New Republic editor Martin Peretz has backed off his controversial blog post about the Park51 Islamic center last week, in which he wrote, "I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse." Peretz now says that the sentence "genuinely embarrasses me, and I deeply regret it," and adds, "I wrote that, but I do not believe that." However he stands by his earlier statement that "Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims." He insists, "This is a statement of fact, not value." Peretz was called out for his racist comments by New York Times columnist Nick Kristof last week.