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article imageNPR fires Juan Williams after ‘nervous’ Muslim remarks

By Lynn Herrmann     Oct 21, 2010 in Politics
Washington - NPR announced on Thursday it has fired longtime news analyst Juan Williams after he made disparaging comments on Fox News about Muslims.
Appearing Monday on The O’Reilly Factor, Williams responded to host Bill O’Reilly’s comment that the US is facing a dilemma with Muslims. “Look, Bill, 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,” Williams stated.
The words came in response to O’Reilly’s search for support after his recent appearance on The View in which he directly blamed Muslims for the 9/11 attacks in the US. His comments on the show made co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walk off the set in the middle of the discussion.
Williams’ comments set off a firestorm of criticism and quickly forced NPR to take action.
NPR issued a statement late Wednesday night that praised Williams but said it had given him notice that his contract had been terminated. “His remarks on The O’Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR,” the statement read.
Williams also told O’Reilly not to label all Muslims as “extremists,” just as Christians should not be blamed for the actions of Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City.
Williams’ appearances on conservative and contentious Fox News have long been a matter of concern for NPR news executives. Previously a staff correspondent with NPR, he had been re-assigned to analyst after taking clear-cut positions on TV and in newspaper opinion pieces over public policy.
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