…and Satan was in front of me. He was wearing a parka, and had a cart full of rock salt.
Last Friday, I raised Martin Bashir’s ratings significantly by linking to his disgusting passive-aggressive attack on Sarah Palin. Today, I read the story of his on-air apology.
Bashir opened Monday’s show with a complete and abject apology. “Last Friday, on this broadcast,” Bashir said, “I made some comments which were deeply offensive and directed at Governor Sarah 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. 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.”
“In the battle of ideas, America leads the world in whole-hearted discussions and disagreements,” he continued, “and these arguments can be heard on a daily basis. But what I did on Friday had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with that great tradition, and I am deeply sorry. Upon reflection, I so wish that I had been more thoughtful, more considerate, more compassionate. but I was not. And what I said is now a matter of public record.”
“But if I could add something to the public record,” Bashir added, “it would be this: That 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. And I promise that I will take the opportunity to learn from this experience. My hope is that it will renew in me a spirit of humility and humanity, that looks for the good and that builds upon the great things that this country has to offer to all of us, regardless of our political persuasion. This will be my guiding light and compass in the days ahead. But once again, I am truly sorry for what I said on Friday.”
While I doubt that any of his colleagues at MSNBC felt any shame at what he said (heck, even after someone explained it to him, I’d wager even Al Sharpton thought it was pretty good), the fact that he led the broadcast with it, and avoided the kind of weaselly crap we have gotten used to in a forced media apology, in the spirit it invoked, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as to its sincerity, and say good for you, Marty. Even if you’re saying this because your Mom made up half your audience that night, and she was appalled at what you said, you clearly gave some thought to the apology. Good for you, and thank for deciding to NOT be a scumbag.