The British journalist Martin Bashir, who is currently working as a political commentator for US network MSNBC, has sparked outrage by calling former Republican Party nominee for Vice President, Sarah Palin, a 'world class idiot', and suggesting someone should defecate in her mouth.
Bashir, who is most famous for his high-profile interviews with Princess Diana and Michael Jackson, used his afternoon show to launch a scathing attack on Ms Palin over her comments comparing the US national debt with slavery.
In response Mr Bashir described Palin as having a "well-established reputation as a world class idiot", before going on to cite the story of an incident where a slave was made to defecate in another's mouth.
He said: "Given her well-established reputation as a world class idiot, it’s hardly surprising that [Palin] should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history."
"So here’s an example. 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."
"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'. I could go on, but you get the point."
Mr Bashir concludes by suggesting that by invoking slavery Ms Palin demonstrates her ignorance and that she should be subjected to the same treatment as the slave in the story he recounted.
"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", he says.
Social media users were quick to condemn the comments.
One used twitter to confront MSNBC saying: "You should be totally ashamed to even publicize such an obscene segment on your own network, and you wonder why your ratings dropped?"
Another added: "Your network, and the pond-scum that works for it, such as Martin Bashir, are good reasons why no one watches MSNBC. Cheers."
Others referred to Bashir's comments as misogynist and called for a boycott of MSNBC sponsors.