For the second day in a row, MSNBC's Martin Bashir used the death of one man to attack a completely unrelated conservative.
Having disgustingly besmirched Sarah Palin in the middle of his eulogy for Apple's Steve Jobs Thursday, Bashir on Friday went after Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as he paid his respects to Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MARTIN BASHIR: Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Republican race for the White House has been the surge of Herman Cain, whose new book, “This is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House," has just been published. In the book, Mr. Cain says this about the civil rights movement. "It didn't have an impact. I just kept going to school, doing what I was supposed to do, and stayed out of trouble."
Compare that with the life of the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, who passed away this week at the age of 89. Until Wednesday, Mr. Shuttlesworth was the last surviving member of the big three. He's seen here sitting between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Reverend Ralph David Abernathy. They were the three founders at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the 1950s.
Mr. Shuttlesworth was a godly and devout man of faith who trained for the Baptist ministry, but also braved beatings, bombings, and fire hosings in order to advance the cause of equality. On Christmas Day itself in 1956, somebody placed fifteen sticks of dynamite outside the parsonage where he lived. The explosion destroyed his humble home, but he survived. A year later, in 1957, he and his wife took their daughters to enroll in an all-white school in Birmingham. But as they arrived, they were met with men carrying chains, brass knuckles, and baseball bats. His wife, Ruby, was stabbed in the head. He was beaten unconscious.
Mr. Shuttlesworth once said from the pulpit, “I'm answerable to God for he is the judge.” But as I read Herman Cain’s book, it's hard not to conclude that he finds himself answerable only to those Republicans who will soon start electing their nominee for the White House, and as such, he probably feels obliged to reassure them that he’s no angry black man fighting for the rights of minorities. He wants to be known as one who stayed out of trouble. But he would be wise to remember that without the likes of the late Fred Shuttlesworth, Herman Cain wouldn’t even be able to vote let alone get the chance to run for the presidency.
What is the matter with this man? Is it not possible for him to see anything as it is without perverting it into a vehicle to attack his political enemies?
In the past two days, a couple of historic figures in this nation passed away. Rather than use his television bully pulpit to properly eulogize them, Bashir besmirched both of their memories by adding political commentary totally unrelated to either of them.
Is this really the message MSNBC wants to be sending its audience: that everything now is about politics and advancing a liberal agenda? Even the deaths of a renowned inventor and a civil rights leader?
The more I see of this man Bashir, the more I'm starting to think that he is one of the most disgraceful people in the television news media today.
Given the competition out there, especially at the network he works for, that's saying something.