A few weeks ago, Alec Baldwin and MSNBC had a “mutual parting,” according to this CBS article, due to several inappropriate encounters and vulgar speech in public.
Now, MSNBC has lost another employee – Martin Bashir – this time, in the form of resignation (although I wouldn’t be surprised if the company encouraged him to take this route – in his apology he states he met with the president of MSNBC).
In this Huffington Post article, video provides a great chronology of how everything went down. Essentially, Bashir stated that former Alaskan governor, Sarah Palin, deserved to have someone defecate in her mouth, an old form of punishment for slaves. Soon after, Bashir apologized and then resigned.
The most recent two losses from MSNBC (Baldwin and Bashir) raise the question of whether or not television hosts’ discussions should be more regulated and limited. ESPN just sent out an email to its broadcast employees stating that the word “sucks” is to no longer be used, as seen here.
I think companies need to establish who is in control and cannot give their hosts too much free reign if they don’t want to deal with the consequences of something controversial being said. I feel that news shows should always be respectful. While some shows may encourage a discussion of opinions among hosts/guests, it is not reality TV; there is still an expectation to be professional in the news industry, and I think in this instance with Bashir, professionalism was lost.