Juan Williams Fired from NPR for Anti-Muslim Comments

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Juan Williams Fired from NPR for Anti-Muslim Comments

Quote:
National Public Radio has terminated journalist Juan Williams after remarks he made on Fox News about Muslims, the network announced Thursday.

Williams was asked by Bill O'Reilly during Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" earlier this week whether the U.S. is facing a "Muslim dilemma."

According to an NPR statement, Williams responded: "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."

A statement from NPR said the network was terminating Williams' contract.

"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 said.

Bravo NPR!

Issues Pages: 
laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I read this earlier and thought the same, Catchfire.

It seems that he must have made his anti-Muslim views known to the producers of "The O'Reilly Factor" or why would he even be on the show? Were Fox and O'Reilly trying to ramp up the hate by suggesting that even NPR journalists are against Muslims?

Sven Sven's picture

I just read that Fox News has now offered Williams a three-year contract for $2 million.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Of course they have. Islamophobia is their money maker.

That's a good question, laine lowe--the article in the OP has NPR execs stating that this was not a one-off for Williams, and that his views were known for some time. What was he doing on Fox News anyway?

Quote:
She noted that Williams was not an NPR employee, but an independent contractor.

"He also has an ongoing relationship with Fox News," she said. "Mara Liasson is also on Fox News and is a full-time staffer. We accept that’s a whole other issue. However, we expect our journalists, whether they are news analysts or reporters, to behave like journalists."

George Victor

What was NPR paying for him to play to the middle?

Stargazer

Sarah Palin, Huckabee and the rest of the crackpots are calling for NPR's funding to be pulled. They say they aren't interested in "racial diversity".

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/conservatives-declare-war-npr/

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And if anyone knows racial diversity, it's THAT crowd.

Meanwhile, Williams has just been given a $2million contract with Fox News:

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/21/juan-williams-fox-news-contract...

Farmpunk

Williams was a regular on Fox and NPR didn't mind until he went over their line in the sand.

http://tinyurl.com/2a739op

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The reactionaries of the far-right are clawing and scratching at their latest red meat: National Public Radio's decision to fire Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims on Fox News Channel.

It's hard to work up too much sympathy for Williams -- a once esteemed journalist who has repeatedly embarrassed himself in recent years as a soloist in Bill O'Reilly's amen chorus. He was warned multiple times by NPR about providing commentary on Fox News that violated his employment contract. And his reward for the noxious comments that cost him one job was a new $2 million contract from Fox, announced Thursday.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-silver/sarah-palin-sen-jim-demin_b_77...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I love the muslim garb line.  Can anyone describe Moslem garb?  I know what some arab traditional dress looks like but I live in a community with about a third Moslem population and you can't tell peoples religion at meetings by their dress.  Funny all the Moslems I know dress like Canadians. His remark was overt racism.  Are you sure his first name isn't Tom and he doesn't live in a cabin. 

josh

One of the ones making the loudest noise about this is Sarah Palin.  Here she was a few months ago on Helen Thomas's remarks:

 
"Helen Thomas press pals condone racist rant?"
  
http://twitter.com/sarahpalinusa/status/15520925856

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Can anyone describe Moslem garb?  I know what some arab traditional dress looks like but I live in a community with about a third Moslem population and you can't tell peoples religion at meetings by their dress.

 

I'm not suggesting one should use this to profile people, but seeing as you asked, I would think you might be able to identify the most conservative by the beard. Not that everyone with a big old Farley Mowat beard is going to be a Muslim hardliner or anything, but you're not going to find too many conservative Muslim men without one.

 

al-Qa'bong

Yeah, that makes sense.

Snert Snert's picture

Well, of course if he's blond and blue eyed and has a big beard, he's probably the Son O' God.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Or Gregg Allman

 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Quote:
Former NPR analyst Juan Williams, among other ignorant people, has an irrational fear of Muslims, and thinks you can identify them based on what they look like. Here I will post pictures of Muslims wearing all sorts of things in an attempt to refute that there is such a thing as "Muslim garb" or a Muslim look.

Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things

 

I like some of the satirical and subtly humorous responses I've come across related to this story.

Lachine Scot

ElizaQ wrote:

Quote:
Former NPR analyst Juan Williams, among other ignorant people, has an irrational fear of Muslims, and thinks you can identify them based on what they look like. Here I will post pictures of Muslims wearing all sorts of things in an attempt to refute that there is such a thing as "Muslim garb" or a Muslim look.

Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things

 

I like some of the satirical and subtly humorous responses I've come across related to this story.

Haha, you beat me to it, I was about to post that as well. 

 

wage zombie

Michael Moore Says "Juan Williams Is Right: Political Correctness About Terrorists Must End!"

Quote:

P.P.S. Here's something else that I'd sincerely love to talk about with you: what do you think when you see rich middle-aged white men talking on TV about how they get nervous around African Americans on the street? And then they explain that we can't let political correctness stop us from talking about black-on-white crime?

Does it drive you crazy that they say this without even being conscious of the history of far greater violence by white people toward blacks? And do you maybe understand now how those middle-aged white guys get it so wrong?

UPDATE: Juan, you probably remember in 1986 when the Washington Post Magazine ran a Richard Cohen column defending jewelry store owners who wouldn't buzz in young black men. It caused such a big controversy that the New Republic ran a bunch of responses to it, including one by you. You might find it interesting to go back and read what you wrote then -- for instance, "Racism is a lazy man's substitute for using good judgment ... Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me."

 

al-Qa'bong

The above links don't work for me, so I googled:

 

http://muslimswearingthings.tumblr.com/ 

I like this one:

 

"Nobody wears a pair of gloves and shorts quite like Muhammad Ali."

 

This one sends a message, too:

 

"Rima Faqih dons a "Miss USA" crown and sash".

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

I'm all for 'journalistic integrity', but why has NPR chosen to supply enough red meat (and rope, to hang itself) for a Tea Party tailgater?  Heck, Williams even has Oprah (on second thought, or as the wind shifted) and Michael Moore (albeit tongue-in-cheek) on his side.  I've read that all executive decisions are essentially emotional.  At a visceral level, is this one dumb?  You betcha!

NDPP

NPR Fires Juan Williams

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/oct2010/will-o23.shtml

"...Now the [NPR] network is hoist on its own petard. William's openly anti-Muslim comments have caused it embarrassment, and it has decided to fire him. But as the reaction by the right wing shows, the payback for its spineless attempts to ingratiate itself with the Murdoch press and the Republican Party is more blows from those quarters.."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/10/22/muslims/ind... Real Danger from NPR's Firing of Juan Williams[/url], by Glenn Greenwald

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The double standard in our political discourse -- which tolerates and even encourages anti-Muslim bigotry while stigmatizing other forms -- has been as beneficial as it has been glaring. NPR's firing of Juan Williams threatened to change that by rendering this bigotry as toxic and stigmatized as other types. That could not be allowed, which is why the backlash against NPR was so rapid, intense and widespread.

I'm not referring here to those who object to viewpoint-based firings of journalists in general and who have applied that belief consistently: that's a perfectly reasonable view to hold (and one I share). I'm referring to those who rail against NPR's actions by invoking free expression principles they plainly do not support and which they eagerly violate whenever the viewpoint in question is one they dislike. For most NPR critics, the real danger from Williams' firing is not to free expression, but to the ongoing fear-mongering campaign of defamation and bigotry against Muslims (both foreign and domestic) that is so indispensable to so many agendas.