October 21, 2010
NPR Host Williams Fired For Muslim Remarks: AP
NPR has fired longtime news analyst Juan Williams, also a commentator on the Fox News Channel, after he told Bill O’Reilly that he gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane.
In a statement late Wednesday, National Public Radio said it was terminating Williams’ contract as a senior news analyst over his comments on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
NPR executives had previously complained about his remarks on Fox and asked him to stop using the NPR name when he appeared on O’Reilly’s show.
The latest comments came Monday, when O’Reilly brought on guests to discuss his own appearance last week on ABC’s “The View,” during which Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set to protest his views on Muslims.
“Where am I going wrong here, Juan?” O’Reilly asked.
Williams, 56, responded that too much political correctness can get in the way of reality.
“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country,” Williams said. “But when I get on a plane, I got to
tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
He went on to say that not everyone in a religious group — Christian or Muslim — should be lumped together with extremists.
A phone message left for Williams at his home in Washington was not immediately returned Thursday morning.
Williams appeared briefly Thursday on Fox News and said he was abruptly fired Wednesday by Ellen Weiss, NPR’s vice president for news. He said he told Weiss he meant what he said on the O’Reilly show, but that she told him he had made a bigoted statement and
crossed a line.
“I said, ‘You mean I don’t even get the chance to come in and we do this eyeball-to-eyeball, person-to-person, have a conversation? I’ve been there more than 10 years,” Williams said.
He said Weiss responded that “there’s nothing you can say that would change my mind.” Read More…