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Separating Bashir and Palin

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(Article changed on December 19, 2013 at 14:18)

As I'm sure you know by now, Martin Bashir has parted ways with MSNBC - ending his 4pm weekday show - after a tirade he aimed at former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin. I saw the tirade live, and actually missed the last sentence which was the source of the controversy. Palin had made a ridiculous comparison between public debt and slavery. Palin must have known that what she was about to say was questionable, since she prefaced it with "This isn't racist:" 

"' Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children, and borrowing from China. When that note comes due -- and this isn't racist, so try it. Try it anyway. This isn't racist. But it's going to be like slavery when that note is due.'"

Bashir answered her comparison with a blistering picture of what slavery was really like. He detailed a documented case of abuse and torture of a slave by a slave owner, which ended with ordering one slave to defecate in that slave's mouth. As cringeworthy as the example was, Bashir was right to hold Palin's analogy up to historical history - up until the last sentence: "... if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate."

Thus was the beginning of the end of Bashir's career at MSNBC. Since the parting, I've noticed twitter lighting up with claims that Sarah Palin is calling the shots at MSNBC (really?), and the rise of the hashtag #boycottmsnbc. Now, when it comes to hypocrisy on the right, I get it. I may never get over the fact that David Vitter is still a senator, after admitting to taking part in the illegal business of prostitution. (Of course, it is not only right wing hypocrisy, but sexism at play here. Can you imagine if a female senator had admitted to being involved in prostitution?) Of course, when Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner fell into scandal, the response was very different. But Democrats responded to Weiner's conduct on its own merit, not in comparison to Vitter's.

In the case of Bashir and Palin, the fact that Palin's comment was disgustingly insensitive, is not negated by the fact that what Bashir said was also wrong. It doesn't really matter to me that who he said it about is someone I have no respect for. It was wrong no matter who it was directed at. Personally, I was most angry at the fact that Bashir took a perfectly valid criticism of right wing cluelessness, and instead handed a ripe talking point to the folks at Fox. But to be clear: denouncing Bashir is not the same thing as defending Palin.

We liberals have sometimes suffered for our consistency in applying our own code of ethics, even if it doesn't mirror those on the right. There are plenty of times when I wish the left would stand up more to the right. But I don't think this is one of those cases. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Fried-Ph.D./e/B004QOOD04/ref=ntt_d

Amy Fried is the author of "Escaping Dick Cheney's Stomach." She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, and has been an advocate for church-state separation and other civil liberties issues. She writes on women's issues, media, veganism and (more...)
 

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I have a hard time believing Sarah Palin is callin... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013 at 8:28:07 PM
I think you're splitting hairs.  I hope RT of... by Deena Stryker on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 1:31:37 PM
Think for a minute how you would feel if a RW pers... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 4:23:29 PM
Obviously there is no comparison between a careles... by molly cruz on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 1:53:30 PM
I agree that the right plays by a different set of... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 2:31:34 PM
Wasn't it enough that Bashir apologized? He actual... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 8:22:16 PM
Yes, he apologized. Was that enough? I don't know.... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 7:56:29 PM
"....and Palin's 'rifle target, take 'em out' rema... by Natalie Oberman on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 4:11:40 PM
Palin was cultivating her gun toting image and sug... by molly cruz on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 5:55:28 PM
I find some of what you write a little hard to und... by Natalie Oberman on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 1:11:16 AM
I don't think you have to actually directly blame ... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 4:06:04 PM
"I don't think you have to actually directly blame... by Natalie Oberman on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 1:28:00 AM
What I've heard on the right is way more than simp... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 1:52:14 PM
You're not supposed to remember those things, Amy.... by Jim Arnold on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 3:58:41 PM
Cute... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 5:54:25 PM
It seems of late it's the left calling Obama a ter... by Natalie Oberman on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 9:44:15 AM
Your sense of aggressive self-righteousness is tru... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 11:26:57 AM
When a kernel of corn pops, which flame on the bur... by Jim Arnold on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 5:52:22 PM
What they said. How would you describe a politica ... by molly cruz on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 8:42:37 PM
Still waiting for that mass shooter with Sarah Pal... by Natalie Oberman on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 1:44:40 AM
You have found a way to love this woman, admire he... by molly cruz on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 9:18:58 AM
OK, I've got to admit. Your link has a good point.... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 12:31:50 PM
Dr. Fried:  As a black male in America fighti... by Eric Lucas on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 1:56:29 PM
Sorry, I will take it down. I meant it to demonstr... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 2:17:03 PM
P.S. I took if off, which you can see if you click... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 2:29:00 PM
OK done.... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 2:32:28 PM
Thank you.... by Eric Lucas on Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 at 3:39:09 PM
Thank you for the civil and respectful way you voi... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 1:54:46 PM
"Palin must have known that what she was about to ... by Natalie Oberman on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 1:34:10 AM
When you have to preface what you say with, "This ... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 4:07:19 PM
I still can't believe you didn't know that picture... by Natalie Oberman on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 12:57:01 AM
I think you need to decide whether you have a prob... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 12:50:07 PM
No, surely, I must not have known, or else I would... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 12:34:42 PM
I was of course trying to illustrate the horrors o... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 12:36:04 PM
You took it down because one person reacted.  ... by Natalie Oberman on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 1:54:03 AM
You, like all of us, condemn the Holocaust.  ... by molly cruz on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 10:45:05 AM
Palin's schtick is to stir up emotions by being as... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 12:18:49 PM