The whole distasteful thing was in response to a speech by Palin in which she compared Chinese debt to slavery. Bashir was not impressed by this comparison. In his response to Palin's comments, the journalist made this clear with a lengthy (and not terribly topical) discussion of slavery horrors from the past.
Bashir chose to make his point with the story of an 18th-century slaveowner in Jamaica named Thomas Thistlewood. Apparently, this rather unpleasant man kept a detailed journal in which he chronicled the many ways he "disciplined" slaves.
"In 1756," Bashir recounts, "he records that a slave named Darby 'catched eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s*** in his mouth.'" The journalist