Longtime NPR contributor Juan Williams has had his contract severed by the radio network! Because, guess what, he made some stupid comments about Muslims on Fox News‘ The O’Reilly Factor. (Spoiler: He is scared of them.)
Williams, a black (sorta) conservative who has written some smart books but has also managed to be a desiccated, unimaginative hack analyst for public radio, appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Monday night. The conversation turned, as it often does in situations where two blowhards are in a room together, toward Islam, a religion with over a billion adherents worldwide. “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot,” he told O’Reilly, and you knew it was going to be good, because who says that unless they are about to say something racist:
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.
Muslim garb! This is, unfortunately, as these kinds of bigoted statements go, sort of mild—the kind of thing a lot of people in this country probably say and think (again, unfortunately)—but NPR has been fighting with Williams for a while now over his appearances on Fox and they way they tend to go (last year, also on The O’Reilly Factor, he called Michelle Obama “Stokely Carmichael in a dress”; they forbade him from using his NPR title when on the network). So, it’s maybe not that surprising.