October 22nd, 2010
11:17 AM ET

Juan Williams' remark aside, firing draws ire of left, right

The hullabaloo over the firing of ex-NPR news analyst Juan Williams is far bigger than right v. left.

Fox News has assailed NPR for its handling of the situation, calling it an assault on free speech and stoking GOP pundits and potential presidential candidates to demand that NPR's government funding be cut.

But it’s not only the right wing frowning on NPR’s decision. Though a handful have applauded the public radio station, journalists of every shade have come to his defense without condoning his comments. Williams said seeing people in Muslim dress on airplanes makes him nervous, and while plenty view his remark as silly or dangerous, few think he should have been axed.

“First of all, if I got on a plane and someone was in full Muslim attire, I would feel very safe because if you’re about to blow up that plane that’s not the way you’re going to be dressed,” Barbara Walters said Thursday on “The View,” where the controversy ostensibly started. “So if this is what you’re wearing, just as you might wear a cross or a Jewish star, fine. I think it’s a silly statement for Juan to be making.”

Walters, no stranger herself to the line between journalism and commentary, went on to say that “if you are someone who is giving your opinion then you’re allowed to give your opinion. You may or may not agree, like on this show.”

It was on “The View” last week that hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked off the set during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly after he blamed Muslims for 9/11.

O’Reilly was discussing those remarks on his own show Monday when Williams made his controversial statement.

Many analysts, both liberal and conservative, have noted Williams also tempered O’Reilly’s remarks by saying that likening Muslims to extremists would be like saying all Christians were akin to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

No matter, though. NPR’s CEO Vivian Schiller told the Atlanta Press Club that Williams’ comments undermined his credibility as an analyst and that political activists cannot be reporters or news analysts for NPR.

“This is not a reflection on his comments. This is not a debate. Juan feels the way he feels. That is not for me to pass judgment on,” she said - before passing judgment.

“His feelings that he expressed on Fox News are really between his psychiatrist or his publicist – or take your pick – but it is not compatible with the role of a news analyst on NPR’s air,” she said.

She later apologized for her “thoughtless remark,” but there was no word whether NPR would discipline her for her deviation from the facts.

NPR’s ethics code, repeatedly used to defend Williams’ firing, states, “In appearing on TV or other media including electronic Web-based forums, NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist. They should not participate in shows’ electronic forums or blogs that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.”

Williams isn't buying it, though. Speaking to O’Reilly after the Los Angeles Times reported Fox had signed him to a $2 million contract, Williams said he was targeted because of his affiliation with the conservative news channel, where he had been a contributor before his ouster from NPR.

“I don't fit in their box,” he said. “I'm not predictable, black, liberal. And let me tell you something else, you were exactly right when you said you know what this comes down to. They were looking for a reason to get rid of me because I'm appearing on Fox News. They don't want me talking to you.”

Williams also said he was provided no opportunity to present his case “eyeball to eyeball, person to person,” despite having given NPR more than a decade of service.

He said he received a call Wednesday, two days after the remark, from Ellen Weiss, NPR’s senior vice president for news. She asked him what he meant to say, Williams told O’Reilly.

“I said what I meant to say," he recalled telling her, "which is that it’s an honest experience that when I’m in an airport and I see people who are in Muslim garb who identify themselves first and foremost as Muslims I do a double take. I have a moment of anxiety or fear given what happened on 9/11. That’s just a reality."

He said he was told the comment “crosses the line” and Weiss implied it was a “bigoted statement.” He said he wanted to discuss it in person.

“There’s nothing you can say that will change my mind,” he quoted Weiss as telling him. “This has been decided above me, and we’re terminating your contract.”

Many journalists have stated in the last 24 hours that while they disagree with Williams’ categorization of Muslims, they also frown on his firing.

Goldberg even drew a line between Williams' opinion and O’Reilly’s remarks that prompted her and Behar to walk off "The View" set last week.

“What Bill O’Reilly said he was saying as fact and he was painting it as fact, and the reason that I was annoyed is because it’s not a fact. When you say Muslims did this, are you talking about Muhammad Ali? Because he’s a Muslim.”

