Delise Williams, the wife of Fox News contributor Juan Williams, tells Newsmax that “so-called liberals” at NPR treated her — a light-skinned African-American — as if she didn’t exist.
“The NPR people were hypocrites because they are supposed to be the liberals who are accepting of all kinds of people and inclusive, and they were the most exclusive group in my experience of going to events related to work that I have ever seen,” says Delise, a former social worker who is the daughter of a doctor.
Juan Williams’ book “Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate” hits bookstores next week. It reveals that for years before NPR fired him, NPR executives harassed him over what he did or did not say on the air.
NewsmaxTV interviewed Juan about the book, including how Fox News President Roger Ailes expanded Juan's role at Fox and made sure he would not suffer a pay cut because NPR had fired him over what he had said on Fox.
In the meantime, Delise says that she and Juan were the only blacks at NPR parties, a point confirmed by Juan. In general, both say, African-Americans were found only in low level jobs such as security guards.
Asked for comment, Anna Christopher, NPR’s director of media relations, said, “We aren’t sure which parties Juan and his wife are referring to, but all events we have sponsored in recent memory have included a mix of guests. Diversity of opinions, ideas, sources, voices, and staff is very important to NPR.”
A former Washington Post reporter, Juan is one of Washington’s most respected journalists. He and Delise are invited to top parties at the White House and elsewhere. But because she felt NPR personnel treated her like a second-class citizen, she says she stopped going to NPR social gatherings.
In contrast to NPR, “Even though politically I’m on the other side, the Fox people, included me much more in the interactions and in the gatherings, and I never felt like I was on the outside,” Delise says.
“The Fox gatherings are much diverse,” she says. “They have both African-American and whites. It’s great because when I sometimes go down to Fox and wait for Juan in the green room, they all speak to me as if they know me and are very friendly. I feel very comfortable there. With the NPR people, I did not feel comfortable.”
In fact, she says, “I would never drop into NPR, or if I was going over to meet Juan, I sat in the car and waited for him.”
Fox News has never told Juan what he could or could not say, she says. In contrast, NPR constantly criticized him when he expressed views that diverged from what they thought a black man should think, Delise says.
“My friends would often argue with me before this whole thing came up and say, ‘Oh, how could you watch Fox?’ and I would say, ‘No, you need to listen to the news and other shows, and you will see that it’s not biased,'” she says.
At Fox, “They encourage debate, and I’ve even gotten my friends to watch Fox,” Delise says. “It gives you information about what is happening in both political parties, information on both sides."
“It’s as if at Fox they feel they certainly have their bias, but they believe so strongly in what they feel that they are open to having the other argument there because they believe their audience is intelligent enough to decide for themselves.”
In my Newsmax TV interview with Juan, he tells for the first time how he had to tell his wife that he had been fired for saying on Bill O’Reilly’s “The Factor” what most Americans, including many Muslims, feel: that when getting on an airplane and seeing passengers dressed in Muslim garb, he feels apprehension.
Juan went on to say on the Fox show that we must distinguish between moderate Muslims and Muslim terrorists and protect the rights of the vast majority of Muslims who are peace-loving.
NPR consists of “pseudo-liberals,” Delise says. “I think liberal means being tolerant. You may have a certain set of beliefs, but you do not reject someone who may have a different set of beliefs or who looks different.”
As noted in my story "The Juan Williams I Know,"
Juan is a rarity these days — a fair-minded journalist whose views run the political gamut. Because he is an independent thinker, he is respected by both liberals and conservatives. His book includes blurbs from the likes of Karl Rove and Roger Ailes as well as from David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama.
At Juan’s book party given by Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Shannon Bream and others, Fox News contributors Charles Krauthammer, Stephen Hayes, and Baier all expressed their esteem for Juan despite their often differing views.
But NPR has said it won’t be inviting Williams to discuss his book on any of its shows.
“I guess I thought there was an opportunity for us to move past what happened and that they understood that some things had been done improperly to me and that there was no reason to fire me,” Juan tells me. “It was unjust, and their own investigation by their group of lawyers led to people leaving the organization. I thought this was an opportunity to have some healing, some reconciliation. But they are still suppressing the other side.”
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is a New York Times best-selling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. His latest, "The Secrets of the FBI," is to be released on Aug. 2. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via email. Go Here Now.
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