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. Boo

    I love some of the comments here made by apparent Fox "News" comment to them is ......YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

    December 5, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  2. Overt

    Donna, your complaint would have more merit if you also wanted Fox "News" to get rid of all their neo-con hate mongers pretending to be journalists too. For that matter all the extreme hate mongers, right and left. Unfortunately 80% of the talking heads are right wingers so it's easier to list them. I can't listen to talk radio anymore because it's all anger and complaining.

    December 5, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  3. mike in NH

    Glad to see him leave; I expect him to end up on Al Jezeera news. Now if he could take the other Brit, Piers with him that would be nice.

    December 5, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Katrina Wogoman

    Ah. Palin freaking LOVED the comments. It got her face back in the news again... ultimately this is all she wants.

    December 5, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. Organic1

    Palin's m.o. is cancelling obligations, why would he resign?

    December 5, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  6. Carey Everett

    He needs to go back to where he came from and stay there!!!

    December 5, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. Danram

    It's about time. This guy is a loon, even by MSNBC's standards.

    December 5, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  8. .Michael, Chapel Hill

    It is something good that happend. The next one should be Al Sharpton.

    December 5, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. jag51

    Now if we could only get Sarah Palin to resign. Oops, my mistake, she has nothing to resign from, other than continually spewing irrelevant comments every opportunity she gets.

    December 5, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  10. hecep

    They should have promoted Bashir and thrown in a hefty raise to boot.

    December 5, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. TexDoc

    I'm tired of the PC police. He was expressing an opinion not a call to arms. I think the left brought this on themselves. You can't try to get everyone fired for every little mis-statement or poor choice of words, then not expect the same treatment.

    December 5, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. rider03

    @kay You mean just like all the liberal leftists? Yep.

    December 5, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  13. shuman

    Good riddance

    December 5, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. Regressive

    Well Palin, Fox and Limpballs are all snickering today.

    December 5, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  15. gypsyalso

    inappropriate comments lead to resignation. too bad it doesn't work that way for politicians. they don't do inappropriate – they downright lie.

    December 5, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  16. mfh

    Wow, with all the nasty, vile evil comments made on Fox News aka Faux news, you folks on the right have NOTHING to say! People have been killed based on the retoric said by you conservatives so give it rest!
    Show us. When someone on the right says something as vile as this, they get fired within a couple days.

    December 5, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  17. MarkinFL

    While Martin crossed the line, Palin lives over the line. She is just one of the leaders of the frothing at the mouth pack of right wing nuts that are going crazy because they are losing control of the country. Finally.

    December 5, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. virginiaham

    That's right Sarah Palin put the bulls eye on Dems in Arizona and look what happened... People died.

    December 5, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. powerfail

    He is just the latest example of how hostile and hypocritical liberals have become. He, and many like him on MSNBC, have entered the same category as Rush Limbaugh: offensive political entertainers.

    December 5, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    -Hugh J'Ardonn

    @Sniffit – you wrote, "no more or less wrongheaded than the filth constantly spewing from Limbaugh's mouth, or that has occasionally come out of O'Reilly..." Show me just one single case where either Limbaugh or O'Reilly suggested defecating into someone's mouth. Combined, Limbaugh, Beck and O'Reilly have NEVER come remotely close to the level of rudeness shown by Bashir's comment.
    Oh yes, your heros are as pure as the driven snow. Never said an offensive or over -the-top comment. Always truthful, and can always back up their accusations with facts that pass the smell test outside of the rightie bubble. I remember Chris Wallace being forced to make a Stalinesque-like apology after asking Bachmann if she was a flake: I guess the propaganda masters at NewsCorp did not like that. Remember that this is the same company that did the phone hacking in the UK and erased the voicemails of Millie Dowler, leading her parents to think she was still alive. While I doubt any of them said anything about defecating into someone's mouth would be a good idea, I do remember things like Sean Hannity broadcasting the audio of an American having his head cut off: is that any less disturbing than what Bashir said?

    December 5, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. Dr. Robert Gerard

    MSNBC provides great and honest information to the public. It has superb and professional hosts. Martin Bashire offers brilliant and concise information. MSNBC needs to protect him, maybe a professional warning, but not accept his resignation. Palin and many other Public figures say whatever they want about others, most untruthful and unprofessional without any reprimand. The INTENT of what Martin stated is what matters. He caught Palin and addressed it.

    December 5, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  22. bigdoglv

    zivo24 said, "The scary part is that there are people like Bachmann who are even stupider." Thank you for your opinion Prof Grammar.

    December 5, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  23. tafugate

    i'm not understanding why bashir's comment was incendiary. so he's implying palin should be whipped for comparing the u.s. foreign debt to slavery? so now no one in america can mention slavery unless they're black? i have no idea who bashir is, but anyone decrying anything palin says is probably right. we're an extremely weak intellectually society.

    December 5, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  24. GSMITH

    All you hateful Democrats how is Obama Disaster Care going.

    December 5, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. corpsman

    Our media will improve if those on the extremes resign. Without Fox and MSNBC fueling the partisan divide maybe we could get some real news.

    December 5, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
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