Juan Williams

  • Aired:  07/26/11
  •  | Views: 39,822

Fox News political analyst Juan Williams discusses the absence of honest debate in America and his controversial firing from NPR for a statement he made about Muslims. (7:35)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE).

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A POLITICAL

ANALYST FOR THE FOX NEWS

NETWORK.

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED "MUZZLED.

THE ASSAULT ON HONEST DEBATE."

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM

JUAN WILLIAMS.

SIR?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

NICE TO SEE YOU, THANKS FOR

JOINING US.

(APPLAUSE)

SO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

>> MY PLEASURE.

GREAT TO BE HERE.

>> Jon: THANK YOU FOR BEING

HERE.

"MUZZLED: THE ASSAULT ON HONEST

DEBATE."

SO TELL US.

I GUESS THE IMPETUS OF THIS BOOK

FOR THE MOST PART THE INCIDENT

THAT YOU HAD WITH COMMENTS THAT

YOU HAD MADE DURING A SEGMENT ON

O'REILLY'S SHOW, NPR FIRES YOU.

WALK US THROUGH THAT VERY

BRIEFLY.

>> WELL, AS YOU KNOW, O'REILLY

WAS ON THE VIEW AND SAID THAT

MUSLIMS ATTACKED US ON 9/11.

AFTER HE SAYS THAT WHOOP I

GOLDBERG AND JOY BEHAR WALKS OFF

THE SET AND THEN O'REILLY SAYS

"I MEANT RADICAL EXTREMIST

MUSLIMS."

THEY COME BACK.

SO THE NEXT O'REILLY SHOW, HE

HAS ME ON AND HE SAYS KEL ME

WHERE I WENT WRONG.

SO I SAID LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS.

THE FACT A THAT THERE WERE

MUSLIMS WHO ATTACKED US, WHO

SITED JIHAD AND I CAN'T GET AWAY

FROM THE FACT THAT WE JUST HAD

THE TIMES SQUARE BOMBER TALKING

ABOUT THE STARTUP OF WAR ON

AMERICA AND I TELL YOU WHAT IN

ALL HONESTY, WHEN I'M IN AN

AIRPORT AND I SEE PEOPLE DRESSED

IN MUSLIM GARB FIRST AND

FOREMOST IDENTIFYING THEMSELVES

AS MUSLIM I HAVE ANXIETY AND IT

MAKES ME NERVOUS.

THEN I WENT ON TO SAY BUT

TIMOTHY McVEIGH IS A CHRISTIAN

AND THOSE PEOPLE FROM THE

WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH WHO MAKE

THOSE OFFENSIVE RANTS AT

FUNERALS THEY'RE CHRISTIAN AND

WE DON'T STEREOTYPE CHRISTIANS

ON THAT BASIS AND WE HAVE TO BE

CAREFUL IN TERMS OF WHAT WE SAY

THAT WE DON'T ENCOURAGE PEOPLE

TO DO CRAZY STUFF LIKE BURN THE

KORAN OR CUT SOME CAB DRIVER'S

THROAT HERE IN NEW YORK.

SO I SAID ALL THAT.

BUT THEN, OF COURSE, THE TOP

PART WAS TAKEN AWAY BY PEOPLE

WHO, YOU KNOW, THE COUNCIL ON

ARAB-AMERICAN RELATIONS OR

WHATEVER AND THEN NPR ALSO

ACTING ON THAT.

>> Jon: YOU HAD BEEN, WITHING

AT NPR.

>> TEN YEARS.

>> Jon: SO YOU MUST HAVE HAD

SO MANY THOUGHT BAGS.

(LAUGHTER)

TOTE.

WHEN YOU TRAVEL, CARRYING THINGS

MUST NEVER BE AN ISSUE.

>> NOT A PROBLEM.

NOT A PROBLEM.

>> Jon: SO NPR... NOW...

BACKING THIS UP.

THOSE ARE FOR OUR PRESENT

ENVIRONMENT IN TERMS OF

DISCOURSE I THINK PRETTY MILD.

IN ALMOST ANY WAY YOU FRAME IT,

CERTAINLY THE NETWORK THAT YOU

SAID HELP THE ON AND CERTAINLY

WHAT YOU SEE OVER THE AIRWAVES,

NPR DECIDES YOU CAN NO LONGER

WORK THERE.

