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. Dumbo

    Bad excuse for a journalist. No place for him on US television.

    December 4, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. Ted Ward

    Good riddance.

    December 4, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  3. sal

    It is a shame someone lost there job. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't both of them entertainers? That is what entertainers do – they run at the mouth and do and say shocking things to create a brand especially if they are not very good at their craft.

    December 4, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. georgestefan

    political correctness is using African=American versus black, saying you'd like to duty in someone's mouth is not being politically incorrect, it's being grossly obscene and perverted.

    December 4, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  5. bo

    Now Palin should resign from the media.

    December 4, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  6. justsane

    while i loathe sarah palin, and find her to be a pathetic excuse for well, anything, martin bashir is an equally sad excuse for a journalist. if only ms. palin would also resign from the airwaves...

    December 4, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  7. JP

    Man, some of these comments you just don't know whether to laugh or cry. As if it's somehow okay to talk about ANY woman in this fashion. As if Palin actually could have done something to earn such degrading comments. As a woman, and a registered Democrat, (but more of a swing voter really) the level of misogyny here is repulsive. Her political views are irrelevant. What is relevant is that no anchor would have ever said the same thing about a man. Bill Mahr, or Rush, maybe but they're paid provacateurs, not marquis hosts on the Big 3 news networks. And no, it doesn't make what they do okay either by any stretch, but you would hope that CNN, FOX and MSNBC would aim a little higher. It's not a freedom of speech issue. Bashir had a right to say it, as barbaric as it may have been. He wasn't thrown in a gulag. I think his apology actually seemed very sincere, and if he learns from this I'm sure he'll land on his feet somewhere eventually. There are a whole lot of supposedly liberal commenters on here who have a lot more introspection of their own to do. Don't just go pull the lever for Hilary in '16 and pat yourselves on the back for what champions you are of women. ALL women matter, and none of them have to "earn" the right not to be degraded on national television because they don't agree with you politically. That's just twisted.

    December 4, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  8. john

    Good riddance. There should be no tolerance for trash like him on a major network, or any network.

    December 4, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  9. chas

    MSNBC is simply to tough on their commentators. I listened to his comments, and I listen to Fox Not that much difference

    December 4, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  10. Mike C

    Looks like Bashir is the one who is defecating in his pants now. Good riddance. MSNBC is nothing more than a pack of liars and accomplices in the disaster that this administration has become.

    December 4, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  11. Paul

    Did Limbaugh resign for calling the pope a Marxist? Not to mention his racist rants. Did anyone from Fox News resign for their daily lies? This shows the difference between a progressive and a liberal. The liberals resign when they go over the line and conservatives.......oh, well, I guess we just expect it.

    December 4, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  12. Peace

    I think MSNBC need to learn something. You are always played by Fox News. They always pick out what you say and start shouting: "There is fire, fire out there"! and you end up kicking out your staff. Why don't you do the same to them?

    December 4, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  13. Media joke

    The Media is a joke, trust them abt as DC.

    December 4, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  14. Thomas

    I wish he had laid into Palin face to face , then he would have been promoted .

    I love how people say it's the liberal media or the conservative media .

    They are the same , they both play to there fans. Just like the AFC or the NFC football leagues .

    They put on a show and take your money .

    December 5, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  15. Anonymous

    President of msnbc is a little sissy

    December 5, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. Andy

    Why is this woman being paid ANY attention to? She is a witless blowhard.

    December 5, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  17. Harry

    What's wrong with this country? If you speak the truth you get fired.

    December 5, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. Capone

    How is what Martin Bashir said about Sarah Palin any worse than the constant comparing of President Obama to Adolph Hitler by folks like Sarah Palin and pretty much everyone that has a show over at Fox?

    I don't watch Bashir's show, but if Palin is allowed to make incendiary comments that marginalize slavery and to spew hatred about the President, then why shouldn't he be allowed to respond to her comments in the same manner?

    December 5, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. Pendy

    Darn mean spirited Republicans!

    December 5, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  20. LivinInGA

    Forget Palin, I still ticked off about Bashir's lying allegations about Michael Jackson. Good Riddance! Karma is sweet.

    December 5, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. mark

    Go and watch Bashir's comments on Youtube. And then come back and tell me he isn't right. Sorry, Palin is a complete idiot.

    December 5, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  22. Robin Wier

    I'm sure if I received more then my ~70 Channel Basic Cable, I might find a more disgusting channel than MSNBC. The only program they broadcast that I can watch is that early morning Java Guy. For me, he's an A-OK Host/Moderator.

    December 5, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  23. Ron

    Its a shame to lose a good journalist because of that women! everyone knows she is dumber then a rock!!

    December 5, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  24. Dandy Dizmore

    The guy deserves a raise, not a resignation. Palin is an id iot. Why would MSNBC invite an id iot on the air??
    I think the prez of MSNBC should resign..

    December 5, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  25. Larry L

    Palin accused the resident of "palin' around with terrorists", told us Obamacare would have "death squads coming for granny", and recently made derogatory remarks about the Pope. She's made millions spreading distortions and lies. She's quit every job she's ever held and made a joke out of the 2004 election. Bashir's comments were crude and he should not be in the public forum. But Palin needs to put her "big girl pants on" and get over it. She's dished out far more than she's received.

    December 5, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
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