Clearly, Juan Williams of Fox News (and now formerly National Public Radio) learned nothing from the firing of Rick Sanchez. How are you going to say on national television that Muslims in full regalia on a plane make you nervous, and not think that shit will not end pretty? That comment should have been made at the bar with some gin or vodka somewhere nearby. Even if you believe something like that, it is just better to keep it to yourself.
I want to watch the clip before I say more about this, so there will be more to come.
UPDATE (10.21.10): First, I found a clip that I think has solid context.
There are three points I want to make about this, now that I've watched a more complete clip. First, Williams did not need to tell the world that he felt nervous when he sees Muslims in full regalia. I understand that this was a moment of honesty, but one should always think twice and then speak once. If Williams had said that there are Americans who look questionably at Muslims in full regalia in this post 9/11 world, and that though that happens, we still need to remind ourselves that we cannot blame all Muslims for the actions of a few, then I think that Williams would have both won the argument and kept his job. I am not going to pretend to know the particulars of either NPR's journalistic policies, or the contents of Williams' contract with the organization, but if he violated the terms of his contract, then that is what he did.
Second, I totally reject is this idea that Williams has had his speech rights denied. It just isn't true, no matter how many times folks on the right try to say it is. I also found this analysis highlighting the recent firings of journalists based on what they said interesting, particularly the reactions from prominent folks on the right.
Finally, I will admit that I didn't really like the way that Williams framed his admonishment of O'Reilly. But, I don't feel like his comment was as bad as his Fox News colleagues Brian Kilmeade or (most definitely) Glenn Beck. And I still don't understand how Beck survived calling the President an outright racist who hated white people (including, presumably, the only people who raised him). Williams comment was questionable, even if many people might feel that way, but we've heard worse from people who suffered little to no costs for saying it.