As first reported by NewsBusters, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir ended his program Friday giving arguably the most deplorable defamation of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin by anyone to date.
To his credit, Bashir began his show Monday with a very sincere apology (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MARTIN BASHIR: Last Friday, on this broadcast, I made some comments which were deeply offensive and directed at Governor Sarah Palin. I wanted to take this opportunity to say sorry to Mrs. Palin and to also offer an unreserved apology to her friends and family, her supporters, our viewers, and anyone who may have heard what I said. My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics. And they have brought shame upon my friends and colleagues at this network, none of whom were responsible for the things that I said, and at a place where we try every day to elevate political discourse and to focus on issues that matter to all of us.
In the battle of ideas, America leads the world in wholehearted discussions and disagreements, and these arguments can be heard on a daily basis. But what I did on Friday had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with that great tradition, and I am deeply sorry.Upon reflection, I so wish that I’d been more thoughtful, more considerate, more compassionate. But I was not, and what I said is now a matter of public record.
But if I could add something to the public record, it would be this: that I deeply regret what I said, and that I have learned a sober lesson in these last few days - that the politics of vitriol and destruction is a miserable place to be, and a miserable person to become. And I promise that I will take the opportunity to learn from this experience.
My hope is that it will renew in me a spirit of humility and humanity, that looks for the good and that builds upon the great things that this country has to offer to all of us, regardless of our political persuasion. This will be my guiding light and compass in the days ahead. But once again, I am truly sorry for what I said on Friday.
To be sure, I commend Bashir for this apology which was clearly sincere and heartfelt.
That said, does he really believe MSNBC is “a place where we try every day to elevate political discourse?”
Let’s take a look at some of Bashir’s recent acts of “political discourse” to see how “elevated” they were.
Last month, Bashir equated Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) to cult leader David Koresh.
Earlier that month, he said Republicans care more for War Memorials than kids with cancer.
In August, he and his crew deceptively edited a video of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to radically change the meaning of his words.
In July, he and a guest compared Republicans to drunks and chain smokers.
Earlier that month, he said Fox commentators and Rush Limbaugh were “a sewer of absolute crap.”
A week earlier he suggested that Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was “the most repugnant politician in the history of American politics.”
In June, he selectively edited 1981 remarks by a Reagan aide to make Republicans look racist.
Earlier that month, he said the Republican investigation into the IRS scandal was an attack on the “black man in the White House.”
In April, he wondered if Republican senators needed to have a family member killed to prevent a filibuster on gun control legislation.
Earlier that month, he totally trashed former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on the day of her death.
In January, Bashir ran a deceptively edited video of a father of a slain Sandy Hook child supposedly being heckled in order to smear gun rights supporters.
Earlier that month, he compared the NRA to Adolf Hitler.
A week earlier, he compared a Republican governor to the former murderous dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Readers are advised that these are just vile comments made by Bashir this year, which means that Friday was not an isolated incident. Though none of these likely rise to the disgraceful level of his comments about Palin, they certainly aren’t elevating the political discourse, and thereby show a propensity on Bashir’s part to make highly offensive comments about folks he disagrees with.
As such, if Bashir is truly sorry for what he said Friday, we’d expect that his program will indeed elevate the political discourse from this point forward and depart from “the politics of vitriol and destruction” that have been his trademark since he came to MSNBC.
We’ll be watching.