The NPR executive who resigned in the wake of a review that criticized her handling of Juan Williams' firing from the network spoke out on Thursday, defending her role in the controversy and expressing hope that people would move on from it.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Ellen Weiss said that her decision to leave NPR after nearly 29 years was "extremely hard." But she also defended herself from the suggestion that she had hastily chosen to fire Williams by herself. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, she said, approved the move.
Schiller was reprimanded by the independent NPR board in the same review that criticized Weiss. In addition, Schiller was stripped of her 2010 bonus.
"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.
Weiss told the Times that she has not made any plans for the future yet. But she said she would continue "to love and admire NPR. She also expressed hope that her resignation would lift the cloud currently hanging over NPR as a result of the controversy.