NPR CEO Apologizes for Handling of Juan Williams' Firing

But Vivian Schiller says the company still "stands firmly behind that decision."

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller apologized Sunday night for how the company handled the firing of analyst Juan Williams.

“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,” Schiller said in a statement, as first obtained by Read her full memo.

Schiller has denied William's firing (after he made statements about  being afraid of Muslims on a plane) was a violation of first amendment rights.

"This was a decision of principle, made to protect NPR’s integrity and values as a news organization. Juan Williams’ comments on Fox News last Monday were the latest in a series of deeply troubling incidents over several years," said Schiller. Williams was fired last Wednesday, but received a $2 million contract extension from the Fox News Channel shortly after.

In an interview with the New York Times Friday, Schiller detailed the growing tension between NPR and Williams over his increasingly controversial statements, such as when he compared Michelle Obama to a black power leader last year. 

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