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. Larry L


    "All I can say's about time. He should have resigned the day he said those comments. It doesn't matter who he said them about, they were vile comments and this kind of stuff doesn't belong on air."

    Rush Limbaugh called the Pope a communist today. Were your similarly outraged?

    December 5, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  2. thenakedpolitico

    1 more gone about a dozen more to go,that station has always been strange,no insights,no humour,and no real reporting,not sure who owns it,or who the ceo is, but they need to find out if it's american, or just some people from overseas looking to poke fun at america?

    December 5, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  3. Phil Thomas

    The so called liberal channel sending a message, forget some of the statements Palin made or some of the the hate mongering that comes out of Fox News. I don't agree with Bashir's il advised statements but they pale to Nalin Palin's comments. All you have to do is see how Dan Rather was treated and how CBS discredited piece on Ben you know was treated. You got to love the right, they have every one convinced the Media is leftist when its actually as right as ca be

    December 5, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  4. Doug

    Bashir's comments may have been unprofessional and vile, but people like Limbaugh and Megyn Kelly are unprofessional every single day and show no signs of slowing down. Let this be a precedent.

    December 5, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  5. Jeb

    Bashir was crude but he was right.

    December 5, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  6. miscreantsall

    "Palin deserved graphic punishment for comparing U.S. foreign debt to slavery"

    She deserves MORE than graphic punishment.

    I'm not necessarily a fan of Bashir but what is the problem?

    What he said pales to what is said daily on Fox News. All the garbage that comes out of the mouths from the folks at that network is like watching the Jerry Springer Show.

    So what? What is the big deal?

    December 5, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  7. Roger

    Wow: gotta say I love hearing from some of these posters about how terrible this guy is in comparison to the likes of the folks on FOX. WOW, I mean WOW !!!!!!!! UNBELIEAIBLE

    December 5, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  8. RayJacksonMs

    So when's the fat drug addict Rush and everyone at Fox News going to resign? They have all said things that are just as bad and at least he didn't lie to his viewers.

    December 5, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  9. Martin

    Palin is uneducated and a easy target, as a journalist, you don't walk up and paint a target on the front and pin the paper one on the back when they are not capable of saying anything nearly intelligent.

    Boorish and in ultra low moral and lack of any .... anything credible to say the least.

    So off he goes to where fired people sit until the next rude offer to come along.
    Palin is ... just is, ignore her and she was right, debt and taxes is slavery, your working for something not worth what your paying for most likely.

    December 5, 2013 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  10. longhwa

    Apparently Bashir has not read any of the innumerable accounts of torture and punishment, oppression and repression under the Chinese Communist Party's regime (these evils not two hundred years old but no more than 60, and some happening as we speak), and apparently he does not understand the analogy. Of course slavery in any context is despicable, but Palin was not diminishing its evil, and was merely indicating how life under Chinese Communist Party rule might feel to Americans on the day of reckoning when someone has to pay for the President's romp through the daisies on trillions borrowed from China. In this case, Bashir is the resident dunce.

    December 5, 2013 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  11. Luke

    I would like one of Bashir's defenders to identify a single incident on Fox News where a host said anything as vile and disgusting as Bashir did. And no, questioning Obama's birth certificate is not vile.

    December 5, 2013 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  12. mountainlady

    That anyone......even the worst of political commentators should give up their career for Sarah Palin astounds me. She is possibly one of the worst things to happen to American politics since the Tea Party and isn't worth the aggravation. How sad. He might be fringe..... but he's intelligent. An attribute that cannot be applied to Cariboo Barbie.

    December 5, 2013 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  13. Rick

    so palin can say crazy things but this guy can't

    December 5, 2013 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  14. scott bleyle

    Christmas came early for me,if he goes Home,I'll pay for the ticket.Good Riddance Achmed!

    December 5, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  15. mary

    What he said was vile. But Palin has said vile things herself..She set the bar a little lower when she came on the scene..
    She's been hateful, snarky and mean..
    Too bad with all Fox and friends coments about MSNBC and the president.. People there should get fired also.. But that won't happen.. They only care that a better standard is adhered to every where else~!

    December 5, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  16. california girl

    People...Just STOP talking or making any comments about Palin...the quitter is NOT worth any attention (good or bad)...she is a joke.
    Donna, did you say MSNBC should clean house...etc,, etc.??? CORRECTION...You must be referring to FOX!?!?

    December 5, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  17. california girl

    Dear MSNBC:
    When you accepted Bashir's resignation as one of your journalists, you showed the other networks...

    December 5, 2013 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  18. Viper

    He "deeply regrets what he said, but the T&A bimbo gets a free pass on her slavery remark.

    Ain't life grand?

    December 5, 2013 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  19. tricky_dick

    Yet, the wing nuts on the right, including those on this board, are so eager to embrace people like Limbaugh or the likes of Ted Nugent who say the vilest things about the President and about democrats. Nugent was even investigated by the Secret Service for his statements regarding Obama. The right loves these guys, agrees with them, and gets real riled when others complain about them, saying that these guys have every right to say what they say. But, they scream bloody murder when someone on the left says something even slightly wrong. The hate mongers on the right just go on and on, fully supported by their minions. There's never a hint of anyone resigning; meanwhile, those on the left end up doing the right thing and resigning from their jobs.

    December 5, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  20. gbd001

    Bashir is a pathetic excuse for a human being, worth less than the human waste he wanted placed in Palin's mouth. If MSNBC had any class whatsoever, they would have fired him immediately, just like they did with Alec Baldwin who said far less despicable a comment.

    December 5, 2013 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  21. soundoff32

    i didn't like his comments, but they are no worse than the venom Fox News spits out every day. At least be consistent.

    December 5, 2013 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  22. Texas Anne

    Well, I guess I'll never be a network commentator then, because I would have called Palin what she really is. And I'm pretty sure that wouldn't pass the network censorship either....

    December 5, 2013 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  23. Steven B.

    He was absolutely right, and could have said MUCH worse, and still been right about Ms. Palin, who is not only trolling America, but trolling conservatives in particular.

    December 5, 2013 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  24. David

    Unbelievable! Once again the republicans win! Republicans are constantly spewing vial and controversial comments. When a democrat does it the world is ending! Fight fire with fire! You should have never apologized Martin!

    December 5, 2013 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  25. Arrimine Venyalla

    Like lots of us, he screwed up. He's in a much higher profile position than the rest of us so where we get yelled at by our boss, he (rightly) was fired. There'll be another guy just like him next week.

    December 5, 2013 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
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