December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
5 years ago

Bashir resigns from MSNBC over Palin comments

(CNN) - MSNBC host Martin Bashir said in a statement Wednesday that he would resign from the network following comments he made about former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Bashir apologized on-air last month after suggesting that Palin deserved graphic punishment for comparing U.S. foreign debt to slavery. Palin later canceled an appearance on NBC's "Today."

Following intense backlash for the incendiary comments, Bashir elected to temporarily take additional time off during the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of msnbc, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments," he said in the statement.

"I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers – who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences. I would also wish to express deepest gratitude to my immediate colleagues, and our contributors, all of whom have given so much of themselves to our broadcast."

The president of MSNBC, Phil Griffin, also issued a statement confirming that Bashir would step down and wishing him the best.

"Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with msnbc. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best."

Palin responded to Bashir's initial comments last month.

"Everybody in life takes shots," she said "Fox News Sunday." "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."

Also last month, the network discontinued former host Alec Baldwin's show "Up Late" after he reportedly yelled anti-gay slurs at a photographer outside his home in New York. Baldwin later apologized for the angry rant in a post to MSNBC's website.

After his show was canceled, Baldwin called on the network to also force Bashir to leave, pointing to his controversial comments.

"Martin Bashir's on the air, and he made his comment on the air!" Baldwin told Gothamist last week.

Bashir's resignation was first reported by Mediaite.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (813 Responses)
  1. cmml

    He is right to resign, good for him. I disagree with his politics, but he is good at what he does and will wind up somewhere else.

    December 4, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Mr. Bashir expressed his 1st Amendment right and now he's forced to resign. If he's held to this standard, shouldn't all media outlets? As much hatred and vitriol that we hear from Fox News commentators, you've never seen any of them resign or be reprimanded. Mr. Bashir said what most common sense people think about the Quitter from Wasilla. Call it "taking shots" or what have you. Fox News does it ALL THE TIME!!!

    December 4, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Snow White

    I can't believe that you are taking him off the air for saying something we have all been thinking. She is an idiot. Its about time that MSNBC start standing behind there commentators like Fox News. I like Martins show. We should have more shows like his who stand up and take a stand when someone like Sara Palin opens her mouth and says things racist. his.

    December 4, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Sorry to see him go. Palin is an imbecile.

    December 4, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Borderless

    Hahahaha! What a loser!

    December 4, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Good. Glad he's gone. Leave the abuse to the Right and their paid minions on FOX.

    December 4, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. bill

    gee he got canned just for bashing palin? everybody does that.

    December 4, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. bassman

    There are consequences to attacking Sarah Palin. Just ask Letterman. This is the second MSNBC anchor to resign because of they attacked Mrs. Palin. David Schuster also left after his attack on Todd and Sarah. When will they learn? Sarah Palin is a beloved, Conservative woman. No politician has been attacked like her.

    December 4, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Martin Bashir was wrong to say what he did and he has now resigned, and apparently Sarah Palin having brushed off his comments has chosen to move on and "charge forth".

    Perhaps we Americans who wish for a more civil dialog amongst ourselves might start with tuning out (and turning off) those who use bait and hook tactics simply for chuckles and giggles.

    Yes. I include media outlets that (truth be told) spend countless energy and dollars fueling the flames of discontent.

    December 4, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Suzie

    Sarah Palin is an idiot.

    December 4, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Good riddance slime ball

    December 4, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. ora pike

    the entire group with your unknown network should quit--it is ok to have differences of opinions but the entire crew you worked with is sick. No wonder hardly anyone watches your trash.

    December 4, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Magister

    That's right, Bashir. Take your mouthful of feces and walk away. Whimper for me.......NOW.

    December 4, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Magister

    Walk away whimpering, Bashir. Walk away. Your humiliation makes me tingle.

    December 4, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Susan Carlyle

    There's no one as petty and as uncivil as a progressive liberal. They have no dignity.

    December 4, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. bluedogboy

    Sarah Palin is a vile pig

    December 4, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Reasonably

    Yeah, Palin. Based on your comments it truly didn't affect you.

    Go fade into obscurity.

    December 4, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. lord Yabu

    Pride before the fall... His comments in general over the last 6 months were getting increasingly harsher and more sinister. A hate only topped by Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz or Bill Maher. These guys go down next...

    December 4, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. DustyOnes

    Good. She should sue him and MSNBC.

    December 4, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. Zolicon

    Man some People are so touchy.

    December 4, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. LeRoy_Was_Here

    Yes, Martin Bashir should have resigned. Yes, his comments were outrageous. And yes, they demonstrate the growing loss of civility in our political dialogue.

    But, you know, he actually had a point to make, about Sarah Palin's irrational comparison of debt to slavery. Sarah Palin has never experience slavery, has never observed slavery, has no real idea of what slavery was like, and perhaps lacks the intellectual capacity to truly understand slavery. I think what has been truly remarkable in this enormous brouhaha about Martin Bashir's comments, is how little commentary there has been about the truly evil and vile man, Thomas Thistlewood, who Bashir was using as an example of how truly wicked and disgusting the practice of slavery really was. Perhaps people really do need to hear the story of how Thomas Thistlewood abused and tortured his slaves.

    December 4, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Michael "vile evil" is allowed? What if Bashir had called Palin a "vile evil woman?"

    December 4, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. The REAL Truth...

    But Fox news staff can claim that Obama was personally funding keeping Mosque's open during the Govt shutdown and it's OK?? OK to claim the Pope is marxist??
    Must be that good ole Republican logic.. Do as we say, not as we do...

    December 4, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Deserved It

    Good..... Regardless of how you feel about a persons political views, it is absolutely not righ to talk about anyone on TV in this manner. That station has become a joke with a lot of no names that spread vial across the news rooms. Maybe we can get rid of that news channel and the tea party.....

    December 4, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. steve

    After watching the segment, I am pretty sure he was just reading it off the prompter. I would bet about anything I have that MSNBC approved this and even put it into the show. Bashir is the just the fall guy to draw attention away from MSNBC.

    December 4, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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