Martin Bashir had an extremely contentious exchange with lawyer Mark Holden on Thursday, when Holden alleged that MSNBC's coverage has led to death threats against his clients.
Holden, the attorney for David and Charles Koch, appeared on Bashir's show in attempt to correct what he said were misrepresentations of his clients' involvement with Stand Your Ground laws. The legislation has been scrutinized in the wake of Trayvon Martin's killing in Florida. In March, MSNBC guest host Karen Finney said that the Koch brothers were part of the "Thphoid Mary" that supported those laws.
Holden was ready to hit back at the segment on Thursday, launching into a fierce critique of Finney and MSNBC. He said that the Koch brothers were "associated falsely" with the laws.
He also attacked Finney's allegation that the American Legislative Exchange Council — an organization that Koch Industries, along with MSNBC's parent companies General Electric and Comcast, belongs to — had a hand in the legislation. "We weren't involved in any way in the Stand Your Ground laws on any level," he said. "The law in Florida pre-existed before anything ALEC did on the issue."
Bashir defended Finney's segment. "Karen Finney was using an analogy," he said. "She did not suggest that blood was on the Koch brothers’ hands. She did not suggest the Koch brothers were personally or directly involved in that. She didn’t."
“I’m sorry,” Holden interjected. "She called us the Typhoid Mary."
The two continued to have tense back-and-forth about whether the Koch brothers supported the Stand Your Ground laws, and their connection to Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. When Bashir asked why the brothers didn't leave ALEC after the Trayvon Martin tragedy, Holden shot back asking whether MSNBC's parent companies have done so.
Bashir continued to pepper Holden with questions, asking which "congressional seats are the Koch brothers planning to bombard with money." The statement, which Holden called "loaded," prompted him to say this:
"Mr. Bashir, the way that your network has handled issues with us, the way that a lot in the far-left media have handled issues with us, attacking us even when there’s no basis like with the Trayvon Martin issues, that situation, that has led to death threats against our owners. "Charles and David Koch have received phone death threats, they’ve received email death threats, internet death threats. This is where this leads. It’s irresponsible. Are you okay with that?"
Bashir said that he wasn't, and that he has received death threats himself. Later, Holden said that his clients would be unlikely to appear on MSNBC "given what's happened in the past."