Talk:Martin Bashir

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Inacurate Family History[edit]

I just watched a video on the Veritas forum in which Martin says in his own words at the 7 minute mark if you were brought up in Pakistan you might well call yourself a Muslim as my parents were'. So which is it? Was he raised by Christian parents or Muslim parents? Link — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnlockie (talkcontribs) 19:17, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Poor quality and bias[edit]

This article is borderline libelous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I definitely disagree. Look at the evidence of popular opinion of him, here: (with such subject headings as "Everyone hates you Bashir ", "Hypocritical toad" and "YOU SPAWN OF SATAN. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR ROTTEN SOUL!!!!!" and here: I think it's very favourably neutral towards him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:28, 2 July 2012 (UTC)


who is he married to?

Don't know. But I pity the lady he is married to. --Mellisa Anthony Jones (talk) 09:24, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


Can we get a better picture of Martin Bashir? This picture here currently looks like someone took a photo of the TV.

Michael Jackson[edit]

Is it necessary to specify that Bashir is "of Pakistani descent"? If he was a caucasian person it wouldn't say that he was "of Anglo-Saxon descent", would it?

Since Pakistanis are a minority in the UK, it would be appropriate to mention that. - 01:27, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
more like majority now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

by the way he is also christian

Yes he is and he is not a convert. He is part of the Pakistani Christian minority.


Where was Bashir educated?

The Independent says the University of Winchester. King's College London says he went there. The Guardian Says Southampton and King's; or just Southampton. NNDB says King Alfred's College Winchester, as does the Standing Conference of Principals.

Until recently we said he went to King Alfred's College Winchester and vehemently denied that he went to King's College London.

So, did he go to all these places? Some of them? None of them? Any idea how to clear this up? TSP 22:15, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

King Alfred's College Winchester became accredited by the University of Southampton in 1992. It is now the University of Winchester. Prior to 1992 it was accredited by the Council for National Academic Awards. Some King Alfred's College students do claim that they have a Southampton degree, which is technically correct. However Bashir cannot claim a Southampton degree as he went there before 1992. King Alfred's College became the University of Winchester in 2004 or 2005 - again, Bashir cannot really claim a degree from there, but it is easy to see how it might happen.

The King's College degree - perhaps the word Alfred's got dropped inadvertantly in bios?

The other interesting element from these links is that if it becomes accepted wisdom that he went first to Southampton and then King's College (and it still isn't clear if he did the latter), then the usage "first degree at" seems to slip easily into "first class degree." Sloppy journalism.

Bashir could not have gone to the University of Winchester - it did not exist at the time. He went to King Alfred's College of HE, Winchester at a time when it was validated by the Council for National Academic Awards. it could be argued that Bashir helped in the death of Micheal Jackson, with his whitewash interview. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:38, 8 July 2009 (UTC)


what ethnic group of Pakistan is his ancestry? is he Punjabi? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:42, 1 April 2007 (UTC).

Devout Christian?[edit]

Is this true? We need some hard evidence before we can say this. I saw the full version of ABC faceoff and it seems that he was an atheist from points he was making. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:10, 13 May 2007 (UTC).

We have a source; that is Wikipedia's standard. Seeking to gather 'evidence' would probably be original research, which we do not encourage. On the other hand, if you can find a reliable source suggesting that he is NOT a Christian, we should mention that too.
From that link it seems that he was acting as moderator of the debate. As such it would be his job to direct scrutiny equally against both sides, not only against the one he disagreed with. TSP 01:58, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Although he acted as moderator in the debate it was quite clear that he felt more sympathy for the Christians. He was significantly miffed when the atheist side questioned the historicity of Jesus. When he posed his own question about evolution it was clear that he either had absolutely no understanding of how it works or he was using a common faulty argument used by ignorant Christians. He said something like "Explain to the audience what they were when the were born and what the are evolving into". (talk) 07:34, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I am now just watching the 2007 debate that Bashir moderated and I was wondering why it isn't on his biography or did someone remove that paragraph??Mylittlezach (talk) 23:22, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I have known Martin Bashir since 1978, though not much contact in recent years. I attended his baptism at Trinity Road Chapel, Tooting (independent Baptist), in around 1979. He was a member there for many years. At his baptism he described his conversion, not from another religion but from unbelief. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DigbyJames (talkcontribs) 15:02, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


"Also, the two words "Harms Britain" are an anagram of "Martin Bashir"." - inappropriate, unencyclopedic, and therefore out of here, I think. Lost Number 09:43, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

  • I feel that there should be a trivia type section for the anagram. Several Wikipedia articles have trivia facts that are deemed "inappropriate, unencyclopedic, and therefore out of here, I think, and since Martin Bashir doesn't have a very in depth article about him, this trivia fact can be part of the article.


Just repeating what I said in my edit summary: if we're using British English here, which we do seem to be (British person, "paedophilia" etc) then the correct word is "furore". Note also that in BrEng this word is pronounced with three syllables (fyoo-ror-ee). (talk) 19:59, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Responsible for killing Michael Jackson?[edit]

Why is Bashir 'indirectly' responsible for Michael Jackson's death? A good question and I will try to answer it briefly. {Of course you don't have to take my word for it. If you do some research on the subject and you will probably come to the same conclusion)

In short, these are the facts as I know them (but please feel free to investigate yourself):

1. Bashir very cunningly flattered Michael Jackson in his face and backstabbed him on his documenatry 'Living with Michael Jackson'. The cunning and extremely manipulative way Bashir did this becomes very clear if you watch 'The Michael Jackson Interview: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See'.

2. Bashir knowlingly misrepresents the context and paints a stark picture of Michael. As a result of this documentary Michael becomes fair game for people who want to sue him for his money and molesting a minor. The lawsuit that followed, by the parents of Gavin Arvizo, pretty much broke Michael Jackson, financially and mentally. This was very unjust: Michael Jackson wanted to be a child himself and make children happy but nothing else. Just look at the documentary 'The Michael Jackson Interview: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See'. Michael is very naive and somewhat unworldly but is very innocent. In any case, Bashir knows what he is doing and he catapults his career at the expense of Michael Jackson's career due to manipulation.

3. Being damaged financially badly as a result of the lawsuit (pay for the costs of the lawsuit and having to halt earning money), Michael Jackson is forced to do lot of concerts in order to pay for his bills. Michael was also damaged mentally badly as well for several reasons. The stress really got to Michael, not only because of the personal betrayal by Bashir who Michael freely an openly invited in his house for a long period of time but also because of the huge public negativity that resulted of this documentary, and even more importantly: the huge impact this child molestation trial had on Michael. (Which is even more bitter if you take into account that this is the absolute contrary to everything Michael believes in [some examples of this are his estimated $500 million donations to charity and his efforts to help or relieve terminally ill children], it really is very tragic story). In short: Bashir's not-so-objective documentary can be seen as the final stake in the heart of Michael's career.

4. Finally, Michael has to pay off his debts and generate money and plans to do so by giving 50 concerts. But being mentally broken, he can't take it anymore. He is under enormous stress to perform very well and meet expectations despite not having performed for many years. Due to this stress and also pain he takes a lot of different medications for a long period of time. And on June 25, 2009 he finally just gave up.

So, that's why Martin Bashir can be called 'indirectly' responsible for Michael Jackson's death.

