Why did NPR fire Juan Williams?

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 9:41 PM Bookmark and Share
Fox News and other right-leaning media seem to be jumping out of their chairs over NPR's firing of Juan Williams, claiming it was unjustifiable and politically motivated.  But was he really fired over his recent comments on Fox (see the video below), or did he violate his contract with NPR?

Here's what Williams said on the O'Reilly Factor this past Monday.


This isn't the first time Williams has had problems with comments made while appearing on Fox, as NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller mentioned when confronted over the firing.  It's this pattern of behavior that NPR claims resulted in his termination - not the single instance captured in the video above.  As evidence of this history, NPR claims these problems were behind an earlier decision to change his title from `staff correspondent to `news analyst' specifically because of his record taking public positions on controversial issues.

You can read the latest details straight from NPR from their blog The Two-Way in posts here and here, and from links off of the NPR main page.

4 comments:

Posted by: LeberMac | 10/21/2010 9:57 PM

When a taxpayer-funded news organization can fire you for speaking your mind, I think that's a problem. Juan Williams was fired because he wasn't toeing the NPR progressive and hyper-PC agenda. It reminds me of when Obama asked everyone to report the "fishy" citizens who disagreed with his stance on the healthcare initiative.

Posted by: Paul | 10/21/2010 10:06 PM

"Juan Williams was fired because he wasn't toeing the NPR progressive and hyper-PC agenda."

I'm not quite sure that's the case.

After reading the available details, it seems like the reason he was fired is because he repeatedly took positions on controversial issues, which by contract he wasn't supposed to do. Some of what's in the news at the moment seems to be unaware of (or ignoring) Williams' history of problematic position-taking during his time with NPR.

Posted by: Paul | 10/27/2010 11:57 AM

More from the NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard: NPR's Firing of Juan Williams Was Poorly Handled.

Posted by: russ | 10/29/2010 1:13 PM

Very few news reporters actually report the news these days - they tend to editorialize and give you their opinion.

I find that very annoying - I will listen, watch, think and then form my own opinions. I could care less what the reporter's personal feelings are.

As the NPR Ombudsman pointed out, if someone made that comment about blacks there would have been a real storm.

If the comment had been about blacks I expect the president would have already commented about how terrible racism is - like he has done previously.

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