MSNBC’s non-response to Martin Bashir’s abhorrent Sarah Palin remarks is hypocrisy at its most flagrant. MSNBC rightly thought it prudent to suspend Alec Baldwin (perhaps permanently) for his most recent off-air, off the cuff homophobic slur. Yet the network is standing steadfastly beside Bashir who used their airwaves to deliver a scripted and deliberate statement about Palin that is perhaps the most vile attack ever broadcasted on a major network.
Martin Bashir’s desperation apology—certainly forced on him by the MSNBC higher-ups—for his bottom-feeder attack isn’t playing well, as it’s nearly impossible to take him at his word after his long history of spitting venom nightly. As Daily Mail reports, the backlash has come from all directions, even a former member of the UK parliament, Louise Mensch, who tweeted: "'My God. The misogyny of Martin #Bashir against Sarah Palin. How unutterably disgusting. #MSNBC should fire him. #feminism'"
Bashir’s insincerity aside, is an attack so vile a professionally forgivable offense anyhow? As FoxNews.com points out, if it had been delivered by a conservative or directed at a liberal, of course not:
An abject apology is all well and good. But as Mediaite’s Joe Concha writes, invoking MSNBC President Phil Griffin: “Could you imagine if Neil Cavuto or Jake Tapper, who occupy the same timeslot on Fox and CNN, respectively, suggested anyone s*it in anyone’s mouth on national television, as Bashir did last week?
And from HotAir:
Remind me when a right-leaning commentator last suggested that a famous, liberal, female leader should have her mouth forcefully filled with human waste?
Perhaps the most offensive aspects of the Bashir situation is the hypocrisy of MSNBC itself. Inside Cable News nails MSNBC to the wall on its utter incoherence and double standards:
- It will not tolerate someone getting worked up off air in the heat of the moment and using a gay slur in public which alienated a core MSNBC constituency. For that you get a two show suspension.
- It will tolerate someone planning well in advance to state that someone should defacate in a conservative’s mouth. For that you merely have to apologize on the air.
- It will tolerate someone using crude commentary about a former GOP vice presidential candidate. For that you get to keep doing your show without interruption.
As the same article concludes, “MSNBC has revealed its true colors with this move.”
You can beat up on the GOP with an almost reckless abandon and skate with only the slightest of punishments. But if you beat up on the home team…you’re screwed. I would not blame anyone in the GOP for thinking they can’t get a fair shake from MSNBC and NBC News now. Why should they after what MSNBC did with Bashir?
MSNBC had better take a second look at its Bashir response. The network’s credibility is already cratering, and Bashir is doing his best to drag MSNBC and NBC to the bottom.