Juan Williams fired from NPR for comments about Muslims

By Elizabeth Tenety type=”text/javascript” > The Washington Post’s Debbi Wilgoren and Paul Farhi reported Thursday: Veteran journalist Juan Williams was … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety

type=”text/javascript” >

The Washington Post’s Debbi Wilgoren and Paul Farhi reported Thursday:

Veteran journalist Juan Williams was fired from his job as senior news analyst for National Public Radio late Wednesday because of comments he made about Muslims and terrorism on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel.

“Political correctness can lead to a kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality,” Williams said on O’Reilly’s show.

As Wilgoren and Farhi reported:

Williams, 56, made the remarks after the show’s host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him whether he thought the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” “The cold truth is that in the world today, jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet,” O’Reilly said.

“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,” he 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’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

(For more on “flying while Muslim,” read Amy Gardner’s 2009 story on an incident at Reagan National Airport.)

NPR said in a statement that WIlliams’ comments “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg noted that Williams’ swift firing is only the latest in a recent string of journalists getting the boot over their controversial remarks about religion.

“There’s a larger trend here, the increasing tempo of journalist firings around the issues of Islam, terrorism,and Israel. There is Helen Thomas, of course, as well as Octavia Nasr, who was fired by CNN for praising the radical Shi’a Ayatollah Fadlallah. Helen Thomas is a ridiculous figure, and her comments touched on the Shoah, so I think my position on her firing remains, good riddance, but Nasr’s firing seemed unjustified to me, and Williams’s removal, so far at least, seems unjustified as well.”

Rick Sanchez was also recently fired from CNN for comments he made about Jews:

“I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart. And to imply that somehow they — the people in this country who are Jewish — are an oppressed minority? Yeah.”

UPDATE: 12:37 p.m.: In the video below, Williams explains that his comments on O’Reilly were an “honest” description of his fears. Williams says that an NPR news director told him those views are “bigoted” and “cross the line.”

Do you see these firings as part of a larger trend?

Read more On Faith:
Akbar Ahmed: A Muslim response to Juan Williams

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • USDude123

    NPRs actions are not acceptable. This is definitely censorship and a muzzling of free speech. I for one will be halting all payments to NPR. I would like all their funding sources to be made public and if there are public funds being provided, I want to vote on it. Further, the person taking the decision to fire Mr. Williams (with whom I consistently disagree because I feel he is too right wing), needs to be fired too, as he is absolutely breaching the publics trust in the freedom that NPR brings. This is not American.

  • mascmen7

    WE are paying for NPR’s version of Islam by our taxes. Islam is a very dangerous political movement with religious characteristics that enable it to come into a nation and subvert from within as all nations along the Mediterranean Sea can attest from Kosovo to Turkey to Algeria, Morocco and Spain all of whom were formerly Catholic nations but became Muslim. Only Spain escaped Islam thanks to Queen Isabella who on her white horse led the siege of Granada and ended Islam in Spain. USA does not yet have such a woman to drive out Islam from our nation.

  • yasseryousufi

    Juan Williams is one of those blacks who lack self esteem and it comes out when they are faced with a certified racist like Bill O’Riley. So he feels like he needs to say things that would keep him in Bill’s good books. He thinks he’ll sound like a white man whose company he wants to join. Disgusting little wimp~!

  • docwhocuts

    “no, they overreacted”wapo biased with a leading answer.to even answer the poll is to agree that some reaction was warranted.Just more left wing mind control crap.wapo should be ashamed, more so than usual.

  • hrobert02

    Can we remember when Jesse Jackson commented how when he heard footsteps behind him while walking at night (in DC?)how he was relieved when it turned out NOT to be a black man? He feared ‘his own kind’ because of the statistics he calculated in his own mind, rightly or wrongly. Williams is only guilty of the same kind of calculation (and probably of not being as good a statistician).

  • uncle9

    I agree with NPR. Williams finally fell off the “thin line” he has been treading since joining FOX news. I lost whatever regard I had for him at that time.C’mon, we all know that FOX “news” is an advocacy house. It is not a real news organization and clearly -all- on air content demands at least lip service to the 24/7 agenda.I feel Williams knew exactly what he was doing and finally made the decision where he wanted his bread buttered. The bread is richer and the butter tastier at Murdoch’s place than at NPR. Good riddance, Mr. Sellout.Uncle Ron

  • editorneal

    NPR really went over the line here. Williams was being honest. There ARE Muslim nations who are aiding and abetting criminal acts and murder in the name of Islam. There IS a reason to be concerned. If I see a crowd of African-American people dressed in “gangsta” gear, I am not going to steer toward them, either. Nor am I going to feel comfortable if I see a group of white males in skinhead gear or sporting white supremacist clothing or tattoos. The way people present themselves is a potent message, and it is appropriate — even necessary for self-preservation — to be alert to your surroundings. Williams made it clearly contextual in his remarks. I feel we are playing toward those who would steal our right to self-expression, who WANT us to live in fear of drawing a cartoon or speaking our minds. And that’s just wrong.

