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Let me tell you why the forced resignation of Martin Bashir is such a big deal, and why it’s so insidious.  This is meant to be yet another message to liberal reporters and news commentators, or any reporters seeking to report the truth, that it’s hands off high-profile Republicans or you lose access and your job.  Media critics and Democrats bewail the low quality of reporting today; how those on the right wing get away with disrespectful and even treasonous statements and are rewarded by their employers with fat contracts and book and speaking deals.  Critics complain that there is no real investigative reporting anymore.  Why do you think Greg Palast operates out of London, England?

This firing-as-forced-resignation of Bashir, and the firings of Keith Olbermann (MSNBC and Current TV), David Shuster (MSNBC), Cenk Uygur (MSNBC) all are meant to further reinforce that almost all of American news outlets are owned by conservative corporations with Republican Party ties. What this means is that shoot-from-the-lip-first-and-never-ask-questions-later types like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul, and any number of Republicans can say whatever occurs to them into any microphone or in any written venue and will not be held accountable by anyone for it.  It means that venal Republican toadies like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson, Anne Coulter, ad nauseum, can call President Obama whatever they choose and tell whatever lies about the Affordable Care Act they choose to, and the fact that almost everything they say is intentionally false just serves to provide them with highly-lucrative job security.

So, for those of you who are claiming that Bashir went too far with his criticism of Palin, you have missed the point by a wider distance than the maximum width of the Grand Canyon—18 miles to be exact.  Bashir did not go too far; he was just being what used to be called BLUNT.  He shouldn’t have apologized but that should have been the end of it.  For Comcast it wasn’t and so Bashir was forced to walk the MSNBC plank.  That and it was also a message that we don’t cotton to Brits who look Pakistani with Pakistani last names talking trash about purebred white Americans who are also Republicans.

I don’t care if MSNBC still has Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and Lawrence O’Donnell as its too-big-too-fire liberals (well, Rachel and Lawrence, anyway); it’s lost its liberal cred as far as I’m concerned.  I hope Bashir lands at a media outlet that prides itself on reporting American events honestly and without fear of reprisal from the firmly-entrenched right wing; someplace like…Al Jazeera America.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Remember Phil Donohue. MSNBC is not your friend. (5+ / 0-)

    MSNBC found an audience they can use to get ratings. It's not a liberal network. They are not an ally. They will only sound liberal so far as it's in their financial interests to do so.

    •  I disagreed with the Firing (5+ / 0-)

      of Phil Donohue, although in Bashir's case saying someone should take a dump in her mouth is vulgar beyond comprehension.  I would have fired him, not allow him to resign for that.

      •  many people (4+ / 0-)

        Will tell you that Bashir didn't say that. But it isn't true. Well to be precise he said that she deserves to have her mouth shat in.

        Conservatives don't police their own when they say horrible things. But I believe we should be better than they are.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 10:55:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  To be precise he didn't (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, mwm341, commonmass

          He called out Palin for minimizing the horrors of slavery in America. He offered a particularly distasteful example of said horrors. Then he said, that if ("if" means "hypothetical") anyone deserved such treatment (clear implication is that nobody does deserve it), it would be Palin.

          That might be distasteful, and I wouldn't have said it myself. But it's not the same thing as saying someone should shit in Palin's mouth. It's unfortunate so many people, even on this site, can't tell the difference.

          “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:17:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kickemout, Neuroptimalian, commonmass

            if political roles were flipped and a nominally conservative talk show host said that about a nominally liberal public figure -- say, Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi -- that such hair-splitting as that you've made would never fly with anyone here at the Great Orange Satan.

            When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate.
            Does it imply that nobody deserves such treatment? Perhaps. Is there a "clear implication...that nobody does deserve it" as you put it? No. Absolutely not. It takes a very generous grant of the benefit of the doubt to Mr. Bashir to accept that his words implied that nobody at all deserves such a treatment.

            No sell. Bashir blew it, in a very big way -- and, though this is not nearly as bad but still horrible, he provided the world-class idiot Sarah Palin with wholly undeserved political cover for her remarkably tone-deaf remarks.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:40:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Words have meanings (0+ / 0-)

              How does "if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood" not imply clearly that nobody does? It's called the conditional. If I say, "If anyone truly understood the meaning of life, it would be my Uncle Charlie," I'm saying nobody understands it but he comes closest.

              If people flipped out about a nominally conservative talk show host who said something similar, I'd say, "Let's be clear, that's not exactly what the person said." I have made such comments.

              Providing Palin with cover is an entirely different thing, and I agree with you 100% that Bashir screwed up terribly on that front.

              “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

              by fenway49 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:25:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Let us find a counterexample: (0+ / 0-)

                "If anyone could be said to truly be an innovator in the field, Joe Schlabodnik would top the list."

                A couple more pulled from a Google search.

                "If anyone could be said to be wearing out their welcome, it's him."

                "Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said if anyone could [recapture his status as one of the game's elite hurlers], it would be Halladay."

                You can find lots of counterexamples.

                So at best, Bashir's remarks left ambiguous the question of whether anyone deserved such a treatment.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:03:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  This isn't like Cenk of Keith or David (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is Don Imus, redux. Remember what he called the Rutgers women's basketball team when they advanced to the  national championship game in 2007? Nappy--headed hos. That led to a suspension. Bashir went way beyond the limits of decent behavior by getting scatological and it wouldn't have mattered who he was talking about. Yes, firing offense.

  •  They air ads for oil companies... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HairyTrueMan, commonmass

    No true liberal network can run an ad for an oil company. So we already know they have to tow some kind of corporate line. MSNBC is not Democracy NOW! Even if they do have Amy Goodman on every once in a while. That having been said, Bashir DID go too far. The firing of Donohue was bullshit but this wasn't that. You don't get to say someone should have their mouth shit in and get away with it.

    We're supposed to be the adults of society. Let the right resort to childish comments.  

  •  He was very eloquent... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the way he suggested someone should shit in Sarah Palin's mouth. Hard to believe someone would get fired for such a thing.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:47:58 PM PST

  •  He ought to go to Al Jazeera America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are doing good stuff, and have picked up some pretty solid American talent. They even have a Seattle bureau!

    I am an Elizabeth Warren Democrat

    by chuckvw on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 01:17:34 PM PST

  •  Since his apology... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was the most sincere I have ever heard in a situation like this, I can almost believe he resigned on his own out of disgust with his own behavior.  He seems very professional.

    That being said, he should have been fired for wasting valuable airtime on one of the most irrelevent figures in American politics.  I mean, Sarah Palin??  C'mon Martin, she is like so 4 years ago!

  •  I don't know, but I think I would volunteer (0+ / 0-)

    to crap in Sarah Palin's mouth. It would probably taste like victory to her.

  •  OK, I know Bashir's right wing critics are full of (0+ / 0-)

    it. Many look the other way when their own do the same or worse.

    Still, Bashir gave them the rope to hang him with. MSNBC is not liberal in the way the Fox News is conservative. MSNBC is liberal in the way that Fox Entertainment is sometimes not quite conservative.

    For MSNBC and Fox Entertainment, it is about ratings. Some of Foxes entertainment programs are hardly the stuff of movement conservatives, but then again, if they stocked their network with that kind of shit, even few of the conservatives would watch it.

    When it comes to the news, though, Fox is the RNC network - Murdoch wouldn't have it any other way. But for MSNBC, it's not about liberal conviction, it's about filling the demand for progressives to have an alternative to Fox.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:02:18 PM PST

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