To point out the absurdity of comparing debt to the horrors of slavery, Bashir read a summary of the diary of Thomas Thistlewood, a famously cruel overseer of slaves in the late 18th century. Here's what Bashir said, courtesy of Mediaite's transcription:
“So here’s an example,” Bashir continued. “One of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years. Thistlewood was the son of a tenant farmer, who arrived on the island of Jamaica in April 1750, and assumed the position of overseer at a major plantation.”
“What is most shocking about Thistlewood’s diary is not simply the fact that he assumes the right to own and possess other human beings, but is the sheer cruelty and brutality of his regime,” Bashir added. “In 1756, he records that a slave named Darby ‘catched eating kanes had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s-h-i-t in his mouth.’”
“This became known as ‘Darby’s Dose,’ a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of inhumanity. And he mentions a similar incident in 1756, his time in relation to a man he refers to as Punch. ‘Flogged punch well, and then washed and rubbed salt pickle, lime juice and bird pepper, made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth,’” Bashir recited.
After emphasizing the fact that shitting and pissing in a slave's mouth was an acceptable and regular punishment for Thistlewood—and that the consequences of debt are nothing at all like that, Bashir brings Palin back into the mix.
“When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance," he said. "She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate.”
Shorter version of Bashir's monologue: Sarah Palin is "truly qualified" to have someone forcefully shit in her mouth. Between this and Alec Baldwin's "cocksucking fag" tirade, it's been a great week for MSNBC hosts.
UPDATE: Bashir apologized this afternoon:
“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. “I deeply regret what I said and that I have learned a sober lesson in these last few days that the politics of vitriol and destruction is a miserable place to be and a miserable person to become.”