Published October 21, 2010
NPR terminated its contract with longtime senior news analyst Juan Williams after comments he made about Muslims and terrorism on Fox News.
On Monday, Williams appeared on the “O’Reilly Factor” with Bill O’Reilly.
“Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot,” Williams said. “You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the 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.”
In a memo, NPR President Vivian Schiller said Williams’ comments were “inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a News Analyst with NPR.”
Williams has not commented to other news organizations on his firing.
The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan says Williams is a bigot: “The literal defense of anti-Muslim bigotry on Fox is becoming endemic. It’s disgusting.”
Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin condemned the firing. “Government-funded NPR has apparently caved into left-wing attack dogs on the Internet,” she writes.
Choire Sicha of The Awl writes: “Whenever I get on a plane and see that I’m surrounded by midwestern women in pantsuits, I get totally nervous, because I know that they’re going to yack my ear off about their kids and pets.”
I am trying to find raw footage of the O’Reilly interview. The longest clip I am able to find was re-aired today on MSNBC, interspersed with commentary: