Juan Williams on Firing: 'I'm Not Sure What I Did Wrong'
He lauds Fox, where he signed a $2 million contract after getting ousted from NPR, for allowing "a black guy with a Hispanic name to sit in the big chair and host."
According to former NPR analyst Juan Williams, his former employer isn't in tune with the Fox News audience.
Williams told the Baltimore Sun that he is still affected by his ouster after he made comments about Muslims as a guest on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor." He was promptly hired by Fox News with a three-year, $2 million contract.
"There's an emotional disconnect, because the way it feels to me is like I just got fired and I'm not even sure what I did wrong," Williams said of his controversial remarks about getting "nervous" when he sees Muslims on a plane.
He added: "At NPR ... they don't know this: A third of the audience for Bill O'Reilly's show is made up of people of color. At NPR, they think, 'Oh, these people who watch Fox don't appreciate diversity of opinion, they're not smart people. They're not informed people.' Oh yeah? I'll you what: They're informed."
Williams wasn't done discussing his former employer, which the Huffington Post highlighted, saying, "Just consider the idea that Fox allows me the opportunity to sit in for Bill O'Reilly on their No. 1 show. That's the franchise. That's the moneymaker. If that show falls in the toilet, it's bad for the whole lineup."
"And yet Fox allows a black guy with a Hispanic name to sit in the big chair and host the show," Williams said.
Williams was let go from NPR after his comments on "The O'Reilly Factor," though he still defends his statements.
Speaking to the New York Times, Schiller said Williams was fired because "he had several times in the past violated our news code of ethics with things that he had said on other people's air." According to Schiller, Williams was consistently warned after each instance, but "at a certain point, if someone keeps not following your guidance, you have to make a break. And that's what we did."
Days later, however, Schiller apologized for how the situation was handled even though she said the company stood by their decision to let Williams go.
"While we stand firmly behind that decision, I regret that we did not take the time to prepare our program partners and provide you with the tools to cope with the fallout from this episode, she said in a statement.
There has been backlash against NPR ever since, including a bomb threat Monday that may have been a response to Williams' firing last Wednesday.