At 4:00 p.m. on MSNBC, the distinctive and highly opinionated voice of Martin Bashir generally takes to the airwaves. Not today. Joy-Ann Reid is subbing for the controversial host.

Is this the disciplinary measure that Bashir’s critics have been asking for? After all, Bashir on Nov. 15 sort-of fantasized about punishing Sarah Palin in the manner of a slave overseer after the conservative icon compared slavery to public debt. He subsequently issued an apology that failed to calm a meta-media uproar.

Alas, MSNBC spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski told the Erik Wemple Blog that Bashir is on a “pre-planned vacation.” What planning.