Martin Bashir apologizes for 'wholly unacceptable' remarks about Sarah Palin
Martin Bashir apologizes to Sarah Palin [MSNBC]

MSNBC host Martin Bashir opened his show on Monday by delivering an apology to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) for calling her a "world-class idiot" and saying she would be "the outstanding candidate" for experiencing the abuse U.S. slaves were put through.

"My words were wholly unacceptable," Bashir said on Monday. "They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics. And they have brought shame upon my friends and colleagues at this network, none of whom were responsible for the things that I said, and and at a place where we try every day to elevate political discourse and to focus on issues that matter to all of us."

Bashir's statement came three days after he ripped Palin for comparing the national debt to slavery at a conservative event in Iowa, which he argued at the time exemplified her "rank ignorance," and suggested she learn first-hand about the indignities suffered by actual slaves, including one punishment in which a slave owner defecated in the slave's mouth.

"In the battle of ideas, America leads the world in whole-hearted discussions and disagreements, and these arguments can be heard on a daily basis," Bashir after extending an apology to Palin, as well as her friends, family and supporters, and MSNBC viewers. "But what I did on Friday had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with that great tradition, and I'm deeply sorry."

Watch Bashir's apology, as aired Monday on MSNBC, below.