NPR Fires Juan Williams for Muslim Comment
There's fallout from that explosive walkout on The View.
National Public Radio has now fired Senior News Analyst Juan Williams for coming to Bill O'Reilly's defense.
Williams said on Fox News, "If I see people who are in Muslim garb, I get nervous."
O'Reilly sparked the bitter fight on The View by saying that it would be inappropriate to build a mosque near ground zero, and said, "Muslims killed us on 9/11."
On The O'Reilly Factor Monday night, he asked Williams, a contributor to Fox News, whether he had been in the wrong. Williams replied, "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. 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 also warned O'Reilly that he should be more careful with his remarks in the future, saying, "This is what Barbara Walters was saying, you've got to be careful."
But the damage was done. Williams was fired last night by NPR for making comments that were, "inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
A defiant Williams spoke to Fox News about how NPR's head of news fired him.
"She went on to somehow suggest that I had made a bigoted statement, and I said 'it's not a bigoted statement.' "
Williams said he was particularly offended by being fired over the phone, saying, "I don't even get the chance to come in and we do this eyeball to eyeball, person to person and have a conversation?'"
On The View today, the co-hosts came to Williams' defense, even Whoopi Goldberg, who said, "I don't think he should have been fired. The point he was trying to make was 'I get nervous.' And that's okay to say."
Actress Patricia Heaton of Everybody Loves Raymond had this to say, "If he had said, 'When I get around a group of tea partiers I get nervous,' would NPR have fired him? Probably not."