THAT SEEMS UNFAIR.

>> TO ME.

(LAUGHTER)

YOU KNOW, LOOK, I'D BEEN THERE

TEN YEARS.

I'D WORKED AT FOX BEFORE I CAME

TO NPR.

AND, YOU KNOW, JON...

>> Jon: YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD

PROVED TO THEM AT SOME LEVEL

THAT YOU WERE NOT A BIGOT.

>> I DIDN'T THINK I NEEDED TO

PROVE IT.

I'VE WRITTEN... I WROTE "EYES ON

THE PRIZE."

I'VE WIN THE WELL-RECEIVED

BIOGRAPHY OF JUSTICE MARSHALL,

THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN ON

THE COURT.

I DIDN'T THINK I NEEDED TO PROVE

TO ANYBODY WHO I AM.

BUT I WAS STUNNED THAT THEY

WOULD... I SAID DID YOU GUYS

LOOK AT THE ENTIRETY OF THE

TRANSCRIPT?

DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING

ON HERE?

THAT I'M, IN FACT, CHALLENGING

BILL O'REILLY.

THAT I'M TRYING TO SAY WE NEED

TO AFFIRM THE IDEA THAT

AMERICA'S A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS

TOLERANCE EVEN AS AMERICA DEALS

WITH WHAT IS THE REAL ANXIETY

OVER THE LINK BETWEEN ARAB

EXTREMISM AND TERRORISM.

WE HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT.

AND TO JUST SAY OH, IT DOESN'T

EXIST, CAN'T SAY THAT, ONLY

ALLOWS THOSE FEELINGS TO FESTER

AND THEN YOU HAVE ERUPTIONS AND

PEOPLE DO WILD AND CRAZY THINGS,

AWFUL THINGS.

DID YOU HEAR THIS?

NO, NOTHING YOU CAN SAY, WE

DON'T WANT YOU TO COME IN, WE

DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU, YOUR

CONTRACT IS OVER, YOU ARE GONE.

>> Jon: SO IN MANY WAYS YOU

THINK THEY JUST... BECAUSE YOU

WORK AT FOX NEWS THEY WANTED,

MAYBE, TO GET RID OF YOU.

>> I THINK A LOT OF IT WAS AN

ANTIPATHY TOWARDS FOX.

WHY ARE YOU WORKING THERE?

ALL ALONG...

>> Jon: NOW WHY DO THEY HAVE

AN ANTIPATHY TOWARDS THAT

ORGANIZATION?

THEY SEEM LIKE VERY...

(LAUGHTER).

I'M NOT THAT FAMILIAR,

OBVIOUSLY, WITH WHAT GOES ON

OVER THERE.

>> I DON'T THINK SO.

(LAUGHTER).

>> Jon: BUT THEY SEEM PLEASANT

ENOUGH.

I GUESS I WAS SHOCKED BY THE

WHOLE THING.

NOW, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE

CONCLUSIONS THAT YOU'VE DRAWN

OUT FROM IT.

>> SURE.

>> Jon: WHAT IS YOUR SENSE NOW

OF WHAT THAT SAYS ABOUT THE WAY

THAT WE DEAL WITH EACH OTHER

EITHER IN THE NEWS OR EACH OTHER

ON EARTH?

>> THAT'S THERE'S A TOTAL LACK

OF HONEST DEBATE.

WE'VE GOT A NICHE MEDIA

LANDSCAPE.

IF YOU'RE A LIBERAL YOU SAY,

HEY, YOU KNOW WHAT?

FOX NEWS IS BIASED.

IF YOU'RE A LIBERAL YOU SAY "I

DON'T LIKE WHAT GOES ON ON

CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO.

I DON'T LIKE THAT "WALL STREET

JOURNAL" EDITORIAL PAGE."

IF YOU'RE A CONSERVATIVE YOU SAY

"JON STEWART IS BIASED."

YOU SAY "THE "NEW YORK TIMES" IS

BIASED."

YOU SAY "HOLLYWOOD IS BIASED."

AND AS A RESULT PEOPLE RARELY...

