December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
5 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. df zalesky

    They should have given Bashir a promotion and a raise. His comments about Palin were right on the mark.

    December 5, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Cynic

    Palin is right. We are saddling future generations with unforgivable debt. What is slavery but a burden that the innocent are forced to bear?

    December 5, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. rockysfan

    And we don't have to accept your "vile, evil comments" either Palin. Please, oh Please, crawl back under your rock!

    December 5, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. bigdoglv

    Excellent comment Bill Smells, December 4, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm. As long as the serfs are fighting one another, they will not notice what a rotten job our government is doing.

    December 5, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. 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 so 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 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. TV

    Sandra, thats the difference between the "liberal" media and the "conservative" media. There are no consequences in the latter for saying "vile, evil comments".

    December 5, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. OverIT

    I cannot even believe some of what I am reading! Whether you like Sarah Palin or not, that is not the point. The media created this dynamic where we sensationalize the perpetually offended and cave into firing, suspending and forcing apologies whenever someone so much as disagrees with someone. Now that it was a conservative woman, the same rules don’t apply? It's ok for this man to say that someone should defecate in her mouth? It's disgusting. The fact that he even was allowed to "resigned" rather than being fired by MSNBC is what is appalling here. I personally don't agree with a lot of things that people get fired for but you can't have "rules" for some and not all.

    December 5, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. jim

    rush says far far worst stuff, they is he still on the air?

    December 5, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. jim


    December 5, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. Blurch

    Between Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir, MSNBC has officially become the Fox News of the left.
    Completely biased liberal CRAP. Not an ounce of real news.
    Congratulations MSNBC. Martin Bashir used to be a good journalist on Nightline, until he moved to your network.

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

    Unfortunately, what he said should not have been said on air. However, I think it is probably something a lot of folks think and say in the comfort of their homes. What is more troublesome, to me at least, is this new-found talking point from certain Republicans comparing just about everything concerning the President and Democrats to slavery. Now that is vile and offensive. Why not stop giving Ms. Palin a platform for everything stupid thing she says (CNN) and then maybe some folks would not lose their minds and say things they should not say. That woman has contributed to the nasty dialogue that is so pervasive in our politics today. Shame on her for what she said to begin with.

    December 5, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. Brian in DC

    Speaks volumes about progressives and their mindset.

    December 5, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Jimh77

    Martin, so sorry to see you go over this. Far as I'm concerned, you spoke honestly and I agree with your comment on Sarah. She is a loose cannon and goes off all the time. Why anyone wold listen to her is beyond my understanding.
    Like another poster said, Sarah deserves everything she gets.
    We'll miss ya buddy. Enjoyed your views for he past few years.

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

    The way I see it is that the left wingers are the first to start calling names because they know that right wingers are right in what they are saying. This country has turned into a school yard. Somebody that is more intelligent gets called names. People can have different opinions, and they should not be attacked for it. Nobody should, but the left always attacks the right for what we feel is right. So as far as I'm concerned, there are a lot of people that are clueless of what is even going on around them. The system is broken and needs fix, and this is not the way to fix it. So people grow up, and take some responsibility.

    December 5, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. RandyF

    I guess Faux News will start firing anchors for their comments about Obama. LMFAO

    December 5, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. Anonymous

    msnbc made a great mistake . mnsbc should re hire him

    December 5, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. Marc L

    Lots of loud mouth liberals doing some apologizing lately.

    December 5, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. Kudos to Martin!

    Good luck and many blessings, Martin! You are a GREAT host, never forget that! I hope another network quickly picks you up! ABC are you listening!

    December 5, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. The Mayor

    CNN Political Unit, If you are going to report a story please tell the story. Why don't you tell us what Bashir said?
    If Sarah Palin made those same comments about Bashir they would be repeated many times over throughout the story.

    Politics in America have become an embarrassment and unfortunately the "news" media has too.

    December 5, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. myway

    The question is, who'll fire Palin?

    December 5, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. paul reynolds

    The Irony here is that Palin does not belong on the TODAY Show, She is so YESTERDAY!!

    Stop making this Indicted, Kicked from Office, Quitter, Fakes Newz Payrollee seem RELEVANT when that Bimbo clearly is NOT!!!

    THANK YOU Martin!!

    December 5, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. Brian

    It's a prime example of why Progressives are always on the high road, and Conservatives continue to travel the low road. And all the while, Conservatives resent it. Envy.

    December 5, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. JUSTME

    Its funny how with all the other lib news channels out there spewing the kool-aid assisted line, everyone seems to be afraid of just one conservative channel. Is it because no one watches those crappy channels? Or is because the truth hurts?

    December 5, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. CJ

    First – I am no Palin fan. Don't care if I ever hear about her again. However, MSNBC is definitely the most angry, spiteful news network and their ratings are in the tank. Like it or not, Fox News wipes the floor with them and with Obama recently circling the bottom of the bowl they know they need to moderate their message. He won't be the last to go. In a year, this will be a very different network.

    December 5, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. Laverne

    Republicans continue to say the most hateful things about Obama, especially on FOX new and nothing is ever done about it because it is an acceptable culture to them.

    December 5, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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