December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
1 year 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.


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soundoff (813 Responses)
  1. Mopery

    But I thought it was open season on Caribou Barbies...

    December 5, 2013 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  2. DC

    why does MSNBC always come off as an amateur ...? They've been in the news biz for awhile now – they should know better

    December 5, 2013 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  3. sbg

    Why wasn't he fired?

    December 5, 2013 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  4. Dave

    Now if we could just get the same kind of result for the same kind of behavior over at FOX 'News' we would be rid of it all together. Lets face it, they're exponentially worse on a daily basis than Bashir was on one instance.

    December 5, 2013 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  5. Thinkergal

    What a thin-skinned twit Ms. Palin is! Get over yourself, Sarah. I will miss Martin, as I still miss Keith Olbermann. May have to find another cable news network to watch.

    December 5, 2013 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  6. Joe The Boss

    I remember he also asked an inappropriate question to a famous recording artist during his interview.

    December 5, 2013 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  7. Bob H (Florida)

    Keep Mr. Bashir... It's Palin that needs to go away....

    December 5, 2013 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  8. akheretic

    I only thought Fox fired reporters for telling the truth!

    December 5, 2013 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  9. Jeff

    Maybe that guy Rachael Maddow will be next?

    December 5, 2013 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  10. Harleigh

    Now just deport him.

    December 5, 2013 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  11. Jonathon

    What's Palin mad about? She spews vile, evil comments 365 days per year.

    December 5, 2013 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  12. hubert39

    Lets hope he got a better job, with more money.

    December 5, 2013 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  13. Marty Marzipan

    Ridiculous! Everything he said was deserved. The far-right hate machine churns out lies and hatred 2/7, and where were the Faux News resignations? I thought so.

    December 5, 2013 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  14. GaryT

    Yet Rush Limbaugh is still on the air.

    December 5, 2013 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  15. Raven

    Rather than apologize, why can't he "re-load" instead ? I still think the GOP offered up Palin to show their disdain or mockery of the office; so the mice could play big time.

    December 5, 2013 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  16. William Shelton

    @ buh-bye,

    Would you make those same remarks if you couldn't hide behind your anonymity? Nah, you don't have the courage to do that, do you?

    December 5, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  17. bob

    The really nasty thing is that he even has those types of thoughts going on in his head, let alone that he imagines the rest of the world would find that acceptable to articulate. One sick puppy right there.

    December 5, 2013 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  18. LakeRat1

    Bummer! Sarah sure isn't worth losing your job over.
    Funny; Republicans make "vile" comments so often, nobody notices.
    (I'm not trying to defend Bashir, just sayin')

    December 5, 2013 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  19. Charlie

    Head on back across the pond you brit twit and thank you alec

    December 5, 2013 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  20. mike johnson

    ... they must think we are naive ... he did not decide to step down ... he was fired

    December 5, 2013 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  21. giggy

    Thanks for Mr.Bashir, bringing the truth to light. making a mockery of slavery is something that Sarah Palin big mouth will never ay again. And since you read what another wrote on the teleprompter . I hope you get a better position. Thanks for Shutting up the pig in Lipstick

    December 5, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  22. BR

    I mean the republican types are seething and hateful that BO the black is Prez so what's the big deal about what Bashir said? She shoulda been careful not to use the word slavery. It brings up very painful memories no matter where or how it is used. Bashir very aptly called her out for it. Spineless dems got rid of him.

    December 5, 2013 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  23. Jerry

    About time this moron did the right thing, though I think he was pushed OUT t the Obama network (MSNBC)! If he was a Republican leaning newsperson, his head would have been on a plate weeks ago!

    It's a great day for América and Ms. Palin!!!

    December 5, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  24. George Lucas

    How is what he said any worse than the garbage that rolls out of Palin's ignorant mouth?

    December 5, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  25. tsin

    Very sad, all the vile comments out out of that disgusting woman's mouth and they let him go. Please they should have given the man a medal for telling the truth. I will miss him, and those that won't I know why!

    December 5, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
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