Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik angrily criticized MSNBC and NBC News — along with network stalwarts Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd — for failing not only to punish host Martin Bashir for comments he made about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin recently, but also for not even speaking about the issue.
“Where are people like Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd who claim to speak for NBC News and the brand?" Zurawik asked Fox News' Howard Kurtz on Sunday's "MediaBuzz" program.
"Why haven't they called Bashir out and the lack of punishment for him?”
Zurawik said Bashir's comments and the lack of reaction from MSNBC hosts and the network as a whole is "part of the larger problem here, that the mainstream media isn't more upset about this."
"I've been complaining about the way our civic and political conversation on cable TV is debased," he said. "And MSNBC has led that drive in a calculated way because they have no journalistic function. They have no reportorial infrastructure anymore for business reasons."
Zurawik noted that when hosts are just "sitting in front of a camera doing opinion, you have to keep turning it up and turning it up and turning it up and being more and more extreme. And this is what we got. And no one cares! That's what’s outrageous! Whatever you care about, whatever you feel about Sarah Palin doesn't matter. The conversation of democracy, you can't have this kind of stuff going on!"
As for the question of whether the media treats Sarah Palin with a double standard because she's conservative, Zurawik said, "I think there is some of that, Howie, but the real question are where are people like Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd who claim to speak for NBC News and the brand? Why haven't they called Bashir out and the lack of punishment for him?"
Here's the clip from Fox News via Newbusters:
TheBlaze reported on Palin's response to Bashir's comments and apology earlier Sunday.