On Thursday's New Day on CNN host Chris Cuomo seemed to defend Martin Bashir's reprehensible comments as a rhetorical point gone wrong and effusively praised his apology as "the best he has ever heard."
Mediaite columnist Joe Concha was invited onto the program to discuss the Bahir incident and MSNBC's lack of official reaction. When Concha asked why Bashir hadn’t been suspended for his on-air statement while Alec Baldwin was sent to the penalty box for something off-air, Cuomo launched into his defense.
Well, alright, but hold on. Let's get some context here. Because, there's no question it was wrong, right? And I have to say that because Martin Bashir says that. So that is the accepted premise, that what he said was wrong.
The accepted premise? Cumo seems to be arguing that Bashir saying someone should p*ss and sh*t in Sarah Palin's mouth is only wrong because Bashir himself called it wrong.
In fact, Cumo continued by defending Bashir's horrific words:
That goes to the intention that Bashir had when he said that. Having read the full transcript of what it was, it seemed to have been a fairly well developed reference to the history of slavery and how terrible it is and this is what was done to slaves. And if you want to use slavery you should know what slavery is and this is what should happen to you and it became the last part of what he said should happen to her which is a horrible thing that was done to slaves. Do you think Martin Bashir was trying to be viciously savagely hurtful to Sarah Palin? You don't think he was trying to make a bigger rhetorical point and that this was a mistake of how to do it?
Concha explained that he believes it was intended to be vicious, that Bashir himself had made analogies to slavery similar to the one Palin made, and the reason the MSNBC host made the vile comment was to manufacture a controversy and improve his shows failing ratings.
Neither Cumo nor co-host Kate Bolduan seemed willing to agree that Bashir should face any discipline for his scripted, vetted, on-air remarks.
As the conversation began to wrap up, Cumo began to wax poetic about Bashir's apology:
But I will tell you this, when I heard his apology I thought it was the best media apology I’ve ever heard. I thought it made CBS’s Benghazi apology seem like a ‘maybe.’ I thought it was so unqualified — he tapped into the instincts that drove him to that level of rhetoric; the harshness that we all talk about in the media; that he became a manifestation of that and why that’s wrong. I think he went a really far way.