Joseph Williams, the former Politico reporter who was fired after making racial comments about how Mitt Romney only felt comfortable among white people and tweeting penis jokes about Ann Romney, went on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday and implied conservative news outlets went after him because they are obsessed with race. He also denied he was a liberal, and compared recent reports about his having pled guilty to assaulting his ex-wife as being on par with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper’s sexual orientation.
Williams said that diversity and race issues are “the favorite chew toy” of conservative media organizations. He said, “they love to go at this stuff, and I just happened to provide them with a good opportunity to do that.” Williams also said conservative media outlets like Breitbart News reported on his comments and tweets “without context” and did not give him an “opportunity for a fair response.”
But, as Kurtz noted, Williams provided conservative outlets with the ammunition himself. His comments and tweets, at face value, were reflective of someone who had an unmistakably liberal bias.
Williams’ comments show that Williams really has not read conservative outlets like Breitbart News that he has accused of going after him for a litany of reasons except the most valid.
Williams was not called out because of his race or primarily because of the racial nature of his comments. Nor was Williams taken to task solely because of his biased tweets and commentary, per se.
As Breitbart News editor John Nolte explained many a time, Williams was called out because he made biased and incendiary comments while purporting to be an objective White House correspondent for an organization, Politico, that similarly — and falsely — claims to be a neutral arbiter of politics.
When Howard Kurtz, the show’s host, asked Williams about his biased and racist comments, Williams merely said they were “inartful” and, revealing how biased the Washington press corps is, said those to whom he spoke since he has made the comments “don’t understand what the big deal was” because “that is something that we can observe.”
Kurtz asked Williams if revelations about his personal life were fair game, without disclosing to his audience what those issues were. Kurtz was referring to a report by Betsy Rothstein, of FishbowlDC, in which the intrepid reporter discovered that Williams had pled guilty to having assaulted his ex-wife.
Williams said those issues were “analogous to Anderson Cooper,” in reference to the CNN host’s recent admission that he was gay, in that he felt it did not influence or have anything to do with his job performance. What Kurtz failed to note was the hypocrisy of Politico, an organization that has ruthlessly investigated private citizens who ask unfavorable questions of President Barack Obama or appearing in Republican ads while, at worst, perhaps having known about, and, at best, being ignorant of Williams’ past legal and domestic troubles while employing him.
When Kurtz commented that Williams comments made him “sound like a pretty liberal guy,” Williams responded by saying, “I wouldn’t say liberal.” Williams also still claimed he was an impartial journalist who reported “without spin and without fear or favor.”
Had Williams actually read Breitbart News and the advice given to him by Nolte, Williams would have realized he would have been better off had he just come out of the closet and admitted his liberal biases, which perhaps would have helped him and his considerable liberally-biased and conservative-hating talents get him a prominent role at a liberal organization like MSNBC or The Huffington Post.
Had Williams openly and publicly admitted what is obvious — that he is a biased liberal — that admission would have been more “analogous to Anderson Cooper.”