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No, this isn't a joke about three people who walk into a bar. But it's got the makings of a pretty good one, at that.

It has been an interesting week for Ms. Palin. She has made a few more of the usual ill-advised and uninformed statements for which she is now quite famous. But she has done something that she may never have accomplished before. She has become the victim. That's not a role she has cultivated, and it certainly isn't one she is accustomed to.

With a curled lip of obvious distaste, the inimitable Sarah Palin this past week said of Pope Francis, that he seems a little too liberal for her tastes. And earlier this month she said the coming debt crisis we are now causing, the crisis that she labels as clearly the fault of those over-spending liberals, is going to make slaves of our future generations. She said our debt to China will "be like slavery" for our children. And, of course, it's all the fault of Obama and those unthinking, foolish liberals.

Her use of slavery as a parallel was immediately pounced upon by her detractors, and rightly so. To compare our children's resolution of the debt problems we bestow upon them to slavery, is to completely misunderstand what slavery was, and in many places still is. But sweet Sarah is certainly no stranger to misunderstanding. Her comments about the Pope demonstrated that fact rather clearly. To say that the Pope's comments and views are "too liberal" for Palin's personal tastes, displays her incapacity to understand not only what "liberal" actually means, but also what the life and iconic duties of the Pope happen to be.

Enter MSNBC's Martin Bashir. On his show last Friday, Bashir dealt with Ms. Palin's unfortunate slavery remarks in an even more unfortunately memorable way. He got caught up in the lack of thought that is Sarah Palin. He got carried away with her excesses and her stupidity, and went off on her with a verbal attack that, in days gone by, would have shaken the journalism world even more than Palin's remarks habitually shake the world of politics.

Bashir brought up some examples of slavery in action. He mentioned one documented slave owner's grotesquely inhuman form of punishment, where one slave was forced to defecate in the mouth another. Then came the unfortunate part where Bashir got a bit too carried away in his emotional reaction to Palin's stupidity. He suggested that when she invoked slavery in this ridiculously ignorant fashion, she confirmed her candidacy as recipient for the very same punishment. Sorry, Martin. That just wasn't too smart a thing to say.

Granted, Palin hasn't been a great candidate for many things, and this might finally be one for which she is well-qualified. Perhaps a case could even be made for her deserving some form of punishment for her excesses and her ignorance. But the punishment does usually have to fit the crime a little better than this, don't you think, Martin?

Even in today's world of compromised journalism, CNN's description of Bashir's comments as "incendiary" is an understatement. While it is true that Bashir's excesses are a direct result of Palin's, that certainly doesn't excuse what he suggested. His error was considerably worse than her misappropriation of slavery for her example. Not that he wasn't entitled to his opinion, but when you are publicly representing someone else's network, it's just not professional to go around saying things like that. Professionalism still counts for something, even in today's world where actual news is pretty hard to find in and among all the commentary, sound bites, and blatantly promotional partisanship.

As suggested by right-wing types, Bashir should indeed be sanctioned for his lack of judgment. But he did profusely apologize for his lack of professionalism, and despite what his partisan detractors might think, it was a pretty convincing apology. So he should probably be permitted to keep his job.

But Martin, please try not to get dragged down to the level of those you are dealing with. It's not advisable when you are a mouthpiece working for someone else.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Three people walk into a bar... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem

    Give me time. I'm still working on the joke.

  •  It's MSNBC's fault. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, BvueDem

    They're trying to be Fox left and encourage their anchors to be incendiary, emotional in tone, and insulting. It's why I don't watch them. There are too many good objective news sources out there for me not to just ignore MSNBC entirely and just let liberal blogs give me the best snippets of whatever Rachel and Co. does.

    •  News (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tony Stark, BvueDem

      Good point. I did try twice to allude to the fact that news, in general, "ain't what it used to be." Even CNN has suffered woefully.

    •  Oh horseshit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Linda1961, unfangus

      that all sounds lovely, especially to the "both sides do it" delusionists...

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:11:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  False dichotomy fallacy. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, TwoWindows

        They are not "both sides'. They are one side. Corporate outrage machines. They just target different audiences.

        Delusion is thinking MSNBC cares about you. They don't. They want the ad dollars you bring. NPR, BBC, PBS, any any of the bevy of harder news sites available online for free are the better bet for people thirsting for real news.

        Oh horseshit, indeed.

        •  What MSNBC "cares" about.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pinto Pony

          ...has very little to do with what Rachel Maddow or Melissa Harris-Perry choose to discuss on their shows.

          The only obvious influence from above I can see is stuff like Bashir's apology, and that's just an example of bosses telling employees not to go out and say stupid shit that gets them in trouble...

          Your characterization of them denigrates good work done by some good people.

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:50:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What you defend is pure corporate messaging (0+ / 0-)

            intended to "veal pen" the Left.

            Everyone with integrity left that network a couple years ago when they decided that mimicking Fox's hate and defending the indefensible (as long as it was being done by a Democrat) was going to be order of the day.

