While it is no secret MSNBC's Martin Bashir isn't a fan of Sarah Palin and that he'll take just about any opportunity to lambast the former Alaska governor, many critics are arguing that the host sunk to a new low Thursday when he used the tragic, and, untimely death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as a springboard for his latest Palin-attack.
In his "Clear the Air" segment, Bashir attempted to juxtapose Palin's decision not to run for president in 2012 with Jobs' passing. For Bashir, Jobs represented "the very best of American exceptionalism" while Palin embodies "the very worst form of American opportunism."
In today’s segment, he compared the lives and contributions of two disparate, and contrasting, public figures, both of whom were in the news yesterday, though for very different reasons. Sarah Palin announced that she would not be running for President came along with the sad news of Steve Jobs death. Oddly, Bashir saw the death of the Apple founder as a means to score political points against Palin. Too soon? It will always be too soon for this sort of comparison.
Regardless of what you might think of Sarah Palin or Steve Jobs, the comparison of why, and how, they were in the news yesterday is an odd angle at best. To use the career and impact of Jobs — of which Bashir is understandably a huge fan — as a means to slam Palin feels both inappropriate, and counter to the intelligent world that Jobs aimed to create.
"Today, we’ve marked two important stories. The tragic and sad passing of a true creative genius at the age of just 56, and hopefully the end of a charade that’s been going on for three years," Bashir said -- the "charade" for Bashir, of course, was Palin's.
"One individual represents the very best of American exceptionalism: brilliant, determined, creative. The other represents the very worst form of American opportunism: vacuous, crass, and according to almost every biographer, vindictive, too."
Bashir didn't stop there, however. He added:
He [Jobs] played himself to the very end, casually dressed and solely focused on producing product after product that would literally transform culture, information, and our social interactions. Over the last three years, she created nothing, produced nothing, and served no one but herself.
And while the vast majority of consumers have expressed high levels of satisfaction with the products he produced, imagine how her most ardent followers must feel today. They were misled into buying ghost-written and vainglorious books that attempted to create the illusion of leadership and character. They bought tickets to see a documentary that ignored facts and was a celluloid whitewash of her life. Even on the day she confirmed what all of us knew, that she wouldn’t be running for president, she still dropped a video asking for more donations. Amazing.
Bashir concluded the segment by saying that although Jobs' death coincided with Palin’s announcement, "it has been a helpful accident of fate,” namely because, according to Bashir, "it allows us to realize and commemorate the greatness of one’s individual’s contribution, and the utter futility of the other.”
Mediaite provides the MSNBC clip of Bashir's latest foot-in-mouth moment: