Fox News commentator Juan Williams is a champion of free and unfettered exchanges on the airwaves. He’s the author of the book “Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate” and has inveighed against what he views as the suppression of his viewpoints after he was tossed from his former gig at NPR after making controversial statements about Muslims in 2010.
The opinionator appeared to channel the spirit of “Muzzled” in a chat with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly last night. O’Reilly was pressing Williams on whether he was getting a hard time from folks at the Democratic National Convention for his affiliation with Fox. Williams all but conceded the point, saying he gets such questions as “Why do you work for Fox? Why do you have to be there?”
Williams tells O’Reilly how he handles those questions:
You know what I say to them? I say, you know what, when I’m talking on Fox, when I’m talking to Bill O’Reilly, you know what, nobody’s telling me what to say. They’re honest conversations, honest debates. And we go back and forth. There’s no limits here.
Bold text added to highlight truth. “No limits” explains why O’Reilly himself joked last week about just what sorts of items might just drop from the rafters after Sandra Fluke’s speech; why Fox News chief Roger Ailes once said that he hired Sarah Palin because she was “hot and got ratings”; why Fox News once aired a four-minute attack video on President Obama and was later forced to disavow it. So Williams’s invocation of “no limits”? Not always such a noble thing.