(check it out for yourself if you like) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I removed this part from the article about martin bashir indirectly causing michael jackson's death. I'm no real fan of bashir, but give me a break. This is a pretty silly tenuous connection. Why not blame michael jackson's death on abuse from his father or siblings? If he had never had the abuse as a kid maybe he would never have had the problems in adulthood. You don't assign the blame of death to people who indirectly were responsible. Otherwise you could blame lots of people, like the DA who charged michael with those crimes or whoever. We don't normally go around assigning indirect blame for everyone who ever did something bad to a person in their life. Otherwise you probably have to assign blame to 100's of people for every person's death. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Nice point, however I undid your removal for two reasons:
1. The connection is definitely there. But more importantly: the manner in which this connection is stated, has been in a very very cautious manner.
It is not being stated that 'Bashir is indirectly responsible' for MJ's death, but rather that 'It has been argued that, in an indirect manner, the documentary by Bashir can be seen as a starting point for a chain of events that eventually turned out to be related to the death of Michael Jackson'. I mean, how can you state anything more nuanced and cautious than that?
2. I don't consider Dieter Weisner, former manager of Michael Jackson to be an unreliable source.
I could add more sources if you like. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:04, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry but people are just going to keep removing it. I don't care if you say "people argue". It still isn't really relevant. Someone else deleted it again (not me). Just because he started some chain of events is meaningless. None of the sources you give are very substantial either. The showbiz article doesn't really say that much. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:54, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I have now inserted a direct statement of Dieter Wiesner, Michael Jackson's manager from 1996 to 2003, about Michael Jackson's death. This is no silly tenuous connection, but a direct quotation from a man who did have the necessary insight.
Furthermore, this reference should be valid enough. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
The quote is good, but please avoid original research. Also, please sign your posts. --JHP (talk) 01:51, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Michael Jackson interview - Bashir's credibility[edit]

- Bashir has lost credibility when it specifically comes to his statements about Michael Jackson. To come to this conclusion, you only have to compare his documentary 'Living with Michael Jackson' to the rebuttal 'Living with Michael Jackson, take two'. Therefore the line 'Bashir himself states he has no personal vandetta against Jackson, even calling him "the greatest entertainer" in an interview with the British newspaper, The Sun' must be deleted. Bashir saying with crocodile tears that 'the world has lost the greatest entertainer', after the role he played in MJ demise is not believable to put it mildly.

- It is a fact that Bashir came fifth in the notorious Channel 4 poll 100 Worst Britons, and this was a result of the Michael Jackson interview controversy, so this line deserves to be restored.

- Michael of course contributed greatly to his own demise by saying the things he said, but rogue editing and perhaps even more importantly praising Michael's actions off-camera (off Bashir's camera to be precise), whilst feiging concern on-camera most likely caused even more damage. (In short: it was no fair interview.) Therefore the sentence 'the most damning parts of the documentary were quotes from Jackson directly and not due to any rogue editing' must be deleted. en conclusion bashir es basura —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:51, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


Direct quote or not, Bashir is not responsible for Jacksons death. If Jackson couldn't "get over it", then that's his fault, no one elses. It's no different to a drunk blaming everyone else for their own downfalls. I notice that my comments on the talk page and edits to the article are being removed by Jackson fans left and right who think this article is solely for the purpose of defending Jackson after he admitted to sharing his bed with kids. It is not. I have bookmarked this, and added quotations by Bashir to the article. I will keep my eye of this. Wikipedia is NPOV and that includes Michael Jackson commentary. (talk) 23:03, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Mmmm, judging by your commentary I think you are somewhat of a Bashir fan, which makes sense if you bookmark the Martin Bashir page. Wikipedia is indeed NPOV but I suspect yourself are not.

The last paragraph "However, the documentary features........any wrongdoing myself" except for the last sentence must be deleted because a) the text is placed out of context and b) no appropriate citations have been given for the text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Nonsence, the source I gave has all of those quotations. I am readding it. The quotions are in the source and thus this is no different to the quotaions that defend Jackson. If the Bashor quotations are removed again then so must the quotations about the documentary killing Jackson. Wikipedia is NPOV (as you admit) and therefore Bashirs quotations are just as welcome in the text as the ones defending Jackson, if you can't see that then it is you who is not NPOV, not me (talk) 11:20, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Sigh. I am simply saying that you have to place in proper context what you are saying. You didn't do that, and I wish you did this yourself (instead of balking about NPOV, and I'm getting more unsure what your status is in that department by the minute) so I deleted it, thereby giving you a chance to nuance it. I don't like to have to do your dirty work for you.

By the way: Also please try to be a little bit more accurate when you write in Wikipedia. Bashir didn't give an interview for 'The Sun' and he didn't say it in his defence. The Sun picked up on the fact that Bashir did a short eulogy about Michael Jackson on his programme on Nightline because of his death. You can check all Bashir's quotes line by line. Jackson fans see the way Bashir presents his eulogy of Jackson and the fact that he gives one at all as the pinnacle of hypocrisy, so this large controversy in that department must be mentioned as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:27, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

No, it doesn't have to be mentioned. This article already mentions how Jackson fans feel about Bashir, it dosen't need to be re-added after every little thing. This is not a place for Jackson fans to counter attack comment made by Bashir. How am a not NPOV. I never erased from the article that it was controversy. Also, if you want to be a Wikipedia editior, you do have to do (what you ridicilously refer to as) "dirty work". If you feel an edit can betterd you better the edit, not delete it entirely. The fact you did delete it entirely, rather than edit it, shows you not to be NPOV. Don't try and make out i'm not, you're the one making the article a defence for Jackson, rather than an article about Bashir! (talk) 10:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

You are wrong. I edited the tekst, and I hardly deleted anything of your tekst at all. So what in goodness sake are you talking about? You should do your homework better and check out the history of Wikipedia-pages before making statements like that. You can't just make completely unfounded statements like that, you know. So I did do your work for you, and put things more in perspective and I even took the time to point out your inaccuracies on this page for you I was also pointing out that you should take care of your inaccurate input yourself. So what more do you want from me? I can't do everything for you, there are limits. Futhermore, there were quite some edits from other people that eventually got a great deal of your tekst deleted (in honesty, I didn't do it but I also can't say I blame the people that did. Just a tip: you should improve on the quality of your writing if you want it to stick in Wikipedia. That also helps against getting all disappointed and angry with regard to what people are doing to your input. Really.)

In conclusion: either you really are not NPOV, or you are just really not paying attention. In either case, if you still don't get it by now, it is out of my hands and it is just plain useless trying to communicate with you on this subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I challenge this, Michael was fragile and weak...and we should protect the weak. Bashir simply squashed him. There is no excuse for the way he turned his trust to such a disgraceful way of making own profit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Nonsence. Jackson was a superstar, and he dealt with the press for many many many years. He should have known what he was doing, yet he chose to hold a little kids hand and saying saying your bed with a kid was a "wonderful thing". No one is to blame except Jackson. Jackson fans knock Bashir, because they'd defend Jackson against anything, even if it came to light he was a neo=nazi, it's pathetic and has no place in wikipedia! (talk) 04:23, 3 October 2009 (UTC)


Why is there no mention on Brashir's cancer (brain tumor)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tjflyhigh (talkcontribs) 04:58, 6 January 2011 (UTC)


Martin is not from a Muslim family. His roots are in Punjabi Christian community whose origins are Chuhray Hindu(Untouchable), also called balmika. These people converted to Christianity during British Raj to escape untouchability but regretably the injustices of caste system could not be eradicated despite adopting Muslim names, or at least on Muslim name. Martin's physionomy is almost the same as an Indian Punjabi Hindu/Christian. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:15, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Please provide reliable sources to support that claim. Qwyrxian (talk) 12:24, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Personal section[edit]

Why is there no personal section? He is married with 3 children and other facts have been given by nbc news here and there is nothing about the brain tumor he has had since 2008 and he still deals with flare ups (talk) 16:04, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

NPOV and comments about Sarah Palin.[edit]

It seems that Bashir only heard the word "slavery" and missed the qualifiers Palin mentioned. She was talking about all of us being slaves to huge deficits, and she specifically said she was NOT talking about race, she was talking about how huge debt constrains the options people have, and renders them less than free -- in fact huge debt and taxes makes everyone an economic serf, a slave to the system. An apology for a remark about Palin doesn't really cover his own error -- he made his comment because he didn't really know what she said, and had a knee-jerk reaction to a word, not the idea Sarah Palin was conveying, and Pailin is right -- we are all becoming less free as our debt grows. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rogersplants (talkcontribs) 22:15, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

