Fans of veteran reporter and anchor Martin Bashir can rejoice in the knowledge that he’s finally found another TV gig after a nearly three-year absence from airwaves. According to The Guardian, Bashir has returned to BBC, where he’ll serve as a special correspondent on religious affairs.
Bashir worked for the British network in the late ’80s and ’90s, rising to prominence when he secured an interview with Princess Diana in which she revealed details of her marriage to Prince Charles. Later on, he became a household name over his series of interviews with Michael Jackson that raised concerns about the pop star’s behavior and potential pedophilia.
The British journalist has had a controversial career. He was suspended by ABC in 2008 for referring to Asian-American journalists as “Asian babes” and disparaging a female colleague’s intelligence. He moved to NBC News in 2010, where he served as a Dateline correspondent and anchored his own MSNBC program.
In 2013, it all fell apart for Bashir when he (rightfully) went after ex-Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. Taking umbrage with her cavalier use of slavery to describe the national debt, Bashir devoted a segment of his program to educating the one-time Republican Veep nominee of the horrors of America’s slave past. Bringing up the story of overseer Thomas Thistlewood, Bashir recounted one of the punishments he used on his slaves known as ‘Derby’s dose.’
According to accounts, Thistlewood would force his other slaves to piss and shit in the mouth of the slave being punished. After recounting this atrocity, Bashir said that “if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thistlewood, [Palin] would be the outstanding candidate.” As you could imagine, this created a firestorm, and a prime opportunity for Palin to do her favorite thing ever — play the victim of the lamestream media.
While Bashir would offer an on-air apology, and take a supposedly pre-planned vacation in order to get him off the air for a bit, conservatives demanded blood. Eventually, under pressure, Bashir resigned and has barely been seen since.
Will he be able to avoid controversy this time around? Well, the controversy is what makes Bashir intriguing and interesting, so I hope not!