Suspended Politico reporter Joe Williams on Monday accused conservative publications like the late Andrew Breitbart’s Big Media and Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller of acting like a “schoolyard bully” by deliberately targeting him after he said GOP hopeful Mitt Romney was more comfortable around “white folks.”
Speaking out for the first time since Politico suspended him indefinitely, Williams told Current TV’s Bill Press that Big Media used “selective evidence” from comments about Romney on MSNBC and his Twitter account because they were in the business of “gathering scalps” from the so-called liberal media.
“It became about me and not about what I said,” he explained. “And that was something that was common to a lot of what you talked about earlier: Chris Hayes, David Shuster, the list goes on. And, you know, now my name is on that list. But the problem I see here is it’s not going to stop there.”
“Part of the issue here is the fact that we have an organization — we have a couple of organizations that have very clear agendas,” Williams continued. “They’re funded — we don’t quite exactly know how, but, certainly, they get their money to do what they do. Their agenda is quite clear. Their agenda is to make enough noise, to push back hard enough that organizations — independent organizations, independent news organizations that have foundations, that have credibility to their name — fold.”
“Basically it’s the schoolyard bully concept where if you make enough noise, if you push back hard enough, people are not going to fight back. … They’re in the business of gathering scalps.”
When it comes to the comments about Romney, Williams did not seem eager to apologize.
“If I apologize for that, there are going to be many other people who have to as well because this is not a new sentiment,” he pointed out, noting that the phrase “white folks” had been like waving a red flag in front of bull. “To me in my personal opinion at this point, those two words were the ones that set people off. You know, ‘white folks,’ ‘Mitt Romney.’ It’s a match to a tender keg to certain segments of people who decided they want to push back on what they believe is the liberal media.”
Williams also wouldn’t say if he wanted to stay on at Politico.
“That’s a question that we’re working on,” he told Press.
The Daily Caller on Monday revealed a March 30 tweet where Williams had accused Politico of an “overlay of blatant racism,” calling it the “secret sauce in the Politico shitburger.”
“Certainly at that point I was venting, I was spouting, I had frustrations at work, there were frustrations in some of the things that I saw that was going on on the Politico landscape,” he recalled. “And I vented and in error and I vented in a public place and that was a huge mistake.”
“There are a lot of frustrations in Washington, a lot of things that have racist kind of aura,” Williams added. “Politico, by and large, has a lot of things to deal with, questions as far as that’s concerned. Well, [minority] representation. Diversity is a problem for the entire D.C. press corps and I don’t think Politico is an exception in that regard.”
Watch this video from Current TV’s Full Court Press, broadcast June 27, 2012.