Political Influence Operation
Date: October 20, 2010
On October 18 on the Fox News program “The O’Reilly Factor,” Fox News contributor and former NPR employee Juan Williams stated “I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
Two days later on October 20, CAIR issued a press release calling on NPR to take action against Williams. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad called Williams’ comments “irresponsible and inflammatory” and complained that “media commentators who launch rhetorical attacks on Islam and Muslims normally do not suffer the professional consequences.” CAIR’s Awad called on NPR to “address” Williams’ statements. NPR publicly announced the termination of Williams’ contract the following day, October 21.
On October 21 the Center for Security Policy alerted five parties involved in this influence operation to CAIR’s alleged foreign agent status via email: Juan Williams; Vivian Schiller, President and CEO, NPR; Roger Ailes, President, Fox News Channel; Bill O’Reilly, Fox News Channel; and the Inspector General of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
The Center issued a press release on the evening of October 21 informing the public that these five parties had been warned and providing a background of CAIR’s alleged violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
The next day, October 22, the Center sent formal letters to each of the five parties providing them with more background on CAIR’s apparent violations and asking that they request a Department of Justice investigation into CAIR’s violation of the FARA code:
A copy of each letter was also sent to Bureau Chief Heather Hunt of the Foreign Agents Registration Unit at the Department of Justice.