The lefties like to say the righties are responsible for the coarsening of political discourse in America.
Liberals often take the position that conservatives are most to blame for the name calling and character assassination that seems to play an ever bigger role in politics today. I would suggest they need to watch more MSNBC programming. Fox pales in comparison to the so-called “journalists” who work for NBC’s spawn. On their worst days the anchors and analysts at Fox sound like Sunday School teachers compared to the likes of Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell. These folks regularly plumb the depths with the sort of invective that would embarrass a drunken sailor.
But, last Friday, another MSNBC anchor, Martin Bashir, topped all of them with a scripted rant that was extreme, even for him. Reacting to a comment by Sarah Palin about the mounting national debt, Bashir went ballistic. Palin had said the national debt is sentencing future American generations to the moral equivalent of “economic slavery.”
Bashir, as many liberals are prone to do, didn’t want to refute Palin on the facts or reprove her for using slavery as a political metaphor. He wanted to wallow in sewage. He wanted to gut her and trash her. In order to do this, he dug up some history about the way slaves were treated in the 18th century and said Palin should be subjected to the same atrocity — that is, for someone to defecate on her and urinate in her mouth.
Not surprisingly, Bashir’s crude pronouncement didn’t set off much of a media firestorm, partly because MSNBC doesn’t draw flies when it comes to ratings. Also, because the former Alaska governor is one of the Left’s favorite punching bags about whom one can say virtually anything with impunity.
Imagine what would happen if Neil Cavuto of Fox or Jake Tapper of CNN were to suggest Hillary Clinton should get the old defecation and urination treatment. Firestorm wouldn’t begin to describe what would happen to those two. You see, Hillary is politically correct and Sarah is not. Hillary can lie about an anti-Muslim video being the cause of a terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans and still be the front-runner for the Democrats’ presidential nomination in 2016. On the other hand, Sarah is described by Maher and Cher as a word I cannot say, here.
Bashir has apologized and admitted he has contributed to all that is wrong with today’s political discourse. That’s all well and good, but consider how this remark ended up coming out of Bashir’s mouth on the air.
This was not an impromptu statement on his part. Instead, it was a prepared monologue read off a teleprompter. That means all of this would have been read beforehand by a producer. So, this was not just Bashir who was culpable. It probably means several newsroom employees were in on this bile dump.
For Bashir, this was the worst of many, many disgusting remarks. During an interview with Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson last January, Bashir said, “(Florida) Governor (Rick) Scott has repeatedly turned down the offer of federal funds that would allow parents to care for their disabled children at home…I was reminded of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania, whose treatment of disabled children there, which started in the 1970s, where they were hidden and housed in the most appalling conditions. Now, of course that’s an extreme example. But is this his preference for disabled children in America in 2013? That you simply house these disabled children in facilities away from their families?”
On February 14, 2012, Bashir said, “When we last saw the Republican front-runner Rick Santorum speaking before a crowd yesterday, all we could think of was George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ about a society dominated by the most extreme form of totalitarianism…In reviewing his book, ‘It Takes A Family,’ one critic said, ‘Mr. Santorum has one of the finest minds of the 13th century.’ But I’m not so sure. If you listen carefully to Rick Santorum, he sounds more like Stalin than Pope Innocent III.”
On September 30, 2011, Bashir said, “John Boehner and his Republican majority decided to gut the FDA’s food safety and inspection service. First, slashing $87 million from its budget and then another $35 million from the USDA for good measure. Cut, cut, cut. And now the results are in. Sixteen people have lost their lives. Close to 100 are sick. Republicans in Congress talk proudly of their commitment to laissez-faire economics, where government gets out of the way and everything works perfectly. You try telling that to those who ate melon with a side of listeria.”
On January 14, 2013, Bashir said, “As the gun lobby has armed its barricades since that horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, one of the arguments that they continue to use against any kind of regulation is to unashamedly invoke the name of Adolf Hitler. Supporters of the NRA say that history proves tyrannical leaders begin by robbing law-abiding citizens of their firearms…Of course, for a nation hell bent on genocide, Hitler did not allow the Jews to possess firearms, but virtually everyone else was free to do so. Which I guess turns this story on its head. Because if anyone deserves to be equated with Hitler on the issue of firearms, then it’s not the President, it’s the NRA.”
In Bashir’s world, when you slime a conservative, you don’t lose a minute’s sleep. He knows how to play the game. Sling enough mud to make it stick, apologize, then sling some more mud. Lefties have played this game for years. It’s right out of Saul Alinsky’s community organizer handbook, “Rules For Radicals.” Demonize your opponent. Don’t debate the issues. After that, talk about how uncivil those right-wingers are.
Works every time. Just ask Barack Obama.
Ed Baswell pastors The Clarion Church and is the host of Crossfire Radio, weekdays from 7-9 am, on The Promise, 90.7 FM. The show is streamed live worldwide at promisetalkradio.org and at ktbs.com. It can be seen each day on the KTBS 24-hour, digital news channel.