NPR Terminates Juan Williams' Contract Over Comments About Muslim Terrorists
October 21, 2010 at 2:07 PM (PT)
Late WEDNESDAY night, NPR terminated the contract of news analyst JUAN WILLIAMS over comments he made on "THE O'REILLY FACTOR" on FOX NEWS CHANNEL MONDAY night.
WILLIAMS agreed with O'REILLY on the threat of jihad by radical Muslims, adding, "I’m not a bigot. 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."
He also discussed that the would-be TIMES SQUARE car bomber had said that "the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts."
NPR President and CEO VIVIAN SCHILLER told an audience at the ATLANTA PRESS CLUB WEDNESDAY that WILLIAMS should have kept his feelings about Muslims between himself and "his psychiatrist or his publicist"; she later apologized for the comment, saying, "I spoke hastily and I apologize to JUAN and others for my thoughtless remark." She also sent an e-mail to NPR staffers criticizing WILLIAMS for expressing his opinion while being a news analyst, which she said falls into the category of journalism and not commentator.
After a firestorm of controversy all day WEDNESDAY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CEO ROGER AILES inked WILLIAMS to a new 3-year, $2 million exclusive contract with an expanded role at the network, according to the LOS ANGELES TIMES.