Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC

You can read details here.

Well, It's about time.

Well, It’s about time.

It has been about two weeks since MSNBC talking head Martin Bashir said, on the air, not spontaneously but reading from a script, that Sarah Palin deserved to have someone shit in her mouth. I have previously commented on the incident and its aftermath here, here, here and here, which is more than Bashir is worth.


  • Bashir should have been fired. That would have asserted that MCNBC had standards of civility and professionalism. This suggests it has none, at least when a conservative is the one being abused on the air.
  • He should have been fired immediately. Late is sometimes better than never, but it is also significant when a network, faced with an employee who engages in objectively outrageous conduct that doesn’t merely cross the line, but pole vaults across it, appears to be pondering, as in, “Hmmmm. How bad is it, really, when a host suggests that someone hold down a former vice-presidential candidate and defecate in her mouth? Tough one! What’s your take, Lou?”
  • Bashir’s producer and editor should have been disciplined, if not fired as well. 
  • Punishing Alec Baldwin for a lesser transgression involving a popular progressive voting bloc while seeming to ignore Bashir’s comments made MSNBC look unprincipled and governed by double-standards.
  • MSNBC handled the incident about as badly as it could have been handled. Last week, when Bashir suddenly was replaced on his show by a guest host, “sources” told the media that he had been suspended.  Then officials at MSNBC denied the rumors, insisting that he was on “vacation.” Then, rather than returning to work, Bashir resigns. A less professional, transparent and dignified process would be hard to imagine: ignore, delay, lie, waffle, and then let the offender appear to decide his own fate.

With or without Martin Bashir, MSNBC is an embarrassment.

40 thoughts on “Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC

    • Faye, that’s utter nonsense. Limbaugh has never said anything remotely close to the violent,demeaning and vulgar rhetoric of Bashir; he doesn’t use imagery like that, and is thoroughly professional. And he is an entertainer, whose standards are those that should apply to Jon Stewart or Bill Maher. What you comment amounts to is “Yeah, well so’s your old man.” Lame.

      • Hello, Jack,

        Your assessment of Martin Bashir seems beyond argument.

        Suppose that Bashir had instead said that Sarah Palin was a “slut” and a “prostitute” and that she should make and post a sex tape.

        I would still judge him worthy of being fired, and would not accept it as an excuse if he were billed as entertainment rather than news.

        (Faye, isn’t Limbaugh self-employed?)

            • Which, if he seriously abused his audience with rhetoric like “I wish someone would shit in her mouth,” would arguably be even a greater offense than Bashir. Rush is too professional for that, which is WHY his audience is so large. I seriously doubt that Faye has ever listened to Rush. I’ve never heard a serious critic of Rush who did.

            • There exist a large number of insurance plans that will cover contraception.

              And without birth control, it is possible to have sex, which is not true with people who need Viagra.

              Wanna try again, bitch?

              • It was insurance plans specifically that Ms. Fluke was testifying about. See

                Not everyone has a choice of insurance plan.

                Oral contraceptives have uses for people who aren’t sexually active. At one point in her life, that included my wife. Fortunately she had a non-discriminatory student health plan. Ms. Fluke’s lesbian friend with PCOS didn’t. Now everyone does.

                I’m writing for the information of the other participants in the thread, those who are willing to investigate and discuss the issues instead of calling someone “bitch”.

                • Oral contraceptives have uses for people who aren’t sexually active.

                  And the university specifically covered such things when they were prescribed for reasons besides birth control.

                  So she wasn’t just demanding we offer her money for her convenience, but she was lying too.

                  Imagine my shock.

                  And you are aware that “oral contraceptives” cost about 9 bucks at Walmart, right? And that they was even a planned parenthood clinic within a few miles?

                  Pay. For your own. Fuck pills.

                  • AM — you are starting to drive me crazy at this point. It’s time to share my experience with Gtown (I usually do not share personal details) with the crowd. I was “forced” (much like the ACA directive) to purchase Georgetown health insurance when I entered school. I had already accepted enrollment and didn’t learn this fun fact until it was time to make my hefty first payment (and after the date I could have accepted the other law schools who accepted me). It turns out that I was glad this expensive health care was forced upon me, but that is a story for another day. Anyway, I went to the mandatory Gtown doctors requesting birth control. Silly me. The doctor kept saying to me, “You are requesting birth control for your painful and heavy periods, correct?” I kept saying, “no” — being the honest and literal person that I am. The doctor then repeated the question 3 times, and gave me the look of “what are you, an idiot?” I finally left. After paying 6 months for birth control at Planned Parenthood ($60/month — and yes, I was in a long term committed relationship), I finally went back to the Gtown doctors and said, “Hey, I need a prescription for birth control because I suffer from heavy and painful periods.” EVERYONE at Gtown thought that this policy was a joke — including the doctors. My friends still laugh at me today for attempting to take a (brief) principled stance at the time. Eating ramen noodles for 6 months taught me the error of my ways.

