ABC newsman jokes sexually about ‘Asian babes’

FROM WND

By Joe Kovacs

Clowns: ‘I’m happy the podium covers me from the waist down’

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Martin Bashir of ABC News

ABC newsman Martin Bashir has apologized for referring to Asian-American journalists as “Asian babes,” while alluding to the lower part of his body.

During a July 25 banquet in Chicago for the Asian American Journalists Association, the host of “Nightline” and correspondent for “20/20” said: “I’m happy to be in the midst of so many Asian babes. In fact, I’m happy that the podium covers me from the waist down.”

The 45-year-old veteran reporter also embarrassed fellow journalist Juju Chang by saying a speech should be “like a dress on a beautiful woman: long enough to cover the important parts and short enough to keep your interest – like my colleague Juju’s.”

Chang responded, “See what I have to put up with?”

Some audience members reportedly booed Bashir’s comments.

AAJA national president Jeanne Mariani-Belding said, “We don’t censor our speakers or tell them what they should say, particularly as a journalism organization. I appreciate the point he was trying to make. But could his speech have been in better taste? I would say so.”

Bashir sent a letter dated July 31 to the association, expressing his remorse.

“Upon reflection, it was a tasteless remark that I now bitterly regret,” Bashir wrote. “I am grateful to you for the opportunity to address those present and hope that the continuing work of the organization will not be harmed or undermined by my moment of stupidity.”

ABC wasn’t pleased with the situation.

Network spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said, “This kind of remark has no place in any setting and Martin knows that and is truly sorry for his serious error in judgment.”

Bashir is well-known for his interview with Princess Diana in which she exposed her husband’s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

In 2003, he made a documentary about pop star Michael Jackson, but was accused of selectively editing the tapes in a sensational manner to portray Jackson in a negative light.

In May of last year, Bashir moderated a debate on the existence of God, featuring Christian evangelist Ray Comfort and former child actor Kirk Cameron.

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