PEOPLE GO TO MEDIA SOURCES THAT

AFFIRM PREEXISTING OPINIONS

RATHER THAN SAYING HEY, WAIT,

LET ME LISTEN TO WHAT THIS GUY

HAS TO SAY.

AND IT MAY BE THAT WHATEVER THE

SIDE HAS TO SAY IS RIDICULOUS,

OKAY, DISMISS IT.

BUT AT LEAST LISTEN, GIVE THEM

SOME SENSE OF RESPECT BECAUSE TO

ME IF YOU DON'T HAVE HONEST

DEBATE, IF YOU DON'T HAVE HONEST

EXCHANGE OF IDEAS YOU'RE GOING

NOWHERE IN THIS COUNTRY.

YOU DON'T SOLVE BIG QUESTIONS,

BIG PROBLEMS.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE).

>> Jon: BUT WHAT IS THE

CAUSALITY, DO YOU THINK?

BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, PART OF THE

STRATEGY, IT SEEMS, OF PARTISAN

MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS IS TO

DELEGITIMIZE YOUR OPPONENT BY

SUGGESTING BIAS RATHER THAN

DEALING WITH THE CRITICISMS

BECAUSE SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE

CAN COME OUT OF ANYONE.

WHEN I WATCH FOX NEWS, IT...

THERE'S OFTEN TIMES THEY'LL

BRING UP A POINT THAT IS

EXTREMELY VALID.

>> SURE.

>> Jon: I'M THINKING OF ONE,

HOLD ON.

(LAUGHTER)

BUT...

(LAUGHTER)

>> YOU STOPPED!

>> Jon: BUT ISN'T THAT...

ISN'T IT EASY TO SAY THAT IT'S A

VERY EASY THING TO DO TO DISMISS

IT, NOT ALL ORGANIZATIONS THAT

CLAIM TO BE PARTISAN ARE AS SUCH

AND THEY'RE NOT ALL CREATED

EQUAL AND WHAT IS THE THING THAT

IS STYMIEING THE DEBATE?

OR ALLOWING IT TO BE HONEST?

WHAT IS IT THAT'S PREVENTING, IN

YOUR MIND, THE HONEST ASPECT OF

IT?

>> BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE DON'T

LISTEN.

I THINK THAT IT'S RIGHT NOW AS I

SAID PEOPLE GET LOCKED INTO ONE

PERSPECTIVE OR ANOTHER AND, YOU

KNOW, IT'S PART OF WHAT'S GOING

ON.

AND GULF STREAM TO WEB SITES

WITH OTHER LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE.

THEY EVEN GET INTO SUBGROUPS OF

THAT WEB SITE AND IF YOU'RE NOT

EXACTLY ON TARGET, YOU'RE A BAD

GUY.

IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME,

YOU'RE A TRAITOR.

THE LAST BOOK I WROTE "ENOUGH"

WAS ABOUT BILL COSBY AND COSBY

SAYING "WE'VE GOT PROBLEMS IN

THE BLACK COMMUNITY,

OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHS, HIGH

DROPOUT RATES, ACCEPTANCE OF THE

DRUG CULTURE.

WE HAVE TO STOP THIS."

AND COSBY, ALL OF A SUDDEN HE

WAS LABELED A BAD GUY, HE'S

AIRING DIRTY LAUNDRY.

LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING ON IN

WASHINGTON.

A REPUBLICAN WHO SAYS "MAYBE WE

SHOULD HAVE SOME TAX HIKES.

" NOW HE'S A RHINO, A REPUBLICAN

IN NAME ONLY.

TO BE A REAL REPUBLICAN YOU HAVE

TO STAY WITH THE CLUB, BELIEVE

WHAT THE CRAB TELLS YOU AND

DON'T DEVIATE.

SO YOU CAN'T HAVE A DEBATE WITH

SOMEBODY ELSE.

YOU CAN'T HAVE A CONVERSATION.

>> Jon: ARE WE CONFUSING,

THOUGH, CRITICISM WITH

PERSECUTION?

ARE WE OVERREACTING TO THE

CRITICISM AS WELL?

YOU KNOW... DO YOU HAVE FIVE

MINUTES TO STICK AROUND?

>> FOR YOU...

>> Jon: SEVEN.

>> THAT'S A DEAL.

>> Jon: "MUZZLED" IS UP ON

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