Juan Williams has been receiving quite a bit of attention in the aftermath of Monday night's GOP debate. Williams, who moderated the event, had a confrontational exchange with Newt Gingrich that earned him boos from the audience.
The Fox News contributor had raised criticism that Gingrich's comments about food stamps and poor children's work ethic were "intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities." Gingrich had said that if invited to speak to the NAACP, he would urge black people to demand paychecks instead of food stamps. Williams asked, "Can't you see that this is viewed at a minimum as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?"
On Tuesday's "The Five," he explained why he asked the question. When co-host Eric Bolling insisted that Gingrich's comments were about economics and not race, Williams disagreed. He said, "It's very racial and... unless i missed it, black people havent been out there demanding food stamps, or marching for food stamps."
"I don't think [Gingrich] answered the question at all," he said. Watch his explanation in the clip above.
It seems that Williams' moment in the spotlight is not over. A pair of profiles in Vanity Fair were released on Wednesday. One, discussing his career before he came to NPR, was particularly negative. The article portrays Williams' career as an ego-driven march to the top intertwined with sloppy journalism and workplace scandals.
The second piece, a broader look at Williams' fallout with — and firing from— NPR, is not much kinder to him, casting him as an over-priced star who held the network hostage due to his fame and its lack of black voices. Interestingly, writer David Margolick reveals that the comment that got Williams fired from his radio job —when he told Bill O'Reilly he worried when he saw people in "Muslim garb" on planes — was no off-the-cuff remark, but was actually a carefully planned line.
So far, there has been no public response from Williams to the strikingly hostile articles.