Former National Public Radio analyst Juan Williams, who was fired Wednesday for remarks about Muslims during an appearance on Fox News, said he didn’t even get a chance to talk face-to-face with his editors before they dropped him from the organization.
According to Williams, NPR Vice President Ellen Weiss told him on the phone Wednesday afternoon that his public admission that he sometimes gets anxiety when he sees people wearing Muslim garb in airports was “bigoted” and “crosses the line.”
Williams replied that he was actually disagreeing with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and trying to say that despite feeling nervous when seeing Muslims at the airport, Americans have an “obligation to be careful to protect the constitutional rights of everyone in the country and to make sure we don’t have any outbreak of bigotry.”
Weiss reportedly told him that the decision not to renew his contract had already been decided “up the chain.”
“I said, ‘you mean I don’t even get a chance to come in and we do this eyeball to eyeball, person-to-person, have a conversation? I’ve been here for more than 10 years,'” Williams said in a Fox News appearance Thursday. “‘We don’t have a chance to have a conversation about this?’ And she said, ‘there’s nothing you can say that will change my mind. This has been decided above me, and we’re terminating your contract.'”
The decision to fire Williams has sparked a call among conservatives to end taxpayer financial support of NPR, which is partially government funded.