I am a bit concerned about the comments made about Sarah Palin. I count a couple of dozen mentions of the incident on google news (Search term Martin Bashir Palin, 1660 found 16 on one story and a few others returned). This does not seem to have the coverage needed for such a minor comment to be included. If the comment is included, then it should be put into context about slavery etc.Martin451 00:32, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree, and I have removed it pending discussion. Per WP:BLP, we must err on the side of conservatism (i.e., keeping negative or controversial material out) until we can be absolutely certain it belongs in. Really, the key test has to be this: in 10 years time, will this be a notable aspect of Bashir's life story? I sincerely doubt it will, unless perhaps it leads to some sort of specific consequences (legal, professional, etc.) for himself or the target. Remember, we're not a newspaper, and we don't report on every comment that a particular person has made, and when we decide what to put in, we consider WP:UNDUE, not what seems most salacious or even most "exciting" at any given moment in time. Qwyrxian (talk) 01:58, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
There seems to be a double standard here. Every time a conservative commentator (Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly) says something inappropriate it's listed on their wiki page. But when a progressive or liberal says something crude, it's not considered "notable". Thismightbezach (talk) 17:09, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
There is no "seems" about it. There is a double standard. Arzel (talk) 18:26, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Then engage in discussion on those pages, and follow dispute resolution as necessary; what's done there has no bearing on what's done here, and you'll probably find that very few of the editors are even the same people. Those pages also should not contain a laundry list of every controversial or offensive thing they've said. All pages, though, should contain information on controversial things these people have done if and only if those controversial things resulted in sustained press coverage and/or had lasting consequences. Think even beyond the BLP issue, towards a more practical one. Since the job of all of these people is basically to say controversial things (that's how they get viewers, that's how the court media attention, that's how thy make money); if we listed everything they said that were controversial, the articles would be hundreds of print-pages long. We must have independent sources to tell us which of the controversial statements are important to the person's greater life story. Qwyrxian (talk) 22:21, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Now that Bashir has been forced to publicly apologize, these arguments no longer hold any water (if they ever did). The apology has drawn widespread coverage, as the over-the-top nature of the original comments is by itself headline-worthy. It seems to me that a mention of the incident is in order. (talk) 23:34, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree. There is no debate here. His comments are unbelievable and notable. He publicly apologized for saying out loud that he wants someone to shit and piss down Palin's mouth. And it was covered by many, many sources. There is no issue here.--NK (talk) 00:01, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

As to whether isolated "controversal statements are important to the person's greater life story"(Qwyrxian above), perhaps we should ascribe the same amount of content to this unprofessional former ABC News Nightline anchor Martin Bashir, as Nightline, and Wikipedia do here: , Note how the one-night Campanis remark dominates his Wikipedia entry. If Wikipedia is to be objective, encyclopedic, and neutral point of view, we really should stop being so inconsistent, with "progressive" thoughts crushing any semblance of objectivity. Consistently. Now excuse me, while I go back to reading the Obamacare page, where I can find out how Sarah Palin's "Death Panels" remark was a falsehood and myth, but Obama's "If you like it you can keep it . . ." is a complicated misunderstanding - but in no way a myth or a falsehood . . . But back to practical suggestions, let's be consistent with here, for Martin Bashir and this remark about Palin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Um, BS on the above. Simply having to apologize is still not enough to insert these comments--news casters, especially shock jocks, apolgize for stuff all the time. We need more evidence to meet WP:UNDUE--we have to be extremely careful that we don't get Wikipedia caught up in the 24-hour news cycle; what is "hot" today is 99.99999% of the time, forgotten tomorrow (or, at least, next week).
Also, I realize that maybe, I wasn't being exactly clear on the BLP issue here--I'm not concerned about the negative implications this has for Bashir--I'm concerned about repeating the unbelievably offensive statements about another living person, Sarah Palin. I am, for example, willing to discuss an alternate version that refers to the controversy (assuming we agree that it's DUE) but does not actually detail what those comments were. But as long as those specific comments are being included, I will continue to revert, and the BLP exemption to 3RR will apply. No one should even consider including the actual comments. Qwyrxian (talk) 02:36, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. And, re-reading the Campanis entry I note that the quotes themselves became important, possibly because they got him fired (and his career being over, thanks to the remarks, made the remarks a big part of his "life story"). So with Martin Bashir, the jury is still out, or as you put it "don't get caught up in the 24-hour news cycle". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I've requested full protection of the page, as this people don't seem to understand that a simple majority is not enough to meet consensus, and that consensus cannot override BLP. I am absolutely certain that even if we agree that the "controversy" itself should be covered (and I think we need time before we can decide that), there is no way whatsoever that we can include the comments themselves. Qwyrxian (talk) 05:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Your reversion of substituting the direct quote makes no sense. A BLP violation would be inaccurately describing what Bashir said as opposed to directly quoting what he said, which is what the version you reverted to does. What does the quote say that is a BLP violation that the incorrect paraphrasing doesn't say? All we're doing is quoting what one person said about another and then describing how they were criticized and apologized for it. There are similar incidents described on countless other pages and it has nothing to do with BLP regarding Palin. A similar example is on Ed Schultz page regarding his comments towards Laura Ingraham. I won't add back the quote pending discussion, but I am removing the inaccurate paraphrase as it is a BLP violation - Maximusveritas (talk) 06:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This issue has been raised at WP:BLPN. On the one hand, we shouldn't perpetuate victimization. On the other hand, Palin is a public figure, and the quote is very revealing about Bashir. So I'd definitely include the quote. Excluding it to protect Palin is not a persuasive rationale, because one could just as easily include the quote while omitting her name.Anythingyouwant (talk) 07:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

So, what, we say, "Bashir made a comment against a women who compared the US debt to slavery and said XXX"? That doesn't make any sense at all. The fact that Palin is a public figure is a red herring. The public figure issue is raised when we consider whether or not to include comments (here or anywhere else) that Palin makes. Her status as a public figure does not mean that Wikipedia can be used to repeat degrading and misogynist statements about her. Qwyrxian (talk) 08:10, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Also, the only reason I only removed the quotation and didn't remove the whole section is that the section is an WP:NPOV violation (via WP:UNDUE), which isn't subject to the BLP exemption on 3RR/edit warring. I still believe the entire section should go, but I'm not going to edit war to try to force my way, as I do accept that UNDUE is always a judgment call. One, of course, that almost everyone gets wrong when they see a story pop up on cable news and online journalism, thinking that the current big thing is some life shattering event. But I do believe that, if not now, in a week or two people will understand why this section should be wholly removed. Qwyrxian (talk) 08:14, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

