Roger Ailes is clearly still holding a grudge against NPR for firing Juan Williams.
In an interview published by The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz Wednesday, the Fox News chairman attacked NPR as “Nazis.”
As Fox News’ top “liberal” contributor, Williams had appeared on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor in October and said that he feared flying with people in Muslim garb. The next day, NPR fired Williams, who had worked with them for decades.
NPR explained their decision in a statement. “His remarks on The O’Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”
Ailes made his feelings about NPR clear in his interview with Kurtz.
“They are, of course, Nazis,” Ailes said. “They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view. They don’t even feel guilty using tax dollars to spout their propaganda. They are basically Air America with government funding to keep them alive.”
“It’s hardly surprising that Ailes would defend Williams or castigate NPR,” Kurtz wrote. “But trotting out such Third Reich rhetoric seems, shall we say, disproportionate to the situation. NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher says only that ‘we will let Mr. Ailes’ words speak for themselves.’”
Conservatives have relentlessly attacked NPR for the firing. In a Wednesday statement, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) made it clear that they will force a floor vote Thursday to defund NPR.
Less than 24 hours after NPR fired him, Ailes offered Williams a $2 million contract with Fox News.
“A guy who gets fired and humiliated in the press can lose a lot of confidence,” Ailes explained. “I didn’t want him to have to call his wife and say we lost money.”
In the same interview, Ailes also took on Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart.
“He’s obviously really, really smart,” Ailes said of Stewart. “He openly admits he’s sort of an atheist and a socialist.”
“He hates conservative views. He hates conservative thoughts. He hates conservative verbiage. He hates conservatives,” he continued.
“He’s crazy. If [news coverage] wasn’t polarized, he couldn’t make a living. He makes a living by attacking conservatives and stirring up a liberal base against it.”
But at Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear,” the Comedy Central host attacked MSNBC and Fox News equally. The Washington Post reported that “the comedian argued that the rally’s target was the caustic level of discourse in Washington, and its nasty echoes on cable television’s 24-hour news cycle.”
“Oh, horseshit,” Ailes told Kutz. “Look what he does to Sarah Palin.”
“Don’t give me a social speech on the steps of the Washington Monument. Don’t lapse into non-comedy,” Ailes said.
“Ailes is an angry man, who has repeatedly proven that he holds one standard for people who think like him and a different one for everybody else,” Julie Millican wrote for Media Matters. “It’s really no wonder that Fox News is what it is, with this guy at the helm.”