As for Williams, she said, “The point he was trying to make is, I get nervous and that’s OK to say. Firing him for saying that, I think, is kind of ridiculous."

She concluded by summing up the thoughts of her co-hosts, who run the political gamut: “In all of our opinions, it seems the firing of Juan was a total mistake and sends the wrong message. And NPR, get yourself together because we’ve all got to work on this together.”

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Filed under: Air travel • Islam • September 11
soundoff (851 Responses)
  1. truspeak

    Williams was a worm. He worked for NPR and shilled on the side for fox for big bucks. He knew he was saying things his bosses and audience at NPR would not approve of, but he took the money and took the chance. Fox played him like the fool he is, and is now using this to further their political views in the upcoming elections. I am sure they had this all planned andWilliams was well aware of it.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • miami2010

      What a moron are you? The Fox give the contract after was fired from NPR and the Fox do the right thing to do. All you liberals are a bunch of hipocrytes and looser and want to shut down the voice that not think the way that you think.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian W

      so they played him for a fool by coming to his defense and offering him a $2 million contract because of his firing? What evil jerks, I wish they would use me the way they used him

      October 22, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • TroyD

      truspeak...ya...FOX played Juan real good huh?? Especially after they offered him a 2 Million dollar contract. Get it right dude, or at least learn to read.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex

      if juans firing was wrong then rick sanchez firing was wrong as well...
      thats exactly what rick was talking about . you can say whatever you want about muslims but god forbid you utter a word about jews...

      October 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • canada

      wow the worlds most dirtiest jew ,George Soros granted
      In October 2010, NPR accepted a $1.8 million grant from George Soros, given through his Open Society Foundation. The grant is meant to begin a project called Impact of Government that is intended to add at least 100 journalists at NPR member radio stations in all 50 states over the next three years.

      npr is a pro muslim anti american media outlet funded by an anti american jew .

      October 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • gadlaw

      You know, that's the problem Here's a discussion and you start off with a personal attack on another human being. That's not discussion, that intellectually lazy and has nothing to do with a discussion. You pick your side and start calling the other side names. The irony of all of it was that Juan Williams was arguing against labeling all Muslims as terrorists because of the actions of a few. The irony of it was that Juan Williams was arguing for understanding and tolerance to someone who doesn't display much of either. Juan thought he was trying to discuss tolerance and discussion and NPR showed that they have no tolerance and that they are beholding to special interests who want to shut other voices up, even the liberal voice of Juan Williams. Amazing.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mvc

      Neither my family or I, will ever again send A Single Penny to NPR or PBS.....
      I have had my fill of The Liberal Press & all their Bias....

      October 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grackus

      Yeah, Juan Williams has always been a milquetoast 'libral' token on Fox.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • fee thinker

      miami2010 You are the moron you can't even formulate a complete sentence. You are probably one of those dim wited T baggers that hasn't had an original thought in that pea brain of your in your entire life. Go away and take the band of Palinites with you

      October 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Average Joe

      NPR got tired of Williams being the "balanced" part of "fair and balanced" and using the NRP brand to help. Yes, Fox used Williams but he knew it and was paid for it. But NPR should have just come out and said that was the reason.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      How in the world can anyone think it's ok to tell another how to 'feel'? He was NOT giving an opinion, or suggesting that anyone else should feel the way he does...he simply stated HIS OWN feelings.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charo

      It seems "free speech" only applies if you agree with the person's personal/or political views.....this seems just like it is in IRAN......How many personal rights will evaporate with those who have oposing view-points from the left or right in this country.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corntwist

      truspeak-You are a contractictory liberal moron. Ever heard of the 1st ammendment? Hmm. I wonder what kind of comment the liberal ACLU will spew out. Don't worry, the new Republican Congress will cut funding for NPR. It appears the NPR thinks pretty slowly when it comes to things like that.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiredofthis

      So he doesn't say what you think he should so you insult the guy and think that he should be fired for expressing his opinion. Quite typical of the liberal left who think free speech is fine as long as it aligns with their upside down world view. Sorry, but the days of PC are coming to an end. Too many of us are tired of it.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      It is clear that the far left is much more a threat than the far right to free speech, thought etc. Nina Totenberg and the lady from fresh air have continually made anti-christian remarks and attacked conservatives. Nina Totenberg once said on air that she hoped that Jesse Helms, his children or gran children would contract AIDS and die since she was upset about his comments regarding AIDS and gays. She was not fired for that?

