Ah, the glamor and dignity of the 24-hour news cycle!
Some background: On Nov. 9, Sarah Palin compared the national debt to human slavery at a big fundraiser. Naturally, her remarks provoked quite a bit of outrage — particularly from Martin Bashir, who called Palin a “world class idiot” on his MSNBC show Friday.
But Bashir didn’t stop there. “It’s hardly surprising that [Palin] should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history,” he continued. “So here’s an example.” He went on to quote a first-person account written by plantation overseer Thomas Thistlewood in 1756, which reports that upon being caught eating sugarcane, a slave named Darby was “well flogged and picked.”
Oh, and after that, the overseer “made Hector, another slave, sh– in his mouth.”
“I could go on, but you get the point,” Bashir said in conclusion. “When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate.”
Apparently, Bashir spent the weekend rethinking his whole “take a crap in Sarah Palin’s mouth” policy — which is why he opened Monday’s show by apologizing to Palin, her friends, her family, her supporters, and “anyone who may have heard what I said.” Way to cover your bases, Martin.
“My words were wholly unacceptable,” Bashir said. “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.”
You know — issues like the existence of Bashir’s 2010 reggae album Bass Lion, currently streaming in its entirety on MySpace. That should help clear away the stink of this whole incident.