The page currently mentions Bashir's apology, but it gives no indication at all what the offensive comments were. I added that "Bashir said that he wanted someone to defecate in Sarah Palin's mouth," but someone deleted these comments. It is important to state what he said, not just the apology. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:57, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree that we need to mention the offensive comments since Wikipedia is not censored and we are simply reporting what Bashir said. We are not alleging anything about Palin and we're also clearly indicating that the comments were criticized and he apologized and acknowledged they were wrong, so no reader would get the impression we were endorsing or condoning the words. All that said, since there was the objection made above by Qwyrxian, I removed the comments. Also, it is inaccurate to say "he wanted someone to defecate in Sarah Palin's mouth" when that was not what he actually said. What he said was "When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate." We need to be accurate in describing what he said if we're going to describe it. I also think the sources should be replaced since they are mostly low quality blog-type sites and there are better sources out there now. - Maximusveritas (talk) 14:30, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the IP editor. The article has been cleaned of the offending statement. The way that it is written now it sounds like only Palin said something and Bashir was critical of it. That is truly false impression. Bashir said that he believe Palin was a candidate for having TT shit and piss in her mouth. That is a fact. It is a notable fact because it points out the reason Bashir made the apology and it points out why there should be a section in this particular article covering the topic. Leaving out that fact is a whitewash of the article. Also, this situation is very similar to the situation in the Carrie Prejean situation. Perez Hilton called her a horrible name. Editors then attempted to use the fact that Hilton called her a horrible name to have the horrible word removed from the article as a BLP violation. As Jimbo pointed out in that situation the horrible name had to in the article to show what all the fuss was about. He also pointed out that the horrible word did not need to be repeated over and over again, one quote was enough. Bashir made the comment and there needs to be mention of what he exactly said so that the reader understands the full weight of what he apologizing about. It is not a NOV violation or a BLP violation as Jimbo pointed out before. But it should not be overused. I believe removing the claim that Palin is candidate for being shit on and pissed on is an attempt to shield Bashir from his own comments. He has taken responsibility for them by apologizing we should not insult the reader by refusing to let the reader know what horrible thing Bashir said. Why are we protecting Bashir from comments that he himself has taken responsibility for? Whitewashing an article is not appropriate editing.--NK (talk) 14:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
And now y'all are repeating it here. This is absolutely disgusting. I can't stand Sarah Palin as a politician...and I think that even considering adding this to the article is just downright insane. We are not a tawdry gossip rag. We're not here to get ratings by repeating hate speech. I deal with a lot of bad editors on Wikipedia, here just to vandalize or engage in self promotion...and this attitude, that somehow we make the encyclopedia better by repeating these comments is a hundred times worse and completely antithetical to WP:BLP. It is, in fact, the whole reason we have WP:BLP--because sometimes, being sourced simply isn't enough.
And don't forget--no one has yet even provided evidence that this meets WP:DUE other than the general vague handwaving of "it's getting news coverage now." What is the greater impact of this non-story? Qwyrxian (talk) 14:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Qwyrxian, thank you for your opinion. However, I was quoting Jimbo. He is the person that has maintained the perspective that Wikipedia is not censored just to protect individuals from the things that they say or do. The criteria of whether something should be included in not what you personally believe to be "vile" (as you stated in the edit summary) but whether it is notable. It is notable for very simple reasons. Bashir himself felt the need to apologize for the comments (probably because MSNBC threatened his job if he didn't). There is substantial coverage of the comment. And no you are incorrect. Repeating the comments on this talk page has to happen because you are attempting to whitewash the article and so I am pointing out why the comments are vile and because they are vile they need to be in the Bashir article so that the reader knows what he said and why there is such a stink about it. The standard for Wikipedia is not whether we are sufficiently protecting Bashir from his own words. He has taken responsibility for his vile comments. Why do you want to protect him from his vile comments when he himself has chosen to take responsibility for them? If they weren't so vile, they might not be notable. But since they are so vile, they are notable. Bashir went into great detail about how TT used to have other slaves shit and piss in the mouth of punished slave. Bashir is essentially saying that Palin is a "candidate", which means Bashir has decided that Palin needs to be treated like a slave and Bashir has decided that Palin's comments warranted the shit and piss punishment. Yes, these comments are vile. That is also why they are notable because Bashir went way beyond the pale of polite discourse. You want to shield and protect him from the exact thing that he said and the exact same thing that he took responsibility for and apologized for. That is the not the standard in Wikipedia. The standart is notability and because the comments and thought process so vile it unfortunately has reached the tipping point of notability.--NK (talk) 15:22, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
By the way, in every article that talks about this incident each and every author tells the reader exactly what Bashir said about shitting and pissing in Palin's mouth. Even the Washington Post's Erik Wemple, who is a left-wing hater of Palin, repeated, in detail, what Bashir said and then he condemned the words. Wipple said: "With those words, Bashir managed to accomplish a mammoth fail: matching Palin’s offensive statement and point of view with his own offensive statement and point of view." I don't agree with Wemple because I don't believe that Palin's comments match Bashir's comments in their stupidity, but my opinion is the not the point of this discussion. It is whether the reader should know what Bashir's horrible comment was and the Wikipedia standard is quite straight-forward. We have to include it so that the reader understands exactly how vile Bashir's comments were. It is notable. Howard Kurtz, once again not a huge fan of Palin, quoted TT to a great extent so that you clearly know Bashir was saying that Palin was a "candidate" for slave punishment of shitting and pissing in her mouth. He then condemns Bashir's comments: "Wrapped in the language of literary allegory, Bashir is saying he’d like to see someone assault and abuse Sarah Palin in this horrifying fashion." He goes on and asks a great question: "What would MSNBC say if a conservative had talked about defecating on, say, Hillary Clinton?" Kurtz did not leave out from his commentary exactly what Bashir wanted someone to do to Palin. And neither should we.--NK (talk) 15:40, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

There is no rational reason, nor any basis in BLP policy, to exclude the quotation of what was said. As it stands right now, this article has been whitewashed (censored). (talk) 21:20, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

NK, I'm not trying to protect Bashir--I'm trying to protect Palin. I'm trying to prevent continued victimization. Also, you seem to forget: we have much higher standards of BLP protection that most newspapers. For example, we don't generally include statements that a person has been arrested and charged with a crime (if they're a non-public person) until there's a conviction, whereas a newspaper will report such details within hours of it happening. We cannot rely on analogies to other bodies with different standards than our own. And I am kindly asking everyone to please stop repeating the offensive phrases here--WP:BLP applies to talk pages as well. If this behavior continues, I will have escalate the matter to WP:ANI. This is not about being "censored". It is about the fact that our policies insist that we do not participate in doing harm to living people, and that sometimes this does mean leaving out information that can be verified (again, my "accused of a crime" example is a very clear case where WP:BLP explicitly overrides WP:V). Qwyrxian (talk) 22:34, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Your original objection was that the entire incident should be excluded because it is undue weight. With that argument now defeated, you've switched to a claim that you are protecting Palin, which is risible. Can you articulate precisely which part of WP:BLP is being violated? Because my reading of the policy actually favors inclusion:
In the case of public figures, there will be a multitude of reliable published sources, and BLPs should simply document what these sources say. If an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well-documented, it belongs in the article – even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out.
Palin and Bashir are both public figures. There is no "victimization" argument to be made. (talk) 22:53, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Qwyrxian, you can say you are trying to protect Palin, but your "solution", if you will, essentially protects Bashir, not Palin, which is exactly what you seem to want. As a matter of fact, Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, has written a letter to NBC News and MSNBC where they inquiry on when and if Bashir is going to be disciplined by NBC. In that letter, written by an organization that support Palin, they specifically outlined exactly what Bashir did say. The letter states, "We would now like to know what disciplinary measures you are taking about Martin Bashir's appalling statement on his MSNBC show last Friday that someone should defecate and/or urinate in Governor Palin's mouth because she used the word 'slavery' to describe the burden the federal debt will have on future generations of Americans." In light of Palin's group repeating the ignorant comments of Bashir, it is clear that Palin has zero desire to hide the comments of Bashir, but rather wants to the whole world to see Bashir's comments. They aren't looking to censor the comments. They want others to see the comments and they are calling attention to the comments. I think you desire to hide the comments only protects Bashir so that he won't be ashamed of his vile comments. Wikipedia is not censored. It is wrong to insult the reader and refuse to let the reader know what Bashir said.--NK (talk) 01:06, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

We could say something like this: "In November 2013, Bashir called for a former governor of Alaska to be — according to a paraphrase by Associated Press — 'punished for remarks about slavery by having someone defecate in her mouth'."[1] There's nothing remotely problematic about this in terms of Wikipedia policy, it's concise, direct, and accurate. The only question should be how much more to include, and I would support naming Palin and providing the full quotes from Bashir. Palin is an adult public figure.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:29, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I see no reason to paraphrase. If it merits inclusion, the full of what he said should be quoted. Joefromrandb (talk) 03:35, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
What I mean is, we could paraphrase and then provide full detail. I want to know if those opposed to full detail would at least join a very solid consensus to include the paraphrase.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:37, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
While your intentions are noble, the only topic that seems to be of any legitimate debate here is whether to include it. If it merits inclusion, WP:NOTCENSORED is clear on how to handle it. Perhaps the direct quote could be softened by using your idea of preceding it with the paraphrase. Using only the paraphrase should be a non-starter. Joefromrandb (talk) 03:49, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
There's nothing in the article about it right now. I would at least like to get the sentence drafted above in there via an edit request. Then we can try to get in the rest. Do you object to that, or would that be agreeable?Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:57, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
There's no need to include a paraphrase when the full quote can be included, especially with the BLP concerns raised. Overall, it looks like we've had multiple editors (6 by my count) weigh in that the inclusion of this topic (including the full quote that generated the criticism and apology) does not violate WP:DUE or WP:BLP. Only one editor believes it does. So it looks like there is already clear consensus for inclusion of the full quote. - Maximusveritas (talk) 03:59, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
And can we also include the paraphrase? The AP paraphrased for a reason: because it's easier to digest than the full Bashir quotes, which by themselves are not as clear and concise. Please draft up something that would be acceptable for you, and then we can do a survey and edit request.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:04, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
My preference would be to exclude the paraphrase, but if adding it will satisfy concerned editors, I'll sign on to that. Joefromrandb (talk) 04:11, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I could sign on to no paraphrase, but would very much prefer it to precede the full quotes, as a kind of stable intro.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:16, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
That's fine with me. Would you like to draw up the edit-request? Joefromrandb (talk) 04:22, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm curious whether this approach is okay with Maximusveritas. And if he would draft it then I can kick back and do some other non-Wikipedia stuff.  :-)Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:24, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I think a starting point would be to just propose returning to this version of the article. I don't like the idea of additional paraphrasing unless absolutely necessary and I don't think it is. - Maximusveritas (talk) 04:32, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Are there more reliable sources than HuffPost and Mediaite? I guess they might be adequate, but we should preferably try for something more solid. I still think we would help readers by cutting to the chase with a paraphrase, but like I said it's not essential.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:41, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Maybe The Independent for the comments or The Washington Post, and NY Magazine for the apology. - Maximusveritas (talk) 04:55, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Okay, would you mind putting the full draft section here so we can take a survey? Thanks.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:59, 20 November 2013 (UTC)


