MSNBC Sends Wrong Signals With Bashir Apology…

Martin Bashir apologized on the air today for his Sarah Palin commentary last week…

…or should I say “was ordered to”?

Whatever the case (and I believe the latter is the more likely scenario), with this move MSNBC has set a very sad precedent and the wrong signals regarding what it will and will not tolerate on its air…

- 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 not tolerate someone saying on air that a Democrat Presidential candidate is pimping out their daughter. For that you get an “indefinite suspension”.
– 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.

Nobody should believe that MSNBC is playing fair with Bashir here. The minimum punishment should have been suspension (I and others argued termination was warranted). 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?

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48 Responses to “MSNBC Sends Wrong Signals With Bashir Apology…”

  1. Right. A sincere and extensive apology is no longer good enough. This is ridiculous.

  2. Sincere? Based on what? Bashir’s acting job? He’s been dancing on the edge (and sometimes crossing over) since he got there. What are we to believe: His apology or his track record? I go with the latter.

  3. Then what was the point of him apologizing? According to you it was a complete waste of time which no one should believe, so he might as well have hunkered down and gone on with the show. The rightwing reaction today has been “I don’t care, fire him”. He wasted his breath even bothering to be a man about what he did. Congratulations.

  4. We’re not children. Sometimes “I’m sorry” isn’t sufficient. Don’t worry, his job is safe. As Spud amply stated, she’s not a member of a protected group, and I’m surprised that he apologized at all.

  5. Joe, the apology wasn’t enough. That’s the bottom line. Apologize? Sure. But suspension was required to set a benchmark…one that they set before with David Shuster.

  6. I wonder: will Don Imus get an apology from MSNBC? Not that he’d accept it of course, but I am curious.

  7. Don Imus would still be working there if he had immediately done what Bashir did today. I remember that week-long victimfest Imus went on before he got around to figuring out he’d blown it. It was too late by then.

  8. Spud says” :I would not blame anyone in the GOP for thinking they can’t get a fair shake from MSNBC and NBC News now.”

    According to many of the posters here MSNBC and NBC are NOT the same. Remember when farris posted all the NBC names that should be concerned about what Bashir did?

    joe said: “Most of those names don’t even work for MSNBC.”

    Sp spud: you MAY NOT, I REPEAT MAY NOT, EQUATE MSNBC WITH NBC according to joe.

  9. That is correct. Saying Brian Williams has to answer for Martin Bashir is like saying Chris Wallace has to answer for Steve Doocy. The comparisons are ludicrous.

  10. savefarris Says:

    Don Imus would still be working there if he had immediately done what Bashir did today.

    Nope. Imus’s offense was against minority women from a blue state, the “home team” in spud’s parlance. Now if Imus had said use the exact same words in reference to … say … Condeleeza Rice …

  11. That’s bull, Farris. Imus refused to man up, and paid for it. He spent hours on MSNBC’s air that week boo-hooing about “I’m a good person” and “they’re out to destroy me”. All he had to do was say “I’m sorry” and it would’ve been over. MSNBC would have done the same thing they did here, and you would have been cool with it because he attacked minorities. But because it’s poor pretty white Palin, it’s unforgivable. Please.

  12. savefarris Says:

    Uh … Chris Wallace *DID* have to answer for Steve Doocey.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/21/foxs-chris-wallace-critic_n_92741.html

    If NBC wants us to believe they’re completely separate entities from MSNBC, it’s simple:

    * Pick a side, Chuck. Network-only or Cable-only.
    * Maddow, Matthews, Lawrence, Andrea are no longer appearing on MTP/Today/Tonight.
    * Reporters such as Pete Williams, Richard Engle, Miklaszewski are no longer shared.
    * Move back to Seacacus.

  13. […] Inside Cable News tries to piece together the MSNBC standard for what deserves punishment: […]

  14. AC will be discussing Alec Baldwin’s oops, but no mention of Bashir or his apology. For anyone wondering how it was that an “apology” was enough. As I’ve already said, it was completely unnecessary, since he chose the right target.

  15. Bashir screwed up, and he apologized for it. What AC chooses to talk about is his business. My advice to anyone on the left who slights the right again is: Play it the way they would. Shut up and keep moving. Apologies are laughed off.

  16. The point, which you will refuse to accept, is that attacking Sarah Palin in the vilest way possible is a gimme. The press isn’t going to get worked up about it. He can give a meaningless “apology”, which is either lauded as “classy”, or ignored totally. But by all means, start whining about conservatives.

  17. He should have just not said anything. Other than some media-blogs, no one would have noticed or cared. Not the least of which because it’s Martin Bashir, on MSNBC.

  18. The conservatives I’m “whining about” are right over there —> in Spud’s Twitter feed. As you say, the show has lousy ratings, and the comment came on a Friday afternoon. All the bleating about “nothing was said over the weekend” might have something to do with folks like Capehart not knowing about it until today.

  19. I assume MSNBC monitors its programmes and has someone there who can say something about it over the weekend.

  20. Dude’s best defense is that no one watches his stupid show. Performance Art for Dummies.

  21. I would not assume that a guest contributor like Jonathan Capehart would have a clue about a closing segment on Friday’s Bashir show until he rolled into work Monday morning. Believe it or not, most people don’t follow this stuff like we do. Including half the people in it.