  • GuyThompto1

    It is very clear that NPR is the mouthpiece for the “Thoughtful” Democrat. Just proves that the open forum is only open to people who hide their true feelings lest they offend someone with honesty.

  • carnahan5

    There was an article in the paper the other day that said Americans are too politically correct. Do you think so? Honestly, if we don’t start behaving more truthfully and naturally in our responses to behavior that is against the greater good of America, we are going to find ourselves without America as we have known it and as it was intended to be. Juan was just being honest. The truth hurts. Quit taking our normal reactions and turning them into something evil. What is evil is the Muslim religion. Open up the Koran. I did and every other verse was about taking us out in one way or another. How can could you EVER call that a religion??????? They are on their way to coming to get us. Better be aware and not politically correct. This is not a joke. It’s about as real and serious as things can get.

  • volkmare

    the NPR is wrong.mark

  • forgetthis

    They should have given him the opportunity to “clarify” his remarks.

  • farhorizons

    If Williams had made a similar comment about Zionists, you can be sure that they would be screaming anti-semitisim and demanding his ouster.

  • feets1941

    Juan was speaking from his heart in the U.S.A. where we used to have freedom of speech. If any comments of any kind are said on the liberal stations, about Fundamental Christians or Christianity, there would be no problems at all. We are bending over in this country to never say anything offensive, (Though it be the truth), about Muslims! What is this? This Political Correctness is helping to kill America. NPR should be ashamed for firing Juan for telling the truth.

  • SjBom

    I am upset. The muslims are getting just as bad as the american people of color ( and that is how I refer to all descendants of the american indians and slaves, the true americans) and that needing a crush to lean and cry on. Just make it right and quit whining. Muslims have lost trust among human beings and I am a human being who is leery of trusting any muslim until I feel safe and comfortable in their environment.

  • Provincial

    He lost his eligibility as a news analyst for NPR by publicly exposing his bigotry. That is fair and reasonable.He surly can get a gig working for the 700 club. They fear,hate and despise Muslims as much as He does.

  • ZZim

    I think his fears are entirely reasonable. I have the same concerns. Then I remind myself that it is statistically improbable that these particular Muslims are probably not terrorists.But the initial unease was there, and entirely reasonable.

  • rentianxiang

    NPR should be ashamed. Juan Williams is a very fair, honest journalist who has proven his commitment to justice and human rights over his career. If NPR’s editorial standards are so tainted and politicized that it can not allow a journalist to speak the truth about how he feels about a particular ideology, which many could argue is based on facts on the ground in the current world, then NPR needs to stop pretending that it is airing a fair, objective and balanced portrayal of world events. Now, NPR has become no better than Fox News or any other station that prohibiits the airing of opinions with which its “management” disagrees. And, unfortunately, they have played right into the hands of the conservatives who always claim that NPR and other mainstream media outlets put a liberal twist on the news. Shame on NPR for proving them right.

  • mtex

    This is political correctness reaching absurdity. As NPR is funded by the government I suppose only state sanctioned speech should be allowed. I guess free speech is not really fundamental to a free and democratic society as I was led to believe.

  • sherardg

    I was a little on the fence regarding NPR’s decision. However, this part of the transcript is worth repeating:If he or anyone spoke frankly about say Jews they would have fired even quicker. Remember Helen Thomas and Rich Sahchez? Even FOX knows that. Is it fair. No. What’s so unfair is Bill got his feelings hurt on the View and he’s been crying all week on his show about this and as usual, used Juan as he does on all racial issues. Well the fool got fired. And now comes Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is an opportunistic idiot. It is O’Reilly that should be fired for spreading his hate all Muslims riff. (Don’t hold your breath on that one — the foreigner Murdoch who controls the minds of the mindless that watch fox needs to be boycotted on fox tv, the daily news, the wall street joke, etc.)

  • lrvs

    Juan Williams is a decent human being and if you listen to the entire segment, was actually standing up for muslims. He said nothing offensive by saying that what he did. NPR took political correctness overboard to the point of limiting free speech. Our country is heavily in debt right now, start the spending cuts by rescinding all taxpayer funds to an organization that limits free speech.

  • gladerunner

    I’ve known lots of people that have been fired from their jobs, only on a very few occasions has there been one and only one reason/incident to cause it. We can only know about this firing what we are being told, so conjecture is natural, but also virtually pointless.

  • DeMutt

    Uncle Ron hit the nail right on the head. This was likely a calculated move by Williams to increase his salary by moving to fox as one of its token “liberals”

  • gladerunner

    (Cntd)

  • dave19

    The Koran EXPLICITLY orders all Muslims to either ‘convert’ Infidels – which means and includes ALL CHRISTIANS – or ‘Kill them’That is a VIOLENT Religion which aims to take over the entire world. And is willing to take forever and do it one suicide bomber – such as Muslim-dressed passengers on commercial flights – at a time.Juan Williams has plenty of objective cause to feel unease when he finds himself on the very kind of airplanes with ‘outwardly dressed people as Muslims who have already tried repeatedly to blow up airliners and used several to blow up Americans on 9/11 and kill all the innocent Americans on board.If that is called bigotry, call me an anti-Muslim bigot, for THEIR religion seeks to kill ME! For I am bigoted against ALL my enemies. And I have YET to see or hear ANY outward disavowal of that passage by any Muslims. (They try to say it is being ‘wrongly interpreted’) But outright rejection? NO!

