Politics

Williams reacts: It’s good for NPR because it gets the ‘keeper of the flame of liberal orthodoxy out of NPR’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter

On Thursday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “America Live,” former NPR correspondent Juan Williams reacted to the resignation of Ellen Weiss, the NPR executive behind his firing.

“Well, I think it’s good news for NPR if they can get someone who I think has been the keeper of the flame of liberal orthodoxy out of NPR,” he said “I mean the idea that she was someone who just I think had executioner’s knife for anybody who didn’t abide by one single way of thinking, which was her way of thinking. And I think she represented an in-grown, incestuous culture at that institution that’s not open to not only different ways of thinking, but angry at the fact that I would even talk or be on Fox. Angry at the fact that people have different perspectives and that a conservative perspective might emerge on Fox or NPR. So, to my mind this is good news for NPR and people who care about news in America.”

The former NPR personality described how the firing took place in a way that didn’t allow him to respond to the charges before his termination.

“When I said to her, ‘We can talk about this. Have you heard the whole interview with Bill O’Reilly?’ she said she didn’t need to hear anything else, review anything else. She said that there was nothing that I could say to her face to face that would change her mind,” he said.

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He also addressed the disparaging comments that NPR CEO Vivian Schiller made about Williams. Schiller kept her job, but was declined a 2010 bonus.

“I’m going to try to stay away from bitter feelings, Megyn,” he said. “But I got to tell you I thought it was a low blow – not only that, there was a suggestion I’m such a weak-minded person that I needed a publicist to tell me what to say.”

Williams noted that while this change is good news, it is important to see what happens going forward.

“They got to see what comes next because what has happened in the past is that you had someone like Ellen Weiss there at the top of the news division and she was pushing out anybody who had a different point of view about the world or the news or bringing different kinds of stories to the table,” he said. “As I said, the institution has existed for — since the 1970s and really started on college campuses as left-wing alternative radio. It has since grown into a major news institution in the United States. Ellen Weiss has been there that whole time and she h kept along her pals, her friends who all think alike. It’s become highly ingrown, if not incestuous in terms of their perspective and they protect each other and they push everybody else outs.”