(CNN) – Sarah Palin responded publicly for the first time Sunday on the nasty comments thrown her way by MSNBC host Martin Bashir, who later apologized for saying she deserved degrading punishment.
"Everybody in life takes shots," the former Alaska governor said on "Fox News Sunday." "You have a decision to make when you take a shot. Are you going to become bitter or better? In a case like this, you know, I don't have to accept his words - his vile, evil comments. So they don't have to affect me. I move on and I charge forth."
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Bashir ripped into the 2008 vice presidential nominee after she compared the United States' foreign debt to slavery. Blasting her use of the metaphor, he read excerpts from the diaries of Thomas Thistlewood, who wrote about the horrific treatment of slaves in Jamaica in the 18th century, including a punishment that involved defecating and urinating in a slave’s mouth.
Bashir said that "when Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate."
After facing intense criticism for his comments, Bashir apologized Monday.
"I wanted to take this opportunity to say sorry to Mrs. Palin and to also offer an unreserved apology to her friends and family, her supporters, our viewers and anyone who may have heard what I said," the MSNBC host said.
MSNBC did not announce any disciplinary action against Bashir, despite suspending another host, Alec Baldwin, for two weeks after he made homophobic remarks.
Palin said the reason why Bashir got away with his comments had more to do with the target of his remarks than the rant itself, adding that "conservative women" are frequently attacked in what she calls the "media elite bubble."
When women take offense, she added, the media "usually just kind of pooh-pooh it, laugh it off; it's no big deal."
Palin said if he had verbally attacked someone who's less high-profile - like a child or someone without a vocal platform like hers – only then would the former governor have fought back.
"If you want to see a mama grizzly get riled up and slap that person down, then you come after a vulnerable child," she said. "In this case, he didn't come after a vulnerable child. I can defend myself and, you know, I can take it."
Asked if she accepted his apology, Palin said, "Who am I not to accept an apology?"
"Everyone must humble themselves and accept that offer ... of apology," she said. Palin also implied that Bashir had called her personally to apologize.
But, she warned, if someone calls to apologize to her again, she said she wants that person to go through her husband or one of her kids first.
"Leave the message with them," she said. "Hear what they have to say about it, and then they can come to me."