  • amelia45

    I made a comment on a different article supporting NPR for firing Williams.Now, I wonder if it would not have been better to give Williams air time to clear up the matter. It would have been an opportunity for discussion of fears and feelings and how we can express them in public without cries of bigotry.Has NPR missed an opportunity here?

  • rhhkrnrw

    The Department of Agriculture gave a knee-jerk, political-correctness-run-amuck reaction and so did NPR.

  • m_richert

    I have never had a high opinion of Mr. Williams.

  • prudy1

    NPR has every right to enforce their own code of ethics concerning their analysts and reporters.Admitting that you are a bigot doesn’t mean you can then turn around as say bigoted things and get away with them. As a matter of parody, put ‘Jew’ or ‘African American’ or ‘Southerner’ in place of ‘Muslim’ in the statement Williams made and see if it works.Just because Williams said something emotionally honest doesn’t mean that he was being intellectually sincere or professional. Many would call his statement irrational and bigoted. For example, when I see someone who looks like Timothy McVeigh about to board my plane I don’t do a double-take. Williams was unprofessional and NPR was right to let him go if it violated their ethical guidelines.

  • vnsterling

    How many of you posters here, actually know any real practicing Muslim people? Why do we want to live in such a polarized society? There are good and bad in every religion. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City Bombing, including 19 children, did we go around and call all the Christians murderers? Many wonderful Muslims around. Just try and befriend one of them and learn about their culture.

  • Chicagoatty

    Juan Williams admitted to certain personal feelings – fears – he has in the very special circumstance of air travel in a post-9/11 world. He did not espouse hatred for Muslims or advocate that any action be taken against Muslims. He was trying to say that even the most rational, liberal, pro-civil rights person (i.e., Juan Williams) can have such fears under the right circumstances. Why NPR even considered this relevant to his job as an NPR reporter is beyond me. I guess it is for good reason that NPR is known as “National Progressive Radio.”

  • vnsterling

    OMG!!The post by M. Richert proves my point.”anxious and fearful for three and a half hours and only because of the Muslims aboard. I was unable to feel otherwise. I tried to feel sorry for them, to empathize with their being aware that people were frightened because of their presence. Nothing worked. I remained in what I must say was a really terrified state” Do you know any Muslims? Did you try to talk to these people? Do Hindu women in sarees bother you as much? Or Sikhs in Turbans?I am glad Juan Williams was let go. The TV is no place for anyone to be spewing hate. Actually people should keep the hate in their heart, and let it show on their wretched faces. I am a die-hard NPR fan, its the only station I listen to, and Have already given more money to them today.

  • gladerunner

    Dave19:I had to look that up… I didn’t have a copy of the qu’ran, but I did find this in another religious text that sounded very much like what you were saying: Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Yeah maybe we should banish them all.

  • tbrucia

    Curious that a lot of the criticism is that NPR overreacted, given the fact that so many of the postings here are certainly examples of overreacting. A lot more heat than fire, folks… let’s all calm down. As it stands, I’ve seen hysteria about socialism, Fox, Jews, Muslims, racists, conservatives, liberals, and so on. Whatever happened to judging each individual person by his/her actions, and not by broad-brush group affiliations? I’m not so sure that anyone here should be ‘casting the first stone’ given our faults (which we all know too, too well!). My take-away? Maybe some folks don’t deserve to be trusted. Maybe some people have ‘ulterior motives’. BUT it is ME I have to be careful of… since I can easily become that which I dislike. I’d feel a lot better if more of my friends felt the same, but if they don’t, well, that doesn’t matter regards my own obligations to myself: try not to look for the mote in my brothers eye while overlooking the beam in my own. (Though it’s no one’s business, I’m not a Christian. But there are some good ideas I brought with me from that religion…..)

  • familynet

    I think his comments were childish, but yes NPR did overreact.

  • samsara15

    His remarks were out of line, but I’m not sure firing him as the best action. Maybe a reprimand would have been enough. Freedom of Speech? I don’t see this a freedom of speech issue. In the real world, you must accept the consequences of your actions and statements. It’s not like he’s being jailed for his remarks. I would expect, for example, that any member of DEA who expressed publicly a desire to end the useless failed War on Drugs would be fired, too.

