CNN anchor Carol Costello apologized Thursday for her smug behavior while reporting on audiotape of a distraught Bristol Palin telling police she had just been assaulted by a man at a party.
“This is quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across,” a gleeful Costello told viewers in setting up the recording. “Well, come across in a long time anyway.”
On the tape, Palin is heard cursing and crying as she explained to police what happened during an altercation at a birthday party last month in Anchorage, Alaska.
“A guy comes out of nowhere and pushes me on the ground, takes me by my feet, in my dress — in my thong dress, in front of everybody,” she told police, according to the audio. “I get back up, [and] he pushes me down on the grass again.”
Frequent bleeps had to be inserted in the audio to censor profanity, much of it from Palin repeating the vulgar names the man called her.
Costello, who considers herself an advocate for abused women, called a particularly long bleep her “favorite part” of the tape.
The anchor’s behavior drew widespread criticism.
“Over the past few days, I have been roundly criticized for joking about a brawl involving the Palin family,” Costello said in a statement. “In retrospect, I deserve such criticism and would like to apologize.”
She did not apologize on air, though.
Briston Palin’s mother, Sarah, who is heard briefly on the tape, in the background, commented for the first time Friday, and she was not in a conciliatory mood.
In a post on her Facebook page, the former governor of Alaska ripped the media, but saved her most stinging criticism for CNN and Costello.
“Though many have tried to give CNN the benefit of the doubt with their overall news coverage (in fact I’ve even been happy to publicly point out issues CNN has fairly covered), shame on us if we continue to support their unprofessional, hypocritical, and unethical news coverage,” she wrote. “It’s not because this issue involves my daughter; it’s because Carol Costello, her ilk, and her boss are disgustingly dismissive and disrespectful of the sacrifices made that allow them a platform from which to broadcast their hate and stupidity.”
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