Martin Bashir Was Wrong to Apologize

Martin BashirI want to be perfectly clear. Martin Bashir was wrong. He never should have apologized for his commentary about Sarah Palin last Friday. For one thing, what he said made perfect sense. I am so tired of this pretend outrage. Sarah Palin used slavery as an analogy for current deficit spending. What she said was not stupid by her standards because there are plenty of supposed smart people who agree. Think: Niall Ferguson. But what is truly vile is the conservative tendency to bring up slavery as though it were just a system of control—as though it had nothing to do with racism and the basest of reptilian brain desires to subjugate anyone you can.

So Bashir was right on in his analysis of Palin’s terrible analogy. This stuff isn’t academic. Sarah Palin makes us a worse nation. She not only brings the level of discussion about current events to primordial levels, she carelessly abuses the history of this country and those who have suffered during it. I am fully aware that what Martin Bashir said was harsh. But I’m not at all sure that anything said could compete with the pernicious effect that Palin herself has had on our culture. And to say that maybe someone should defecate in her mouth strikes me as mild to what a traitor like her deserves.

Here is the original video:

Now I’m going to show you Bashir’s apology. As I said, I think he was wrong. No apology should have been offered for what was a very concise bit of political commentary. But if you are going to apologize, this is how you do it. Martin Bashir is a class act. I am grateful that he is part of the liberal movement. There’s no “I’m sorry if you were offended.” If things were reversed, I’m sure right now that Sarah Palin would be claiming that Shakespeare wrote potty humor. But I’m sure she would allow that it might be sad if Martin Bashir’s family were offended. But let me just be blunt: liberals are better.

Martin Bashir is a better man than I am. But Sarah Palin shows that words can be treasonous.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Martin Bashir Was Wrong to Apologize

  1. Well . . . Bashir is being a bit disingenuous when he claims in the apology that nobody on his program was responsible for his comments but himself. I’m sure quite a few producers and others involved with the show thought it was full of good zingers. All credit to the guy for falling on the sword himself.

    The zingers were good (and nothing you wouldn’t hear in the House of Commons, much less the meaner, stupider versions used by US conservatives attacking liberals) but dumb in terms of feeding the Fox-faux-outrage beast. That leviathan lives on nothing but insults. You have to be quite clever when you deliver them.

    Bashir should have avoided referring to Palin as a moron (DFFT), made his apt reference to the real history of slavery, and ended with something like this. "Governor Palin uses the catchphrase, "free stuff," as a form of code that is intended to suggest welfare recipients, without being caught on camera telling her audience that America is going broke because of handouts to lazy black people. To further inoculate her statements from being identified, correctly, as appealing to racism, she says, in essence, that we should hate lazy black people the way we hate slavery. This is deeply offensive, and, yes, deeply racist. The governor and all those who trivialize the history of slavery for this purpose owe the entire American population an apology; one I suspect we will be waiting a long time to hear."

    Or they could have used similar, better language. Notice what I did; I never once attacked poor, long-suffering Ms. Palin personally (which Fox will always jump on as attacking its poor-long-suffering viewers); I stuck to the meat of what Palin said. The outrage machine would probably ignore such a commentary. If they picked up on it, Palin would probably have defended her statements in an even stupider way (like Romney defending his 47% comments.)

    Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest have a small army of smart people, cloned from cells in Goebbels’ brain, always on the lookout for tidbits they can isolate and repeat incessantly to prove how liberals are almost as vicious, mean spirited and intolerant as Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity, and the rest. Particularly liberals in the mainstream of politics and the media. (If Bashir’s good zingers had come from an obscure video blog, the outrage machine wouldn’t touch them, for fear of increasing the blog’s viewership.)

    It’s fun to attack these people; and I suspect, from his tone, that Bashir was genuinely incensed at Palin’s comments. But righteous anger isn’t enough when you’re the underdog. You can’t just come out and say, my uncle killed my dad so he could fuck my mom and take her throne. You have to be a bit more subtle when you try to catch the conscience of the king.

  2. @JMF – I’m away from home and only have a minute. That was my favorite part. That wasn’t disingenuous; it is noble. He is the fact of the show and the one who gets all the credit when things go right. Plus, I fear there is pressure on him to fire some producer, and he was defending his people.

    I like what you wrote, but calling out their racism always backfires. That just brings out the, "I didn’t mention racism! You liberals are all obsessed with race!"

    I suspect that Bashir is overall happy with it. It will help his ratings. And he really is very good–especially for a daytime show. He’s definitely comparable to Maddow.

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