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Thursday, October 21, 2010

 

Juan Williams fired NPR analyst signs multi-year contract with Fox News

Juan Williams, fired NPR analyst, signs multi-year contract with Fox News for expanded role

Meena Hartenstein
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, October 21st 2010, 9:53 PM

Fired NPR host Juan Williams will take on an expanded role at Fox, the network announced.

Drew/APFired NPR host Juan Williams will take on an expanded role at Fox, the network announced.

Freshly fired NPR host Juan Williams learned an old adage is true on Thursday: when one door closes, another opens.

Williams, canned this week for his comments on "The O'Reilly Factor" about his fear of flying with Muslims, is finding there's a silver lining to his situation: a promotion at Fox News.

The network announced on Thursday that they have resigned Williams "to an expanded role" and have signed him to a multi-year contract.

Chairman and CEO of Fox News Roger Ailes used the announcement as an opportunity to weigh in on the controversy, saying, "Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News in 1997. He’s an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis."

Williams, who has appeared on Fox News many times as an analyst in the past, was fired for comments he made to Bill O'Reilly during his show on Monday.

"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot," Williams said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Williams also referenced statements by failed Times Square terrorist Faisal Shahzad.

"He said the war with Muslims, America's war is just beginning, first drop of blood," Williams told O'Reilly. "I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts."

NPR responded to Williams' comments by terminating him, issuing a statement that read, "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."

On Thursday, Williams appeared on the O'Reilly show again to defend himself, calling NPR "self righteous."

"They take something totally out of context," he said.

A noted civil rights author, Williams stressed he had used the example of his own prejudice to point out that Americans must confront their fears.

"I said we have an obligation as Americans to be careful to protect the constitutional rights of everyone in our country and to make sure that we don't have any outbreak of bigotry," he said.

"But that there's a reality. You can not ignore what happened on 9/11 and you cannot ignore the connection to Islamic radicalism, and you can't ignore the fact of what has even recently been said in court with regard to this is the first drop of blood in a Muslim war in America."



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/10/21/2010-10-21_juan_williams_fired_npr_host_signs_multiyear_contract_with_fox_for_expanded_role.html#ixzz133Rcs1yt


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