Friday, January 7, 2011

More fallout at NPR

An independent review of Ellen Weiss' decision to jettison Juan Williams by phone from NPR has resulted in her resignation

Weiss spoke to James Rainey in the LA Times:

Weiss stressed that she did not make the decision to fire Williams alone. She acted after the comentator [sic] went on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" and described his occasional discomfort flying with people in "Muslim garb." NPR Chief Executive Vivian Schiller, who remains in her job, approved the firing. "What I would say is that the decision to terminate the Juan Williams contract by NPR, of which I was a participant, was based on the highest journalistic standards," Weiss said Thursday. Meeting with a small group of confidantes inside the network Thursday, Weiss said she previously had advised others that any organization had to prepare for the loss of the boss. "If you get hit by a bus, you want to make sure you have the right people in place, you want to make sure it doesn't end," Weiss said. "I feel I have an incredible newsroom in place, with fantastic leadership and unbelievably courageous reporters. I am glad I followed my own advice. Because the bus came, and I am gone."  "It was extremely hard," she said of her decision, finalized with NPR chief Schiller on Thursday. "It was not the hardest decision I ever made in my life but certainly one of the hardest."
Why Ms. Weiss didn't also push the button that activates Mara Liasson's ejection seat remains a mystery.

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