So here's a draft section. I just got the prior version and switched in rough cites for the new sources and combined the last 2 sentences:

On November 15, 2013, Bashir attacked former Alaska Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin for comments that she made comparing the Federal debt to slavery.[1] Bashir attempted to counter Palin's comparison by referencing the cruel and barbaric punishment of slaves described by slave overseer Thomas Thistlewood, including floggings and having other slaves "shit" or "piss" into their mouth and eyes. He then concluded by saying "When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate."[2] After many complaints were made against his comments, Bashir apologized on November 18, 2013, stating among other things: "My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics."[3]

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  • Support. This is perfectly neutral and well-sourced.Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:27, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Needs clarification. Bashir took pains to describe Thistlewood's creation of "Darby's dose", then subsequently said that Palin qualified for a "dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood". Our prose needs to preserve both uses of the word "dose" in order to make the connection apparent to the reader. (talk) 06:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Please suggest specific language so people can understand what you're saying. Also, was Thistlewood describing stuff that he did or stuff that others did? Again I urge that we include the very simple introductory paraphrase from Associated Press.Anythingyouwant (talk) 06:54, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • This seems fine, although I think the wiki-links to "piss" and "shit" are unnecessary. Joefromrandb (talk) 06:57, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, here's a more understandable version, including Joefromrandb's suggestion:

On November 15, 2013, Bashir attacked former Alaska Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin for comments that she made comparing the Federal debt to slavery.[1] Bashir attempted to counter Palin's comparison by referencing the cruel and barbaric punishment of slaves described by slave overseer Thomas Thistlewood, specifically a punishment called "Darby's dose" which involved forcing slaves to defecate or urinate into the mouth of a slave to be punished. He then concluded by saying "When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate."[2] After many complaints were made against his comments, Bashir apologized on November 18, 2013, stating among other things: "My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics."[3]

This wording, or some version of it, is absolutely necessary to develop the narrative. If we do not explain "Darby's dose", it is difficult or impossible for the reader to understand what was so offensive when Bashir suggested a "dose of discipline" for Palin. (talk) 07:11, 20 November 2013 (UTC)


Okay, here's the revised version from IP97, with a few tweaks:

On November 15, 2013, Bashir attacked former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin for comments that she made comparing the Federal debt to slavery.[1] Bashir attempted to counter Palin's comparison by referencing the cruel and barbaric punishment of slaves described by slave overseer Thomas Thistlewood, specifically a punishment called "Darby's dose" which involved forcing slaves to defecate or urinate into the mouth of another slave as punishment. Bashir then concluded by saying "When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate."[2] After many complaints were made against his comments, Bashir apologized on November 18, 2013, stating among other things: "My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics."[3]

[1]"MSNBC not commenting on whether further action contemplated against Bashir", Associated Press via Washington Post (November 19, 2013).
[2]Williams, Rob. "Martin Bashir says Sarah Palin is an 'idiot' and suggests someone should defecate in her mouth", The Independent (November 18, 2013).
[3]Coscarelli, Joe. "MSNBC Host Sorry for Saying Disgusting Thing About Sarah Palin’s Mouth", New York (November 18, 2013).

  • Support. Again, this is perfectly neutral and well-sourced.Anythingyouwant (talk) 07:25, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't see the difference between this version here and the one right above it. They look exactly alike to me. At any rate, I support a version that explains exactly what Bashir believes Palin is a candidate for. All of these versions, in my opinion, meet that objective. I think a reader knows what "defecate" means and we don't need to use the slang--even though that is what TT used and it is what Bashir quoted on his show. It does let Bashir off the hook a little bit, but then again SarahPAC did not see the need to use the cruder word. I think we can eliminate the whitewashing of the article and yet at the same time use the less crude choice of wording. It seems like a reasonable compromise to me.--NK (talk) 14:18, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I support any version that tells what Bashir was advocating for Palin (I just want the whitewash of Bashir's comments fixed)--whether that version has the cruder words or the euphemisms on that issue I am agnostic.--NK (talk) 16:30, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. It's faithful to the sources, and avoids the crude language used in earlier versions. (talk) 07:39, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm more in favor of the first one. I only proposed de-linking the words "piss" and "shit", not removing them. The "crude language" was part of the reason the comments caused an uproar, and it's therefore essential to repeat it. We don't bowdlerize quotes here. The only concern here is WP:UNDUE, and it appears we have clear consensus that it isn't. Once it's been decided that the quote merits inclusion, that should be the end of it. As 97... noted, it's important for the reader to understand what people found so offensive about the comments. While the foul language was certainly not alone in causing offense, suggesting Bashir used euphemisms is a definite detractor. Joefromrandb (talk) 08:15, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
The cited source does not say that Bashir said "shit", but rather indicates that he spelled it out s-h-i-t. Anyway, "defecate or urinate" means the same as "shit or piss", so maybe we shouldn't get sidetracked by this slight difference?Anythingyouwant (talk) 08:32, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
They may mean the same, but the context is usually different. If someone used the word "fuck", paraphrasing the quote by using "intercourse" would alter the context substantially. Basically, the question is: did his uses of "piss" and "shit" contribute to the controversy over what he said? If they didn't, then I'd agree that it's only a "slight difference". If they did, then WP:NOTCENSORED is clear that the quote shouldn't be altered. Joefromrandb (talk) 09:00, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
WP:NOTCENSORED doesn't say that we are not allowed to paraphrase the quote. What it does say is that "Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness but on whether it is an appropriate image, text or link."
Here, the exact language Bashir used is not necessary to communicate the content of what was said, and it may, in fact, distract attention from the actual meaning of what he said. Thus I find the appropriateness of an exact quote to be questionable. Better to stick with encyclopedic language and dispassionate story telling than to "pile on" merely to gain the shock value of profanity (which wasn't actually used as explicitly as it might have been).
Furthermore, some readers who see "s-h-i-t" may have difficulty understanding that Bashir was actually spelling out the word, and for the sake of brevity I don't think we want to devote any space to giving an explanation. Therefore the paraphrase is the better option, all the way around. (talk) 09:25, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • You're definitely misunderstanding the section of WP:NOTCENSORED that you quoted. It's exactly as you said. Discussion should focus on whether it's appropriate, rather than offensive. Once it's been determined that it's appropriate (which it apparently has), any concerns about offensiveness go out the window. Joefromrandb (talk) 09:45, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • You are correct about the potential awkwardness of "s-h-i-t". WP:Offensive material advises to use either "(sic)" or "(thus in the original)". Joefromrandb (talk) 09:54, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Finally, while you are correct that the exact language is not necessary for readers to understand the context of what Bashir said, it is necessary for readers to understand why it caused controversy. This controversy is the very reason that the quote is noteworthy, and in turn, the reason the quote needs to remain unaltered. Joefromrandb (talk) 10:01, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
That's right, we are discussing whether an exact quote is appropriate. What makes you think that it's been determined, since the discussion is still ongoing and you seem to be the only editor arguing for inclusion? Maybe this will help you understand the policy better: WP:NOTCENSORED allows us to use the exact quote; it does not require us to use it. (talk) 10:02, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Also, see WP:GRATUITOUS, from the very same guideline you just linked. It's relevant here. "Offensive material should be used only if its omission would cause the article to be less informative, relevant, or accurate, and no equally suitable alternative is available." (talk) 10:04, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not the only editor arguing for its inclusion, and your link to "GRATUITOUS" explains exactly why the quote shouldn't be altered. Using euphemisms would indeed cause the article to be less-informative. Joefromrandb (talk) 10:26, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
How would the article be less informative? And who else is arguing for a verbatim quote? (talk) 10:29, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not going to keep going around in circles with you. Log in and use your account if you want to be taken seriously. Joefromrandb (talk) 10:34, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No answer, then?