                    • So what you are saying is that yes, birth control is covered if it isn’t for birth control, and that it is very easy to get around this minor restriction…

                      The Catholic Church has a very specific policy on this issue. I do t agree with it, but it is their long held public stance. If you went to a Catholic school and were somehow surprised that they would hold to this policy is…

                      Well, it makes me wonder exactly how you got into law school.

                      I mean, do you suspect that BYU might have a policy or two against things like alcohol?

                    • I think you are missing the key difference. Georgetown made me pay for medical coverage, it was not optional. Birth control is a basic part of medical coverage. Everyone– okay EXCEPT the Vatican — agrees that avoiding unwanted pregnancies is critical in basic health coverage. If BYU made me buy a drinks policy, and it included all hard alcohol, but not beer, I would be pissed at that too. I didn’t want to buy a drinks policy, and, if I did, I would want it to cover what I wanted to drink — beer.

                    • Paying for birth control is a defensible national policy choice, but there is no reason in the world why each individual can’t and shouldn’t be 100% responsible for every aspect of their own sexual activity, including the results of it. Coverage doesn’t cause unwanted pregnancies…voluntary sexual activity does.That’s a rhetorical trick. It’s no accident that some have unwanted pregnancies and some don’t, and it begins with personal choices. It isn’t the policy decision that offensive, its that presumption that it is inherently just and fair. No, it’s not. It may be necessary, but don’t tell me that the irresponsible people who make it necessary should be smug and proud of the fact.

            • That’s a valid point, in the sense that no public figure is abused by mere invective, The abused parties are the audience and civility, as well as enlightening discourse and respect for opposing views and diverse groups.

              • Wow, I was about to make exactly that point, with one addition. Bashir’s victims included his employer, whom he made to look like puerile incompetent fools while taking their money.

                Sandra Fluke was directly victimized by an attack from someone with millions of listeners who treat what he says as if it were news. The damage continues, as shown in this very comment thread — it’s still possible for someone to think Ms. Fluke was testifying about her own needs. If it were a slipup from doing improvisational radio, the “prostitute” comment would not have been followed on a different broadcast day by the sex tape comment.

                Sarah Palin, in contrast, was not damaged by what Bashir wants to put in her mouth, but by what comes out of it.

                • Sandra Fluke was directly victimized by an attack from someone with millions of listeners who treat what he says as if it were news. The damage continues, as shown in this very comment thread — it’s still possible for someone to think Ms. Fluke was testifying about her own needs. If it were a slipup from doing improvisational radio, the “prostitute” comment would not have been followed on a different broadcast day by the sex tape comment.

                  Jesus fuck, where do I even start…

                  First you say you were about to make the same point, and then you say that pile of retarded bulkshit. Fluke was every bit the public individual, considering shed been a shill for the den party for a number of years, and such a performance – being an entitled moron in front of Congress – was what she’d been going to school for. She was no innocent.

                  But you are right. J am well aware that in fact she was talking about “a friend” (because no one ever says “yeah I have this friend and” when talking about themselves”), so you are correct – calling her a whore is inappropriate.

                  He should have called her a pimp.

        • Nonsense.

          1.Rush said that Fluke wanted to make Taxpayers pay for her sex,and that having people pay for sex was akin to prostitution, making her a slut. It was a crude and uncivil analogy intended to be funny, and he was properly criticized, but neither the word prostitute nor the word slut are impermissible words to use, when appropriate, on the air. “Someone should shit in her mouth” is ALWAYS inappropriate, anywhere.

          2. Rush adlibs for three hours, five days a week. Try it. All such radio entertainers slip up eventually, Rush less often than most. The art form gets some leeway, because it’s improvisational and risky. Bashir’s comments were scripted and premeditated.

          3. People weren’t calling for Rush to be fired because he said that Sandra Fluke was a slut—they were calling for Rush to be fired because they want to silence his opinions, as they always have.

          In summary: Nowhere near as serious an offense, different level of intent, different genre, more forgivable, and exaggerated indignation based on more than the actual words involved. And Rush’s comments were satire. There was nothing humorous, intended or actual, in Bashir’s attack on Palin. It was pure hate. Bashir doesn’t do funny. Nobody would call for Jon Stewart to be fired for using the word slut. Or fuck, for that matter. “Shit in her mouth”? His job would be on the line too.

