Interview: Juan Williams

By Kurtz, Howard | Newsweek, August 8, 2011 | Go to article overview

Interview: Juan Williams


Kurtz, Howard, Newsweek


Byline: Howard Kurtz

The Fox News analyst talks about losing his NPR job, the Murdoch haters, and why he can't get a TV show.

Are you still angry about being fired by NPR? I was upset at the idea of how personal it became. I felt NPR engaged in an ad hominem attack on me.

You say you've been described as a black man with conservative social views. That's certainly what I heard back from NPR managers who said I didn't fit the box--"You don't necessarily represent orthodox black views on the news." In their mind, when I write about dysfunction in the black community, I've crossed the line in terms of being a good black guy.

Have you taken heat from African-Americans who find you not "liberal" enough? People say, "Why are you airing dirty laundry? Why are you being supportive of a Bill Cosby?"

Do some of your liberal friends resent your being on Fox? Oh, sure. Some people feel that by simply being there I am legitimizing Sean Hannity or conservative viewpoints. Those shows are hit shows whether I'm there or not. Nobody at Fox tells me what to say.

Does this sort of criticism bother you? It bothers me deeply. People who are not able to put me in a box, people who want to tune in to programming that simply affirms their existing opinions, those people are discomfited by me. …

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