Fox News host Bill O'Reilly continued to publicize the conservative crusade to defund NPR over the partly publicly funded radio network's controversial decision to fire Juan Williams for remarks made earlier in the week on "The O'Reilly Factor." NPR dismissed Williams, a longtime commentator who has written widely on civil rights issues, for confessing his personal skittishness over seeing fellow air travelers dressed in Muslim garb, on O'Reilly's show.
"No taxpayer dollars should be going to an outfit that abuses freedom of speech," O'Reilly said. The top-rated cable news host echoed the rising refrain among many conservative critics of the Williams firing: "No more money to NPR." You can watch O'Reilly interview Williams below:
On Friday morning, Williams himself joined the call to defund NPR during an appearance on "Fox & Friends," in which he called the network "elitist" and described it as being on the "federal dole."
[Rewind: 'View' hosts walk out during O'Reilly interview]
O'Reilly and Williams -- who are of course the people at the center of the flap -- aren't the only ones making that argument. Over the past 24 hours, conservative commentators and politicians/Fox contributors Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee took to the airwaves and social media arguing a similar point.
"If NPR is unable to tolerate an honest debate about an issue as important as Islamic terrorism, then it's time for 'National Public Radio' to become 'National Private Radio,' Palin wrote on Facebook "It's time for Congress to defund this organization."
[Photos: More images of news analyst Juan Williams]
Huckabee said he'll "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."
With all the heated rhetoric against NPR -- a longtime conservative target -- there's probably some confusion about how much money NPR, along with members stations across the country, actually receives from state and federal sources.
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