          If I were the decision-maker, Rush would have been suspended after his apology (which he did make). There is still no comparison with Bashir. The correct analogy would be Ed Schultz calling Laura Ingraham a slut, which properly got him in trouble—but that was worse too, because it was pure name-calling, and had no satiric intent. Fluke’s position involved sex, and Rush’s riff was misfired satire on her position.

          Otherwise, you’re right: they’re identical.

          • Don Imus was a closer analogy, making what were gratuitous demeaning, arguably racist insulting comments about a female college sports team’s members. That was ugly., cruel and unjust…Imus’s instance of falling over the edge. It was still more fit for broadcast than what Bashir said—planned, hateful–but race is the third rail, and it was more than just race. And he WAS fired. Yet, again, he was joking, and humor is part of his schtick. Bashir does not get teh same pass that Imus, Stewart, Rush, and Colbert get as pundit/entertainers

    • I love it when liberals get all morally equivalent and Puritan about conservatives. “Our worst guy is better than your worst guy.” Such a convincing argument. Especially when you get to define what worst is. Do you read this blog at all?

      • Moral equivalency is one of the traditional fallback positions of the Left. It’s also deliberately disingenuous. As to Limbaugh’s famous (infamous?) comment about Sandra Fluke, the fact remains that he was right. Any female (unmarried or not) who demands THOUSANDS of taxpayer dollars per year for the overt purpose of funding her obviously extensive sex life would seem to come under the heading of s-l-u-t. And when she sets up a political movement to that end, targeting young college women (and with the open support of the Democrat Party) she manages to go well beyond your street corner skank. What Bashir said about Sarah Palin was not merely nauseating, but revealed a mental process that was likewise nauseating. And it was done merely to obscenely heckle someone who, unlike others, had never attempted to corrupt young girls into whoredom for the sake of an agenda.

        • Here comes the cavalry!

          Rush’s worst transgression was long ago on his TV show when he ridiculed Chelsea Clinton, 12. Bad. Still a long, long way from a news network’s host advocating urinating and shitting on a female politician.

          • I’m not a huge Limbaugh fan, but to me there is a clear difference between what Rush Said and what Bashir said. They are not morally equivalent. Its one thing to insult somebody, quite another to call for violence against that person. In other words, its one thing to call somebody an asshole, quite another to demand they have their legs broken.

        • You realize that whether you have sex once a month or thousands of times a month that the birth control dosage would be the same, right? Please confirm that you know that.

          What Rush said was beyond awful. What Bashir said was just as bad. And Jack’s futile attempts to make it less so are quite frankly embarrassing. Should Fluke have been testifying before Congress? Probably not — it should have been a Georgetown doctor, but I’m guessing that would have had negative career ramifications so they had to go with a student. But, one should never compare someone testifying before Congress to a slut or prostitute.

          Birth control also does not cost thousands of dollars a year — it doesn’t even cost close to $1,000, and that’s even assuming that you need a higher price brand. And — it’s not tax payer money — it’s money from the private citizen to an insurance company.

          • No, embarrassing is not recognizing the difference between a characterization and a violent and hateful fantasy. Every distinction I pointed out is accurate and valid, and are exactly why Limbaugh has a job and Bashir does not.

            Poll 10,000 rational people and ask which is intolerable: saying that a woman’s insistence that the government pay for her sexual activities is a slut/prostitute, or saying that a politician who likens the burden that the national debt will impose on the liberty of the next generation to slavery deserves to be tied down while someone shits in her mouth, and the result will be 9998 to 2, with you and Sandra Fluke in the wacky minority. If you can make an argument that these two comments are remotely equivalent in their respective contexts, then make it: you will appear ridiculous. If you can rebut the real distinctions, in ADDITION to the material difference in vulgarity, hate and intent of the statement themselves, then go ahead—saying that a careful and sincere–and accurate —explanation offered by me is “embarrassing” without a rebuttal is, frankly, lazy and cheap…and obviously unconvincing—to anyone.

          • Birth control also does not cost thousands of dollars a year — it doesn’t even cost close to $1,000, and that’s even assuming that you need a higher price brand

            Then why did Ms Fluke tell Congress – under oath – that it cost “her friend” over $3,000 a year?

            Hell, I’ll even be generous, and ask why she told Congress that it cost $3,000 for the four years it took to get a degree?

            Are you suggesting that she was lying?

            And you still have not exactly rebutted the argument, Warrior Princess…

            It is entirely possible to get birth control while attending that school, and even in a manner that allows for it to be covered under your insurance.