  • Freedomlover2

    I was not offended by his comments in the least. Juan Williams is an intelligent man. I know exactly why he would be “nervous” around people who wear traditionally Muslim garb- hijab, niqab, headscarf, whatever…it’s because if they are devout Muslims, then chances are VERY good that they would love nothing better than to see America under Sharia Law. Sharia Law is the law that guides every facet of a Muslim’s life. Under Sharia, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would be nothing more than happy memories. So when Juan Williams looks at a Muslim, he is reminded that, if the Muslims had their way, all the freedoms we value so much would vanish entirely. I don’t blame him. I feel the same way! EDUCATE YOURSELVES, PEOPLE! Stop letting your irrational fear of offending someone blind you! Sharia Law would take away all our rights as Americans!!! Juan Williams is exactly right to feel nervous! We need to stop putting our heads in the sand and address these problems head-on! Juan Williams loses his job for merely saying Muslims make him nervous, and yet there are imams all over this country who seditiously preach the overthrow of the American government every Friday at their mosques! For a Muslim, Allah’s Law ALWAYS trumps any law made by man. They WILL NOT meet us halfway!! America needs to stop pandering and trying to placate these people! Muzzling people’s concerns and fears by firing them will not help the situation! The President of NPR is actually the one who should be fired. You’d think a government-funded radio station would allow more discussion and probing into topics that concern America today. And he didn’t even make the comment while he was on NPR! Pure ignorance at work! People, educate yourselves about the “religion of peace.” I encourage you to read the Koran and the Hadiths. If you do, I guarantee, you will see nothing wrong with Mr. Williams’ remarks at all. I’ll bet the President of NPR hasn’t read the Koran and the Hadiths. If she had, she wouldn’t have fired Mr. Williams.

  • Pamsm

    Free speech means you can Don’t believe me? Try telling your boss he’s an A-hole tomorrow.

  • ChristFirst

    A member stated above: A number of the comments are directed towards NPR and not Juan Williams remarks. Juan Williams declared he wasn’t a bigot, but it seems his remarks perfectly match the expressions and definition of a bigot, making his declaration meaningless. I applaud NPR for their quick reaction.I totally disagree. I am so tired of people, regardless of who they are, not being able to honestly express “legitimate” thoughts without the Political Correctness Police jumping on them. It’s not okay to express one’s concerns? Juan Williams wasn’t blasting anyone. He was stating his thoughts.I listen to NPR every day as I drive. As a conservative they anger me greatly because they do not give a balanced viewpoint on “almost” any subject. Almost everything espoused by those on NPR is from the liberal, left-wing camp. Still, I listen — mostly to hear another’s point of view. The news should be the news with all sides being reported. When political correctness and sensorship stops free speech, we will all be in trouble.

  • oakiedokie

    I would have thought that Juan was smart enough to know what was prudent to say and what was not. Apparently his association with FOX blurred his vision. Go full time to FOX and say whatever nonsense he wishes!

  • dozas

    Justified: he violated the contract he had with NPR. Just like when Sanchez got booted by CNN. At least Sanchez “owned up” to his inappropriate speech and apologized.In a civilized, multi-cultural society as ours, our Freedom of Speech requires a sense of responsibility as to what comes out of our mouths, especially with those who have access to the airwaves. With the recent rash of Islamophobic rhetoric in the marketplace, he should have known better and should be held to a higher standard because of his position.Juan Williams succumbed to fearmongering and the lowest denominator of it. Shame on him. Man up.

  • mec1248

    If it looks like a rose, and smells like a rose, it’s a rose. I believe it was proven that the people who attacked the U.S. (ie: the World Trade Center Bombing) were Muslims. Why would it be wrong to be nervous when Muslims were on your flight? Had the Chineses done the bombing, then Chinese on the flight would make you nervous. We are in the dangerous state we are in today due to political correctness. Nobody plays by the rules but us. It is time we wised up and went on the defense of our nation and people. If people qre dying from mylaria, you battle with the mosquitoes. Not every mosquito carries malaria, you say? How do we know unless we examine them for malaria. Likewise we must examine suspicious Muslims for terrorism against the U.S.

  • ravitchn

    When the NAACP will do something about the gross immorality of negroes I might take them seriously.

  • abrahamhab1

    The journalism in this country is gradually looking more like those of Middle East Muslim countries. The few journals there that allow readers to comment on their articles would publish only the ones their editorial board agrees with. I once made a comment to an article on the Aljazeera electronic cite which apparently somebody there did not like. Not only they had not published it but they have blacklisted me ever since.

  • benecap

    Of course Palin wants rid of NPR. One less outlet she has to “man up” and speak to. Get rid of Katy Couric too. She could bring down the country. Sarah will speak through Fox. and when she becomes President and some foreign leader wants to question her, well, they can first go on Fox and be properly vetted. No liberal traps for her!!

  • thomp

    As a journalist, the job at hand is to accurately describe events, not to inject your fears.Sound pretty simple.

  • tfspa

    Most striking to me is that so many of these comments agree or disagree with Williams. But that is entirely beside the point. Had he merely been another Fox talking head with no relationship to NPR, no one would have given this a second thought. It is specifically because he violated NPR policy standards that he was fired. And it is not at all the first time this sort of thing has happened. NPR has been very generous in taking no action beyond a few notes over the past few years. NPR does not do opinion. they do facts, they do analysis. There is a big difference. The reporting of facts and analysis requires confidence in the integrity of the reporter or analyst. Williams had been using the integrity of NPR – which included the integrity he built for himself – to engage in mindless opinionated head butting. It reflects poorly on the integrity of NPR. Perhaps Williams doesn’t care about that or has lost sight of it. It is a primary responsibility of NPR management to care about it. This is not about his specific opinion or about free speech. It is all about him dragging NPR reputation into the Fox muck and violating it policies. Which you can read on their website, btw.

