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.


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.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 5, 2015
The newest version of the Apple mobile iOS system allows ad-blocking software on mobile browsing for the first time. (Abdullah Syahbal / Flickr)

Are ad–blocking, bots, and mobile gutting economic viability of the internet? We’ll take a close look.

Oct 5, 2015
Singer-songwriter Sara Barielles on the cover of her new memoir, "Sounds Like Me." (Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles goes fully confessional in her new memoir, “Sounds Like Me.” She joins us.

Oct 2, 2015
Max Martin accepts the award for best producer of the year, non-classical at the 57th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Los Angeles.  (AP)

The software of hit songs now. We’ll look at the algorithms, computer generated beats and producers making it happen for Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and more.

Oct 2, 2015
Candles spelling UCC for Umpqua Community College, are displayed at a candlelight vigil for those killed during a fatal shooting at the school, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore. (AP)

A deadly shooting at an Oregon community college. Putin and Obama at the UN. The capture of Kunduz. Water on Mars. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »
Our Week In The Web: September 25, 2015
Friday, Sep 25, 2015

But seriously — where ARE our podcasts running off to? Plus, more Jewel.

More »