Cable News Analyst: MSNBC Should Fire Bashir, Setting 'Sad' Precedent
Inside Cable News, a blog for cable TV insiders, said MSNBC should have fired Martin Bashir for suggesting that someone should urinate and/or defecate in Sarah Palin's mouth and that the network is being hypocritical for not disciplining Bashir for his "offensive" remarks.
As Breitbart News reported, MSNBC did not discipline Bashir, even though he made his remarks on the air, while it suspended Alec Baldwin's show for two weeks after Baldwin made anti-gay remarks to a photographer off the air.
The outlet wrote:
If Baldwin merited two weeks for something that didn’t transpire over its air – being a hothead in public and not being able to control himself in the spur of the moment, then by MSNBC’s own scale Bashir should be fired outright…especially since his staff let this go out over the air when they had plenty of time to stop it from happening.
Inside Cable News also noted that MSNBC "has set a very sad precedent and the wrong signals regarding what it will and will not tolerate on its air" by not disciplining Bashir.
"It will not tolerate someone getting worked up off air in the heat of the moment and using a gay slur in public which alienated a core MSNBC constituency. For that you get a two show suspension," Inside Cable News wrote. "It will tolerate someone planning well in advance to state that someone should [defecate] in a conservative’s mouth. For that you merely have to apologize on the air."
The outlet echoed talk radio host Mark Levin's belief that women's groups and the mainstream press were silent because Palin is not a "left-wing" politician and noted that MSNBC suspended David Shuster indefinitely for saying Hillary Clinton was "pimping out" Chelsea Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign. However, "it will tolerate someone using crude commentary about a former GOP vice presidential candidate. For that you get to keep doing your show without interruption":
Nobody should believe that MSNBC is playing fair with Bashir here. The minimum punishment should have been suspension (I and others argued termination was warranted). MSNBC has revealed its true colors with this move. You can beat up on the GOP with an almost reckless abandon and skate with only the slightest of punishments. But if you beat up on the home team…you’re screwed. I would not blame anyone in the GOP for thinking they can’t get a fair shake from MSNBC and NBC News now. Why should they after what MSNBC did with Bashir?
On Tuesday, Breitbart News exclusively obtained a letter from Palin's PAC, SarahPAC, to the presidents of MSNBC and NBC asking what disciplinary action the network would take with Bashir given the network's past history of disciplining its on-air talent for "offensive" remarks.
"You fired Don Imus for offensive language in describing the Rutgers University Women’s Basketball team, you suspended Alec Baldwin, and yet nothing has happened to Mr. Bashir," the letter reads. "Are we to assume then, that disciplinary procedures at your network take place based on the target of the remarks rather than the remarks themselves?"
The letter concludes by saying, "Americans deserve to know that your network doesn’t condone violent and hateful rhetoric directed at anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or political persuasion."