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NPR commentator loses job over Muslim remark

Juan Williams, speaking on Fox's 'The O'Reilly Factor,' says people in Muslim garb on planes make him 'worried' and 'nervous.' NPR says the remarks 'were inconsistent with our editorial standards.'

October 21, 2010|By Steve Padilla

National Public Radio terminated the contract of commentator Juan Williams after he said on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" that people wearing Muslim garb on airplanes made him "worried" and "nervous."

The move was first reported Wednesday on Twitter by NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik, who said Williams' remarks "were inconsistent with our editorial standards."

Williams was discussing political correctness Monday with host Bill O'Reilly and said that it could "lead to some kind of paralysis, where you don't address reality."

"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot," said Williams, who is African American and has written extensively on the civil rights movement and race in America. "You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. 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 are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

NPR's action against Williams comes a few weeks after CNN fired newscaster Rick Sanchez after he called "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart a bigot and suggested that Comedy Central and other networks were run by Jews.

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