            • I’m neither defending Sandra Fluke nor her testimony. I’m pointing out that Rush went off the deep end with his comments. I am not a “Rush hater” — I believe that conservative talk radio is important. But he crossed a big line with his comments about her, just as Bashir did with Palin. Whether or not either or both should be fired? I personally would want to see them both fired, but I guess the sponsors and the viewers are more important than my own opinion. If viewers don’t like what they are hearing, the market will make any correction deemed necessary.

              As for that school comment, yes, you’re right — you can get birth control there if you lie to your doctor. We covered that.

              • The fact still remains that Sandra Fluke- a long time Democrat activist- created a campaign demanding that American taxpayers subsidize the prodigeous sex lives of certain college coeds, etc., to the tune of thousands of dollars per year. Apparently, Sandra and her floozy friends can’t even prevail on their scores of boyfriends to help them in that “worthy” endeavor. Maybe they should start charging for their services? They might as well, anyway. All they’re doing is hurting the business of the professionals!

  1. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t Bashir’s comments, in context, in describing the acts of slave owners who were disciplining their slaves? So he was speaking in an analogy, correct – for her comparing the US being in Debt… to Slavery?

    I now have gone back and watched all the clips – and I have to say that this is mountains out of molehills, and that this is Media Hype to the nth degree.

    I agree with what Sarah Palin. One of the common ways I have always described myself when I am in debt and paying Usury interest of any kind or amount is that I am a “Debt Slave”, pure and simple.

    And what does that have to do with Black People? Nothing. There have been slaves throughout recorded history – and there are all kinds of people, of every race, creed and color, that are enslaved today – sexually, indentured servitude, etc. Africans were enslaved by whites starting in the 15th century, and that is the most famous and known example – but it is one of a myriad of examples of Human Beings of wealth, power—but cruel and without conscience or empathy—enslaving other Human Beings.

    I do not agree with Martin Bashir – “Shitty analogy” (sorry.) And he attacks the messenger instead of the message. His point is ridiculous. How much time did he and his crack researchers waste finding that diary entry? Who needs to hear that? I guess we all do – being enslaved is cruel and unusual. Enlightened, civilized people do not treat each other in such fashion. There are just as many examples of wealthy, powerful people who have been altruistic and benevolent rulers who have treated their people with respect.

    Bashir tries to cash in on Palin’s record of bumbling, uninformed and inarticulate comments in the past, and tie it up with just a horrible observation. If he wrote that piece himself, he should maybe apologize for a crappy analogy – but that’s about it. It is hardly an event worth firing.

    So Jack – I agree with Sarah Palin, and I think that Bashir acted, or editorialized, like an idiot. Has Hell frozen over? Considering the current weather, maybe it has. I’d like to hear you defend your “Martin should have been fired immediately” opinion – sounds like you’re anti-free speech and in favor of some “Nanny State” Censorship.

    • No, BBH, I’m anti-unprofessional behavior that embarrasses employers and degrades the airwaves. You know free speech has nothing to do with this, so I’ll give you the courtesy of not calling you you on your gaffe. He has no right to be employed at MSNBC or to be on TV. There is no right to violate all professional standards of decorum with out serious consequences. Jay Carney could also be fired for saying something like that, would be, and should be, because the man who represents the highest office in the land should not be debasing his boss by saying that people should shit in the mouths of his adversaries.

      “This woman is so stupid that she deserves to be tied down and have some one urinate and crap in her mouth” qualifies for dismissal in any public position. I wouldn’t trust an on-camera employee whose judgement was so wretched that he said that even once. No way. It wasn’t an observation. It was an expressed desire. Having described what Thistlewood did to slaves, Bashir said of Palin, “…if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.” Meaning: she is the outstanding candidate to have someone shit in her mouth. That was the sentiment and his meaning. Foul. Disqualifying foul. Hateful, disgusting, not fit for the airwaves, and wildly inappropriate. No news anchor or taking head has ever said anything that horrible before, which means Bashir has the worst tasts and judgement in TV history today, and if we don’t want more of that level of discourse, the message needs to be sent, loud and hard. The way to do it, is to fire the Most Tasteless, Vile and Hateful host ever. That’s the best and only way to do it, because when he does it again, and he will (See: Alec Baldwin), then the station is implicated. It was warned.

      • As the meat shield guy alluded to earlier, the good news is the left leaning alphabet soup news channels are being disciplined by the market.

  2. Why are so many people unable to understand that it’s not who he said it to but rather that he said it at all?
    Are people really this GD stupid?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.