MSNBC host Martin Bashir took to his show Monday night to apologize for suggesting on Friday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin should be subjected to the same brutalization that African slaves suffered.
“It will be like slavery,” Mr. Bashir said at the time. “Given her well-established reputation as a world-class idiot, it’s hardly surprising that she should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history.”
He then read excerpts from “the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood,” he said.
“In 1756, he records that a slave named Darby ‘catched eating kanes had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, [expletive for defecation] in his mouth,” he continued. “He mentions a similar incident in 1756, this time in relation to a man he refers to as Punch. ‘Flogged punch well, and then washed and rubbed salt pickle, lime juice and bird pepper, made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth.’”
Mr. Bashir concluded: “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.”
But on Monday’s broadcast, the host was singing a different tune when it came to Mrs. Palin.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to say sorry to Mrs. Palin and to also offer an unreserved apology to her friends and family, her supporters, our viewers, and anyone who may have heard what I said,” he began.
“My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics, and they have brought shame upon my friends and colleagues at this network, none of whom were responsible for the things that I said.
“I deeply regret what I said, and that I have learned a sober lesson in these last few days,” Mr. Bashir continued. “That the politics of vitriol and destruction is a miserable place to be, and a miserable person to become. And I promise that I will take the opportunity to learn from this experience.”