MARTIN BASHIR: Last Friday, on this broadcast, 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, and at a place where we try every day to elevate political discourse and to focus on issues that matter to all of us.How unusual!
In the battle of ideas, America leads the world in wholehearted discussions and disagreements, 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’d 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, 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.
I don't recall any MSNBC/NBC on-air personality making such an unequivocal apology. Highly unusual!
Why did he do this?
It's possible he's being sincere. That would be wonderful, if he really had an epiphany.
It's also possible Bashir is concerned that his MSNBC gig won't last forever and he doesn't want to close any doors in terms of future employment.
Maybe the MSNBC/NBC relationship had something to do with it.
Bashir has a history of engaging in the politics of "vitriol and destruction," like so many of his MSNBC/NBC colleagues.
Will he change?
I doubt it.
I think the effort by conservatives, both on radio and the Internet, to hold MSNBC/NBC accountable made a big difference here.
The Bashir rant on top of the Alec Baldwin disgrace was probably of concern to MSNBC/NBC executives. An apology was in order and he made it. Good.
But, will Bashir stay true to his word?