Oh, and you might want to look at WP:IPDIS (talk) 10:38, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

The "discrimination" is because you're a sockpuppet, not because you're editing as an IP. Joefromrandb (talk) 10:45, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Need I also remind you of WP:AGF and WP:CIVIL? (CIVIL is policy, by the way.)
The plain language of WP:GRATUITOUS favors the proposal as-written. If you don't want to explain why you disagree, then I must conclude that you have no argument. (talk) 11:04, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I've already explained it, numerous times. Neither I, nor anyone else here have any concern for the "conclusions" of an IP-sock. Joefromrandb (talk) 11:23, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I strongly urge that wikipedia remove Qwyrxian as an editor for this entry. He/she is showing bad faith to an absurd degree. If you are going to mention an apology, then mention the crime for which Bashir is apologizing. It's not that hard. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:06, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I don't think this is worth fussing about, for several reasons:

  1. In the first survey, it wasn't clear who said "shit" and "piss", as between Thistlewood and Bashir.
  2. Bashir apparently did not say "shit" but rather spelled out "s-h-i-t", per the cited sources
  3. The cited sources use the word "defecate" (including in an article title)
  4. This could be changed to "shit" and/or "piss" later (after the paragraph is installed)

Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:48, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Even though I'd prefer to use the words he said, it is difficult because of the first two points you mentioned above, so I'd support using the substituted words in this case just to get something in the article better than it is now. If someone can later come up with a version that deals with those points, then we could maybe have a separate vote on that afterwards. - Maximusveritas (talk) 16:44, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

===Sarah Palin comments=== On November 15, 2013, Bashir attacked former [[Alaska]] [[List of Governors of Alaska|Governor]] and [[Vice presidential candidacy of Sarah Palin|Vice Presidential candidate]] [[Sarah Palin]] for comments that she made comparing [[National debt of the United States|the Federal debt]] to [[slavery]].<ref>[ "MSNBC not commenting on whether further action contemplated against Bashir"], [[Associated Press]] via ''[[Washington Post]]'' (November 19, 2013).</ref> Bashir attempted to counter Palin's comparison by referencing the cruel and barbaric punishment of slaves described by [[Slavery in the United States|slave overseer]] [[Thomas Thistlewood]], specifically a punishment called "Darby's dose" which involved forcing slaves to defecate or urinate into the mouth of another slave as punishment. Bashir then concluded by saying "When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate."<ref>Williams, Rob. [ "Martin Bashir says Sarah Palin is an 'idiot' and suggests someone should defecate in her mouth"], ''[[The Independent]]'' (November 18, 2013).</ref> After many complaints were made against his comments, Bashir apologized on November 18, 2013, stating among other things: "My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics."<ref>Coscarelli, Joe. [ "MSNBC Host Sorry for Saying Disgusting Thing About Sarah Palin’s Mouth"], ''[[New York (magazine)|New York]]'' (November 18, 2013).</ref>

This subsection should go at the end of the "Career" section, in place of the subsection that's there now. Consensus has been established above, in the subsection titled "Survey2".Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:24, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely insane. Anyone supporting this should go find a blog to rant and rave on. It's abhorrent that Wikipedia would continue the attacks on Sarah Palin, rather than finding some way to represent the same story (if it's DUE) without continuing the victimization. I'm sorry if you all think that making Bashir look bad (and he does deserve it, no doubt) trumps the whole "don't harm living people" rule that is not only policy, but in fact policy established by the WMF. And just as a final passing note, before people accuse me of wanting to protect Bashir--I don't even know who the hell he is other than that he's some sort of news caster. I've never seen his show and never seen his face outside of this article. I have no bone to pick in this fight other than BLP enforcement. That you all can't see what a blatant violation this is just....just... Qwyrxian (talk) 03:34, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
This has been discussed at great length both here and at BLPN, and you are the only editor who believes this is a BLP violation. Palin is an adult, a public figure, and so it's perfectly okay for us to follow major national publications that report what Bashir said about her.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:14, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
For the record, I am fine with this edit-request. It can be tweaked as necessary once the article is unprotected. Joefromrandb (talk) 04:21, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Please go read WP:BLP. It specifically states that we may not repeat the same information that a newspaper publishes. For example, newspapers routinely report "Joe Schmoe was arrested and charged with murder." Our policies explicitly state that we may not do that (except in very narrow circumstances). There is no difference here--major newspapers are repeating degrading and offensive things that do direct harm to Palin (as pointed our, her team has filed a letter of complaint) and thus we should not perpetuate the offense. I get that I'm in the minority...and it's the fact that I'm a minority of one that makes me sad and actually sick to my stomach (as I sit here typing this, my stomach churns, telling me things my brain doesn't even have the words to express). This seems so completely obvious to me. Clearly, somehow, I must be wrong (in the sense of not matching WP culture), but I still don't know why, and cannot even begin to see how one could read this edit request as compatible with BLP. Alternatively, this simply hasn't been presented for wide enough view; I will have to consider whether or not to pursue further dispute resolution. Qwyrxian (talk) 09:18, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Please note that I have told the protecting admin that even though I am still completely certain that adding this is wrong and a policy violation, I accept that I am the only person saying this, and thus unprotecting the article to allow the edit is fine by me. If I feel like I have time, and feel like there's a possibility of further progress, I may pursue further DR. Alternatively, I might just wait for a few weeks to see if this actually becomes enough of a story to meet WP:UNDUE; in which case that is the more sensible (foundational) position to pursue. Qwyrxian (talk) 09:26, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting info.svg Administrator note: After reviewing this discussionI was about to fulfil the requested edit. However given Qwyrxian's very reasonable statement above, lowering the protection is preferable. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:48, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Qwyrxian's (latest) arguments defy common sense and have no support in policy. The notion that Wikipedia is somehow "victimizing" Palin -by reporting what Bashir said- is ridiculous. His follow-on argument -that policy states we may not repeat what newspapers write- is simply false. WP:BLP says precisely the opposite of what Qwyrxian claims: "In the case of public figures, there will be a multitude of reliable published sources, and BLPs should simply document what these sources say. If an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well-documented, it belongs in the article – even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it." (talk) 18:13, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

No the Sarah Palin comments were NOT a one day problem and Yes they are notable[edit]

The White House Press Secretary during the first two years of the Clinton administration Dee Dee Myers has called for Bashir's firing. First Female WH Press Secretary Calls for Bashir's Firing. So can we stop the silliness of arguing that it is not notable topic? It clearly, clearly is notable. Of course, it always was. Can you imagine the outrage if Rush Limbaugh had called for someone to shit or piss down Hillary Clinton's throat? It was unbelievable that any editor would make the argument that it was not a notable topic.--NK (talk) 01:13, 21 November 2013 (UTC) do the comments of someone no longer connected with an official administration lend any amount, positive or negative, to the supposed importance of this story? As I've said all along, if Bashir should be fired...heck even if he were suspended or fined or whatever, then it would be important enough for inclusion. Qwyrxian (talk) 03:30, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I can see from your stammering and the fact that you even have to ask the question proves that your response is lame. It has everything to do with it. Dee Dee Myers is not merely "someone" as you say. She is a important political commentator having had her own show on CNBC. Sexism and the Media in the 2008 Primaries - Dee Dee Myers She appears as a talking head constantly. And since you clearly don't get it, she was the first woman to be White House Press Secretary. She is, as Joe Biden says, "A Big F'ng Deal." Biden Drops The F-Bomb? You might be too young to understand her importance or you are merely acting ignorant of her importance, no matter. She was out there defending Bill Clinton from, as James Carville called it, bimbo eruptions years and years ago. This is the level that you have stooped to: You are willing to slam Dee Dee Myers' importance in Washington just to defend a man who stated on MSNBC that he wanted to see someone/anyone shit and piss into Sarah Palin's mouth. Is there no end of your defense of Bashir?--NK (talk) 12:40, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Please stop the personal attacks. And please read what I wrote: I have never once seen or heard Martin Bashir. I do not watch Nightline; I'm pretty sure I've never watched Nightline. I don't even know what the format of the show is. The only reason I edit this article is because back in 2012 an editor uploaded a clear copyvio photo to another article I watchlist, and then I looked at said editor's other contributions and noticed he'd added a copyvio here as well. At that point, I put the article on my watchlist to watch for recurrences, and it's just stayed there ever since. And as I've said time and time again, I'm not defending Bashir, I'm defending Palin and upholding our policies as I think is required. And, no, I don't know who Dee Dee Myers is (though the name is slightly familiar); while I do follow US politics, I don't follow political advisers and I don't watch cable news (of any political bias). Qwyrxian (talk) 14:05, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
There was no personal attack. It was clear that you didn't know who Dee Dee Myers is. You should not say that her comment is not important if you don't even know who she is. Also, her comment is important not only because she was the first woman White House press secretary but because she is a liberal Democrat. She is not some Tea Party Republican being critical of Bashir. She is a well-known liberal Democrat partisan. She is well-respected by not only by Democrats but also by Republicans. She is the inspiration behind two fictional characters, Allison Janney's character on The West Wing and Maura Tierney's character on Primary Colors. She actually worked as a consultant to the Aaron Sorkin's TV show. But the bigger issue is that you have successfully, so far, ignored Jimbo Wales comments on the Perez Hilton's horrible comments and how even though Hilton's comments were horrible that is not excuse to censor the article about Carrie Prejean. As you can see in the Carrie Prejean article Perez's nasty comment is quoted word for word. The inclusion of these words, "dumb bitch" were debated ad nauseam on the Prejean talk page, on Jimbo Wales talk page, and on the BLP notice board. The consensus reached, after months and months of debate, was that since if not for the sheer nastiness of Hilton's comments the whole thing would not have been notable and since the words themselves were so vile that they were notable then they had to be placed in Prejean's article so that the reader would understand what all of the fuss was about in the first place. Jimbo stated flatly that giving the reader more information is better than less if the situation demanded it. You can read more yourself in these places: Prejean 1, Prejean 2, Prejean 3, and Prejean 4. You have not responded to these basic comments. You have merely focused upon your belief that the words are horrible in your opinion and as such they must be removed. That is not a valid Wikipedia standard. The valid Wikipedia standard is notability and you have not shown why the words are not notable. You have not shown why his apology is not notable. You have not shown why other people commentary on his horrible wording is not notable. I would argue that not only is his words notable, but also other people’s comments about his words, and the apology itself is notable.--NK (talk) 15:27, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Also, one of your original arguments was that the controversy was only a "one day" news item and that it did not reach the level of even being mentioned in the article. That is false. It has been more than "one day". It has now been several days and the fallout continues. Palin cancelled an appearance on The Today Show. See here: Howard Kurtz: Palin kills Matt Lauer interview over Martin Bashir slur. She was scheduled to be interviewed by Matt Lauer. Once again, you are going to make the lame argument about Palin's cancellation has nothing to do with Bashir's article. Wrong. It shows that Bashir's comments are so horrible that these words are having effect on his work and his network. The Today Show is premier NBC news/entertainment vehicle and Bashir works for MSNBC, which is owned by NBC, which is owed by Comcast. Also, The New York Observer, a very left-wing newspaper in NYC, printed an article yesterday which was very critical of Bashir and stated that Bashir treatment of Palin was, well, not good: "Even those who despise Gov. Palin agreed that Bashir had entered a place so repulsive that his reputation might never return." Once again, just so you can't minimize the point of that commentary, let me point out to you that the Observer is not a Tea Party or Republican Party vehicle. It is decidedly left-wing and it is most famous for publishing the original Sex and the City columns. Now, this morning former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough called Bashir's comments "deplorable." See here: Joe Scarborough: Martin Bashir's Sarah Palin Comments Were 'Deplorable' (VIDEO), The Huffington Post. Ah ha! I can hear you say. Scarborough is just a Tea Partier, etc. Wrong. Scarborough is a Republican but he is a moderate Republican who happens to host Morning Joe on MSNBC, see? He is on the exact same network as Bashir. Scarborough has a lot more viewers than Bashir and he has a more prominent time slot. So no your claim that Bashir's comments are just a "one day" phenomenon is just not true. Bashir's comments are still being discussed by folks from MSNBC. Not notable? Wrong. His comments are notable.--NK (talk) 16:04, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't know why you're going on and on about the political position of the commentators; it's of absolutely no consequence. Nor is the fact that the news are still talking about this now. See for instance, Steven Slater. Oh, you can't, because, while people argued for months that the person was notable, that he was the start of a movement, that he was obviously hugely important because, look, the news shows can't stop talking about him...once the dust settled, and a few months later people could actually start focusing on our policies, it was obvious that having an article on the person violated our policies. Now, the standard for what goes into an article is lower than the standard for a stand alone article itself. As for Prejean, you do make a good argument there, as that is probably the closest analogy to this situation.
Maybe I need to clarify a little more where I'm coming from: It is my belief that it is essentially impossible in most cases to determine if a set of words said by one person are important enough for inclusion in an article within the first couple of days, if not the first couple of weeks or months. There are thousands of examples of a particular incident of offensive speech, stupid speech, mistaken speech, whatever, being covered every 2 hours on the cable news stations, talked about on the blogosphere, and even commented upon by major media and/or political personalities. All of these commentators have a specific reason for doing so: talking about the latest, most salacious thing is how they get eyeballs, and there's a limited amount of things to talk about (and they have to follow public instant interest). Then, in the vast majority of cases, those discussions/topics disappear entirely from public view, and no one ever talks about them again--not journalists, not academics, not biographers. They sounded exciting and scandalous, but, ultimately they story "didn't have legs". I believe that, as an encyclopedia, our job is to wait until after it is clear that there is long term interest in the story, or until we know for certain that the story had lasting consequences in the bigger story of the articles subject. I honestly believe that Wikipedia is better when we are slow and conservative to add things, adding current events only when it is patently obvious that the topic will certainly have lasting impact (like when it immediately leads to job loss, when a person is killed, etc.).
I'm inserting this box within my colleague's contrib to note that (despite the perhaps confusing extra indentation) the preceding 'graphs are part of the same edit as the following one, and not a separate unsigned contrib.
--Jerzyt 07:27, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Finally, last point for now, because as I've said I don't think there's much I can do here at this point. I think that perhaps I also confused you because I'm following two different tracks. The first is that I don't think we have established that the comments at all are of lasting importance, and thus the entire section should be removed; I've stated that should lasting consequence be established, I'd support the section but without the actual offensive speech. The second track I'm following is that I believe that WP:BLP requires that we remove the specific offensive speech itself. Those are two different arguments; the first protects Wikipedia in the sense that it keeps out trivia, while the second protects a living person from enshrining the offensive words somewhat permanently in what is the number one reference site in the world. Qwyrxian (talk) 22:04, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
As of December 3, 2013, Politico is reporting that Bashir has been suspended. Bashir has not been seen on MSNBC since November 22, 2013. Once again, his comments were despicable and they were so despicable that it made them notable and fit for the article. The story has always had lasting consequences. Byers, Dylan. MSNBC's Martin Bashir 'on vacation' after Sarah Palin remarks, Politico, December 2, 2013.--NK (talk) 12:20, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
You are wrong. The comments of various political commentators is important. It is merely your opinion that these comments are of "no consequence". That is your opinion. There is zero basis of your opinion in Wikipedia's rules. It is just your opinion. We don't make editing decisions just based upon your personal opinion. It is fact that what does decide editing on Wikipedia is notability and the number of comments of others is a clear metric that is used to decided upon notability. There I provided you with a rule in wikipedia. All you provided is your personal opinion that all of these commentators are of "no consequence." That is a load horse hockey. But thank you for your opinion. Also, another metric is consensus and the consensus does not support your opinion. The consensus agrees with its notability and the consensus agrees with inclusion. Here are some more people commenting upon Bashir's despicable comments:
(1) Carl M. Cannon, Real Clear Politics: Time to Pull the Plug on MSNBC?,
(2) Bill O'Reilly, FOX News: When will Martin Bashir be disciplined?,
(3) Robin Abcarian, LA Times: Sarah Palin: She's annoying, but enough with the abuse,
(4) Don Imus, WABC: Imus to MSNBC President for Not Firing Bashir: 'Come on, Man!',
(5) Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Should Martin Bashir’s sincere apology save his job?,
(6) CNN: Palin Cancels Interview After Martin Bashir Comments,
(7) Joe Concha, Mediaite: Joe Concha to Megyn Kelly: Why Won’t Women of MSNBC Condemn Bashir’s Attack on Palin?,
(8) Aaron Goldstein, American Spectator: Is Martin Bashir Really Sorry?,
(9) David Shuster, Al Jazeera America: David Shuster wonders if MSNBC has double standard for suspensions, and
(10) Jeff Poor, Daily Caller: Former MSNBC anchor suggests Bashir has naked pics MSNBC’s president.
I know you base your editing decision upon your own personal opinion and you do not care what other commentators are saying about Bashir, but I have posted these links for those editors, which is the vast majority, who do care what others are saying and how many of the others there are. Also, I can comment on this talk page. That is what it is for. Whether I comment is based upon whether I want to talk, whether I stick to the topic, and whether I express myself according to reasonable standards, all of which I am doing. It is not based upon whether you believe I need to stop or not, so please stop suggesting that I need to stop. Your opinion does not control whether I comment or not.--NK (talk) 15:10, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Exact wording matters[edit]

