood etc. I hope for the sake of good and moderate Muslims a subway attack does not happen. Because led by Juan, DeMinted and FOX ParTea all brown people better watchout. By the way, Juan kinder looks brown. You think!

    October 22, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Mr. Moderate

    What was it that the right was so fond of saying when the Dixie Chicks were getting death threats for daing to criticize Pres. Bush? "Sure you have the right to free speech, but you have to be prepared to accept the concequences". Mr. Williams repeatedly violated a long standing corporate policy and had been warned on numerous occasions, he exercised his first amendment right ans suffered the concequences. For all their whining about bias in media, you would think they would respect NPR for maintaining a line between reporting and commentating, but then again any opportunity to play the victim is never lost on the right.

    October 22, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Paul LONG BEACH CA


    This is just another instance of common conservative demagoguery. They want to turn a journalists responsibility to objective journalism and turn it into the "left agenda."

    How stupid can people be to believe this? The guy CLEARLY imposed his BIASED opinion into his comments and he thinks that saying things like that is correct?

    People on the television have an obligation and responsibility to see that they are not the cause of mass hysteria since they reach so many people. Reinforcing peoples' racist tendencies does not make for good objective journalism. People that assert that he was clearly in the right are obviously in a world manufactured by FAUX NEWS.

    News Corp. is doing a lot of damage to this country and it starts with them INFLUENCING the ignorant and ultra-ignorant to swallow themselves.

    October 22, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Jon

    This summary termination will just sway more votes from the democrats next week and for that I thank the NPR extremists.

    October 22, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Marc L from NY

    Can't say I disagree with the Senator. A liberal used to be someone that accepted other people's points of view. Now, they only agree with you if your point of view is the same as their's.

    October 22, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. Trey

    stufthis, you really are not educated are you? They did not give him a raise for badmouthing anyone. NPR unfairly fired him and Fox gave him a well deserved contract.

    October 22, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. KM

    To Mr. DeMint and others, Mr. Juan Williams got fired because he choose to express his personal opinion while performing his duties as a journalist. Mr. Williams had ever right to express his opinions outside of his obligation to report the news in a fair and balanced manner. We have gotten so caught up in "Talk Show" broadcasting that we think that is actual journalism in its true form.

    The job of a journalist is to report the news as fair and balanced as possible. It is up to the audience to interpret that news and process it as they see fit. I see no problem with this firing if NPR paid him to report the news as a journalist and not as a Talk TV/Radio Host.

    October 22, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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