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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is weighing in after it was revealed that Martin Bashir used “deceitful behavior” to secure his controversial interview with the late Princess Diana in 1995.
“I just think it’s sad that it’s taken so long for Princess Di’s memory to be touched by some justice,” Palin said in a statement to Fox News on Friday.
“The press doesn’t understand that their unethical ways and means of covering and characterizing their victims can destroy a person or a family, and less importantly a career,” she continued. “Martin has been caught so many times engaging in typically unethical press behavior, yet is always embraced back in their fold.
“These are strange ‘professionals’ that we deal with in the press, and I’m anxious for the day that consumers of media will rise up and demand truth and justice,” Palin concluded.
Bashir and Palin have some history: In December 2013, Bashir resigned from MSNBC, about two weeks after insulting Palin over comments she had made, comparing the national debt to slavery, according to The Atlantic.
MARTIN BASHIR USED ‘DECEITFUL BEHAVIOR’ TO SECURE PRINCESS DIANA INTERVIEW, REPORT SAYS
The broadcaster had called Palin the nation’s “resident dunce” and a “world class idiot,” and made vulgar comments about what someone should do to Palin as retribution for her statements.
Bashir later apologized and Palin accepted his apology, but she also referred to Bashir’s comments as “evil” and “vile,” The Atlantic reported. The former governor also stood by her remarks regarding the national debt, the report said.
At the time of their dispute, Fox News’ Howard Kurtz recounted how Bashir has frequently targeted Republicans with “highly personal” insults that have gone far beyond the parameters of political criticism. Kurtz noted that MSNBC, until Bashir’s resignation, had stood by him, even though it had once suspended former host Ed Schultz after Schultz had referred to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham as a “right-wing slut.”
MARTIN BASHIR APOLOGIZES FOR DIRTY, DISGUSTING SLAM AT SARAH PALIN
A 127-page report, released Thursday, concluded Bashir “deceived and induced” Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, into securing the interview for Panorama, The Telegraph reported.
Following the finding, both Prince Harry and Prince William condemned the BBC.
“Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service,” the Duke of Sussex said in a statement to Fox News. “She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest. The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life. To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That is the first step towards justice and truth.”
“Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these — and even worse — are still widespread today,” the 36-year-old shared. “Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication. Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for.”
PRINCE HARRY SPEAKS OUT FOLLOWING INQUIRY INTO PRINCESS DIANA’S 1995 BBC INTERVIEW: ‘NOTHING HAS CHANGED’
Harry’s statement came shortly after his older brother Prince William spoke out.
“I would like to thank Lord Dyson and his team for the report,” the Duke of Cambridge wrote in a statement obtained by Fox News.
The 38-year-old, who is second in line to the British throne, also released bullet points expressing his concerns about the findings.
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Sarah Palin, a former Alaska governor and the Republican Party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee. (Getty Images)
“It is welcome that the BBC accepts Lord Dyson’s findings in full – which are extremely concerning – that BBC employees: lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother; made lurid and false claims about the Royal Family which played on her fears and fueled paranoia; displayed woeful incompetence when investigating complaints and concerns about the program; and were evasive in their reporting to the media and covered up what they knew from their internal investigation.
“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said. The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.”
PRINCE WILLIAM SLAMS BBC OVER REPORT MARTIN BASHIR USED ‘DECEITFUL BEHAVIOR’ TO LAND PRINCESS DIANA INTERVIEW
“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her,” he continued. “But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived. She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”
The royal also made it clear that “Panorama,” the show that initially aired the tell-all, should never be used in any capacity again.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex both condemned the BBC on Thursday. (Getty Images)
According to The Telegraph, the BBC’s current director-general Tim Davie said the corporation accepts “in full” the findings of former High Court Judge Lord Dyson.
“Although the report states that Diana, Princess of Wales, was keen on the idea of an interview with the BBC, it is clear that the proceeds for securing the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect,” Davie said. “We are very sorry for this. Lord Dyson has identified clear failings.”
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“While today’s BBC has significantly better processes and procedures, those that existed at the time should have prevented the interview being secured this way,” he continued. “The BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew. While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC offers that today.”
In response to Lord Dyson’s report, Bashir released his own statement.
“This is the second time that I have willingly fully co-operated with an investigation into events more than 25 years ago,” said the 58-year-old, as quoted by the outlet. “I apologized then, and I do so again now, over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up. It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret. But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and again more recently.”
Princess Diana died in a Paris car crash in 1997.
(Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
“I also reiterate that the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview,” Bashir shared. “Evidence handed to the inquiry in her own handwriting (and published alongside the report today) unequivocally confirms this, and other compelling evidence presented to Lord Dyson reinforces it. In fact, despite his other findings, Lord Dyson himself in any event accepts that the princess would probably have agreed to be interviewed without what he describes as my ‘intervention.’
“It is saddening that this single issue has been allowed to overshadow the princess’ brave decision to tell her story, to courageously talk through the difficulties she faced, and, to help address the silence and stigma that surrounded mental health issues all those years ago. She led the way in addressing so many of these issues and that’s why I will always remain immensely proud of that interview.”
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In the infamous interview, the Princess of Wales said “there were three of us in this marriage,” referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, who he married after Diana’s death. Diana, who divorced Charles in 1996, died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she was being pursued by paparazzi. She was 36.
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and The Associated Press contributed to this report