  • SteveFinner

    We really learn what the first amendment means when somebody says something we find offensive, insulting, boorish, or just plain wrong. If the first amendment only applied to those utterances with which we agree, there would be no first amendment. NPR blew this one, big time.

  • areyousaying

    So how hard is it to be honest?If you got on a plane and saw a group of six swarthy Muslim looking men speaking Arabic, you wouldn’t think about it or be nervous?I flew on September 13, 2001, and spent my whole time in the First Class Cabin thinking what I could throw (tumblers, my computer, shoes, etc) at a group of Muslims in case they tried anything.Racist or not racist, profiling or not profiling – it’s the reality Muslims have created for themselves.

  • areyousaying

    ….of course I would be equally afraid if I were on a plane with Bill O’Reilly.

  • free-donny

    Juan Williams should have been more responsible. Its only my opinion – Juan Williams was never that bright a star. He’s just hung in there and been repeatedly published. For 25 years, he’s been successful at presenting the non-threatening Black commentary…never too far to the left or right. A safe place and a profitable one. Well, now we know how he feels about being on planes with folks who look and dress differently then he. Its his right to say and think what he wants…but he should not whine if NPR does not agree with him. It is THEIR right to classify his statements as offensive to their network. Same with CNN and all the others. If Juan Williams is such a great brain, let’s see the level he rises to or sinks to in this scenario. I hope he chooses dignity and professionalism.

  • momj47

    I wonder if the President of NPR would get nervous if he saw Juan Williams in a hoodie at night on a dark street in DC. Juan Williams feels exactly the way the government wants us all to feel when we see people dressed in “Muslim garb”. Homeland Security wants us to feel nervous and uncomfortable, and to report “suspicious behavior”, even if it’s just people dressed in Muslim garb.

  • kathymac1

    yeah they have a right to fire anyone, just don’t think someone should be fired for telling the truth about his feelings, kind of two faced of the liberal station. However, best thing that happened to him, heard he already got another job, has had a lot of offers, guess there are some out there that let you give your opinion without checking with the politically correct police

  • rightpath44

    The truth is, if he had said “I get nervous around Bible-Believing Christians” he would NOT HAVE BEEN FIRED.This is the bigotry and prejudice!

  • fmjk

    If one of Williams’s co-workers — who are supposed to be NEWS analysts — said he gets “nervous” every time he sees black youth in gansta “garb” on the sidewalk and so he crosses the street, Juan Williams would call for HIS firing.

  • fmjk

    No one is muzzling Juan Williams. He can go on TV and talk his head off. The question is, does he now have any credibility an unbiased, neutral news analyst? And the answer is no. He can now join the ranks of the thousands of pundits and talk about his opinions all day. If anyone feels like paying him to do it.

  • areyousaying

    Fox will pay him more now that he is going to be working there full time.

  • WmarkW

    People often accuse Fox News of lying; but who stood up for a journalist telling the truth here, Fox News or NPR?

  • wma98

    Of course he deserved to be fired — how dare he appear on Fox News?!?! Free speech be damned!The way Fox News consistently gets all these silly liberals in a lather is of endless amusement to me. Keep it up, clowns!

  • mstratas

    Our pundits and commentators should be professional and act like mature adults. Free speech does not mean blurting out whatever is in one’s mind. We in America have confused free speech with sloppy, say “whatever is in your mind” speech which is childish and juvenile. It is downright immature for Juan Williams to say that he is afraid when he sees some Muslims on the plane. His comments smacked of exaggeration, injudicious of a grown man, and cowardice. Williams wanted to create drama which is unnecessary.

  • javidamini7

    All Muslim people believe in only one book “ghoran”, and Ben Laden is one of them…

  • Delongl

    He should have been fired when he first appeared on Faux News. NPR has to keep up its liberal credentials to get all its money from the federal government, NYC and Boston.

  • david6

    He should have been fired when he decided that he could both be a newsman and on the entertainment channel called FoxNews. His public paranoia about Moslems based on his prejudices about them was just the icing on the cake.

  • camper3

    This is absolutely absurd. NPR has gone to the heights of political correctness and pandering to the fringe. I am seriously considering rescinding my long time membership in my local PBS station.

  • ravitchn

    NPR must be part of a liberal ASSAULT ON FREE SPEECH BECAUSE FREE SPEECH WILL SHUT DOWN OBAMA & CO.

  • princeps2

    “…the entertainment channel called FoxNews.”As opposed to the politically correct socialist propaganda that NPR spouts.

  • pagun

    Long overdue…

  • rivermist

    A number of the comments are directed towards NPR and not Juan Williams remarks. Juan Williams declared he wasn’t a bigot, but it seems his remarks perfectly match the expressions and definition of a bigot, making his declaration meaningless. I applaud NPR for their quick reaction.

