December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
12 months 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. Katarina Radovic

    Martin bashir is THE best of the best, intelligent introspective, right on the dot. Especially about Palin. 90 percent of civilized world would agree with him. What a shame. Msnbc will lose viewers for sure. And if FOX network had the same standards they would have no one to broadcast.

    December 5, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Hypocrisy while attacking conservative women is the issue. These guys are misogynistic towards conservative women and get a free pass from CNN and other liberal networks that rate too low to mention. If they attacked all public figures the same it would be fine to let the market determine the networks viewership and worth.

    December 5, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  3. stewart

    based on this standard Rush needs to go as well but since he is tea nut they will keep because he sells ads

    December 5, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  4. Larry

    He was wrong and he's gone. But lets not say that Palin is an angel and deserves the white glove treatment. She stokes division, resentments, prejudices and manages to bring out the worst in people to further her own selfish aims and line her pockets.

    December 5, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  5. Lauren

    Free Speech...ain't so free after all is it. Many many Republicans, including Palin, have said things much worse about President Obama and think it's OK. Something said about them...hold the presses here, "we have a problem."

    December 5, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  6. Carla

    Martin Bashir is a good journalist and his absence will be missed. His problem, and that of other fair minded people, is that Republican extremism is difficult to bear at times and sometimes we on the left can behave somewhat badly. But, let's not forget the provocation. The Republicans, the party of "no", is the crazy party. Their extremism is well known and we need to be vigilante in order to compensate for the Republican lies and misdirection.

    December 5, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  7. HEYDUDE

    funnt how the libs say get over it......when the comment goes the other way, they dont say that!

    December 5, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  8. ibwiz

    He spoke the truth!

    December 5, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  9. ibwiz

    The problem is that stupid people, like Palin and the Tea Baggers, do not know they are stupid.

    December 5, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  10. Stephen

    So what did he say that was so offensive, surely not "graphic punishment" as reported here? Anyway it's kinda funny that this shmuck gets axed when the likes of Hannity and Limberger are running around inciting riot.

    December 5, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  11. Irishgirlgrace

    You must be joking! Have you listened to Fox commentator's with all the vile and inappropriate and just boldfaced lies they spew? You will be missed. Maybe you should go elsewhere – so you will be appreciated for your honesty.

    December 5, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  12. realitybriar

    Of course, Sarah Palin never makes "vile, evil comments".

    December 5, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  13. bob

    The bright side...more minutes available to MSNBC for even MORE commercials...

    December 5, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  14. dave

    I hate to see him go. I thought he was very fitting for MSNBC and what they stand for...

    December 5, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  15. Tom in Florida

    Can't say I'm a fan of Palin, but exactly how is what she said, comparing U.S. foreign debt to slavery, wrong?
    It's 100% the truth!

    We the People, our children and grand children's children will be paying off the debt of our government's fiscal fiasco for decades!

    Every post here is using the "herd" mentality. Grow up people an try to think for yourselves.

    December 5, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  16. MHM

    Palin's an idiot any way you look at it. I think I can say that without MSNBC firing me (that's what they did – Bashir did not resign and was 'encourage' to leave as I'm privy to some inside info!). Let the Palin bashing continue.

    December 5, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  17. zanny

    since this is everyday comments from Fox where is the outrage over them They put people on the air who they KNOW are lying (ex. man who didn't get coverage for his 18 month old child under Obamacare why?? because he didn't list him. they knew and he knew he was lying but they pit him on anyway ex. three couples PAID to come on to complain about trying to get on or high cost and all three of them were lying and Hannity knew they were- no apologies issued) this network highly insults people daily, constant name calling but yet they are still there and continuing Could it be ethics is not a factor on fox but then most of them are really entertainers not journalists saying what their listeners want to hear truthful or not!!!!!!

    December 5, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  18. quinLee

    should have just ignored her.

    December 5, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  19. holmes

    Never liked this guy or how he interviewed guests he disagreed with.

    December 5, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  20. tutuvabene

    The sad part of this whole affair is that Palin doesn't resign from being a public spectacle. She's had her 15 minutes of fame. Can she just go away?

    December 5, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  21. ME

    Oh no...and he was the best of the best..
    Come on over to CNN ......What happened to freedom of expressing one's own opinion..??

    December 5, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  22. tutuvabene

    Only those public figures that are independently wealthy should make such comments so that they have to "resign" for saying things that need to be said.

    December 5, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  23. RachaelA

    What he said went too far and shows a lack of general humanity to wish such a thing on Sarah Palin. I mean seriously – who says things like that? And better question – why does he hate her that much when he doesn't even know her? Our mainstream media tells people who to like and who to hate and people follow blindly along. Our society is so focused on stopping bullying but our media encourages it. I just don't get it! Can't have it both ways and have a civil society.

    December 5, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  24. Ron

    Sarah Palin is an embarrassment to the species!!! This is the stupidest Woman alive and only ranks second to that drug addict Rush Limbaugh! Bashir, as many of us had enough of the erroneous in coherent babel that comes out of her mouth! Why any group or Party would want to claim her speaks volumes about the group or Party! There is not one speck of integrity or knowledge in that woman's mind! Martin Bashir should not have to resign over something every one of us has thought for years!

    December 5, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Rick McDaniels
    and NOT any kind of honest, decent, journalist!
    -------------------------------------------------
    Please go ot and find me one of those.....
    Leave the glass AND the bottle as you won't be back anytime soon.

    December 5, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
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