Lest you doubt that they actually ran this, the Washington Free Beacon has posted its own copy of the same segment. The excuse here will be that it’s just a jokey metaphor for how badly things can go on the campaign trail, not any sort of death wish directed at Romney. Which may be true — but remember, Bashir is among MSNBC’s most enthusiastic practitioners of psychoanalyzing one’s political opponents to attribute the worst possible motives to them. If a Fox host used the same montage for an Obama bus trip, the “metaphor” excuse would never, ever fly, and Bashir would be leading the parade of righteous indignation. He’s a paradigm case of someone who thinks his own shinola doesn’t stink even though, as you’re about to see, the stench is overpowering.

In fact, I think the network will be immunized a bit from any outcry on this precisely because it ran on Bashir’s show rather than someone else’s. He’s already set the bar so cloddishly low that no one can honestly say they’re surprised. Call it “the Bill Maher effect.” Exit question: More or less offensive than Bush’s head on a pike in “Game of Thrones”?