NPR scandal draws attention to Juan Williams’s October firing

Laura Donovan Contributor
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Following the video release of former NPR executive Ron Schiller’s comments on the “gun-toting,” “seriously racist” Tea Party movement, many are reexamining NPR’s October firing of contributor Juan Williams.

In an interview with the Huffington Post conducted before Tuesday’s news reports on Schiller’s statements, Williams said NPR, which he called an “all-white operation” guilty of “the worst of white condescension,” fired him for no reason. Williams responded to the video by dubbing NPR “anti-intellectual.”

Williams worked for NPR from 1999 until October 2010, when he expressed unease about seeing Muslims at airports. “I’m not a bigot,” Williams told Bill O’Reilly. “[W]hen 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.”

The Daily Caller has been covering the news on Ron Schiller and former NPR CEO Vivian Schiller as it breaks, but also featured exhaustive coverage of Williams’s firing.

The day after being let go from NPR, Williams wrote a column for TheDC stating he was “fired for telling the truth.” As reported by TheDC, Williams said he never had the opportunity to have a face-to-face chat with his editors before they dropped him from the organization. Immediately after Williams’s firing, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee vowed not to take interview requests from the organization. TheDC did extensive reporting on the Muslim community speaking out against NPR’s decision to get rid of Williams.

“I think it is another expression of political correctness,” Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy told TheDC. “I didn’t find anything that he said that he deserved to be fired.”

Last November, TheDC reported that Reps. Cynthia Lummis and Trent Franks called for the resignation of Vivian Schiller, who quit her position on Wednesday. TheDC also covered the story on Texas Republican Reps. Joe Barton and Michael Burgess’s letter stating NPR may use government funds to promote a biased viewpoint.

Earlier this year, NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher told TheDC she wasn’t sure which information NPR would release about Vivian Schiller’s bonuses and salary lost over Williams’s firing.

“I most certainly don’t need to answer to you,” Christopher told TheDC.

For more Daily Caller coverage on Juan Williams, read our Buzz Page on the former NPR contributor.

[WATCH: Juan Williams talks about NPR’s “white condescension”]