O'Reilly and Williams on O'Reilly's Fox News program

Under-explained firing makes NPR an issue just in time for election

Top NPR officials may have thought their Oct. 20 decision to dismiss veteran journalist Juan Williams was about journalistic objectivity, but to many outsiders it sounded more like a story of arrogant lefty political correctness. That narrative opened up public radio — and all of public broadcasting — to a political attack that may help the candidates of Fox News and the Republican Party rally their conservative base for the midterm elections Nov. 2. Criticism of the firing was not limited to the partisan right.