There must have been something in the cable network water on Thursday, because the higher channels produced two stunning interviews that are sure to grab attention. We've already brought you Debbie Wasserman Schultz's battle with Anderson Cooper. And now, we present Martin Bashir's shoutfest with a conservative commentator.
On his MSNBC show, Bashir hosted GOP strategist Trey Hardin as part of a trio of guests. At one point, the conversation turned to Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey seemingly calling out those former service members who have criticized the president for security leaks. That's when Hardin pointed out that the comment is somewhat expected since Dempsey serves the president directly. And that's when Bashir started shouting.
Mediaite has the quotes:
Bashir did not take kindly to that remark: “I’m sorry, I cannot allow you to cast such a contemptuous aspersion against a senior military officer by demeaning his service to this country. Will you please take that comment back?”
“I did not demean his service at all,” Hardin said with a laugh.
“You did by suggesting that the only reason he said that was because he serves the president,” Bashir shouted back in response. Would you please take that comment back?”
“Let me answer,” Hardin insisted, but Bashir kept asking him to take back his original comment.
“Hey, i know that you respect democracy and people’s freedom of speech,” Hardin began to respond before being cut off by an increasingly irate Bashir: “Sir, he serves the United States of America.”
“These retired military have a right to vote and advocate,” Hardin got in before Bashir decided to cut him off once and for all.
“Okay, Trey, you’re not going to take the comment back,” Bashir snapped while Hardin laughed. “Thank you very much.”
And here's the video. Notice how Bashir poisons the well at the beginning by calling the servicemen "swift boat groups":