MSNBC just took another step into the mud.
The outpouring of support for abused bus monitor Karen Klein has, so far as we can tell, happened completely independent of partisan politics. And it should be, considering that almost every ideology represented on the American political spectrum supports a token form of opposition to bullying, and certainly no ideology glorifies in meaningless cruelty for its own sake.
Yet apparently, this consensus doesn't extend to MSNBC. While discussing the story on NOW with Alex Wagner, in fact, there was virtual unanimity that the real victim in this case wasn't Karen Klein, the bus monitor, but instead the children who had bullied her because all the ridicule they've been receiving on the internet might hurt their self-esteem. Yes, really.
Even worse, MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir, who was a guest on the panel, actually used the incident as a springboard to make a partisan jab at Republicans. From a transcript provided by RealClearPolitics:
What's been interesting is you've watched the condemnation of these children's behavior, some of the people who have been most vociferous in their condemnation of this conduct are actually the most vicious and inappropriate when it comes to what they say about the president and his background and life, his origins, religious faith, his family, his wife. The early references that were barely concealed attacks on Michelle Obama.[...]
So it's been interesting to see this absolute outflow of anger and animosity coming from individuals who themselves behave like that on a daily basis. Also, the other thing is, the facts especially I believe in most states is that we've seen a decline in crime. So in terms of serious actions, many young people are actually not behaving like this. This isn't an exemplar of the generation of young people. I've got three children. They don't behave like this. You've got young children. They wouldn't. It's not true.
Watch the segment below if you can't believe your own eyes.
Bashir's defensiveness on behalf of the children, as well as his attempt to bring this back to the supposed victimization of the President, is really quite extraordinary. As far as we know, no one is suggesting that these children are a microcosm of their generation anymore than the Weather Underground were a microcosm of the Baby Boomers. Moreover, President Obama is not barred, by the very nature of his job, from hitting back against his critics the way this bus monitor was barred from responding to the bullying. That is, unless there is evidence that Karen Klein has a kill list, which, while it might be a fascinating idea, is about as fanciful as MSNBC's relevance.