NPR ombudsman Alicia C. Shepard spends her column this week looking at the dual role of Juan Williams — as a contributor to both NPR and FNC.
“Last year, 378 listeners emailed me complaints and frustrations about things Williams said on Fox,” writes Shepard, while noting 56 came recently from his comments regarding Michelle Obama last month on The O’Reilly Factor. “As a result of this latest flap, NPR’s Vice President of News, Ellen Weiss, has asked Williams to ask that Fox remove his NPR identification whenever he is on O’Reilly.”
But what about when he’s on Special Report, where he appears regularly? Or “Hannity,” where he appeared last night (and was introduced by Sean Hannity as “a senior correspondent for National Public Radio, I say propaganda, he doesn’t mind”)?
“Maybe it’s that people have trouble with the fact that I cross political lines regularly,” said Williams. “I try to be curious, to ask questions and to get answers. And I tell you what I see as I see it.”
Fox responds to NPR’s request on Politico: “We were actually doing NPR a favor by even plugging them but we have no problem dropping the mention on the chyron along with their exposure to millions of O’Reilly Factor viewers.”