December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
4 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. rick s

    Anybody that takes stock in anything that Palin says is living in a fantasay world. This woman is mentally ill in my book.

    December 5, 2013 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  2. Colo001

    I am a conservative but ridiculous comments from the right and from the left should be treated equally. Bashir blew it.
    What ever happened to respect?

    December 5, 2013 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  3. lejack

    Amazing, the outrages things that the former Governor of Alaska who quit her job on the citizen of Alaska, Mrs. Sarah Palin has, have and is still saying very nasty things about the President of the United States; which MSNBC, or, the other so called liberal news media outlets has not taken to task for her comments toward our president. The thin skin Right can dish it out; but squeals’ like a hog being gutted when they are attacked back. Everything is so unfair to them and the so called main stream media buys that crap.

    December 5, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  4. regororedam

    Dr. Goebbels 1; The Truth 0.

    December 5, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  5. rdeleys

    It's a shame he resigned. I don't think he should have done that and I will miss his program. Besides that, Bashir was correct. Palin is a national embarrassment - a complete, uneducated, and disgusting moron who spouts incoherent platitudes and is barely in command of her own native language. She has never had anything worthwhile to say. Conservatism is a mental illness and she has a terminal case.

    December 5, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  6. jim jackson

    Ha Ha Ha...........If that was a "Fox News" host talking about the other side that way, they would get a RAISE and a PROMOTION. NBC, owner of MSNBC, made sure the matter was taken care of.

    December 5, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  7. Linda

    He was correct about Palin. She has said far worse and all lies I might add about our President. If anyone should resign it should be that horrid woman, she is a disgrace to women all over the world.

    December 5, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  8. A True Conservative

    @cashman – the old "everybody does it" excuse. The excuse of the weak and simple. Stand up, take responsibility for your words and deeds and suffer the consequences. Good advice for our President as well.........

    December 5, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  9. rconatser1

    So Palin can downgrade the atrocities of slavery, but Bashir has to resign for his comments? This is not some innocent civilian we're talking about here. She has called the president every imaginable name in the book, and said God-awful things about him, but Bashir has to resign? This is extremely silly. Palin should resign...oh, wait a minute, she did! She turned her back on Alaska, once she had milked every ounce of celebrity out of her job, and now is content to roam the planet spouting stupidity and hatred.

    December 5, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  10. cristian saileanu

    1. i don't like bashir. he simply carried water, no brains.
    2. i like sarah even less. It's amazing how a woman with so few ideas and so little gray matter can rise so far!!!!!

    December 5, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  11. Nameoldschool

    What he say may have vile, but its true

    December 5, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  12. TonDef

    Phil Donahue, Jesse Ventura, Tucker Carlson, Keith Olberman, Cenk Uygur, Dylan RatIgan, Alec Baldwin, and now Martin Bashir. What do all these people have in common? They were all canned by MSNBC for refusing to toe the line in one way or another. Donahue had the highest ratings on the network but they fired him because his opposition to the invasion of Iraq was considered unpatriotic at the time. Obviously Bashir's comments were inappropriate, and he apologized for them. Neither his comments or his dismissal bother me as much as the fact that he's another in a long line of MSNBC hosts to be kicked to the curb for stirrIng up a little controversy. I'm very liberal but I don't watch MSNBC because rather than ecouraging objectivity, they just try to drum up ratings by telling a certain political demographic exactly what they want to hear, much like their evil twin FOX News. Rachel Maddow is the last host standing who I actually like, but she better watch her mouth if wants to keep her job.

    December 5, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  13. jerry walters

    A real loss to true journalism in America ... hope he finds another good job that provides him the opportunity to voice his opinion and report real news. Good luck Mr. Bashir.

    December 5, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  14. Sam

    Comparing debt to slavery is dumb, maybe indentured servitude

    December 5, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  15. Gary

    Wimp... Sorry, maybe some should "rise above it" but really things that woman says...Bet you, she's smug over it too and now probably thinks stronger...

    December 5, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  16. Stercus Tauri

    C'mon, fer Cheeses sake...Bashir should have received a promotion and a raise. He was right on the mark about that brainless twit.

    December 5, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  17. KieranH

    But he was so correct! Why is he resigning?? Horse-face Palin should be wiped from the planet....

    December 5, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  18. NYOMD

    MSNBC holds itself to a higher standard than the kind of network (Fox) that would give vile and evil Sarah Palin a job. The irony is just too bitter and too sad.

    December 5, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  19. Bigdoglv

    "Special network"??????? So special no one watches it.

    December 5, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  20. T

    .Palin...............................just spelling her name makes me puke in my mouth a bit........

    December 5, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  21. greenaxe

    Bashirs poor judgement did cost him, but Palin doesn't even deserve the negative attention anymore. She has proven her ineptness every time she opened her mouth and really needs to go away.

    December 5, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  22. bill smarty

    If his comment are verbatim as stated in this article, I hardly think that the punishment doesn't fit the crime. How can one compare apple and oranges as stated by Palin's remarks. P.S. This is not cleaning house or else ALL network journalists should be fired, it's filled with bias people.

    It's sad, but I take all reporting except live broadcasts of the source, with a grain of salt and formulate my opinions from facts, not by the color of a pretty network host in a slim red dress or a stately Harvard graduate/Ron Burgundy.

    December 5, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  23. Chris

    So he is a seemingly, by "typical" standards, a "tasteless" pig. Nice thing about can be "tasteless" if you choose to be. He should not have been fired or suspended. Let his ratings determine his he is a "tasteless".....have you ever listened to Stephanie Miller or Rush Limbaugh??? They make a living being "tasteless" and "offensive" to any number of people and groups!

    December 5, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  24. JesterX

    Martin Bashir and Bill Maher are good examples of what people would call "mean liberals". Which is something like a "nice conservative". They exist but there aren't very many of them.

    December 5, 2013 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  25. Robert

    Becca Helen That was an unfair cheap shot about the great Daffy Duck.

    December 5, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
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