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. NameWC. Fisher

    Baldwin should go into seculsion his mouth and attitude are so Big they out shine the fact that he is a total JERK and a total BUTT...

    December 4, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. Mymy

    Hey, I am a big time liberal and even I couldn't stand to listen to his mindless gibberish. From hearing him I could almost sympathize with main stream republicans who have to endure Rush.

    December 4, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. Sandra

    While I find Bashir rather irritating and was not at all pleased about the way he two-facedly manipulated and back-stabbed Michael Jackson many years ago, Palin deserves everything she gets shoved back down her throat for what she's forced us to endure coming out of her mouth over the years.

    December 4, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Kath

    If one of Bashir's or Baldwin's comments was bad enough to lose his job, why is Rush Limbaugh still on?

    December 4, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. Dave thewave

    I think MSNBC should give him a trophy.

    December 4, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. coderjones

    so much for free thinking
    since i dont work for palin and msnbc

    i agree with the man
    she should

    she should get another career
    professional politicians are the problem

    December 4, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  7. Jolat

    Who cares. Nobody's watching. MSNBC has a lower rating than the food network and even the hallmark channel.

    December 4, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. David

    Its about time, he should have resigned a long time ago. He is hateful and lacks judgement. Ed Schultz should go next. They only thing they do is contaminate the airways!!!

    December 4, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  9. A Kickin' Donkey

    Bashir deserved to be fired for what he said and he was.

    Even with that he sits higher on the respectability and integrity totem pole than Sarah Palin and that says it all in my opinion. I wouldn't spit [ or other] on Palin to put her out if she was on fire for all the vile, dishonest, unpatriotic, malicious things she has said.

    In her own pernicious way she had contributed to the deaths of Americans. Everything matters especially comments by people afforded an opportunity to communicate to the masses. Palin routinely lies on serious matters and I hope some creative Barrister finds a way to file tort case after tort case against her.

    December 4, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. snowboarder

    let's try to keep this civil for a change.

    December 4, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  11. truthduke

    he'll just show up at another arm of the democRAT party...CNN, ABC,CBS, Washington Post, NYTimes etc etc

    December 4, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. crimsoninok

    I would say let him stay. Just let the conservatives have the same freedom to be just as vicious with their comments. No liberals, you dont hear that from Conservatives. The hatred between conservatives and liberals have reached an extreme level. Thanks to Obama for the division between classes, genders, age groups, races, etc. Obama, hands down the worst to ever hold office. Now we know that Ted Cruz was right all along.

    December 4, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Ajax

    Now if we can only get that stupid cow Palin to resign from the public eye life would be perfect.

    December 4, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. Walter

    They're dropping like flies in Libbyland, and that's a good thing.

    December 4, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. arjay13

    Martrin Brashirs apology was vastly more erudite than anything Sarah Self serving Palin has ever said in her entire life. My only question is what took him, or any journalist for that matter to finally call her out. She has gotten the white glove treatment far too long.How she is any tiny bit of our political landscape is beyond comprehension. The fact that he resigned only shows he has more dignity and scruples than Palin or any of the other right-wing hacks have ever had. If he had to resign, they ( Rush, Palin, Hannity etc.) should also resign and leave us to determine our political fate without their fabrications and flat out lies.

    December 4, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. Sue

    At least on MSNBC they fire their hosts over hateful comments. On Fox they get promoted and get their own show.

    December 4, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  17. mlsports123

    It's about time. All those years, people whined about Glen Beck. So now it's a sword that cuts both ways. I'm glad he's unemployed.

    December 4, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  18. Chris

    ...and not a word of condemnation from MSNBC. That says a LOT about the character of MSNBC management!

    December 4, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. Jim

    Why did he have the opportunity to resign? He should have been fired.

    December 4, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. George

    At least the democrats have the decency to resign. The Rush Limbaughs of the world , the Michael Wiener Savages of the world, the Sean Hannitys of the world , stay on the air forever.

    December 4, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  21. rayscomments

    Whiskey Bumps is right. MSNBC was probably just waiting for an excuse to let him go. They can't cave in immediately because that would be grovelling. I used to really like MSNBC. I don't watch much of any news channel anymore. I get my news from a number of sources online. I remember I stopped watching right around the time Bashir came on though.

    December 4, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  22. Maani

    Martin: You did nothing wrong. That you would feel pressured to resign is a perfect example of the shredding of our Constitutional rights to free speech – which even you, as a "talking head" have. As the old saying goes, I may not agree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say those things. Peace to you.

    December 4, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. texasnotea

    Sara Palin is like toe jam,when you see it or touch it you are disgusted! When she opens her mouth you are mortified of the crap that spews out. Everything about her is disgusting.

    December 4, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    When will Rush resign? Seems like only liberals have the decency and the guts to man up and do the right thing. Conservatives say worse things and get a free pass.

    December 4, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. American

    Glad to see Bashir gone. Kudos to Sarah Palin for getting in the mud with trash like Bashir.

    December 4, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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