- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, who recently rocked national headlines with a broadcast suggestion of defecating in the mouth of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has been noticeably missing from his Monday-night shows — but he’s only on vacation, his network insisted.

Media analysts suggest otherwise. Mr. Bashir, who made the derogatory comments about Mrs. Palin on Nov. 15, and has for the past two weeks been missing in broadcast action, may finally have been suspended, industry insiders say, The Daily Mail reported.

The speculation started after he missed two Monday shows in a row, leaving Joy Reid in charge.

“Sources at the network said Bashir had been temporarily suspended from the network following graphic remarks he made last month about the former governor from Alaska,” wrote one Politico industry tracker.

A network spokesperson, Lauren Skowronski, responded to Politico that Mr. Barshir is “still out on vacation.”

But the timing is curious, nonetheless. And if Mr. Bashir was suspended, that network action would be a dramatic turnaround of its stance of the host’s comments, issued shortly after he made them.

In addition to the defecation suggestion, Mr. Bashir also described Mrs. Palin on his mid-November show as “America’s resident dunce Sarah Palin scraping the barrel of her long-deceased mind and using her all-time favorite analogy in an attempt to sound intelligent about the national debt.”

He apologized three days later. And the network then released a statement, saying, “Martin Bashir has taken responsibility publicly for his offensive commentary and also personally apologized to the Palin family.” MSNBC also said the matter was being “handled internally,” The Daily Mail reported.