The author of the letter (TNT, 11-6) claiming that Eugene Robinson’s racism should be cause for losing his job misses the distinction between columnists and reporters.
Columnists are paid to express their opinions, while reporters are paid to be impartial and report only the news. So there is not really a parallel between Juan Williams losing his job at NPR and Robinson. However, I think there is still a huge debate about whether or not Williams should have lost his job over his ill-advised comments on Bill O’Reilly’s program.
Williams appeared on O’Reilly’s program as a guest, not in his role as an NPR commentator. In these sorts of situations, an opinion may not be totally out of bounds. I think Williams’ firing left NPR with a black eye.