Juan Williams Strikes Back: Here's What You CAN Say on NPR Without Getting Fired
Juan Williams struck back at his former employers on Friday by pointing out the hypocrisy of him being fired for his comments about Muslims when others at NPR have said far worse without receiving any disciplinary action whatsoever.
Filling in for the regular host of Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," Williams gave the radio station he dutifully represented the past ten years a well-deserved piece of his mind (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JUAN WILLIAMS: In the "Impact Segment" tonight, my thoughts on the NPR situation. Political correctness, character assassination and intolerance at National Public Radio, that's the subject of this evening's talking points memo.
As many of you know after 10 years of being a loyal employee, NPR fired me for expressing the fear I now feel after 9/11 when I see people in Muslim garb getting on an airplane. This controversy is now front and center in the national discussion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (ABC): Firing fallout. Juan Williams says he was just telling the truth about his fear of flying with Muslims, a confession that got him fired from NPR.
MATT LAUER (NBC): Good morning. Making waves are National Public Radio under fire for canning news analyst Juan Williams. He says he was fired for telling the truth. Did NPR overreact? This morning, we'll hear from both sides.
CHRIS WRAGGE (CBS): Static on the airwaves: National Public Radio comes under heavy criticism after it fires news analyst Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims on airplanes.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WILLIAMS: My comments about my feelings supposedly crossed this line. Some line somewhere. That crossed a line? But, let me tell you what you can say on National Public Radio without losing your job.
Nina Totenberg wished that Senator Jesse Helms and his grandchildren would get AIDS -- I said would get AIDS. She's still working there.
A so-called humorist on NPR said the world would be a better place if 4 million Christians evaporated. Hilarious.
And calling millions of members of the Tea Party movement a sexual pejorative, tea baggers won't get you in hot water either.
So it seems some opinions are more equal than others at NPR.
Laura Ingraham pointed out last night on this show that any minority, but especially a black person, is not allowed to be anything but a liberal. If they stray off the farm, they are demonized, their skills are trashed. I used to think the left wing was the home of tolerance, open- mindedness, respect for all viewpoints. But now, I have learned the truth the hard way.
You see, NPR didn't just fire me. Its CEO Vivian Schiller also leveled a vicious smear against me yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIVIAN SCHILLER, NPR PRESIDENT AND CEO: Juan feels the way he feels, that is not for me to judge -- to pass judgment on. That is really his feelings that he expressed on FOX News are really between him and his -- you know, psychiatrist or his publicist or take your pick. But it is not compatible with a news analyst on -- with the role of a news analyst on NPR's air.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Have you no shame, Madam? You and your far-left mob fired me. Wasn't that enough for you? You have to try to assassinate my character, too?
For the record, Ms. Schiller issued a so-called apology to the press. Not a word to me. And that probably tells you everything you need to know about her.
And that's the memo.
Nicely said, Juan.