  • jmounday

    Step back.NAACP calls for investigations into raceism.The first shot across the bow, The firing of a decent human being for being honest about his feelings.On an opinion/entertainment program.Striking economic fear into the heart of any journalist not towing the mark.Shameful action from any media outlet benefitting from the right of free speach.But for that outlet to also benefit from taxpayer funds is unforgivable and congressional hearings about this racest firing of a decent fair minded liberal BLACK man is shocking and despicable.

  • gershwin2009

    As a paying member of NPR, I think that Mr. Williams was out of place. I believe that he was influenced by Fox News agenda which is extremely biased. Fox News cannot be even remotely considered an objective source of information.I will go ahead and increase my contributions to NPR as a result of this.

  • CHAOTICIAN101

    What is actually needed is for NPR to be totally funded to do News Reports that all media must use as the News! Then every media including NPR can fill the remaining time with commentaries on the News as long as we have an Independent body to issue HUGH penalties to that media that “misquotes” the news in their commentaries! It is time to end once and for all; the reporting of lies, propaganda, out of context, opinions, and slander as News!And I think, we need to put a per minute cap on advertising charges of around $1000 per 15 seconds; limit advertising to no more than 15 minutes in an hour segment that occurs only at the begining and the end of programming segment; and require all media to provide free equal time during prime viewing for all registered candidates within a media’s market area for the 2 weeks prior to and election.

  • Robin213

    To Camper3: PBS is not NPR. They are not even affiliated. When you donate to PBS, none of it goes to NPR and vice-versa. So though you may be angry at NPR, don’t punish PBS for it.

  • gladerunner

    CHAOTICIAN101“It is time to end once and for all; the reporting of lies, propaganda, out of context, opinions, and slander as News!”News always has a bias. Sometimes it is more blatant and overt than others but it’s there.“require all media to provide free equal time during prime viewing for all registered candidates”Everything you mention is pretty much the opposite of a free press. Yes its messy, yes there’s bias and opinion, but grow up. Figure it out. Apparently YOU know the difference between news and commentary, truth and lies, why not just sit back and allow for the fact that other people can tell the difference as well. And those that can’t? Well there’s probably no saving them anyhow.

  • Skowronek

    O’REILLY: I will say Muslim terrorist but I’m not going to say “it’s only a few. It’s only a tiny bit.” It’s not Juan. It’s whole nations: Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Whole nations.He’s surprised he got fired? He just agreed that it’s entire nations, not fringe groups. I can remember reading about “the troubles” in Northern Ireland. Were all Irish citizens and their governemtn labeled “Christian terrorists”? Clearly it’s not a first amendment issue. The government didn’t fire Williams, his employer did.

  • abrahamhab1

    Willians did not say he gets nervous every time he meets a Muslim, but when he is cornered as in a plane by one who wears the Muslim garb. He knows that whoever wears that garment in the West is making a statement that he is different and rejects the dominant culture. Williams is knowledgeable enough to know that Muslims are obsessed with symbolism. A person had to be crazy not to get nervous when cornered by someone who has nothing but disrespect and disgust for him and all that he stands for. Furthermore there is precedence for cases where such characters blew themselves up in the midst of “infidels” or fired machine guns at their colleagues to win favor with their God.

  • yasseryousufi

    The fact that this guy is both Hispanic and Black make his comments even more disgusting. These bigots cry foul whenever one of their ilks is discriminated against. Would anyone in the media get away with saying he fears putting his money in financial institution run by Jews? Or that he wonders what a black guy is upto in a departmental store, is he gonna shoplift? You can bet your a$$ no one will get away with such comments. But its muslim bashing season right uptill November (and beyond maybe!) and everything goes. Just look at the shining lights that have come in support of Juan WIlliams, Bill o’Riley, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, Bill Kristol and there is not much left to argue in this case.

  • tbarksdl

    I am not a fan of Juan Williams and certainly not of Fox News, but his firing over his remarks about Muslims is ridiculous and way over the line. He simply expressed his personal emotions when encountering Muslims on a plane. To me, the NPR spokeswoman who announced his firing was, hands down, the more pluperfect example of smug bigotry. Both she and the contributors to this blog who label Williams a bigot are guilty of the sin they try to pin on him. They believe that their dislike of Williams, particularly his appearance on Fox, give them the right to call him anything they want, in complete disregard for the objective facts. That’s bigotry in its purest form. It’s political correctness on steroids.Expressing your genuine emotions on Fox News is not justification for firing someone. Let’s see now. A person says, “Doctors with needles make me nervous.” Fire the sucker! He’s libeled doctors!

  • davidmswyahoocom

    …so isn’t it ironic that on the Friday a.m. news we learn that Mr. Williams and Fox News have signed a multimillion dollar contract thus making him a f/t employee of Fox. Something smells more than rotten here and it is to this writer Mr. Williams ethics or lack of in this case – Fox News has no ethics. It just appears more and more that Williams was looking for a way out of his contract with NPR and he got this plus many dollars in his bank account. What a sell out as a Black man who once stood opposed to such racial profiling and discrimination!

  • Garak

    Williams can return to his NPR job as soon as Helen Thomas returns to her job.