      October 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dano

      NPR is a joke. Done. Next topic.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • jjboston

      Agreed 100%.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreedomBaby

      Liberals are exposing themselves as the true closed minded haters that they are!

      October 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jjboston

      Agreed 100% with TRUSPEAK. Never cares about him. Still a big fun of NPR.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • andrew

      you are completely incorrect.....NPR is an extension of the Democratic party as much as Foxnews is of the Republicans...

      October 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dano

      Whats going on, the man is simply afraid of people in Muslim garb. Some people fear clowns and (much to blame on IT the movie), others fear carnies at the circus. 911 was a scary situation that has obviously scared Juan. Much like a child being scared by a movie about clowns.....

      October 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. WhiteKong78

    I personally think the comment was an ill informed one. Most terrorists are at least smart enough to blend in with the westerners they seek to kill. Dressing like a desert tribal member would get a lot of attention. That being said I think we all are on high alert about many things in public. A woman alone on the subway at night is going to be nervous if she sees some thugs whether they are white, black or asian. Television has stereotyped certain people as ones you should avoid. Many innocent blacks get stopped by the police because they happen to be black and dressed like 50 Cent. Its not racism to pick out red flags in public. If a black guy was on the subway and he saw a bunch of rednecks or skinheads he would probably be nervous. Nature programs all animals to look out for certain traits.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • steeve-o

      The difference is, that when you broadcast those views on a news show, you're leaving them open for interpretation by the viewer. You'll either be viewed as racist, bigoted, scared, or you may legitimize the fear or bigotry of others. A member of NPR's news staff is not allowed to voice those types of opinions, by their standards or by the requirements of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides the federal funding for NPR. Williams forgot who he worked for. Fortunately for him, he now works for someone who values a slighted opinion in place of unbiased news.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • SthPhilly

      Your statement is so overanalyzed... Fact is, the men who carried out 9/11 were muslim and were screaming the 'God is Great', in Arabic. So, fact of the matter is 9/11 was a huge part of our past, and instilled a piece of hesitance while flying. Why are people afraid of flying after 9/11? Not because of engine failure or weather, but because of hi-jackers. Who were the only successful hi-jackers in 9/11? Muslims. So, it's not ill informed.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • steeve-o

      Sthphilly, they weren't screaming "allah akbar" while boarding the planes. The point is you can't identify a hijacker by the clothes they wear or the language they speak.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicory51

      1. would Hugh Heffner be welcomed on the PTL channel for comment? NO. 2. Faux News is a political channel. EVERYONE on its airwaves are in agreement with its mission, with its message, and for Juan to appear on it destroyed his credibility as far as I and many are concerned. 3. Fox USED him like a hoe. to further fuel their agenda, and what they just paid him is peanuts for what they can USE him further for. Juan is just part of a pattern, if you want open your eyes objectively, to what has been going on. Fox News channel is on my LOCKED OUT channel list. and will stay there.
      NPR did the right thing . However I have issue with one of the 2 people in the POLITICAL JUNKIE program. One is a Birther, and that should disqualify him from unbiased reporting also.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erica

      This is one the most eloquent responses I've seen about racism and stereotypes....

