Chris Wallace: NPR "Had Been After Juan For Some Time"

Fox News anchor goes to bat for ousted NPR personality Williams
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Fox News' Chris Wallace said Thursday
morning he didn't think Juan Williams' comments to Bill O'Reilly that cost
Williams his job at NPR constituted a fire-able offense. 

"I can tell you NPR had been after Juan for some
time," Wallace told Don Imus Thursday morning.  "They were not pleased by
all his appearances on Fox News. And like a lot of liberal organizations, they
believe in freedom of speech as long as the speech is something they agree
with...What he said wasn't bigoted."

While noting, "not to say [Williams] is right,"
Wallace then went on to paint another scenario.

"Quite frankly, I don't think he would say this, I
think a lot of us would admit that if we were walking down a dark street and we
saw some African Americans, not to say that it's praise worthy, not to say that
it's right, we might feel a nervousness that we wouldn't otherwise."

Wallace also expressed support for Williams'
future.

"Juan will be fine...he has a lot of friends at Fox
News...he will be on a lot," Wallace said.

Williams was let go from his role as a senior news
analyst at NPR following his comments on Monday's The O'Reilly Factor,
which included his thoughts on his reaction to seeing Muslims on airplanes. NPR
said the comments "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and
practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."

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