  • Jimbo77

    Guess the $1.8 Million Soros recently gave them did the trick!!! Pathetic.

  • schnauzer21

    Everyone calm down. Do any of you actually know what the ethics rules (that Mr. Williams is accused of breaking) actually say? I didn’t think so. And without knowing that no can say whether they overreacted or not. Who knows, that statement could have the last in a line of behaviors that NPR has been unhappy with. You cannot say “if he said that about christians nothing would have happened” since you don’t know what the rules state can and cannot be said and as far as I can tell, no one has said that for there to even be a comparison corporate reaction.

  • mountainsister41

    What is good for comments about one group must apply to other groups. Mr. Williams would be kicked out if he said he get nervous if darker black people sat next to him. Free speech does not include making derogatory remarks about anyone’s race ore religion. I commend NPR.

  • pofinpa

    npr waste of taxpayer $$$$.lawyer up juan and it will cost us more.

  • tbrucia

    I wonder how many Americans know that the largest number of Muslims are Indians and Indonesians… So, are Americans ‘ill at ease’ when they enter an airplane and see folks from India on board? Also, how does one spot an Indonesian? Moving on to Arabs (Semites, incidentally) are most Americans cognizant of the fact that Saudi Arabia is an American ally (ditto Jordan)? And how many know that large numbers of Arab-Americans are Christians? Are most Americans aware of the role of religious law in Judaism (halakhah) or in Roman Catholicism (canon law)? And what about the contents of Exodus and Leviticus? It seems a lot of comments about shariah are not based on serious study, but on something else….

  • mbc7

    NPR must now fire every reporter they have who has offened ANY religious, racial, sexual etc. group. They need to add a link on the web-site to take complaints. I doubt anyone will have a job on monday. And this should extend to administrators, starting with the boss. I found her statement on Mr. Williams anti-mentally ill, because it confused personal opinion with the serious health problems treated by pyschologists. Patients don’t need to be told their sicknesses are simply choices or character flaws. Her comment was hurtful. She must go!

  • jaxas70

    I find it interesting that critics of NPR completely bought into Williams’ hokum that this was was all about “liberal political correctness”. More than anything else that demonstrates to me that NPR was right to get rid of this Fox News plant.Look. For years Williams has suckled at the teat of Rupert Murdoch and his swilly, opinionated empire the center of which is the Fox “News” Network. I put quotation marks around the word news to demonstrate that very little of what that network puts out truly qualifies as news. Indeed, every single story presented id done so in the context of Murdoch’s right wing political orientation and the Religious Right’s faith orientation.The right has targeted NPR for years because it is one of the few bastions left where intelligent Americans can go to get serious, substantive, civil discussion of the issues. It is called “liberal” because the political spectrum in America has been so distorted toward a right wing orientation that now anything to the left of Rush Limbaugh is considered liberal. Thus, even moderate, mainstream conservatives–who are a part of the discussion panels on NPR far more frequently than are liberals ion Fox News or anywhere else in the mainstream media for that matter–are deemed too far left.For the right wing in America, it is a convenient fiction that NPR is a far left cabal just as the liberal bias in the mainstream media is a myth. It acts as a balm for their fragile, wounded egos when an election or a vote does not go their way.

  • Draesop

    I can well imagine that this statement was not the only reason leading to Mr Williams’ dismissal. I have listened to and read MR Williams over the years and his commentaries have become more weighted to the right over time. There are many explanations but he just may have been fashioning himself for wider involvement in his chosen industry. Hopefully NPR was hoping for this opportunity and has a suitable replacement for Mr Williams. As a regular listener to this station (its the only Radio that is worth it in this area) they need to consider diversity among employees involved in broadcasting.

  • usapdx

    NO! NPR MANAGER SHOULD RESIGN.

  • thompson_allenb

    Anyone that says NPR is the only station worth listening to – must have an equilibrium problem. Balanced – They do not even pretend to be balanced.

  • thompson_allenb

    Take away federal funding and NPR will go the way of “American Air.” Moreover, good riddance.

  • sally1860

    NPR had warned Williams to be careful what he said, while permitting him to appear on FOX as well. If he wanted to remain employed by NPR, he should have respected that warning.First Amendment rights to expression of personal opinion do not extend to your place of employment. An employer has a right to protect its own reputation, and NPR decided that, this time, Williams had crossed the line a bit too far. NPR was perfectly within its rights to be concerned about Williams appearing on an opinion show (regardless of whether it was right- or left-wing), within its rights to warn him to be careful, and within its rights to say enough after his latest comments.Williams is apparently now claiming that his statements on FOX were edited, a la Sherrod, to make them appear more damning — if that is the case, why has FOX not released a tape? Surely they would delight in embarrassing NPR if they could.Conservatives want us to believe that it is “political correctness” run amok that led to Williams’ firing, and are carrying on about how bad it is that an African-American who has written about civil rights could be fired so thoughtlessly. Why would it not also be “politically correct” to keep somebody on the payroll, even though he had defied his superiors’ instructions to watch his rhetoric at FOX, just because he’s African-American?

