After contributing controversial remarks regarding Muslims to a discussion on “The O’Reilly Factor,” NPR senior news analyst Juan Williams has been released from his contract and asked to leave the radio network, The New York Times reported.
The comments in question came when Williams agreed with and elaborated on an assertion made by host Bill O’Reilly regarding the “Muslim dilemma.”
“The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet,” O’Reilly said.
When O’Reilly finished, Williams indicated that he shared a similar viewpoint on the matter, and then issued the offending statement.
“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot,” Williams said. “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.”
NPR issued a statement indicating that this remark, along with others made by Williams during the same conversation, “undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.” He was alerted of his termination Wednesday night.
Because of his frequent appearances on Fox News, Williams has long been a controversial voice on the public radio network. In February 2009 NPR requested that when making appearances on such programs, Williams should refrain from noting his primary affiliation, perhaps due to the fact that he — in the words of ombudsman Alice C. Shepard — “tends to speak one way on NPR and another on Fox.”
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