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Juan Williams: The Interview

Juan Williams told colorful stories about Thurgood Marshall and the importance of pro bono work Tuesday night at Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service’s annual awards reception.

He also addressed what would otherwise have become the elephant in the room.

“I’ve been through some rough water the last few days,” Williams said at the outset of his 20-minute remarks.

Williams was referring, of course, to his highly-publicized dismissal from NPR for comments he made on Fox News Channel and subsequent hiring by the cable network. Williams’ speech, at the University of Maryland School of Law, was scheduled prior to the controversy.

Williams, a journalist and author, said people have been asking him how he’s doing, a question he is not sure how to answer. He imagined Mary Todd Lincoln’s response to being asked “How’s the play?” upon leaving Ford’s Theater.

“It feels like, I’m not even sure what’s going on, what hit me,” he said. “But I know I just got rolled over.”

(My tweets last night about this led to some chatter; being there, I can say he was not comparing the two events but referring to the out-of-body experience he’s having.)

Following the reception at the University of Maryland School of Law, Williams answered reporters’ questions. Below are some of the highlights. I apologize for the video and sound quality, but equipment issues forced me to shoot with my phone. I’ll be back later this week with more about the MVLS event itself.