It’s Time for Juan Williams to Go

His double-talking defense of Democrats who embraced Louis Farrakhan, and of Farrakhan himself, is the last straw

For the past ten months that I have been reporting prolifically about the cable news wars and the Fox News Channel, readers who have posted comments to my articles have most often cited Juan Williams as the #1 Fox News personality whom they cannot stand.

I am willing to cut any opinion meister a lot of slack, but the last straw for me came on Friday March 9, when Williams appeared live in-studio with Shannon Bream on her nightly program Fox News@Night. On Bream’s program, Williams defended Democrats who have cozied up to Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam.

Incredibly, on Fox News@Night, Williams also defended Farrakhan himself. The topic under discussion was the closeness of at least seven prominent Democratic politicians to Louis Farrakhan – in light of Farrakhan’s history of virulent anti-Jewish and anti-white rhetoric going back more than three decades. On March 5, the Daily Caller was the first to report the story, “Seven House Democrats Have Direct Ties to Notorious Anti-Semite,” the lead of which was:

At least seven House Democrats are known to have direct ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite and racist who has called Jews “satanic” and said white people “deserve to die.”

The issue was given new prominence in light of comments Farrakhan made in a speech in Chicago on February 25, 2018. On his Fox News program earlier Friday night, Sean Hannity played excerpts of that speech:

Farrakhan: “The powerful Jews are my enemy. . .White folks are going down and Satan is going down and Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off that Satanic Jew.”

Fox News@Night with Shannon Bream March 9, 2018

Bream introduced her segment on the controversy on her program that aired live two hours after Hannity.

Bream opened:

From DNC Vice Chair Keith Ellison to Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory, the pressure on Democrats to denounce anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan is mounting. But some are reportedly balking at that.

Bream then turned to Fox News correspondent Leland Vittert for a report:

Ordinarily, condemning a person who called Hitler a “very great man” and espouses anti-Semitism is a no-brainer in politics. However, when it comes to associating with Louis Farrakhan, Democrats seem to make an exception.

To add some context, Vittert noted that when the photo of brand new U.S. Sen. Barack Obama grinning while standing next to Farrakhan in 2005 was released recently after being suppressed for 13 years, Obama released a statement that “criticized Farrakhan’s views but not the man.” In the wake of the recent criticism of him from some quarters, Farrakhan, Vittert noted, is unrepentant, tweeting this past week on his official Twitter account “a number of anti-Semitic videos.”

In her set-up for the live discussion that followed on her program, Bream added this:

To this point, there’s been a lot of back and forth. Mathew Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) said this – he said “There’s a clearly a double standard,” and then he amended that to say “no, there’s a double double-standard. Not only do you get the progressive left wing and more centrist Democrats who aren’t shy about criticizing President Trump or branding the Republican Party as white nationalists or Neo-Nazis, but when it comes to condemning Louis Farrakhan, they’re silent.”

The RJC demanded that the seven Democrat members of Congress who, it said, have ties to Farrakhan should resign.

Bream next introduced her live in-studio guests, Fox News show host and contributor Juan Williams and Vince Coglianese, WMAL radio talk show host and the editorial director of The Daily Caller.


Fox News@Night March 9 with Vince Coglianese and Juan Williams

Bream put her first question to Williams, asking him if “they” [the Democrats] “have said enough” to distance themselves from Farrakhan.

This exchange followed:

Juan Williams: Well, I don’t think there’s any – it’s funny to me – I don’t think Louis Farrakhan’s involved with politics – I’m not even sure he’s a Democrat.

Shannon Bream: But there are a lot of pictures at events with him with a lot of these different folks who are [Democratic] lawmakers –

Williams: No, No, No. These people are in the – Farrakhan’s in Chicago, so if someone like [Rep.] Danny Davis [D-IL] – even Obama – that picture comes from a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, and there comes Farrakhan – But Farrakhan and the history of the Black Muslims is, they are averse to American politics. They think all of America is a wasteland, they are very condemning. He has always been anti-Semitic. He has always been anti-White, in large part to say to Black people “In America, you should see yourself as the chosen, in the way that Jewish people talk about themselves as the chosen.” And so, that’s his rhetoric.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Indeed. Below are quotes from speeches by Louis Farrakhan, spoken by Farrakhan himself, played on Hannity on March 9, with the dates they were delivered.