  • rrothschild

    Juan Williams only expressed what millions of Americans are thinking but are afraid to mention out loud because of “political correctness” pressure.

  • avi31547

    Does anyone remember Jesse Jackson’s comment (in the early 1980′s) that he felt nervous when encountering a black man in an alley? Obviously, he wasn’t expressing anti-black feelings. He was saying that (at that time) there was a significant amount of crime perpetrated by blacks. I think that Juan Williams’ comment could be viewed in this light. Some recent instances of terrorism have been perpetrated by Moslems, and this has made him nervous. That’s NOT the same thing as saying that all Moslems are terrorists. I didn’t think that Mr. Williams–who, by the way, is not one of my favorate commentators–was trying to say that. I think that NPR could have royally chewed him out, in public or in private, without going to this extreme.Thank you.

  • Maerzie

    When Muslims are traveling and will be in countries where people dress “normally”, i.e. without costumes or special garb, their clothes serve absolutely NO PURPOSE except to DRAW ATTENTION! They have “normal” clothes! They obviously WANT TO purposely cause alarm, just as a witch or a skeleton costume is worn to “scare” people! There’s no reason whatsoever to purposely need to stand out with weird headgear and long robes. Their prayers and customs are not affected by dressing for civilization! It’s actually rude! Indians do not come on planes in their tribal costumes, and the situation is no different!”When in Rome, do like the Romans!”

  • rborlick

    NPR clearly overreacted. Juan Williams was simply stating what a lot of people feel. Skyjackings are a very real threat, as anyone knows who has to endure the inconvenience of having to go through the TSA screenings at airports – often to the point of absurdity. Juan was not judging all Muslims. NPR is going to pay a heavy price for this in terms of reduced financial aid. I refuse to contribute until this injustice is corrected. NPR’s president, Vivian Schiller, should resign. I cannot see how she can survive this severe lapse in judgment.

  • AsperGirl

    I dislike the disturbing trend that seems to punch the few minority news anchors (Rick Sanchez and Juan Williams) in the face whenever they crowd the line of provocative speech.NPR was totally vindictive and personally inappropriate in its public statements re: Juan Williams as well.NPR has been in the middle of a fundraising campaign.I didn’t pledge.

  • rachel23

    It’s absurd. He claims he isn’t a biggot in order to pave the way to make a racist statement, which he follows by mis-quoting a single person (as if that person were a spokesperson for an entire religion) and than continues to mislabel people of that faith, while claiming that he can’t ignore “facts.” What facts, exactly? This is an “analyst” speaking? He needs an analyst.

  • osanda

    Thanks NPR to have fired Juan Williams. What Mr. Williams said was to please Bill O’Riley and failed to realized that he is an opinion follower.When he talks, people listen and take his comment seriously. This man do not deserve any place on TV. What NPR did was the right action and I hope management do not regret the action as already indicated in some news papers. We need independent minded people to work at NPR. A job well done at management.

  • jimbobkalina1

    I do not agree that defunding NPR would be good. Right wingers assume that anything that is reported that puts them in a bad light is liberal bias. Sometimes its just the truth.. Something thats hard for them to recognize after years of listening to Rush and Fox. We need NPR for unbiased news.

  • jimbobkalina1

    He just wanted a higher paying job at Fox propaganda/opinion channel. And he got it. NPR was right to let this clown go. NPR has unbiased news. And you wont get that by keeping Fox wannabees around.

  • harristap

    I fail to see how Williams could be a good reporter for NPR and Fox in the first place. Fox news is entertainment TV while NPR encourages a more dignified and thoughtful consideration of the issues in the news.If someone had mentioned being afraid of being in a public place with Williams, he would have been offended and deemed that a racist comment, or at least stereotyping. He was doing the same thing to the Muslim community. He can’t play both sides of the news game. He belongs with Fox.

  • areyousaying

    How nice for Fox they have now a token Black/Hispanic/Liberal to use as a clay pigeon for the likes of the ranting, red-faced, right-wing Donohue Catholic O’Reilly.At least Williams won’t be doing it now while on the NPR payroll.

  • ottowalenski

    I am liberal but NPR and a talk show like Fox are different. Talk shows are off the cuff and a comment like that is a bit off color for sure, but he is being truthful. How many Christians are strapping bombs to their bodies and blowing other strangers up? It is reality he is talking about. Just like if I’m walking in the hood what color are I likely to be more scared of? I would hope Williams can take my answer. Its reality man.

  • JimZ1

    When Williams made those comments, he lost all credibility as a newscaster. NPR did the only thing a reputable news organization could do….they kicked his *ss out. I don’t think Juan has anything to worry about though. Fox News is always looking for someone of his caliber.

  • sithole

    What if he had said if I see Jews I feel uncomfortable, or Latinos or if I see a group of young Black males I would feel threatened?I am sure other groups would have been after his hide. Let us not run away from condemning this simply because it came out of the mouth of a Black man (and I am Black too). Even the once marginalized is capable of marginalizing others too. Internalized racism is a reality.I am sure Fox would be more than happy to to have him. After all it is a magnate and cauldron for bigotry.

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