  22. Joe, you’re missing the point. The foul was so egregious, an apology is meaningless. It’d be like if I decided to find an Obama supporter, walk up to him, kick him in the nuts, throw eggs at his car, then say, oopsies I’m sorry. Real sorry.

    And as has been pointed out, this isn’t new for bashir. It is bashir.

  23. After finally listening to the whole thing on Mediaite, all I can say is that the tiniest edit would have made the first rant acceptable. All he needed do was restrain himself from applying it to Sarah Palin, and simply wonder if she has any clue about these historical examples. Surely she doesn’t.

  24. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to learn that the whole thing, along with the carefully crafted apology, had been run past someone of authority at MSNBC before he said it, .

  25. It was a good story, and an amazing example of an historical reality to which she is likely oblivious. Skip over the fantasies of her being “punished”, and it’s spot-on.

  26. Oh come on, Al. I like a good conspiracy as much as the next Alex Jones, but “we planned to do the story, then apologize” is a bit much.

  27. They were trying to divert attention from Alec Baldwin. Work with me.

  28. I admittedly don’t watch much, if any MSNBC these days, but these types of comments out of Bashir’s mouth don’t seem too surprising. He’s one of the dirtier people on the network, and this is just him playing the game I’ve seen him plan time to time when I pass by. Controversy to pull in eyes?

  29. Nope. Imus’s offense was against minority women from a blue state, the “home team” in spud’s parlance. Now if Imus had said use the exact same words in reference to … say … Condeleeza Rice …

    Oh, that’s bull. Imus spent a week crying about he was a good person and the media was vilifying him.

    If Imus had made the reference about Rice … well, he didn’t.

    That said, Bashir needed to go – a long time ago.

  30. Geez, Imus’ whole crew was moaning. Hours and hours of that maudlin BS. It was almost sad by Wednesday morning.

  31. […] News‘s Howard Kurtz as well as Inside Cable News are’t having it. They say MSNBC’s lack of a suspension for Bashir is inconsistent with […]

  32. […] 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 […]

  33. Look… the reason why Bashir’s comment and apology haven’t gotten the attention of other events is because Bashir is a small fish, in a smaller fish bowl. Before anyone could report the story, they’d first have to explain who the heck he is!

    He’s a nobody with a microphone… if since nobody’s really listening, nobody cares what he says.

  34. Exactly, Blue. That’s why I think they didn’t go with a 2-week suspension. It would have turned a little-known weekend kerfuffle into a 2-week story, with attention on Bashir when he came back. My guess is Bashir told management he’d drop a full apology at the top of the show Monday, and they said “get it over with and get out of our hair”.

  35. I assume MSNBC monitors its programmes and has someone there who can say something about it over the weekend.

    Yeah, let’s bury an apology in to a weekend block that all of 32,000 people watch.

  36. It doesn’t have to be an apology.

  37. Geez, Imus’ whole crew was moaning. Hours and hours of that maudlin BS. It was almost sad by Wednesday morning.

    Bashir will end up going down the same road though. Let’s not forget how many years Imus sat there calling Alex Witt fat, snarking about “is she pregnant – well, she’s never going to be”, calling Contessa Brewer an idiot and making wisecracks about other women. He finally said something so repulsive that it merited something being done.

  38. Personally, I think MSNBC should give Bashir 8pm. He’s getting higher ratings, at 4pm, than Chris Hayes is getting at 8pm and he’s enough of a firebrand that he’d make it work and create the kind of controversy that gets people to watch.

  39. The first thing Bashir and everyone else at MSNBC needs to do is stop dealing with Sarah Palin. She exists solely to fatten her wallet by saying stupid stuff intended to piss libs off, and they fall for it every time. Then she gets to be a victim. There’s a sucker born every minute..

  40. Yep. Palin’s a snark queen and always has been. And you can always count on someone at MSNBC to say something even more offensive than what she said and turn her in to the victim. It’s been going on for five years now.

  41. Sh\t just got real.

    johnny dollar ‏@johnnydollar01
    Wow. @SarahPalinUSA kills interview with Matt Lauer in protest over @BashirLive attack… http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/20/palin-kills-matt-lauer-interview-over-martin-bashir-slur/?dtoc

  42. “Martin Bashir doesn’t work here, and he apologized to you. Now, what about that slavery comment..?”

    She didn’t skip it in “protest”.

  43. Hey. What is this! Martin Bashir should have received a medal . Absolutely. For what Palin has done to our country, started all the hate talk and she certainly did while on her campaign trail.
    In fact, Sen. J. McCain should apologize first for bringing this dingbat to the forefront.

  44. Palin should not get a free pass due the fact that everything that comes out of her mouth is h a t e ! This woman should be banned for TV. She is un American.

  45. Hmmm… Calling for someone to be banned from speaking on television or anywhere else because of the political content of their words is as un-American as you can possibly get.

  46. […] a core MSNBC constituency. For that you get a two show suspension,” Inside Cable News wrote. “It will tolerate someone planning well in advance to state that someone should [defecate] in […]

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