Government radio

National Public Radio terminated its contract with news analyst Juan Williams last week after he said on a Fox News show that he gets “nervous” when he sees people on planes in “Muslim garb.”

“Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot,” Mr. Williams told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly Factor.” “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.”

NPR issued a statement claiming Mr. Williams’ remarks “undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

Oh, please.

“Credibility” requires never voicing any common concern which hasn’t passed muster with the forces of political correctness?

Mr. Williams went on to warn Mr. O’Reilly, on the same broadcast, to be careful to differentiate between Muslims and Muslim terrorists, reminding him that when people criticize anti-gay Christians who protest at military funerals, for instance, they don’t blame the problem on Christians in general.

This is what now passes for an intolerant, hate-filled screed?

Famously leftist, the tax-subsidized “public” radio network failed to ban another well-known black man, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, from its airwaves after he admitted that he will “cross to the other side of the street” if he sees a group of young black toughs approaching him after dark in an urban area. The Rev. Jackson was also granted an exemption from PC purgatory after he referred to New York City as “Hymietown,” a reference to its large and influential Jewish population.

Out of fear of giving offense — and, truth be told, because no one in NPR management likes to see one of their commentators “sullied” by appearing on non-liberal Fox News — the network overreacted.

Which would be their right — if it weren’t for the outfit’s public funding.

NPR claims to be better than 90 percent funded by private sponsorships and donations, these days, anyway. In an era when the federal government ought to be massively tightening its belt, in a nation with thousands of competing for-profit news and commentary outlets offering a range of views from the quaint to the outrageous, why are the taxpayers still funding a radio network — and a cloyingly politically correct one, at that?

Turn off NPR’s taxpayer tap. Let them compete for listeners the same way everyone else does. With or without Mr. Williams.

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