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.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (813 Responses)
  1. TuckerMax

    Bill Maher said it best: "When Reagan was President, Sarah Palin was 16, already knocked up, and still in grade school."

    December 4, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. MSLSD

    He was terrible, his show had no intellectual value unless you consider him say nah nah nah nah nah to Republicans. Ban him from journalism.

    December 4, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. leslliee

    Sarah Palin: "His [vile] [evil] words don't affect me. HaHaHa! Tell us another one, like, oh, that you're qualified to be President of the United States–quitter.

    December 4, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. jod

    Took long enough, for crying out loud.

    December 4, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Ctrygrl

    It is unfortunate he let his knee jerk anger get the best of him. His comments were almost as offensive and stupid as hers.

    December 4, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. christina knight

    Truly sad. Sarah Palin is not worthy enough to lick Mr. Bashir's shoes. How long is the witch going to be permitted to agonizingly overextend her 15 minutes of fame.

    December 4, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. DustyOnes

    MSNBC really hires some losers...Bashir, Baldwin, Schultz.....

    December 4, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. betterdays

    I know exactly what he said... but not from reading this story, where it is (conveniently) nowhere to be found. "Graphic punishment?" Oh, okay.

    December 4, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Marie

    Imagine if all TV/radio hosts quit after making similar comments, there wouldn't be anyone left on the airways

    December 4, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Clarke

    She is funny, she says whatshe wants, when she wants, and doesn't care. Let someone else says something and she acts like a liitle lady! Her way, or no way.

    December 4, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. Perplexed

    The wimp so-called progressive station. Why should he "resign"? Palin talks Sugar Honey Ice Tea. She should eat it.

    December 4, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. kelly

    He should have gotten a raise.

    December 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Brute

    She say stupid things – survives.. he says stupid things – fired.

    December 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. ozzie machin

    So when Rush is going to resign?

    December 4, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. Bill

    He should have been fired.

    December 4, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Steve Grabowski

    I don't get it. What did he say?

    December 4, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Lisa

    What, did the truth hurt Palin?

    December 4, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Pamela

    Shame on MSNBC – for allowing him to be forced off air while the GOP radical say MUCH WORSE things about generally anybody who is not as far right as them – yet they stay on the air. I just may have to remove your chanel from my list of OK chanels to watch.

    December 4, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. smith

    Another one bites the dust. How many is that now? MSNBC used to be a good network until they were hijacked by elite radical liberal ilk.

    December 4, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. PtBarnumBoy

    He was stupid to go there but she deserves everything she gets.

    December 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. jean2

    Someone please yell me why Pailin,s comments always get free rides or even given audiences with no evidence of prior knowledge of what she is saying. I agree it is time to clean up the dialog in media. I would like to see Media exectives take a stand for creditable reporting.

    December 4, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Steve

    About time he stepped down since the heads at msnbc didn't have the courage to fire him. I dislike Palin but the disgusting words he used should have had him terminated immediately

    December 4, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Michael Carrillo

    So now you have to step down for telling it like it is… how sad for our country.

    December 4, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. scranton

    MSNBC is a train wreck.

    December 4, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. jean2

    Someone please tell me why Pailin,s comments always get free rides or even given audiences with no evidence of prior knowledge of what she is saying. I agree it is time to clean up the dialog in media. I would like to see Media exectives take a stand for creditable reporting.

    December 4, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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