MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Wednesday outrageously compared another conservative to a brutal dictator. According to the cable host, because Florida Governor Rick Scott supported cuts for programs that included funds to programs that serve disabled residents, he's just like Nicolae Ceauşescu, the vicious dictator of Romania who killed thousands.
Talking to arch-liberal Congressman Alan Grayson, Bashir fumed, "I was reminded of Nicolae Ceauşescu in Romania, whose treatment of disabled children there, which started in the 1970s, where they were hidden and housed in the most appalling conditions." The anchor wondered, "But is this his preference for disabled children in America in 2013?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Understating things, Bashir admitted that this was an "extreme example." It may be extreme, but it's not uncommon for Bashir. On February 14, 2012, he compared Rick Santorum to the genocidal killer Joseph Stalin:
BASHIR: In reviewing his book It Takes a Family, one writer 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.
A transcript of the January 9 exchange is below:
MARTIN BASHIR: Congressman, Governor Scott has repeatedly turned down the offer of federal funds that would allow parents to care for their disabled children at home. Now, in the interest of transparency, we cared for my own disabled brother at home until he died. But in a letter from the Department of Justice it says, Florida, and I'm quoting, "has planned structured and administered a system of care that has led to the unnecessary separation and isolation of hundreds of children in nursing facilities." Congressman, what kind of person is it that chooses to target the most defenseless and weakest members of our society?
REP. ALAN GRAYSON: A sick, cruel, sadistic person who happened to be elected governor despite the fact that he committed the largest fraud against Medicare in our history. I have to tell you that sometimes the judgment of the voters is almost inexplicable. We've taken somebody who has an appalling record, a callousness to him that's manifest, a dishonesty that's manifest and we made him governor of the third largest state in the country. And the results is shocking. You know, you look at what he's done and you say to yourself, maybe Tony Soprano could have done worse. Maybe not. It's hard to say.
BASHIR: Well, you use Tony Soprano an example, sir, but I was reminded of Nicolae Ceauşescu 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?