Watch Martin Bashir's Staggeringly Stupid Op-Ed Comparing Mel Gibson to Japan [With Commentary]

By Seth Abramovitch

Mar 15, 2011

I never liked Martin Bashir. He’s smarmy, built a career on ruining Michael Jackson’s life, and once told a room of journalists that Asian women give him a boner. I guess his accent tricks the right people into thinking he has something intelligent to say, because he is a continued unwelcome presence in my home: First, as co-anchor of Nightline (ugh, Ted Koppel how I miss thee), and now manning the desk of his very own show on MSNBC, called simply, Martin Bashir.

“Clear the Air” is that part of Martin Bashir where the host gets something off his chest, via a pre-written editorial. It’s the kind of segment which Rachel Maddow (and, in happier times, Keith Olbermann) could deploy to devastating effect. Bashir, not so much. I’ve transcribed the entirety of today’s “Clear the Air,” which I’ve taken the liberty to annotate in parenthesis, for your reading terror.

MARTIN BASHIR: "It’s time to Clear the Air, and on Friday morning, one man might have been tempted to think that he was incredibly fortunate that the story of his own unstable and volatile behavior would also be buried underneath the horrific earthquake in Japan—news which has dominated this and every broadcast. [I’m sorry: Is Martin Bashir about to introduce a Charlie Sheen segment using a mind-bogglingly insensitive Japanese earthquake metaphor that plays on the word “buried?” That simply cannot be, right?] But just two weeks after the Academy Awards, Mel Gibson [Psych! It’s not about Charlie Sheen at all. He totally had you going] who’s collected not one but two of those precious Oscar statuettes [you can’t impress Martin with your shiny awards], picked up three new awards: 16 hours of community service, 12 months of counseling, and three years probation [another great metaphor!]. Friday’s award ceremony [they should rename this show Metaphors-R-Us!] took place in Court 803 at the Los Angeles Airport Courthouse, and though there were plenty of cameras outside, there was no red carpet, no champagne, and only the company of other petty criminals. [Ugh, shut up, Martin Bashir!] For a fabulously wealthy and extraordinarily talented man, this was no way to crown a career. [Who, besides Whoopi Goldberg gives a rat’s ass about how Mel Gibson’s career will be crowned at this point?]

A disputed incident in January of last year was the cause of Mr. Gibson’s appearance. His girlfriend and the mother of his youngest child claimed he’d punched her teeth out during a row at their home. But the strongest evidence didn’t come from dental records, but tape-recorded conversations which took place between them a few months later. In between some racist slurs and full-blown sexism [as opposed to a “full-blown half-wit,” which is what you are], Mr. Gibson says, “I’ll put you in an f-ing rose garden. You need an f-ing bat in the side of the head,” amongst other foul and fearful comments [you would know]. Unfortunately for him, Mr. Gibson’s performance was typically convincing, whether he meant it or not. And so on Friday, he plead no context to a charge of spousal battery.

There are some who are now saying that his career is finished, his character radioactive. Strangely enough, it’s almost exactly what’s being said of that region in the northeast of Japan, where explosions have occurred at a nuclear power plant [I swear to god he said this. The (unembeddable) video is linked below if you don’t believe me]. Yet somehow, there’s every confidence that just three days after the earthquake, the Japanese people will rebuild their land and restore their nation. Indeed, there’s no doubt about it. But there’s much less confidence in Mel Gibson’s ability to salvage his own career [millions displaced + tens of thousands dead + the threat of another Chernobyl = getting Lethal Weapon 5 back on track. Yup, nothing wrong with that math].

Which leads us [leave me out of this] to ask a somewhat difficult question: Is it easier to rebuild a devastated country than it is to restore a devastated character. I’m not sure of the answer, but perhaps the key to recovery starts with the word “humility”—something that the Japanese know all about. [Now is the part where Martin teaches us all about Japanese culture. Did you know they consider a compliment to belch after a meal? Tee-hee!] They live humbly with Mother Nature [make it stop] knowing that just as there have been many earthquakes in the past, so they’ll be many more in the future [since you know nothing about anything, I’ll ask that you please stop talking now].

And Japan is known for being the best-prepared nation on earth for an earthquake. [I guess you’re going to keep talking.] And that’s probably because there’s a level of humility...Mr. Gibson is well-known to be a man of deep, personal faith. And maybe now is the time, either during his community service or counseling, for him to start humbly rebuilding his world. [You mean, like the Japanese are “humbly” about to rebuild theirs?] His film, The Passion of the Christ, focused on the New Testament gospel accounts. But here’s a quotation from the Old Testament, from the prophet Micah, which may seem perfectly appropriate for Mr. Gibson: “‘And what does the Lord require of you,’ asked the prophet. ‘To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?’” And if the Japanese can do it, then why not Mel Gibson, too?" [That’s some big talk from the guy who tricked Michael Jackson into thinking he was making a documentary that would humanize the singer for the world, and instead craftily edited together a portrait of a lunatic recluse and dangerous child predator, using only circumstantial evidence and damning innuendo. Pretty big, indeed.]

As far as I’m concerned, this editorial is grounds for not only Bashir’s immediate termination and lifetime suspension from U.S. airwaves, but for his complete expulsion from our planet— preferably via some kind of single-occupant spacecraft, launched into the dark abyss, where we’ll never again be exposed to his musings on the true nature of celebrity redemption as it compares to the unerringly humble, possibly radioactive peoples of a devastated Japan.