   While i am satisfied that i have little to add to what earlier participants already in the debate about the 'pedia-worthiness of the topic as a whole (and don't intend to weigh in on whether we should cover the event), i think more attention to Bashir's exact behavior and how we describe it will be necessary (unless we end up making no mention at all).
   For example, the first revision on the 19th by a collegue included this sentence:

Bashir stated that because Palin expressed opinions to which he disagreed she needed to be punished and punished by having people shit and piss into her mouth as was described in former slave overseer Thomas Thistlewood's diary.

(I've not reproduced refs which they provided.)
   Since WP:CENSOR, and since the level of offensiveness is crucial to understanding the tone of his remarks, that attempt to paraphrase is ill-advised: a short direct quote is needed, even if additional paraphrasing is helpful. The text at this source is not really adequate, but the audio track of its video clip suffices to justify inclusion of both

made Hector, another slave, ess-aitch-eye-tee in his mouth


made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth

which literally quote him. Take note that he spelled-out Thistlewood's "shit" while uttering his probably less shocking "piss".
   Likewise, a direct quote is required where he in fact said (substantially more nuancedly than in the paraphrase above)

When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery ... [s]he confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate.

(which may invite inferring, but certainly does not assert, what is said by the paraphrase i quoted). (IMO, the longer quote offered, since i started drafting this, by the same editor is excessive, pragmatically -- and potentially legally, i'm pretty sure -- bcz the extra detail does not further our purpose of showing our readers enough context to understand what a reasonable person would need to understand the substance of the controversy. WP is NOT Wikisource.)
   Finally, the spelling "Darby" is mistaken -- and a libel by recklessness: as a person originating from a Commonwealth country, Bashir is entitled to the assumption that when he reads "Derby" aloud as if it were spelled DAR-bee, he intends to invoke the correct pronunciation of the city of Derby (as Thistlewood probably also intended when he spelt it with E in his diary).
--Jerzyt 07:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm going to reverse part of my earlier opinion. Having thought it over for a couple of days, and having mulled over the arguments of those I had opposed, I am now going to agree with Jerzy and Joefromrandb. This article should contain an exact quote of what Bashir said on the air. It is necessary for a couple of reasons: it will help the reader more fully understand the egregious nature of Bashir's remarks, which in turn serves to strengthen the case for why it should be included in the article. (talk) 07:15, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
For the record, i think the research that led me to my acct of his statements left me with the sense that
Bashir's care in treating the two words individually, and
his statement about who would be a hypothetical "candidate" (rather than about what she should be subjected to)
suggest someone with more integrity and less blame than was suggested by the language i quoted from previous edits. Now, 97...'s and my difference over the effect of precision on attitudes is (if anything) a sign that precision is to be preferred, not a sign that WP can be satisfied to convey anyone's idea of the "right" attitude twd Bashir. (But i submit this refinement to my preceding talk contrib, not to defend Bashir, but (1) to avoid my words being over-interpreted contrary to my views, and (2) to grab another opportunity to emphasize the importance of precise facts, and the futility of trying to get our readers to draw specific conclusions about the "mileage" they should get out of an article.)
--Jerzyt 08:45, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree that Bashir was probably thinking and speaking in a hypothetical sense, but I disagree that conveying any amount of nuance regarding Bashir's actual intent lends him anything in the way of integrity, nor does it reduce the level of blame. Bashir consciously resorted to a kind of reductio ad absurdum in choosing the most extreme and disgusting examples of brutality that he could lay his hands on (and THAT is why we should present his exact words). He did this in an attempt to impute racism to Palin and because he harbors unbridled hatred for people who do not share his political views. He could have composed a more civil rebuttal of Palin's statement, but took the low road instead. There is simply no integrity to be found here, regardless of how carefully we present Bashir's diatribe. He separated the two terms merely so he could pile on and be twice as shocking; not because there was some sort of precision in his thinking. There is a case to be made for using more encyclopedic language, but no... you are correct, we shouldn't try to steer the reader into drawing any particular conclusions. Let Bashir speak for Bashir. (talk) 10:38, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
If you look at the current version of the article, the spelling of "Derby's dose" has been corrected and part of his quote included. We did defer the discussion of whether to replace the description of Derby's dose from the current version of "which involved forcing slaves to defecate or urinate into the mouth of another slave as punishment" with a version that involves a direct quote from him because we ran into the problem of how to do it concisely and accurately while still maintaining clarity. If you or someone else can propose replacement sentence, then we can have a discussion/survey about it. If you're proposing to include the phrase "ess-aitch-eye-tee in his mouth", I think that would be unclear and confusing to most readers. - Maximusveritas (talk) 14:34, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Let me repeat: No the Sarah Palin comments were NOT a one day problem and Yes they are notable[edit]

As of December 3, 2013, Politico is reporting that Bashir has been suspended. Bashir has not been seen on MSNBC since November 22, 2013. Once again, his comments were despicable and they were so despicable that it made them notable and fit for the article. The story has always had lasting consequences. Byers, Dylan. MSNBC's Martin Bashir 'on vacation' after Sarah Palin remarks, Politico, December 2, 2013.--NK (talk) 14:46, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

This report is floating around the Internet, not that it is true, on December 3, 2013 and Bashir made his comments on November 15, 2013. Now, the argument is that what Dylan Byers said is of no consequence because editors of Wikipedia will not be able to know if Bashir's comments are notable after merely 18 days. The argument has been made that we might never, ever know if Bashir's horrible comments about Sarah Palin are notable. We can't rely on what commentators from various media organizations such as Politico, the Daily Caller, etc. say because we have to take the long view. Now, how long this view is is never really defined. We just have to wait. However, I don't agree with this nebulous defense of Bashir. I find the comments so vulgar and despicable that they provide us with their own notability. And I focus my analysis, not on whether I personally think that the comments are notable, I focus my analysis on what reliable sources are saying about the comments and Politico's original report such as the following:
(1) ALEX GREIG, London DailyMail,
(2) Ben Shapiro,,
(3) Josh Feldman, Mediaite, and
(4) Brendan Bordelon, Daily Caller.--NK (talk) 15
07, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Bashir's comments about Palin were always notable, at no time were they not notable[edit]

Bashir resigned today. Is that enough to show notability? I hope so. But of course the sheer nastiness of the comments made them notable days and days ago.--NK (talk) 21:01, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

The best source on the resignation is Mediaite: Christopher, Tommy. Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC, Mediaite, December 4, 2013.--NK (talk) 21:41, 4 December 2013 (UTC)