December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
4 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. liberal disease

    why did he resign? viewers of msnbc love to hear these liberal hateful rants, i am sure there is a place for him abc or cbs

    December 4, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. Brad

    It's times like these that really make me question the definition of the word "regret"

    December 4, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. HowCanYouBelieveAWordHeSaysAnymore

    Good riddance!

    December 4, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Tony

    Now that he's resigned, they need to re-hire him with a raise. It's about time someone speaks openly and honestly about these morons.

    December 4, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. Bill Smells

    No shortage of despicable, liberal haters on today.

    How do any of you people supporting Bashir and trash-talking Palin expect anyone to respect you? You have no respect for other people, regardless of their difference of opinion or how they conduct themselves. Clearly none of you can be the better person and rise above all the pettiness.

    You people are what's wrong with this country. Wanton disrespect toward anyone who is different from you. I guess this is the new face of racism and hatred.

    December 4, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Bloiter

    About time!

    December 4, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. tm1946

    It is good to see that a extreme lib view of everything has some integrity left.

    Good for MSNBC, imagine there is some lib organization who will provide him a pillow to land on.

    December 4, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. VEW2012

    When is Sarah going to apologized for putting a crosshairs target on Gabrielle Giffords?

    December 4, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. DNice1

    Bashir along with Ed Shultz are the shrill left counterpoint to the shrill right of Fox news. There is no rational thought, no give and take, guests were allowed only if they agree. It is sad that Chris Matthews was cut to the 7 pm hour only. His show made the 5 pm drive time tolerable, wit, experience and the creed of having lived in the arena of which he speaks… sure he veers left but at least he is honest and has journalistic credibility.
    I will not miss Bahir, and I certainly would not miss Ed Shultz if they should exile him once again. I find that their ilk destroys rational progressive programming.

    December 4, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. rwhite

    Is this the Pakistani way they treat women? With all that English bringing up and education the genes take over eventually. I cannot imagine a white American saying these things. At least not in public.

    December 4, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. Joe Casey

    "get over it"? it's that attitude that has made this behavior acceptable. With all the bullying going on amongst children, it is the responsibility parents and all adults in general to lead by example; by courteous and respectful discourse.

    December 4, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. unretired05

    Poor Sarah.....
    Of course she never says anything bad about anyone.

    December 4, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. todd

    who is this martin guy, never heard of him, until he got his 5 seconds of fame by bashing palin!!

    December 4, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  14. JRJ

    He was right. Woman should have her mouth duct taped for the good of the nation

    December 4, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Tellingitlikeitis

    She can dish it out; but has thin skin to take it. People should not be listening to this woman whose had her 15-minute of fame by a mistake made by McCain. Bashir SHOULDN'T

    December 4, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. quiaffa

    He shouldn't have stepped down for saying what he felt, we all do it and some in very high positions.
    For instance we have heard worst things come out of the mouths of the people who we elected to run the country. Is it ok for them or should the resign as well?

    December 4, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. Republican supporter of President Obama

    Sorry to see him go. His commentaries were interesting to hear. I feel sorry for the thin skinned conservatives who cry foul at every little insult – this was really a stretch to cry foul. This move was only done b/c NBC lost a chance to spend time in Alaska with the Attention Seeking Nobody who wanted to be Vice President. They could do so much better instead of spending time with ignorant airheads.

    If I had news network I would hire him on the spot.

    December 4, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  18. D Rock

    And why hasn't she resigned her 'job' of spewing lies and hatred? How much worse is what he said compared to the damage this lady is causing?

    What a crock...

    December 4, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. Tellingitlikeitis

    have resigned.

    December 4, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. unretired05

    Why is Bashir gone and Rush just keeps on ranting away. His latest tirade against the Pope was pathetic even to us non-Catholics that have respect for the Pope.

    December 4, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  21. Joe Bob Jones

    Let us pause and consider that perhaps she is into that.

    December 4, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. Name

    Its not that serious.

    December 4, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  23. John

    Can you imagine if the citizen-hating, America-destroying mouthpieces at Fox News took this stance and resigned for all the "incendiary remarks" they made? That network would be a ghost town.

    December 4, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  24. Stacy

    No one should resign over the comments made about Sarah Palin. That woman is about as pathetic as them come. She shouldn't fix her mouth to make any comparison to slavery. This tramp should have been put in her place long ago

    December 4, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. 4sanity

    Sorry to see Martin Bashir go. He was smart and insightful in his views and opinions.

    I think politicians are way to lax in their use of incendiary terms like "slavery", "Nazi", "holocaust", "socialist" etc.
    And to be honest I think his harsh reality check to Sarah Palin's trivialization and misuse of the term "slavery" was certainly graphic but also refreshing and heartfelt.

    Certainly, Sarah Palin has gotten away with simultaneous insulting African Americans and about 1 billion Chinese when she claimed in error that the US national debt would makes us "slaves" to foreign debt holders. Perhaps she needs to be reminded that the overwhelming majority of the debt is held not by foreign sovereign wealth funds but by Americans and American interests through financial products like pension 401k funds. So are we then slaves to ourselves or to Wall Street bankers ?

    Hope to see Bashir on another network soon.

    December 4, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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