Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR Fires Employee of 10 Years Over Controversial Statement

National Public Radio (NPR) fired Juan Williams on Wednesday following some controversial comments Williams made about Muslims on The O'Reilly Factor on Monday night.

Williams appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to weight-in on a debate about the fears some Americans may have towards average Muslims following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
"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," Williams said. "But 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 went on to say that despite this initial reaction, it is vital that Americans recognize that the attacks of 9/11 were committed by extremists.

Click here to watch the debate.

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller issued a formal statement on Wednesday acknowledging the termination of William's contract.
"Juan has been a valuable contributor to NPR and public radio for many years and we did not make this decision lightly or without regret. However, 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," she said.

Schiller spoke at an Atlanta Press Club meeting today, telling the audience that Williams should have kept his feelings about Muslims between himself and "his psychiatrist or his publicist."

Dozens of news outlets are weighing-in over NPR's decision to fire Williams, including the Washington Post, ABC News, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee issued a statement calling for federal funding cuts for NPR.

"While I have often enjoyed appearing on NPR programs and have been treated fairly and objectively, I will no longer accept interview requests from NPR as long as they are going to practice a form of censorship, and since NPR is funded with public funds, it IS a form of censorship. It is time for the taxpayers to start making cuts to federal spending, and I encourage the new Congress to start with NPR," Huckabee said.

For more coverage on this developing story, click here.

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