December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
4 months 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. skb8721

    Frankly, though I did not dislike Bashir, I did not regard him as a top-notch, serious journalist, despite the aura of gravitas afforded by his British accent. Serious journalists do not make their name by interviewing celebrities like Michael Jackson.

    December 4, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  2. Adam

    Tbone: ", Get a clue! Palin is a self serving,ex-cheerleader bimbo."

    And she became Governor of Alaska and a VP candidate. What have you done with your life? Other than be an internet troll.

    December 4, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  3. Doug

    When will Fox News be held to the same standard? I will miss his progressive & truthful comments.

    December 4, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  4. PAVoter

    The irony of this is that NO ONE at FOX/FAUX News EVER GETS fired for the continual hatred and proven verified lies they spew EVERY SINGLE DAY! FOX News has allowed so much hateful talk to be aired on its network, yet NO ONE says that they should resign.

    I'm sorry, but that's pure hypocrisy for some of you people that hate Democrats to say ANYTHING about MSNBC! At least they hold themselves accountable. Which is saying a whole lot more than Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, etc, etc, etc.

    December 4, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. Jean Sartre

    There is absolutely no reason at all for Martin Bashir to step down or resign, Palin is a stain on the planet and a threat to our gene pool!

    Thank you Martin for telling it like it is...

    December 4, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  6. Odo

    Anyone notice he has to resign for the same thing Rush gets away with EVERY DAY?????

    December 4, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. Jojo

    I'm shocked, but shouldn't be, at the people voicing support for Martin Bashir and his vile, over-the-line comments. It matters not whether you like Palin or not. It matters not whether you claim Fox News spews equally vile comments (by the way, name something Fox News has said that is equal to Bashir's comments. I dare you). And if so, equally shame on them. This is far beyond Republican or Democrat. Now we are talking about basic human decency! Something Bashir, and apparently several people commenting here, disgustingly lacks!

    December 4, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. Jim

    When people who can't see the difference between sharp rhetoric and abject moral depravity are so prevalent on the cnn.com boards, it appears MSNBC has taken over.

    December 4, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. bob

    I thought the truth was an absolute defense.

    December 4, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. Jason B

    Isn't she well known for making vile, evil comments too?

    December 4, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  11. Matt

    Libs have no respect for women. Clinton Bashir Weiner Reid Filner

    December 4, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  12. Moderate THIS

    Palin is still a dim bulb.

    December 4, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  13. Evelyn Connaway

    Bashir should have been able to stay. So he said something about Palin, that offended someone. Tough, that old right wing teabag nut says terrible thing about every democrat in the country, really bad stupid stuff, that isn't true, all lies and exaggerations. I can't understand why she is even allowed on the sir. Many of us have called her everything in the books. I think she is a useless human being, but so are many of the republican party. Everyone yells about freedom of speech – what happened to Bashir's freedom of speech? As for all the people on MSNBC, they are good and the tell the truth, and they at least apologize when wrong. The only channel that does.

    December 4, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. woodlander2

    One of many foul mouth, angry, hateful, hurtful, commentators on MSNBC. Surprised NBC continues to subsidize a loser network like this one.

    December 4, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. Evelyn Connaway

    Bashir should have been able to stay. So he said something about Palin, that offended someone. Tough, that old right wing teabag nut says terrible thing about every democrat in the country, really bad stupid stuff, that isn't true, all lies and exaggerations. I can't understand why she is even allowed on the sir. Many of us have called her everything in the books. I think she is a useless human being, but so are many of the republican party. Everyone yells about freedom of speech – what happened to Bashir's freedom of speech? As for all the people on MSNBC, they are good and the tell the truth, and they at least apologize when wrong. The only channel that does. And NO, I haven't made this comment before.

    December 4, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  16. Sam

    He shouldn't apologize for speaking his mind. Sarah Palin deserves worse than what Bashir suggested.

    December 4, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. Jamal

    He is a sick individual who needed to be fired. He showed the world how awful he really is. He is a revolting person.

    December 4, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. Thinking it through.

    It's not like Bashir suggested she be burned at the stake. My Puritan ancestors would have done that without thinking twice. Seems like Fox pundits make stupid and reckless comments all day long. But then the tea partiers never hold their spokesmen accountable for thoughtless and often non-credible statements. Fox rewards stupidity and pettiness. I say burn them all.

    December 4, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  19. jc

    ay ay ay Bashir....I'm going to miss youuu. Yes, Ms Palin can drive people crazy I understand, but sheesh. Now, my question is, when is Rush resigning after his MULTIPLE inconsiderate, nasty, racist, sexist, comments?

    December 4, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  20. dudley

    So, msnbc has the lowest ratings in journalism, you say?

    Any questions?

    December 4, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  21. Buffalo

    Palin is a train wreck. Thank the john boy and Lindsey show for this disaster.What was McCain thinking?

    December 4, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. ted

    this is all George W Bush's fault. All of it. If it wasn't for George W Bush, DICK Cheney, Fox News, Karl Rove and all the rest of the delusional rightwing nutjobs, life would be grand.

    December 4, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  23. Alina1

    Every time Palin opens her mouth, its a lie or something insulting to the President or to the intelligence of the American people.. But she is fine and moves on unpunished, I guess you cant touch a woman and she is using it greatly.

    December 4, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  24. Bob

    We know who Palin is; we know who Bashir is; we know the philosophy behind MSNBC. Whether you agree with him or not. why is anyone surprised he said this? Why did he have to resign for such a predictable statement? Keep him. Sarah is a big girl, and we viewers know how to use a remote.

    Let people be who they are.

    December 4, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  25. GetErDone

    Who is Bashir anyway? Never heard of him until he apparently said something stupid about Palin. Although once I heard he was with msnbc, it all made sense – in fact I thought that was the msnbc way, say stupid stuff all the time so someone will talk about their network – no one I know watches it.

    December 4, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
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