            The only people still watching are those comfortable with Center-Right propaganda being sold to them as Liberalism.  

            "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

            by JesseCW on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 05:09:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Pure corporate messaging" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denig

              ....more nonsense.

              The individuals I referred to don't seem to be spouting corporate messaging.

              Post an example of either of the people I mentioned spouting "corporate messaging"....

              "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

              by leftykook on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 05:24:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wow, must be great to be pure (0+ / 0-)

              as the driven snow.

              Now tell us again, how many people listen to you?

              •  I don't get the point of your comment (0+ / 0-)

                It seems to me the people asserting villainy on the part of MSNBC personalities are the ones who should be questioned about "purity"...

                It's particularly galling to have them criticized because of who they work for rather than the content of their work, that what they have to say is irrelevant because they work for a cable network that airs political opinion as a large part of their programming.

                I'm always hearing Schultz, frinstence, being criticized because he's bombastic and strident, his voice sounds a little like Lush Rimjob, and rarely because of the content of his bombast.

                "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

                by leftykook on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:57:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Actually it does. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftykook

            Maddow's natural inclination is to do serious hard hitting news and quite often she gets pressured by the corporation to be more incendiary. Chris Matthews recently opened up about the pressure they all feel to be more flamboyantly Fox-like.

            I give credit where it is. I also give blame where it is due. I like Rachel, sometimes. When she's doing the news and not when she's taking 5-10 minutes to arrive at the conclusion of "lol GOP story of the day (one repeated all day long) is ridiculous"

  •  OTOH his comments are far less incendiary (7+ / 0-)

    taken both in the context of what was said in toto and also in historical context.  Conservatives have been determined to appropriate slavery as "their" issue with various RW luminaries such as Rush and Beck claiming to be the "new" MLK and accusing the Democratic Party of relegating African Americans to the "plantation"

    Therefore to some extent it is only fair that the vast majority of Americans who are oblivious to the repulsive excesses of the slavery system be exposed to it.  I note all the solemn nodding heads who, as Quite Serious People, were discussing Palin's claims as possibly valid.  One of them even complained later in the week that Oprah daring to call out racism in our society is unfair to racist.

    In contrast, Bashir's statement may have been more a Molotov cocktail rather than a dash of cold water upon the Party of Appropriation but the bottom line has to be, if someone appropriates a historical event, he/she should also be responsible for appropriating it within its historical context      

    •  Bashir called for torture, and insisted that (0+ / 0-)

      some people deserve to be tortured.

      Much of his audience approved.  They're not watching for political coverage, they're watching because they enjoy the dehumanization of the 'other'.

      "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 05:10:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would argue he was educating the public (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        incognita, TwoWindows

        as to the true underbelly of slavery, to exactly how depraved slaveowners could be and still be considered pillars of the community.  I had no idea of the history behind his comment at first but was aware of the slave breeding farms, the maiming and beatings and routine murder of slaves and of the base savagery of the system but this history drags it even farther into the depths of debasement of humanity

        •  If he hadn't merely been engaged in the set-up (0+ / 0-)

          for a truly disgusting call for the torture of the Enemy of the Day, you'd a have point.

          Instead, he took a potential teaching moment and turned into a fulfillment of Orwells prophecy.

          "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

          by JesseCW on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 08:31:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Everything Bashir said was just fine until... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Linda1961, Chi, TwoWindows

    ....the very last sentence, when he said she deserved some of the slavemasters' treatment.

    My only complaint with him is that he wrecked a perfectly appropriate and powerful rant against a mindless and destructive woman who's personally brought public discourse to a new low, and who NEEDS to be publicly denounced. With extra vitriol. And a side order of scorn.

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:08:28 PM PST

  •  I watched the comment when it first aired. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, lostinamerica, Linda1961, Chi, incognita

    I found it to be a powerful explanation of the horrors of slavery. That he wished it upon Palin was appropriate. She just spouts her hate with little regard for facts or understanding. When I listened to his apology, I didn't even know what he was referring to. He had talked about the beatings and other aspects of the inhumane treatment experienced by slaves. That a nation so transfixed on sex and bodily functions chose to only remember that part of his statement is a pretty sad commentary on us. To beat someone, and strip them of their humanity is no less distasteful than pissing/shitting in their mouth. Palin should have apologized for her ignorance.

  •  Someone had to say it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Considering the vile crap that comes out of that mouth.....

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 04:59:58 AM PST

  •  I saw no sign he was emotional or carried away (0+ / 0-)

    in the clip I watched.

    I saw a man delivering a carefully scripted 5 Minute Hate.

    He actually managed to be more disgusting than Sarah Palin, and that's a feat.

    "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

    by JesseCW on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 05:06:14 AM PST

  •  Since the evil RW TGOPers only understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linda1961

    Punishment, I totally get why he said it.

    She's evil & is going to cry victim. That's all she is good for whining & making shit up.

    She can go back to hell where she belongs.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 05:20:21 AM PST

  •  Will this stop (0+ / 0-)

    Sarah from comparing health care for all to slavery. Maybe.

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