      October 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leon

      I agree with you. I think we label that as street smarts.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sickofit

      Would PBS fire an analyst that went on another show and stated that Sarah Palin is an idiot??? Simple answer no...is Palin an idiot...maybe...even if she was it is an opinion just as JW had an opinion of Muslims after 9/11. JW did not instruct his viewers to watch out for Muslims...just gave an opinion...kinda like...Sarah Palin and the TeaBaggers are stupid, bigoted, and racist....but I am sure no one at NPR would ever say anything like that.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dano

      Does anyone really listen to NPR. Its not like they have a say or great reputaion for anything. They act like they are this a well respected news organization, when infact its just fill time on peoples commute to work.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      WhiteKong78 – I understand and agree with the point you seem to be making, that people have a natural instinct to be more alert when they encounter others of a particular type (e.g. a black person may be more alert when encountering a man with a shaved head). However your use of stereotypical terms negates some of your point. You can identify someone as having a shaved head easily, but you can't know whether they're actually a skinhead based on this factor alone. The same goes for thugs, rednecks, or Islamic terrorists.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sen

      If you have a personal opinion that is wonderful, and that is not something someone should be able to take away from you even if it is unpopular. The line comes when you make a statement that can be viewed as being crass to one group of people because of that view. People wearing attire that reminds you of their Islamic religious views makes you nervous because of 9/11? I imagine by extension a priest near a playground/kindergarten should also make you nervous by that train of logic, ne? Conjecture like that can be stupid and hurtful. Your viewpoint is your own, but it is wise to remember how you phrase and package that viewpoint to an audience.

      BTW: When I get on a plane, or someone I care about, I worry more about the thing malfunctioning than someone blowing it up. Blaming someone in religious attire for making me 'nervous' is a reactionary and ill informed. So making generalizations that everyone is absorbed in a climate of fear and intolerance is incorrect, you can keep that to yourself also.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      I absolutely understand Juan's comments. After 9/11 people have felt anxiety about the possibility of new terrorist attacks in the US. Every one knows that these involved muslim extremists hijacking ariplanes. Therefore, It is only natural for some people to feel some anxiety when seeing a person dressed up in a muslim attire as a passenger on the same flight they are about to take. I think that muslim attire of course brings more attention to the person wearing it, but at the same time, these are long and wide, ideal for hiding bombs and weapons, so I do not find it illogical for someone to feel the way Juan did. His opinion and feelings are perfectly reasonable.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dano

      When flying on a plane people are just nervous, terrorism, malfunction, its just an intrusive experience for almost anyone. Good for him to be candid and speak his mind. Seems he was rewarded well for it and has gained support from all sides of the political spectrum. I for one get nervous when young children sit behind me. They kick and keep me up for the most part.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. WhiteKong78

    I agree truspeak. Williams often comes over to the right when he's around Oreilly. Bill O gets tons of viewers and Williams will probably get a share of that now. I think he is calculating, but I'm not sure he meant to get fired. NPR could have fired him way before this but chose now for some reason. Most of the shows he appears on are all opinion based and under NPR's definition for his breach of contract he should have been let go already.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Colleen

      the "some reason" is that ultra liberal George Soros just gave a huge donation to NPR. Money speaks at his command.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • miami2010

      Why always this liberals trying to make bigot comments to the people that not think the same they do. What a shame this country is heading. Fox speak for the right and so what!, Fox never trying to shutdown the other networks and MSNBC, ABCNews, CBSNews NYT, etc ... always talk for the radical left and I never see anybody on this networks make a good comments about any republican or conservative. In what world are you?

      October 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Colleen, source this please. I've heard this mentioned by numerous commenters, but in no news articles, which generally have not been favorable of NPR in this matter. NPR was not very bright to fire him in this way, but I won't buy your donation claims unless you can provide a valid source. NPR had the right to fire him, perhaps had enough reason to fire him, but seriously mucked up in the execution, blowing this into a huge news story. He should have been given the fair chance to explain his actions, in person, as he has stated.

