The Media Research Center has announced its 26th annual awards for the Year's Worst Reporting, with former MSNBC host Martin Bashir taking top honors for his rant against Sarah Palin.
"It's a huge ballot to go through every year, so many quotes," Rich Noyes, director of media analysis for the center, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newmax TV.
"And yet it seems to get more extreme every year," Noyes said Wednesday.
But nothing was as extreme as Bashir's potty-mouthed remarks against the former Alaska governor and running mate of John McCain — words that got him fired.
The controversy began when Bashir played a video of Palin speaking to Iowa's Faith and Freedom Coalition in which she compared the United States' national debt to slavery.
Bashir read from the diary of British overseer Thomas Thistlewood, who described an inhumane punishment inflicted on a slave involving human waste.
"When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance," Bashir said. "She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate."
Bashir later issued a groveling apology, stating on the air: "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," Bashir said. "My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate nor fair."
He was dismissed by MSNBC.
Media Research Center president and founder Brent Bozell said of Bashir's axing:
"Good riddance to another nasty little cog in the liberal media hate machine . . . [He earns] a permanent place in MSNBC's pantheon of disgraced so-called 'journalists.'"
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