07/27/2011 03:13 pm ET Updated Sep 26, 2011

Juan Williams Defends His Controversial Muslim Remarks To Jon Stewart (VIDEO)

Juan Williams appeared on "The Daily Show" Tuesday to discuss his firing from NPR and his new book, "Muzzled."

The former NPR news analyst re-hashed the well-worn details of his firing. Williams said that he was "stunned" by NPR's decision and questioned whether NPR understood, "that I'm in fact challenging Bill O' Reilly" rather than bowing down to him. Speaking to Jon Stewart, he criticized NPR for highlighting only his remarks about Muslims in a conversation about religious tolerance and defended his remarks as part of an honest debate with O'Reilly.

Stewart seemed to agree with Williams' analysis, calling his remarks "pretty mild" compared to other commentary from Fox and other media outlets and later saying, "I was shocked by the whole thing." After noting that Williams had worked for NPR for ten years, he also observed, "You must have had so many tote bags. When you travel, carrying things must never be an issue."

Stewart also took the opportunity to throw in a few zingers at Fox. Williams blamed the firing partly on NPR's antipathy towards Fox, which he discussed at length with Bill O'Reilly on Monday. Stewart joked, "Why would they have an antipathy towards Fox?"

When Williams criticized what he called a "total lack of honest debate" and "a niche media landscape" in America, Stewart agreed with Williams, joking, "When i watch Fox News, often times they'll bring up a point that's extremely valid." He then paused, joking, "I'm thinking of one, hold on."