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. jimatmad

    I assume that all of you righties expressing outrage at Mr Bashir's remarks have never listened to Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilley without becoming incensed.

    December 4, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. wreckagerider

    Comments from the right wing facist here are laughable. The hate mongers are alive and well on the right...Every two minutes Fox slanders someome.Savage and Limbaugh are even worse. By the way CON-Servatives, the word "Liberal" means LIBERTY which means FREEDOM, so stop using it like a four letter word. Stand up and be an American!. Free Speech lives on the Left, Lies AND HATE liveS on the right. Thank you Martin Bashir for calling it like it is, you took the lipstick off the pig. Thank you for your insight and persective which has been the best in tv journalism today. Your brilliance and honesty has been a breath a fresh air. This is all a case of double standards and fasle outrage from the rightwing propagandist..

    December 4, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  3. Bruce in VA

    Who actually watches MSNBC enough to pay salaries for anyone there? Is everyone there working for free? Oh, one more thing. Bashir is a dooshnozzle.

    December 4, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  4. Mike

    When is Palin going to be held accountable for the vile garbage that comes out of her mouth?

    December 4, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. adrifter

    And yet Rush Limbaugh is still on the air. Go figure.

    December 4, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. craigorie

    Martin Bashir was one of the smartest and wittiest men on television. In fact, he's my favorite. I love his sense of humor and truthfulness. I think he should have stayed on the air. Who cares if people were "offended" by his remarks....what a silly world; after all, we've had to put up with Palin all these years; someone has to lay it on her now and then.

    December 4, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  7. Janalionberger

    I don't know what he said but I am sure he got it right. Not enough bad things are said about her or to her. she is a disgusting liar who needs to be taken down. Personally would not even look for any comments she has made. I have never heard the truth out of her disgusting mouth since McCain introduced her to the rest of poor people. I can not understand why CNN wastes it time covering anything that comes from her mouth... Limbaugh, Palin, Cruz, and the rest of the gang are all crazy wacko birds

    December 4, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. mike

    Bashir has my support, Palin is useless tool.

    December 4, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  9. Bill

    So Palin can talk about shooting liberals, but God forbid if someone calls her out on her absurd and offensive comparisons of debt to slavery. More conservative hypocrisy.

    December 4, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  10. meki60

    A real piece of garbage, just like Obama

    December 4, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. meki60

    Bashir, ugly and stupid

    December 4, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. craigorie

    Why hasn't anyone at FOX resigned over the vile and hideous comments they've made about our President? So, they can get away with it but the wimpy MSNBC has to cave in and of course CNN is just plain non-controversial oatmeal..

    December 4, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Dorothy

    And yet, Beck, Limbaugh, Colter, Palin and their ilk can call anyone names and spread lies, but if someone calls them out they have to apologize. He shouldn't have apologized.

    December 4, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. Marsha N.

    I can't believe it! MSNBC you are crazy if you accept his resignation. Don't do it. You will definitely lose me and others as an audience. Alec Baldwin needed to go because his show was BORING.

    I still can't believe you let Martin go. You will regret this decision.

    December 4, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. Redeye Dog

    What's surprising is the amount of backlash it took to come to this point...

    December 4, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. Roger Daplog

    You all know the world is watching? Bashir tells the truth and he is treated like a slave. Disgraceful haters. Tell your kids you hate people. The world watches and despises your hate. Please leave civil blogs alone.

    Bashir come back to work.

    December 4, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. wreckagerider

    Pallin is a slave to her own ignorance. Thank you Martin Bashire you were right on point. courageous!

    December 4, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. Jonathon Powelly

    Never fear, he will soon land somewhere else.

    December 4, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. Benny

    She had it coming after what she said. I am disappointed that he resigned.

    December 4, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  20. HONEyWoMAN

    I think Bashir spoke the truth. However, it's really not a journalist's place to give opinion. I know that is no longer true, they all do, but I miss Uncle Walter. I personally like Bashir and do not like Palin. Her statement reeks of her stupidity. Too bad Bashir didn't just let it happen and watch in fascination with the rest of us as she once again hung herself . Bashir will bounce and end up looking rosier than ever. Palin will drip on.

    December 4, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  21. TeaPublicans Bite It

    Fine, and to be fair, Palin can withdraw from politics forever due to the countlesss ridiculous comments she has made

    December 4, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  22. ArchieDeBunker

    As should have been expected from MSNBC, the people who were quoted in this article went w a a a a y out of their way to avoid actually criticizing Bashir – and did their absolute best to make their statements say, essentially, "Well, we know a lot of people are angry about what he said, and we'll have to let him go because it might hurt our "image" to keep him, but actually we agree 100% with what he said."

    December 4, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  23. PC Police and The Keystone Cops

    The PC Police is getting absurd. Baldwin calling out Bashir, after calling a photographer an expletive?

    The PC Police are policing the PC Police. It's like the Keystone Cops. Where is Sammy Davis Jr when you need him? He would have laughed at this over-the top I'm holier/more PC than you crap.

    Watch some Key & Peeley or Dave Chapelle. We can make fun of ourselves. Others? Em, well, not so much.

    December 4, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  24. JAG

    Palin still can't complete a grammatical sentence. What a dunce>

    December 4, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. FrmrMrine

    Another example of why the "Liberal Media" is a myth concocted by Republicans to make you doubt anything that makes them look bad.

    December 4, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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