Watch the full "Clear the Air" segment here.

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  • AnnaWirt Mar 21, 2011

    To those of you who suggest that viewers just "turn the channel" or "just ignore" Bashir are missing one major point. If he's allowed to continue to play a role in the media, he will continue to disrupt and destroy other people's lives by spreading lies about them. It's his M.O. If you were a famous person, you wouldn't want Bashir to ever know that you even exist, therefore you would want him on that one-man space capsule because you would be a potential victim of his. So, I would advise that you encourage those of us who want him off the air to continue in our attempt to try to restore media journalism to an honorable place where it belongs.

  • HelenaWillcox Mar 19, 2011

    Well surprise surprise Mr. Bashir has been on air for how long and already he is creating ‘waves ‘with MSNBC‘s American /Japanese audience .I am totally astonished that the executives of MSNBC would allow Martin Bashir to continue to pollute our air waves .Please do us all a favor and clean our air of this man, who has made a career specializing in editorial slander. Heads should roll in the Human Resource department with whoever signed off his credentials .Great article Seth the man is not worthy of any journalistic respect and any station that employs him is tainted with the same brush .A Japanese proverb that MSNBC executives should heed .
    ‘Ayamachitewa aratamuruni habakaru koto nakare.’ If you make a mistake, don't hesitate to correct it.

  • MaryKesterke Mar 18, 2011

    Comparing Mel Gibson's personal problems to the tsunami in Japan?--oh please--NOW I've heard everything!!!! Hey Bashir, put your brain in your head where it belongs and stop keeping it in your butt!!!!

  • JoyArlens Mar 17, 2011

    Martin Bashir's comments comparing the plight of actor Mel Gibson to the horrific tragedy that is taking place in Japan is offensive, insulting and disgusting! In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that left thousands dead, thousand missing and Japan teetering on the brink of a nuclear disaster, to make this extented comparison was in the worst possible case and almost criminal! What was he thinking? What was MSNBC thinking when they hired him?

    MSNBC should have known about Bashir's penchant for making inappropriate comments. A few years ago the ridiculous "journalist" had to apologize for offensive comments he made about his co-anchor Ju Ju Chang, about Asian women, and about women in general. He made these blunders at a conference of the Asian American Journalist's Association. His lack

    of sense and sensitivity should not have gone unnoticed by the MSNBC recruiting team.

    In light of the fact that Bashir's program is less than two months old and already cause for embarassment and concern, MSNBC should seriously think about cancelling his contract. Time to "Clear the Air"? NO! Time to clear the host's chair and hire a new one!

  • suncitylover Mar 17, 2011

    A very unfortunate and distasteful analogy. Someone at MSNBC should apologize to the Japanese people.

  • stanleydriver Mar 17, 2011

    @ Tnelisabetta, mermayd, safibwana: You make your comments about Michael Jackson based upon falsehoods and innuendo made real to you by pseudo-reporters like Martin Bashir, who deal in lies if the truth isn't shocking or titillating enough. Understand that the unethical media have stolen your ability to discern what is true, and you let them do it. Fight that trend by doing your own research before you judge, the truth is out there for you. Bashir continues to make a fool of himself - fortunately, so the networks will wise up and put him out to pasture. We've had enough lies, we want ethical reporting, wake up MSNBC! Thank you Seth for calling this phony out. Keep it up!

  • 666Judith Mar 16, 2011

    Don't worry, Seth. Bashir has entered the Delusion of Invincibility Stage common to many who have repeatedly escaped their misdeeds and even been rewarded for them. He's quoting scripture now and advising the fallen. Next: he'll appear in ceremonial garb for the daily "Let's Clear the Air, Brothers and Sisters" ritual, complete with laying on of hands and the solemn application of healing ointments. Then, filled with the Power of self importance and the Confidence of endless second chances, Bashir will ascend the nearest corporate tower, walk to the edge, open wide his arms, lean forward certain of his own immortality, and land in the nearest booby hatch. You must admit it’s less expensive then launching him into space.

  • CathCoy Mar 16, 2011

    If anyone wants to see both documentaries, and judge for yourself how they were shamelessly and unethically edited, they are both at this website. (One must not forget James Goldston, the executive producer in the editing room with Bashir when the travesty mockumentary was produced.)

  • SusanTrout Mar 16, 2011

    While I surely wouldn't waste 10 seconds watching Bashir's show, how can the president of MSNBC think millions of others will, and love every word that slips from his "forked" tongue? He makes me uncomfortable just looking at him and judging from the previous comments he's made and his highly questionable tactics used in the interviews that made him famous (i.e. Princess Diana and Michael Jackson), I would never allow this man anywhere near me, let alone sit down and bare my soul to him.

    I find his analogy of this terrible natural disaster to Gibson's behavior so inappropriate and pathetic. Does this man have no shame or sense of impropriety at all?

  • tjmtwo Mar 16, 2011

    And thank you ToriTompkins for your great comments. I read through them all and you are 100% correct. Everyone should read through ToriTompkins comments and when you get the time watch, ‘Living with Michael Jackson, Take Two' to see the truth.

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