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. Starrface

    Good grief! The whole country talks and comments about Sara Palin every time she opens her mouth. In almost every instance it's a negative comment. She is sooo dumb that's why she attracts so many comments. I can't keep myself from saying negative things about Sara Palin and the whole goofy Tea Party crowd.

    December 5, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  2. Tilley

    How about a little taste of what he actually said?

    December 5, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  3. Really?

    Sniffit- what if that were said about Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton, or Debbie Blabber-Mouth-Schultz? This wasn't some off the cuff remark. It was a written speech, that was proof-read repeatedly and approved by the producers before it was allowed to go into the Telepromter where Bashir read to the viewers.The real hypocrisy is not just for folks like u trying to justify this b/c it was against Palin. It is also fr the womens' group that sat silently after this happened. Where r the Gloria Allreds infront of the cameras? Where is NOW or other womens advocacy grps? The only thing faux is folks like u where differnt set of standards apply to Democrats and ok for them to lie, cheat and must never be criticized. But fair game for anyone incl. children on the other side.

    December 5, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  4. yuripelham

    Sorrow to see him go. An advocate for the abused citizen. H e suggested she eat what she has been feeding us for years.
    However it is true that through the ear laughter and derision is provoked.

    December 5, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Maybe he can get a really important job like Piers Morgan.

    December 5, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  6. Pat

    How can we get the entire Fox news team to resign? Talk about biased reporting........

    December 5, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  7. Tommy

    When you get fired from a company for saying something idiotic, and that company is the same company that employs the "rev" sharpton, that's impressive; to out do the father of reverse racism.

    December 5, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  8. Larry38363

    This wench can say anything she wants. But someone says something she doesn't like and she starts wailing like the banshee she is. A really wrong move for msnbc. He should have been rewarded for finally letting people know what a witch she is. The mistake most news media make is putting anything she says in public viewing to start with.

    December 5, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  9. P.R.

    Gee all you conservadouche-cakes SURE do love to pounce on a liberal pundit in the throes of ONE failed comment, however, in the SAME BREATH you are all DEFENDING Sarah Palin, most likely one of the stupidest reactionary automatons to have EVER BEEN GIVEN A MICROPHONE (time AND again, for that matter...lying, deceiving, cheating the public out of the Truth...all at the behest of her corporate masters pulling her strings).

    Once you find some people of ACTUAL decency and Humanity on your side of the spectrum to put forward (and if ANY of you mention a "Paul" or, your "god" forbid, Cruz, I'll most likely laugh until I vomit) THEN let's talk about whom has said what. Until then, please just keep your selfish, self-serving, racist, homophobic, violence-worshipping, anachronistic, ethnocentric, classist, elitist, sexist, bigoted "political philosophy" to yourselves as it is currently mucking up any chance the REST of us have for a positive, progressive future...

    Defending Time well-spent, huh? Jeebus...

    December 5, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  10. Doug from Seattle

    I will miss Martin's wit and insight regarding Washington politics. He is a good man!

    December 5, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  11. Malory Archer

    How soon can we expect the entire noise crew over at faux to resign for their constant barrage of inflamatory language spewed non-stop about all things Obama or "librul"?

    December 5, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  12. GetErDone

    Who is Bashir anyway? Never heard of him until he apparently said something no so great about Palin. Although once I heard he was with msnbc, it all made sense – in fact I thought that was the msnbc way, say off the wall stuff all the time so someone will talk about their network – no one I know watches it.

    December 5, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  13. BD70

    I find it laughable that people are glad Bashir resigned. How would you know how far left his talking points were unless you listened to him? By the way...your far right rants on this board aren't much better than what Bashir said.

    December 5, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  14. Jeff from Columbus

    Plain and simple – we need to elevate our political discussions in this country. Liberals, conservatives, Republicans and Democrats are all guilty of this type of behavior. We see it from our politicians and see it from these political "commentators".

    Disagreement is fine but that's no excuse for a lack of civility.

    December 5, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  15. LongBeachBum

    Why was he not fired the day after making to remarks? Why has it taken so long to get hm off the air? That dirt bag should have been sacked as soon as he opened his mouth or is he hooking for a job with Aljazera???? When are these news reporters going to quit trying to make the news instead of just reporting the facts and letting us decide what to think about it?

    December 5, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. Maine liberal

    Now if Palin would retract the entirety of her "Christmas" book "Good tidings and Great Joy" which spends more ink on how she and her family have been wronged over the last 5 years than on the true meaning of the season.

    It is way past your time to forgive and practice the faith.

    December 5, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  17. obvious

    Martin Bashir is a childish, tasteless, classless, pompous, silly person. In other words, a liberal.

    December 5, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  18. The Truth Hurts

    Not to fear, liberal friends – Martin will get re-hired by anothe rliberal network in short order – they always take care of their own, especially talentless hacks like Bashir...

    December 5, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  19. tom

    Baldwin is the true villain in this article. He couldn't take what was rightfully coming to him without lashing out, once again, to make sure that others were hurt as well. Not much of a man.

    December 5, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  20. Fifi

    Can we talk about firing Rush Limbaugh. I have never heard anybody so offensive. But then again if I don't like what I hear I turn him OFF. I didn't see the show that "trashed" Palin, but I have the jist of it and as usual she once again has her shoe in her mouth. She just so stupid. If she would just go home and be a productive person instead of flapping her stupid yap we wouldn't have this nonsense going on and this man would still have his job. Why are we still hearing from her anyways. Please tell me shes not going to try and run in the next Presidential election. She cost the Republican Party the 2008 election. Shut up and go home Sarah. SHAME on MSNBC you say he resigned come right out and say he was fired. I wish Mr.Bashir good luck in his future.

    December 5, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  21. moonpie

    "tony b
    if he made the comments about a Democrat he would have resigned on the spot – it took how many days for him to quit?"

    If he had made that comment about a Democrat, MSNBC would have fired him before he could resign.....

    December 5, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. HappyB

    Fox News, MSNBC, and Talk Radio is nothing more than a stew of hate. You have people on both sides exploiting the uninformed to make money – just put them all in a cage and let them fight to the death.

    December 5, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. GubnitSPY

    really MSNBC ...well I guess you won't miss me either.

    December 5, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  24. Craig in Pa.

    Becca Helen...Best, most truthful comment today!

    December 5, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  25. Kenny

    @Donna...whoa girl, you left out the loss leader of trash...Faux News who started this gutter mentality...Bashir is gone and rightly so...but you in your blind hatred are like all the haters on both sides...YOU perpetuate it cuz you can't get off your high horse

    December 5, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33