      For all those claiming they were trying to 'silence' him, clearly, he will have a much larger podium working for Fox, then he had for NPR. This is not a free speech matter, it is an employment law matter, and NPR would most likely win, despite coming across as completely overreactionary and thoughtless.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • jackp

      Juan may be calculating, as you put it, but he's laughing all the way to the bank.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Montana

    Good for NPR, Juan Williams slant belongs to “Fake News” with the rest of the failed political candidstes Palin, Huckabee, or should I say the 2012 GOP Presidential contenders. They are not bigots, I repeat they are not bigots, they are just the good old boys. They are the same bunch that keep telling us to be scared of BLACKS, scared of ASIANS, sacred of LATINOS, scared of WOMEN, scared of GAYS and now its be scared of Muslims. So long Johnny,don’t let the door hit you. I love that you went crying to “Fake News” and played the victim card, I guess its another “it is a high-tech lynching”.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      The "Good Ole Boys" network here is NPR. Stray from what the club wants and be thrown out of the club. The only difference between the NPR Good Ole Boys club and the one that you described Fox as is that I am not forced to pay for Fox. I am forced to pay for NPR.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • miami2010

      Yes, that is why Fox has the doble rating that all network combined (MSNBC (has more letters that viewers), CNN, ABCNEWS, CBSNews etc )

      October 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • SK

      You are too dumb to live.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Actually, we do provide public airways for Fox to broadcast locally, so in a way, we do pay for that.

      Why don't we just spend money creating bi-partison councils to approve the hiring and firing of any government employee. We could even set up quotas to make sure their is equal representation in anything the government pays for. Farm subsidies can only be given if you have an equal amount of liberal and conservative farmers. Roads built only if the contractor has the right political affiliation. Military, let's make sure it is exactly equal so we don't have too many republicans or democrats.

      Bottom line, you are just as overreactionary as NPR was. You want to make this an 'acorn' issue. They fire somebody and you don't approve, well, you will stop at nothing less then their complete destruction for it.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grackus

      Miami2010: "Fox has the doble rating that all network combined" because America is chock-full of poorly-educated drones, on their knees before their wealthy masters, eagerly awaiting instructions, ready to do what they're told.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Jeremy, please. "we own the airwaves, so we do provide..." what a ridiculous argument. Does the "provision" of these airways cost you or me or anyone a dime or does the government make money and exert control from this "ownership" and "provision." If I go to outside, is the Federal Government "providing" me with air? US Tax dollars pay for NPR even though nearly half the population disagrees with them and a fraction actally listens to them. Tax payers do not fund FOX.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Opportunity cost.... the government could charge more for said airways if they so chose. The government establishes laws relating to the cleanliness of the air we breath, though not the air itself, so yes, they spend money on that too. All besides the point.

      Your sole argument is that because YOU don't like that Juan Williams was fired, and YOU don't think it's right, that funding should be removed from NPR, effectively destroying it. You are correct that few listen to NPR, but that is not why you want their funding taken away. NPR broke no law, so why should they be 'politically' punished?

      October 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kris

    nobody every accused liberals of being tolerant of speach

    October 22, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      No one ever accused you of being a good speller. "speech"

      October 22, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Duke

      Exactly right. If you have an opinion from the middle or from the right then the lefties always cry "hate speech" and attempt to stifle any opinions different from their own.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I think we generally call it "ignorant speech." It usually has some hate mixed in though.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • miami2010

      I'm feel the same thing. The liberals always said terrrible things about the conservative people and it funny, when a conservative said something bad abou the liberals it's stupid, idiot etc. The only idiot are the liberals people that every country that try the liberal agenda has failed big time.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • tabu19

      Josh I guess you have never made a typo?

      October 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • uvsw77

      In the mind of a liberal "whatever is not in alignment with the party line" is labeled ignorant.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      @tabu19: in truth I'm a pretty poor speller. When I make public proclamations I make sure what I write is correct. You know, in public forums. If Mr. Williams had done the same he wouldn't have been fired. It's like if you r work forbids (in your contract) dating co-workers. You do, and as a result get fired. It's as simple as that.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    Add one more fact to the story. Prior to leading NPR, CEO Vivian Schiller was a senior vice president of NYTimes.com. Helps explain her viewpoint, doesn't it?

