Fired NPR Analyst Juan Williams Gets Lucrative New Deal
Just hours after his abrupt firing sparked a national uproar, ousted NPR reporter Juan Williams bounced back big time, landing a lucrative new deal.
The veteran journalist signed a three-year, $2 million contract with Fox News Channel. He also got a job filling in as guest host of The O'Reilly Factor, where he made the comment that ignited a firestorm.
"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," Williams told Bill O'Reilly.
During an appearance on Good Morning America, Williams called his firing by NPR vindictive and personal.
"They take this one statement and they somehow make it out that I am a bigot...I mean it's unbelievable to me," Williams said.
He was especially furious about a crack made by NPR's CEO Vivian Schiller, who said, "His feelings that he expressed on Fox News are really between him and his psychiatrist, or his publicist."
"I don't understand why she has to get that low," Williams told GMA's George Stephanopoulos.
Schiller is apologizing, but didn't personally reach out to Williams.
"By the way, I don't have a psychiatrist...it would be nice if she apologized to me," added Williams.
"This woman is stone cold dumb," Bill O'Reilly said when Williams returned to his show after being fired.
Williams told O'Reilly, "You know what this comes down to – they were looking for a reason to get rid of me because I appear on Fox News, they don't want me talking to you."
Williams's firing is drawing criticism even from within NPR. An executive with the radio network admits in a statement that they "handled the situation badly."
Many INSIDE EDITION viewers are sharing their own opinions on our Facebook page:
"What he said was stupid and not what a person of his status should say," one viewer wrote.
But another says, "He is fired for speaking his mind? What happened to freedom of speech in this country?"
The hot-button debate rages on.