Marking Bashir Resignation, Hannity, Guests Agree There's 'Conga Line of Disgusting Pigs' at MSNBC

NewsBusters reported earlier today that the three major broadcast networks failed to mention Martin Bashir’s resignation from MSNBC after his despicable attack on Sarah Palin. Fox News, on the other hand, gave the resignation the attention it deserved. The incident was discussed on most of Fox’s late afternoon and evening programs yesterday, as well as a couple of shows this morning.

Sean Hannity’s eponymous program offered the harshest analysis of the situation on Wednesday night, with one panelist slamming the "conga line of disgusting pigs at that network." Hannity himself found a number of appropriate adjectives to put Bashir’s comment in its place:

"And in case you missed the disparaging, despicable, vile remarks that started the debacle, Bashir said that Governor Palin deserved the same punishment given out by an 18th-century slave master who forced slaves to defecate and urinate in other slaves' mouths."
 

Fox News liberal contributor Bob Beckel was on hand to provide reaction and analysis. Referencing his own history of cursing on air, Beckel rebuked Bashir:
 

"[L]ook, I have said a few things, including on this show that have been embarrassing... I wouldn't go anywhere near that far. And how he lasted this long is amazing to me."
 

Beckel’s colleague and fellow The Five co-host, Andrea Tantaros, was also at the table. In no uncertain terms, she blasted not only Bashir, but MSNBC as a whole:
 

"[T]here’s a conga line of disgusting pigs at that network, okay? Keith Olbermann, now he’s gone. Dylan Ratigan, now he’s gone. Remember David Shuster? And it’s not just limited to conservatives. David Shuster went after Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and said that she was being pimped out by her mom. He was suspended for that. There is this misogynistic disrespect for women over at MSNBC, and it's allowed by the executives."
 

Later, Tantaros called the Lean Forward network out for its double standard on the treatment of women:

"This is what's so frustrating. Because they spent most of last year, the entire network and the same group of jerks that you just played, going after Mitt Romney for his alleged war on women... Yet they let them attack women, and they sit back and maybe slap them on the wrist."
 

It’s good to know that there are people in the media willing to criticize a (former) liberal host when he deserves it.

Below is a transcript of the discussion:


SEAN HANNITY: And welcome back to Hannity. There is a major development regarding the despicable comments Martin Bashir made about Governor Sarah Palin last month. Now the left-wing NBC News host has resigned and he issued a statement earlier today which reads in part, quote, “After meeting with the president of MSNBC I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues at this special--” and I’ll add liberal, left-wing, radical “--network will be allowed to focus on issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.” And in case you missed the disparaging, despicable, vile remarks that started the debacle, Bashir said that Governor Palin deserved the same punishment given out by an 18th-century slave master who forced slaves to defecate and urinate in other slaves' mouths. Watch this.

MARTIN BASHIR: When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.

HANNITY: Wow. Here with reaction, the co-hosts of The Five, Bob Beckel, Andrea Tantaros. How are you guys? Good to see you.

ANDREA TANTAROS: I like that accent.

BOB BECKEL: Good to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: Not bad, right?

TANTAROS: It makes me sound so exotic.

HANNITY: You are exotic. You’re hanging out with Bob. That’s exotic.

TANTAROS: It’s not exotic. There’s a different word that comes to mind, but we’ll save that for –

HANNITY: I know what you’re talking, I think. Alright, you know what's interesting here is Andrea understands this. She's in radio and television. You don’t, on the left, I think, understand what we live under. A whole network of liberals taping every word we say in the hopes of starting ad campaigns to get our advertisers to leave or to get us fired. Right? We live under this –

TANTAROS: Exactly.

HANNITY: No conservative, Bob, that I know of asked for Bashir to be fired.

BECKEL: Well, no, well I mean – by the way, you have Media Matters that looks at the conservative -- or liberal outlets.



HANNITY: No, they don’t look at liberal outlets. Never.

BECKEL: They don't?

HANNITY: They didn't cover this story much.

BECKEL: They didn’t? Okay, I take it back.

HANNITY: If I said it, it would have been every day –

TANTAROS: Every day.

BECKEL: Here’s the other thing I may be wrong about. Is Bashir the second cousin of the head of Syria?

HANNITY: No, that would be –

TANTAROS: Bashar Assad?

BECKEL: Oh, like Bashar, okay.

HANNITY: First name.

BECKEL: I got you. Listen, what this guy said, I don’t know how – look, I have said a few things, including on this show that have been [inaudible] embarrassing –

TANTAROS: You? No!

BECKEL: I wouldn't go anywhere near that far. And how he lasted this long is amazing to me.

HANNITY: That’s true. Andrea, what do you think? What do you think about how the network handled it?

TANTAROS: I think the network should have asked him to resign or fired him a long time ago. But look, there’s a conga line of disgusting pigs at that network, okay? Keith Olbermann, now he’s gone. Dylan Ratigan, now he’s gone. Remember David Shuster. And it’s not just limited to conservatives. David Shuster went after Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and said that she was being pimped out by her mom. He was suspended for that. There is this misogynistic disrespect for women over at MSNBC, and it's allowed by the executives. I mean, he should have been fired. They shouldn't have waited for him to take a vacation at Thanksgiving and then I guess submit a letter on his own. Maybe they pressured him to do that. But Sean, this is a – I think it’s a systematic problem over at that place.

***

BECKEL: Now I’ve been blessed here, because I at least had a hearing when I’ve said some bad things, like on this show.

HANNITY: The difference is you cursed. Alright, there is a big diff-- look, I don't want anybody fired, because there is a whole network that wants to fire us. I’m just saying, who’s in charge of NBC News these days? ‘Cause I think –

BECKEL: Are you going to debate –

TANTAROS: It's like when they interview them they must say, let’s see, do you have anger issues, do you hate women, check, check. You're hired. It’s great. This is what's so frustrating. Because they spent most of last year, the entire network and the same group of jerks that you just played, going after Mitt Romney for his alleged war on women and the Republican Party has a war on women.

HANNITY: Such a good point.

TANTAROS: Yet they let them attack women, and they sit back and maybe slap them on the wrist. But again, it's a prerequisite to work over there. You’ve got to be an angry white guy – I mean, Bashir wasn’t –  who hates females.
 

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.