    October 22, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Duke

      Yes it does, especially given all of the reporter fraud that has occurred through the years at that rag.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • miami2010

      That stament speak for himself. The NY times the more radical left tableoid of this country.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wildcat

    Williams has been an embarrassment for NPR. Good riddance. I just donated to my local PBS station in his memory. Enough of the yelling and outrage. I was listening to his Fox defense, and he and O'Reily were both yelling at each other–and they were in agreement.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • samm

      If you think that O'Reilly and Williams were yelling at eachother, perhaps you should lower the volume on your TV. Telling people how something makes you feel it not an opinion.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kristi

    Anyone who says they've seen a muslim (in garb or not) or any kind of arab in an airport or on an airplane and not thought about worst case scenarios is lying. That's just the world we live in now. Similarly, if I was on a plane with someone wearing a shirt that says "sic semper tyrannis" I would think about Oklahoma City. We just live in a dangerous world now and it pays to keep your eyes open and be vigilant.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Except they aren't news analysts. As part of their job requirements (in his contract) they can not express personal beliefs. He went onto Fox and did just that. He got fired. Period.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Brumby

      The other day my 4 year old point to a man in check-out line and said loudly “daddy he got a bog tummy”. Now my kid was only stating a fact and said what everyone else around was thinking. But, still I had a talk with my kid and told him that he can say what ever comes to mind even if it a fact. Juan is not a four year old and got what he deserved. My fear is that saying these things often will desensitize the public to such statements. It is a first step towards becoming intolerance.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Josh, there is no difference between the NPR news analyst and the Fox contributor except that the NPR analyst is a little more sly in presenting their opinions as fact.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sen

      Not everyone is immersed in a culture of fear... I for one don't care what people are wearing when I am at the airport. I would imagine a person who really wanted to do something would be less likely to want to stand out. Then again I believe in rational thinking, not just 'freaking out' cause the people share commonalities with a group that did something bad. If I could be made nervous just based on that type of thinking I probably shouldn't leave the house.

      October 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John Obrien

    Juan can devote more time now on his favorite thing in the world to do, Kissing Bill O'riely's ASS.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bull

    Yes , if Juan Williams doesn't say exactly what you want to hear from him , he should be fired ! What a bunch of liberal
    wussies .

    October 22, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Once again, personal belief. News analyst, violation of contact. Neutrality is the fabric of real news companies. That's why the news world views Fox as a joke.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • madmatt

      Juan can say whatever he wants and his words can have consequences...whats more american than firing an employee for not following established rules of conduct. When you go to blow your boss I am sure you have been told that you will be fired if your use your teeth...would you be surprised to be fired when you bit off the tip?

      October 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dano

      Ok, speaking your opinion as a person first and foremost then an analyst is correct. As a member of society he has all the right to speak what he wants. If he gets fired, then so be it. It turned out more people like this man now that he had the guts to speak his mind than when he was letting people tell him what he can/cannot say. I dont presume to know what was said prior or during the 911 high jacking, but there is no doubt it has left a scar on the general american and international public. As for Fox News being a joke, well how are they the most popular news station viewed. If your going to say because people are fools, then I dont think there is anything left to say to you. I for one enjoy watching shows like OR because they are opinions, if I was unbias news well I watch about 6 channels then try to come up with a concensus.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      @dano: I think it's wise to watch multiple news orgs. to derive a more balanced opinion. And the reason Fox is so popular is due to two big factors. 1) Americans are really bad at critical thinking, 2) Americans are angry (for some very good reasons & others pure ignorace) and Fox is a known platform to yell, blame, and conjecture. They provide the candy to the kids. Most big Fox viewers only watch Fox.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mikey

    Let's face it, this was a firing because of Juan's being a contributor to Fox, pure and simple. It also exposes NPR's ultra left mandate. I enjoy (though often disagree) with NPR. A very sad day for journalism but at least NPR exposed itself.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. tom

    so Juan is prejudiced, which he has been treated and thousands of other blacks on hair dress or speech. He needs traiining as do most Americans on the diversity of the Middle East and a review of historic bias of movies and reporting in Usa against the diversity of the Muslim world from Indonesia to Turkey to even Nyc. Npr has often tried to exemplify the various opinions of Muslim people throughout the world. . Apologize Juan and try to get smart

    October 22, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      You're as dumb as NPR

      October 22, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      Christmas day bomber – Muslim
      Pentagon Highjacking – Muslim
      Trade Center Highjacking Muslim
      London Train Station Muslim
      Madrid Muslim
      Ft. Hood Muslim
      Times Square Muslim

      October 22, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • eric

      hey, Mikey you forgot the oklahoma city bomber... oh wait he didn't fit your argument.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • eric

      ... or the unabomber? I don't think he was muslim, just crazy. Get the picture?

