Sometimes I think people at MSNBC have Sarah Palin on the brain.
In a Morning Joe segment about Melissa Harris-Perry’s apology to the Romney family for mocking their adopted black grandson, and former Governor Mitt Romney’s classy acceptance of said apology, host Joe Scarborough for some reason decided to take a totally unprovoked and unnecessary cheap shot at Sarah Palin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOE SCARBOROUGH, CO-HOST: Isn’t it sickening, Willie, seriously, these people on Twitter. It’s like, you know, people are total animals on both sides. Like Martin Bashir. Right? He said something terrible. And you know who said that? Martin Bashir. I talked to Martin on the phone while it was going on and he was like, “Oh, you know.” He was so hurt, and he felt so stupid, and he felt so bad. And people close to him were saying, “God, Martin,” you know? And, you know, he screwed up. We all screw up!
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CO-HOST: And there’s a difference to the level of screw-ups because that was written, but I'll tell you what happened with Melissa's segment was just it kind of unraveled, and it was live, and other people jumped in, and she apologized for everybody on the set.
SCARBOROUGH: For everybody, exactly.
BRZEZINSKI: She took it all on her shoulders.
BRZEZINSKI: And people want to believe that she had some sort of evil ultimate motive. It makes no sense when you look at her own background. It makes no sense.
SCARBOROUGH: And, by the way, let me just jump in. Let me just jump in and say this. Let's compare Sarah Palin's response…
SCARBOROUGH: …to when she was wronged to Mitt Romney's response. That’s all I’m going to say.
BRZEZINSKI: Just don't say anything else.
SCARBOROUGH: That’s all I'm going to say. Mitt Romney showed total class.
This is pathetic on so many levels it’s amazing.
First of all, the segment was about the value of apology and forgiveness.
Why was it necessary to include an unprovoked attack on someone that had nothing to do with the storyline other than she was the one debased by one of their former colleagues last year?
Totally undermines their praise for forgiveness, doesn't it?
In addition, as Brzezinski pointed out, you can’t compare what Bashir did to Harris-Perry for the former was completely scripted and intentional involving only one person reading from a teleprompter, and the latter was far less controlled with four guests giving impromptu responses that ended up being offensive.
Beyond this, Bashir – with the apparent approval of producers – was advocating someone defecate and urinate in Palin’s mouth. This was so serious that Bashir lost his job over it.
As it doesn’t appear Harris-Perry is going to be punished at all for her transgression, Bashir’s was obviously far more serious even in the eyes of MSNBC management.
Despite this, here was Palin's response to Bashir’s apology last month that Scarborough and Brzezinski apparently didn't like:
SARAH PALIN: My role is to accept his apology and be humble enough to, you know, accept it and move on. But I just hope that unprovoked attacks like that don't result in people being hesitant to jump in the arena anyway, to get out there and serve the public or, you know, start a business, or really commit themselves to changing within their family, their community, their world, doing whatever that they can, despite the fact that in this world, you are going to be hurt and attacks will come your way. I just hope that an attack like that doesn't make people hesitate.
STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": You know, one of the things about his attack is it was scripted. It was premeditated. We've all said things on TV when we're ad-libbing.
BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST: Not me, but go ahead.
DOOCY: It didn’t come out exactly right. But this was, you know, the people at NBC had a chance to review it and they obviously or apparently all agreed. And rather than fire him, they let him resign.
KILMEADE: After weeks.
PALIN: Well, it was refreshing to see, though, that many in the media did come out and say, look, our standards have got to be higher than this. Those with that platform, with a microphone, a camera in their face, they have to have more responsibility taken.
KILMEADE: Governor, think about this: if Governor Palin from six years ago was attacked like this, would you have reacted differently? How have you changed being that this was not new?
PALIN: Oh, well, at this point I'm used to it. That's kind of a sad state of affairs too to have to admit that I am used to it. You know, after five years of this kind of stuff, some of that oomph kind of gets knocked out of you a little bit. So six years ago I probably would have been personally hurt by such an attack. Now, no, I look at it as it’s kind of par for the course, and just again, hoping that that doesn't make those who have not yet been under attack like that hesitate to try to get out there anyway and try to change the world.
ELIZABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST: That’s a good message.
DOOCY: Unfortunately, there’s a double standard with conservatives, and in particular, conservative women, wouldn't you feel?
PALIN: Oh sure, that's obvious, that’s obvious. And as I've said before, I think the target of the attack is usually more significant than what the attack, the articulated words used actually are. And that's, that’s part of that double standard.
HASSELBECK: Did you hear from the National Organization for Women?
PALIN: Haven't heard from one feminist.
KILMEADE: Did you check your voice mail? Did you think there was nothing?
HASSELBECK: I'm sure they're getting to it.
KILMEADE: So Governor, the whole thing you were able to shake it off, the fact that he resigned, your main point you want to get out is people should go out and give their opinion, but stop with the personal attacks. How is that ever going to benefit you?
PALIN: Well, that's very true. This, of course, some of the attacks go beyond the personal attacks. As I’ve said, too, though Brian, when it comes to me personally, I do feel like I can handle it. I feel kind of callused, and, but not in a bad way. But heaven forbid a Martin Bashir or anybody else come out against somebody who cannot defend themselves and perhaps aren’t…
KILMEADE: Then you'll go.
PALIN: I'll go ballistic on that person, absolutely. Gloves are off. Heels are on, I’ll, then I’ll really say what I want to say.
Given how this woman has been mercilessly attacked by the media for approaching six full years - and that she was being interviewed by three different people rather than offering a scripted apology as Harris-Perry did - do you see anything wrong with her response?
Frankly, considering what she’s gone through, and what Bashir said, I think it was exceptionally gracious.
So what does that tell us?
For folks at MSNBC, there’s nothing Palin can do that they’ll ever agree with or accept.
These people like much of the media have a very serious case of Palin Derangement Syndrome, so much so that even when she’s attacked by one of their former colleagues, she’s still made out to be the bad guy.
Makes you feel sorry for folks consumed with such hatred, doesn’t it?
For his part, Scarborough reached for comment by email agreed that the Palin comment added an element to the discussion that he should have avoided.