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Last updated 12:33PM ET
July 22, 2018
Shop Talk
Shop Talk
Shop Talk - October 26
(2010-10-26)
(wium) - The panelists discuss NPR's decision to fire Juan Williams. The move generated a great deal of discussion last week, especially on the blogosphere.

NPR made the move after Williams offered the following comment to Bill O'Reilly on Fox News:

"I mean,look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the 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."

In a post to NPR's website, Ombudsman Alicia Shepard acknowledges the network handled the situation badly. But she also stresses NPR must uphold its journalistic standards and points out Williams had been warned about inflammatory comments in the past.

The Shop Talk panelists feel the matter is an employment issue, rather than a free speech issue as argued by some critics of NPR's decision.

They also point out that reporters have to be careful how they present themselves in public - for example, they don't put political signs in their yards and they don't participate in large public rallies. They forgo those types of activities to make sure the public views them as objective.

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