So what are you saying? You don’t like them?…

The incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee lambasted The New York Times on Tuesday while defending his planned hearings on the radicalization of Muslims living in the U.S.

Two days after the Times questioned his leadership in an editorial, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) fired back in an interview with The Hill. He defended his oversight agenda, including a scheduled hearing on homegrown terrorism.

The New York Times is just basically being a mouthpiece for political correctness,” King said, later adding: “These are very legitimate hearings.”

….Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch (D) on Tuesday took a swing at The New York Times on behalf of King for a Sunday editorial denouncing his plans to hold a hearing on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims and homegrown terrorism.

The scathing editorial stated that King needed to take his anti-Muslim criticism down a notch if he wants to be taken seriously as the Homeland Security chairman.

King’s proposal to hold hearings on the issue has brought a rash of criticism from those who argue it could turn into a McCarthy-esque witch-hunt, fueling distrust of the government among Muslim citizens.

In its editorial, the Times wrote that King’s “sweeping slur on Muslim citizens is unacceptable.” It also accused him of too much “blather” and “bluster” on a host of national-security issues.

King quickly punched back.

“I’m certainly not going to take any political advice or direction from The New York Times,”King told The Hill. “I have more contempt for The New York Times than anything or anyone I can think of.”

He added, “People follow what I say. I’m outspoken, but I can back up everything I say. I am what I am and people seem to like it and I’m at peace with myself.”

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