Flashback: New MSNBC Host Martin Bashir Once Spun FL Community as 'Catholic Jonestown'

MSNBC host Martin Bashir, whose new 3pm show premiered on Monday, has quickly adapted to his new home. Over three programs, he's lauded the "outstanding" coverage of left-wing anchor Ed Schultz and also featured the liberal Rachel Maddow and Dylan Ratigan.

Perhaps this shouldn't be too surprising. On August 7, 2007, as co-host of ABC's Nightline, Bashir derided Ave Maria, a planned Catholic community in Florida. He parroted criticism that the town has "been described as a Catholic Jonestown, a kind of Catholic Iran, where individual rights and liberties are curtailed."

Profiling Maricopa County Joe Arpaio on December 14, 2009, the journalist assailed the "brutal regime" of the anti-illegal immigrant sheriff. Speaking of critics, Bashir complained, "They don't like it because stopping people on the streets because they look Hispanic is racial profiling."

On Monday, Bashir lashed out at the "disingenuous" spending plans of a Tea Party Republican. On Tuesday, he hailed the "measured" response of Barack Obama to the ongoing crisis in Libya, slamming the response from "neocons" and "right-wing" pundits.

Introducing Schultz on Monday, he fawned, "Ed Shultz, the host of The Ed Show, week nights at 10pm eastern time hear on MSNBC, has been doing an outstanding job of covering events here in Wisconsin and joins us now with his perspective."

The examples of liberal bias from Bashir's work on Nightline were actually much less common than some of his former network colleagues. However, now that he's on MSNBC, the reporter's first three days do indicate more of a willingness to tout the network's liberal line.

— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org