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Juan Williams, NPR & News Debates

The NPR firing of Juan Williams. We look at the decision, the controversy, and the state of news in our superheated culture.

News analyst Juan Williams appears on the "Fox & Friends" television program in New York, Oct. 21, 2010. (AP)

And so, Juan Williams is off to Fox News, full time. A three-year contract and two millions dollars, we’re told. And NPR in his rearview mirror. 

But last week’s firing of Williams is still resonating, and still raising questions. 

Is there a line that journalists should not cross? A kind of opinion that even when sitting with straight-up pundits, with Bill O’Reilly, that Juan Williams should not have voiced?  That NPR had to call him on? Should there be a line? Was it crossed?

-Tom Ashbrook

For various statements by NPR and more, and public feedback to On Point since the incident began, link here.

Guests:

Alicia Shepard, Ombudsman for NPR. She responds to the public’s complaints. Read her latest article, “NPR’s Firing of Juan Williams Was Poorly Handled.”

Mona Charen, syndicated columnist and political analyst. Read her National Review Online column, following her On Point appearance: “NPR Confronts Its Own Tea Party.” She is author of “Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us).”

Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University. He writes the “Press Think” blog.

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