Farrakhan: “I hear the Jews don’t like Farrakhan so they call me ‘Hitler.’ Well, now that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.” –Chicago March 11, 1984

Farrakhan: “There were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attacks.”  –March 1, 2015

Farrakhan: “Because you see white people deserve to die. [Appluase.] And they know so they think it’s us coming to do it.” –August 13, 2015

Farrakhan: “There is no human being on earth that has murdered more living things than the Caucasian. He’s a murderer and a liar.” [Appluase.] –April 23, 1989 Chicago

Farrakhan: “Soon we gonna sit at a table and talk about we’re tired. We want some of this earth or we’ll tear this Goddamned country apart.” –November 29, 2014 Baltimore

Back to Shannon Bream’s show. The dialogue between Williams, Bream, and Coglianese continued:

Williams: To me, this is about what people call “what about ISM” or, you know, like one side on this case people who are concerned about President Trump’s relationship to the alt-right, to people like David Duke and Richard Spencer are now saying “Well, hey, you guys, what about Louis Farrakhan over there.” (Excerpt)

Vince Coglianese: Except this is not a direct comparison in any way – because the President of the United States, while David Duke said that he liked Donald Trump, that did not mean that he had a warm embrace of David Duke. What you have here is Democrats – a bunch of them – who have had literal warm embraces of Louis Farrakhan. These aren’t just local politicians in Illinois that are doing this, this is [Rep.] Keith Ellison [co-chair of the DNC], this is Maxine Waters [rumored to be gearing up to run for president], these are leaders in the Democratic Party who have embraced him for many years –

Williams: I don’t know that they’ve embraced him –

Coglianese: Quite literally – there’s videos of them hugging him.

Bream interrupted to note that Rep. Ellison, according to the Washington Post fact checkers, received a rating of four Pinnochios – the highest rating for not telling the truth – by saying, according to Bream, that he “doesn’t have a relationship” with Farrakhan. Bream quoted the Post:

Ellison is trying to have it both ways, publicly distancing himself while privately doing something else.

Juan Williams on Fox News@Night March 9

The discussion on Fox News@Night continued:

Coglianese: This should be a layup. And the reason it is not a layup and the reason why these Democrats are sort of confused on how to approach this is because they’ve gotten away for so many years with a press that’s credulously gone along with the notion that it’s possible for them to have relationships with Louis Farrakhan and for this to be totally fine. The press has whistled past the anti-Semite [Farrakhan] for many years.

Williams: Louis Farrakhan’s been on the scene for many years. And people have known exactly that he is an anti-Semite and a racist against whites for many years. The difference is he is not president of the United States and saying as people are marching with tiki torches and intimidating people in the Jewish synagogue with guns, he’s not saying “Oh, I see good people on both sides.” We know what Louis Farrakhan is. He is not part of the American political system.

Bream: [Rep.] Danny Davis {D-IL], who was quoted as saying that Farrakhan – although he disagrees with what he’s saying – is an outstanding individual.

Williams: Well, I think that people – especially if you’re talking about people who are dealing with like folks who are coming out of jail – poor black people coming out of jail – Louis Farrakhan plays a role in terms of trying to help those people redeem those people. So we see that he has some value in the Black community. But that’s not to say you would say Louis Farrakhan is an influential leader in terms of Black American politics or Democratic Party politics.

Bream: So why don’t these members of Congress say “We completely denounce him and want nothing to do with him?”

Williams: First of all, you can’t say that. Remember in their districts – if they’re mostly Black districts – I don’t think that’s a winner.

Bream: If he’s saying such horrible, offensive things, does it matter, if it counts for votes for you? Either you think that it’s terrible stuff and you shouldn’t say it –

Williams: I think it’s reprehensible but I don’t think it counts for votes either pro or con. But I think if you want to separate yourself from someone who’s dealing with the poorest of Black America then I think that lots of Black Americans are like, well, you’re paying attention to the wrong aspect. We see Louis Farrakhan in a different light.

Yes, indeed. And Adolf Hitler made the trains run on time.

Last summer, CNN fired conservative contributor Jeffrey Lord immediately after he satirically wrote “Heil Hitler” directed at, and during a heated exchange on his personal Twitter with, the director of Media Matters for America – not in praise of the Nazi dictator but as a comment on how he Lord –  believed Media Matters is trying to suppress free speech, as the Nazis did.

Why is Fox News continuing to tolerate Juan Williams – not only for his apparent defense of what their own hosts, Shannon Bream and Sean Hannity, and numerous others have termed a “racist” and an “anti-Semite,” but who is also responsible – in my opinion – for spouting useless total nonsense that takes up valuable time whenever he’s on the air?

Juan Williams has jumped the shark. He has had a long, largely undeserved, and extremely well compensated, run on Fox News.

It’s time for him to exit stage left.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture.  He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.

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