Bashir Blunders While Addressing ‘Asian Babes’

Martin Bashir

Photo: Getty Images

Hindsight is always 20/20, huh? When ABC News imported Martin Bashir from the British TV, they knew he was prone to a certain level of tabloid shamelessness. But his tawdry July 25 speech at the Asian American Journalists Association annual Gala Banquet in Chicago went too far. “I’m happy to be in the midst of so many Asian babes,” he said onstage, with his 20/20 colleague Juju Chang nearby. “In fact, I’m happy that the podium covers me from the waist down.” He then noted that 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.” (“See what I have to put up with?” she responded.) Some audience members booed. ABC wasn’t pleased. “This kind of remark has no place in any setting, and Martin knows that,” said a spokesperson. And Bashir was contrite. “Upon reflection, it was a tasteless remark that I now bitterly regret,” he wrote in a July 31 letter to AAJA, obtained by New York. “I … hope that the continuing work of the organization will not be harmed or undermined by my moment of stupidity.” —Soo Youn