NPR analyst in hot water over Obama comment
Asks Fox News to omit it from Juan Williams' on-air IDNEW YORK -- National Public Radio is asking Fox News Channel to leave it out of any on-air identification of Juan Williams, the commentator the two networks share.
Williams got into hot water among some of NPR's listeners for saying on cable's top-rated "The O'Reilly Factor" that first lady Michelle Obama has "got this Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going" but could become a political liability for her husband in the future. NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard wrote online that there had been 56 "angry e-mails" from listeners about what Williams had said. Carmichael, who died in 1998, was a former Black Panther who coined the term "Black Power."
Shepard said that NPR vp news Ellen Weiss urged Williams to not mention NPR when he's on Fox. He's no longer an employee at NPR but instead a contract analyst, so they can't keep him from appearing on Fox.
"NPR must decide -- as it apparently already has -- whether giving its listeners the benefit of Williams' voice is worth the cost of annoying some listeners for his work on Fox," Shepard wrote.
Williams, who has worked for Fox News for many years, joined NPR in 2000 and has also been a reporter and columnist at The Washington Post.
It's no problem, Fox News said.
"We were actually doing NPR a favor by even plugging them, but we have no problem dropping the mention on the chyron along with their exposure to millions of 'O'Reilly Factor' viewers," Fox News Channel said in a statement Thursday.