      October 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janjan

      Eric, that's because they are statistically insignificant.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dano

      2 out of 7 terrorist are not Muslim....I think Im getting more nervous now than I was before this. lol

      October 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Cannon

      1-25-1984 – Christmas Day Bombing in Pensacola – 4 Christians
      Oklahoma City Bombing – Christian
      6-11-2001 – Tacoma abortion clinic bombed-Christian
      9-13-2006 – Rochester Hills car bomb – Christian
      4-25-2007 – Austin Tx clinic receives bomb – Christian
      1-22-2009 – St Paul car bomb – Christian
      FAITH is the problem. Over zealous people who have been brainwashed into thinking that that imaginary thing in the clouds has told them what's going to happen when you die. THAT is the problem. Muslims & Christians all need to grow up and understand there is more to the world than their brainwashing that they still haven't grown out of.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Why are they statistically insignificant? Oklahoma City was pretty big and McVeigh wasn't exactly alone in his anti-government beliefs. There are others who would love to do the same, and they aren't even muslim. Unabomber, yeah, not too many like him. Anthrax, inside job taking advantage of the fear caused by 9/11. Far rights and far lefts both have people who would contemplate the same violence to fulfill their agenda. Anti-Abortion nutjobs, Eco-terrorists have done some pretty bad stuff too with little concern for human casualties.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. joe

    Juan does have a right to voice his opinion.. he doesn't work for npr 24×7.. and he wasn't voicing his opinion while on their payroll.. bottm line npr was dead wrong..

    October 22, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • johnrj08

      Wrong. Williams is a public figure and he was making his remarks on network television. He was an "at will" employee of NPR, and it was NPR's right to fire him when he made public comments on network television that were inconsistent with their standards and practices. Beyond that, Williams was applying a fearful and hateful stereotype to an entire population, which is the essence of bigotry. Not only that, but he was also totally wrong. No terrorist has EVER boarded an airplane wearing "Muslim garb". In fact, they make every effort NOT to look Muslim. Williams was simply repeating a theme that has been showing up on FOX News over and over again, especially on Bill O'Reilly's programs. Finally, the head of NPR has made it quite clear that this was the not first time Williams has made inappropriate statements while on the air. This was merely the last straw for them and I don't blame them a bit for canning this very confused and easily manipulated man.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      It's in his contract. At no time can he express his views in a public forum (news show, blog etc.) It was in his contract It's not as if he didn't know what was in his contract. He was well paid and had a great job. I feel no sympathy for his contractual insolence.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janjan

      Juan's not allowed to express an opinion, but Nina Tottenberg can? You can't argue that she hasn't been selling a hard left line for years, but it's okay because she was present "at the creation" during the Nixon years.......Good luck Juan and enjoy every penny of Fox's money!

      October 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. VegasRouleur

    Williams sold-out plain and simple. Immediately after being fired for improper comments on Fox, it was announced he had a multi-million dollar deal to join Fox. No doubt the deal was done prior to the comments which were surely orchestrated to get him out of his contract at NPR and set the stage for him to become the "poor black truth sayer who was persecuted by the liberal media" for Fox. I hope he enjoys being a "token" for Fox.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      You got to be kidding, do you also believe in conspiracy theories about 9/11 being an inside job. Please get a sign that says uneducated, uninformed and wrong. usual leftest bs.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janjan

      Are you always this stupid, or is today some special Idiot Festival? Did you actually watch the whole clip?

      October 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    If only 1-2% of NPR's funding comes from the gov I suspect they don't really need it. It should be the first order of business when the Repub congress convenes in Jan, right after the Obozo Impeachment begins.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jermiah

      Actually it's 15%...and yes...they do need it.

      October 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
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