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America, This Is Media Vigilantism

AS SEEN ON "FOX & FRIENDS" ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22.

CO-ANCHOR: GRETCHEN CARLSON: The big story of the day continues to be Juan Williams.-- Fired by NPR and he was on "Fox & Friends" with us earlier talking about the controversy and its conviction.

Listen to this. 

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: When we talk about journalistic standards, I'll tell you the truth, if I ask you me a question and I don't care if it fits the left wing position or right wing position. 

CARLSON: Fox News Legal Analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. joins me now for his evaluation.

FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST/ATTORNEY, PETER JOHNSON, JR.: You know, this is about more than about Juan Williams and NPR and Fox News. 

He obviously has a breach of contract lawsuit. He may have a claim for racial discrimination based on the fact that he was the only black male there. 

And then we hear comments today from the president of NPR talking about what saying Juan Williams would think about a black man in a dashiki, wearing an afro. And Mr. Williams made some remarks about  what a bizarre notion that she would characterize a black man solely in that fashion. 

But it's part of a bigger issue. 

When you begin to demonize, when you begin to engage in Soviet-style tactics -- when you begin to say that he's either a craven publicity hound or a sick psychotic that he needs to see a psychiatrist as averted to by that person who hates NPR yesterday, then we have an issue in this country where we have media vigilantism. 

CARLSON: In what way? 

JOHNSON: Where we have a cultural police that says if you are not acting in an acceptable way, that we will go to left-leaning billionaires in this country and fund a system by which we will go on the blogs, we will create our own networks to destroy you. -- In loose alliance with another Party, the Democratic party, in this country. 

And say, we are not finding what you are saying to be acceptable. Nor are we finding you as an African-American man who pretends to be a liberal  in our eyes to be on the page that we need you to be. 

CARLSON: Yes, but the irony here is that he is a liberal. I mean, the irony is he's supposed to be on their team. 

JOHNSON: Of course. Of course. Of course. But Juan Williams is -- is throughout his career -- has been a person who has spoken up for civil rights and natural rights and the rights of African-Americans and is the opposite of a bigot. 

But what we have is a situation now, is the big scare. The big fear. We have a re-run of McCarthyism in the 1950s. There was an organization in the 50s called "AWARE." It destroyed a man called John Henry Faulk, a CBS broadcaster. He went on to sue them and won millions of dollars in the 1960s for what they did. 

We have the same thing going on now with these loose associations of so-called "independent watchdogs" and left-leaning media that say you are acceptable. You're not. If you're not acceptable, we will destroy you. 

The American people can't stand for that. And I'm glad that Fox News has stood up for Juan Williams and for what he stands for. We don't have to agree with what he said. It's his feeling, its his fear. We may not agree with it. But we should agree with his right to say it. 

CARLSON: All right. Thank you very much. Good to see you.

Peter Johnson Jr. is a successful and prominent appellate and trial lawyer he has been tapped for leadership positions by a historic New York City mayor and by Democratic and Republican governors. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Law and the recipient of Martindale Hubbell's highest rating for lawyers, he has been an outspoken and eloquent analyst for the FOX News Channel (FNC) on law, public policy, media and culture for the last 15 years.