I think NPR really blundered by firing Juan Williams for an offhand comment made on FOX News. First, there is the way he was fired--by phone rather than in person. This is incredibly shabby treatment of a valued employee who has enhanced the reputation of NPR with his insightful commentary over the years.
Juan has said that NPR has wanted to get rid of him for a long time because they didn't like his being on FOX news. If that is the case, why not call him in and say, "Look, we have a problem with your being on both networks. We need you to choose where your loyalties lie." Juan could then have chosen, and the problem could have been worked out on a cooperative basis, which is the proper way to handle employee problems.
The comment that he gets nervous when Muslims are on his plane should not have been a problem for anybody. It simply states what the vast majority of Americans no doubt feel. We seem to be unable in this country to even mention race without being accused of having nasty prejudices. Juan went on to state that stereotyping is wrong, so his comment could not have been fairly misinterpreted as carrying any kind of bigotry with it.
Shame on you, NPR. You are better than that!