MSNBC host Martin Bashir opened his show on Monday apologizing for his controversial remarks about Sarah Palin. Bashir on Friday angrily asserted that somebody should defecate in Palin’s mouth. In an abrupt reversal on Monday, he called his “words wholly unacceptable” and “unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics.”
“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,” Bashir said. “I deeply regret what I said and that I have learned a sober lesson in these last few days that the politics of vitriol and destruction is a miserable place to be and a miserable person to become.”
Bashir lamented that his comments did not contribute to an elevated discourse, and vowed that moving forward he would seek to foster a more respectful and productive dialoge.
On Friday, Bashir took issue with Palin’s comparison of debt to slavery. He pointed to the account of an 18th-century Jamaica landowner, Thomas Thistlewood, who would order a slave to defecate in the mouths of disobedient slaves. “If anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate,” he said.