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. carlos oliveras

    It's amazing that Mr. Bashir is forced to resign because of statements he made about Ms. Palin, which everyone know is correct, yet Mr. Eric Bolling of Fox news is allowed to keep his job even though on 2/16/12 he called Rep. Ms. Waters a crackhead on national TV. When will the racism end?

    December 4, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. dcase20

    Kinda make me wonder. I've heard Sara Palin say some pretty nasty things that bordered on inciting violence against elected officials in our government. I wonder if she even felt a little bad when Gabby Giffords was shot in the head? Remember the crosshairs map? Oh that's right, those were just surveyor marks...Right

    December 4, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  3. clarinet

    Every word uttered on msnbc is psycho-garbage.

    December 4, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. PTNY

    Bashir would be right if he was talking about her speaking skills. Although he wasn't, Palin is still not capable of speaking two complete sentences smoothly, she's struggling for either thoughts or to get something out of her mouth first. Eeesh! Every sentence comes out with pauses between every three grinding words. She's so full of it anyway, it's bound to come out her mouth.

    December 4, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  5. Get real

    What a joke. If everyone quit because they said something bad or mean nobody would be working today. What she says is mostly mean spirited and she should just go away,

    December 4, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. dcase20

    Bashir a hero to Liberals? that's laughable. I don't know any liberal who can stand the guy. Is he even an American?

    December 4, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. Javier

    I do not like political correctness, but, I dislike people who show no respect for the dignity of any human being. What has Sarah Palin done to deserve so much hate from the Democrats to deserve the vile comments Bashir shelled out against her? Talk about the left being the party of minorities and woman as a protected class. It seems that some posting here might not be aware of what Bashir said on live TV that day. If it was a Republican saying the same comments about Hillary Clinton, he or she will be burned at the stake by the left and the right. The left called Palin a C*** and all kinds of words and it is accepted by the left as a hero's "expression" and she did not say anything. Where is this world coming to?

    Respect is a word that is loosing its meaning every day in this country.

    December 4, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. I M Appalled

    And yet I have to put up with the outright stupidity of a member of a fringe Christian cult who insists on wearing the Star of David and thinks that she's honoring MY religion's holiday by displaying a menorah for the full month of December?
    Note to ex-Governor Mooseknuckle: You take the menorah out, you use it for the 8 days of Hanukkah, and then on the 9th day, you put it away!
    Jesus would be ashamed and appalled by "Christians" of her ilk.

    As for Bashir's comments, no worse than I've heard from ultra right commentators and politicians who still have jobs.

    December 4, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. PTNY

    Way back Bashir did a huge interview with Michael Jackson at his Neverland home and I think Las Vegas as well. He was amazingly manipulative and cunning with his twisted sentences. Although Jackson was no doubt as high as a kite up there in his crazy tree, Bashir made him look far far worst than he was. Ever since that interview, I understood what lies within Bashir's evil mind.

    December 4, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. cebundy

    It's a sad day when saying the truth about someone as obnoxious and poisonous as Sarah Palin would cause a good man to lose his job. I have much less respect for MSNBC now.

    December 4, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Msnbc, front office is a bunch of cowards........period! Do you see Fox cartoon network firing

    December 4, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    After all the insults Palin has made, all the times she let terroristic chants get said at her campaign stops, everything she's said that was demeaning and rude, when will SHE apologize? Why is anyone apologizing to her? NO one has said anything to her that comes close to as bad as what she's said about people.

    December 4, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. Linda

    Too bad he had to reign. He only told the truth.

    December 4, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. jowl

    Those comments he made spoke volumes about his personal character.

    December 4, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. Liz

    What planet did Bashir come from, he was gross and disgusting. Whether you like Palin or not. What he said was preverted. It showed total disrespect for his audience.

    December 4, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  16. Lol...

    Well isn't that calling the kettle black Palin – after all your domestic-terrorism...and England's dirty deeds done dirt cheap...
    sounds like all expose in Geneva in January is coming...there it will all be discussed...then you can resign from humanity...

    December 4, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. fr114

    well sarah is nothing but bad for anyone and that's why the gop likes her. deep down she's evil and brings out the worst in people. yup, that's all the gop has got, negative vibs

    December 4, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  18. N Vinny Veritas

    It's time for former 1/2-term governor Palin to resign from the limelight.

    December 4, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. Kevin B

    He will be picked up by CNN in less than a month.

    December 4, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. lavitz

    I've heard worse comments on Fox News.

    December 4, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  21. Join Faux News Cable ...

    ... where you can say anything!

    December 4, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  22. skb8721

    >Liberals are vile , evil, and disgusting pigs as evidenced by their hero Bashir.

    You should not judge an entire group according to the conduct of one person. Else those like Rush Limbaugh would paint an equally vile, evil, and disgusting image of conservatives.

    December 4, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. Catherine

    Hahahahahahaha MSNBC needed some type of attention so they let this Bashir loser story hang on a whole lot longer than needed – the whole station is a laughing stock from Madcow on down :~

    December 4, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. Ian

    Sarah Palin used the image of gun sights to encourage lunatics to take violent action against Democratic party candidates. And then she makes this ridiculous comparison to slavery. Perhaps his comments were over the top by majority standards (of that I am not sure), but when she shows some modicum of civility, then she can expects some.

    December 4, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. Shawn

    I hate Republicans. That's all I have gathered since looking over the comments. Also the endearing term "Tea Bagger" is great. That is all.

    December 4, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
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