CNN's Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan cautioned against MSNBC suspending or firing host Martin Bashir for his latest broadside against Sarah Palin, on Thursday's New Day. Cuomo actually asked if he wasn't just trying to make a "rhetorical point" rather than be "hurtful" to Palin.
Bashir had clearly stated that Palin was "the outstanding candidate" to receive a certain punishment for slaves – defecating in their mouths – for her remarks on slavery. Despite the gravitas of his words CNN gave him some benefit of the doubt while ignoring his history of vile smears of Republicans, the worst of which is documented below.
"Do you think Martin Bashir was trying to be viciously savagely hurtful to Sarah Palin?" Cuomo asked guest Joe Concha of Mediaite. "You don't think that he was trying to make a bigger rhetorical point and that this was just a mistake of how to do it?"
And CNN pointed to his "heartfelt" apology when Concha said he should be "suspended or fired."Bolduan offered, "Joe it was a very heartfelt apology that we played," Bolduan offered. Cuomo praised it even more:
"[W]hen I heard his apology I thought it was the best media apology I've ever heard and I thought it made CBS's Benghazi apology look like a maybe. I thought it was so unqualified. He tapped in to the instincts that drove him to that level of rhetoric. The harshness that we all talk about in the media that, you know, he became a manifestation of that and why it's wrong. I thought it went a really far way."
So CNN lauded Bashir's apology and gave him some benefit of the doubt, despite his history of disgusting rhetoric:
[MP3 audio of the montage here.]
"[Florida] Governor [Rick] Scott has repeatedly turned down the offer of federal funds that would allow parents to care for their disabled children at home....I was reminded of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania, whose treatment of disabled children there, which started in the 1970s, where they were hidden and housed in the most appalling conditions. Now, of course that's an extreme example. But is this his preference for disabled children in America in 2013? That you simply house these disabled children in facilities away from their families?"
— Bashir interviewing Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, January 9, 2013.
Rick Santorum: "More Like Stalin than Pope Innocent III"
Bashir: "When we last saw the Republican front-runner Rick Santorum speaking before a crowd yesterday, all we could think of was George Orwell's novel 1984 about a society dominated by the most extreme form of totalitarianism...."
Clip from 1984: "The forces of darkness and the treasonable maggots who collaborate with them, must, can and will be wiped from the face of the Earth."
Bashir: "In reviewing his book, It Takes a Family, one critic said, 'Mr. Santorum has one of the finest minds of the 13th century.' But I'm not so sure. If you listen carefully to Rick Santorum, he sounds more like Stalin than Pope Innocent III."
— Bashir, February 14, 2012.
Blame Republican Budget Cutters for Cantaloupe Carnage
"John Boehner and his Republican majority decided to gut the FDA's food safety and inspection service. First, slashing $87 million from its budget and then another $35 million from the USDA for good measure. Cut, cut, cut. And now the results are in. Sixteen people have lost their lives. Close to 100 are sick. Republicans in Congress talk proudly of their commitment to laissez-faire economics, where government gets out of the way and everything works perfectly. You try telling that to those who ate melon with a side of listeria."
— Bashir on MSNBC's Martin Bashir, September 30, 2011.
NRA Is the Real Hitler in Gun Debate
"As the gun lobby has armed its barricades since that horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, one of the arguments that they continue to use against any kind of regulation is to unashamedly invoke the name of Adolf Hitler. Supporters of the NRA say that history proves tyrannical leaders begin by robbing law-abiding citizens of their firearms....Of course, for a nation hell bent on genocide, Hitler did not allow the Jews to possess firearms, but virtually everyone else was free to do so. Which I guess turns this story on its head. Because if anyone deserves to be equated with Hitler on the issue of firearms, then it's not the President, it's the NRA."
— Bashir, January 14, 2013.
Thanks to the MRC's Scott Whitlock for compiling the video highlights.