Tuesday, October 20, 2020

BACKLASH HITS NPR FOLLOWING WILLIAMS FIRING

October 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A day after NPR fired liberal commentator Juan Williams after he admitted during a Fox News interview that he worries when he sees people in “Muslim garb” board an airplane, Fox News extended Williams’s contract for a reported $2 million a year. Williams also found defenders across the entire political spectrum. “He’s an honest man,” Fox News chief Roger Ailes said in a statement, “whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis.” On ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg summed up the view of each of the panelists: “In all of our opinions, it seems, the firing of Juan was a total mistake and sends the wrong message.” The Los Angeles Times quoted Suhail Khan, a conservative activist who is a Muslim American, as saying, “While Juan’s comments may have been a little rough around the edges, he was voicing an honest opinion and trying to articulate his personal questions and struggles with perceptions in regards to Muslims.” However, in a statement late Thursday, NPR chief Vivian Schiller defended the public radio network’s decision, insisting that Williams’s comments “violated our standards as well as our values and offended many in doing so.” She then added: “We’re profoundly sorry that this happened during fundraising week.”