On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”Policy-wise I don't often agree with Juan Williams, but I've always found his defense of the left sincere and genuine. I find it appalling that he would lose his job for that candor.
Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.
He continued: “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.”
Mr. Williams also made reference to the Pakistani immigrant who pleaded guilty this month to trying to plant a car bomb in Times Square. “He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Mr. Williams said.
NPR said in its statement that the remarks “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”
From a journalistic perspective, I think this is indicative of the disconnect between the elites and the rest of us. Average Americans can discern opinions in the media and filter the news accordingly; however, media elites have constructed a cargo cult around the totem of sounding objective. Look, we are better informed when we understand the biases, experiences, and world-views of those that bring us the news. Mr. Williams built rapport and credibility with his audience by simply acknowledging a fear that most Americans have.