Palin Cancels 'Today' Interview Over Bashir Remarks

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 05:32 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Sarah Palin canceled an interview with the "Today" show on Wednesday to protest NBC's inaction against talk-show host Martin Bashir, who slammed the former Alaska governor on his MSNBC program last week.

Palin, who was a guest host on "Today" last year, was to be interviewed by host Matt Lauer in Wasilla, Alaska, Fox News reports.

According to Fox, Tim Crawford, treasurer of Palin's political action committee, told NBC News President Deborah Turness and MSNBC President Phil Griffin that "Americans deserve to know that your network doesn't condone violent and hateful rhetoric."

Last week, Bashir attacked the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, calling her America's "resident dunce" and a "world-class idiot."

The criticism stemmed from Palin's likening of the national debt of the United States to slavery in a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa.

Bashir also read from the diary of Thomas Thistlewood, a British overseer of slaves in Jamaica in 1756, who described inhumane punishments inflicted on runaway slaves.

"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, a former host of "Nightline" on ABC, apologized to Palin and his viewers on his program on Monday. He called his comments "totally unacceptable."

But MSNBC has not commented publicly on the incident nor taken any action against Bashir, even though network officials suspended actor Alec Baldwin's talk show for two weeks after he hurled an anti-gay slur at a photographer outside his New York apartment last week.

Meanwhile, speaking on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said he supported Bashir's apology.

"It was a deplorable thing to say, and he has every reason to be ashamed for saying it," Scarborough, a "Morning Joe" co-host, said on Wednesday. "I'm glad that he went out and said it — and I will guarantee you, he didn't write all that by himself."

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