Martin Bashir is out at MSNBC for his scatological verbal assault on Sarah Palin, and while you’d expect the right to be responding with unalloyed glee, in truth, their feelings are more ambivalent.
Hot Air’s pseudonymous right-wing blogger Allahpundit, for example, was far from sad to see Bashir go — “In a barrel full of rotten apples, he really was the worst,” Allahpundit wrote of Bashir — but nevertheless found the former MSNBC’s host’s firing to be odd:
This is a guy who took Mormon-themed digs at Mitt Romney; brought on a shrink to analyze the allegedly violent, possibly psychotic tendencies of tea partiers; accused Republicans of treating the word “IRS” as a racist dog-whistle against Obama; and wondered if Rick Santorum wasn’t some sort of theocratic second coming of Stalin. When Steve Jobs died two years ago, he turned his on-air eulogy into an excuse to — ta da — bash Sarah Palin again. All of this is par for the course on MSNBC so imagine Bashir’s surprise, after all of that, upon finding out that introducing a little actual rhetorical scat into the figurative scat-flinging at righties was an unpardonable sin worthy of suspension. I’ll bet he’s mystified even now.
Allahpundit even sounded a note of sympathy for Bashir, writing that “If he occasionally went too far, it was only because he was trying too hard to do the job [MSNBC] hired him to do.”
Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller, meanwhile, was similarly perplexed. Lumping Bashir in with Alec Baldwin (who, too, was recently fired from MSNBC for inflammatory language) and, curiously, the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, Howley wrote:
It just doesn’t make any sense. Alec Baldwin, Martin Bashir, and Richard Cohen are liberals. They are the very scientists who discovered the faux-outrage gene in the laboratory and introduced it into the media mainstream. They are the ones who gave us Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas, Media Matters, the MSNBC firing of Pat Buchanan, the targeting of Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers over Sandra Fluke, the prosecution of George Zimmerman. They are the ones who created The Virus. And now The Virus has turned back on them.
For all of Allahpundit and Howley’s nuance, however, there was more than enough gleeful Donald Trump self-promotion and bravado to make up for any lacking sense of schadenfreude. Trump’s not much of a writer, of course, so he took to social media — Twitter, then Instagram — to make his pleasure known.