NPR analyst Juan Williams was fired Wednesday night by the public broadcaster over remarks he made about Muslims on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program, "The O'Reilly Factor."
The decision by NPR is the culmination of a long-running concern the National Public Radio service has voiced over Williams' relationship to the politically-conservative cable news channel. Williams, a former Washington Post reporter, is also the author of the civil rights history book, "Eyes on the Prize," which served as companion to acclaimed PBS series.
The comments were made Monday night as part of a discussion Williams and O'Reilly were having about controversial remarks the contentious Fox News host had made last week on ABC's "The View" about Muslims and the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. O'Reilly's comments, which seemed to indict all Muslims for the attacks, so angered co-host Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg that they walked off the set.
"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot," Williams said Monday night on O'Reilly's' show. "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."
Read my commentary with several updates written throughout the day here.
Here's the video of Williams making the statements about his feelings toward Muslims:
NPR announced Williams' firing in a statement Wednesday night saying, "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."