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. paul reynolds

    So Republicon Crack Mayor Ford continues to be more Dishonest and Outrageous – His Approval goes UP
    So Lush Limbone Calls the POPE a Commie – His Approval goes UP
    Martin says the Indicted, Dishonest McPain Bimbo is accurately deserving of being Punished – He gets Fired!???

    December 5, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Republiker

    Bashers ratings were the lowest on MSNBC which means his was the lowest rated show on Earth. Apparently not many people are interested in a dirty foreigner constantly bashing the US system of government.

    December 5, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. SteveInMN

    When FOX commentators do the same thing, they get promoted.

    December 5, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Balanced99

    The hypocracy and hatred from the left is never ending. Baldwin makes an off the cough slur – offending one of the lefts causes – fired immediately.

    Bashir deliberately plans then states something much more vile – and nothing from the network but best wishes.

    Then you get to the petty, ignorant haters like Evelyn Connaway who uses words like teabag. Evelyn, there's no greater suppressors of free speech than the left – NONE. They will protest in the most vile manner to stop anyone from speaking when they don't want to hear their words.

    By the way – your thoughts on MSNBC are absolutely scary. They may say what you want to hear – but are too frequently extremely distant from the truth – kind of like our president.

    It's people like you Evelyn – petty haters with closed minds that will destroy this once great nation.

    December 5, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. JJ

    Palin should go back and hide in Alaska

    December 5, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. Smellferd

    About Time. He should have been fired immediately. Imagine if this had been Rush Limbaugh or another conservative making the same comment about a liberal minority. The response would have been instant. Bigotry is a sword that cuts both ways.

    December 5, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. paul reynolds

    Shame on You NBC – We do NOT Want to See that Bimbo on the TODAY Show, She is OLD FAKES NEWZ!!

    December 5, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Deac

    The ever revolving door at MSNBC. I use to enjoy watching MSNBC. Now only lefty loons watch that channel

    December 5, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. paul reynolds

    Martin makes a Great Point – Republicons Punish Nobody!!
    My Gosh, That Woman was Indicted, Charged with Abuse of Power, Quit Office, Works for FAKES Newz, and Continues to Spew LIES about our President and Government – WHY does NBC want to Cater to Palin.!???

    December 5, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. redrock

    Seriously???????? and Ms. Palin hasn't ever said anything that bordered on "you shouldn't have said that"? and I really don't think that Ms. Palin and America will EVER have a great day in the same sentence!!!!!

    December 5, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. parshman

    Awww. Poor poor MSNBC progressive gets canned. Wait...I'm over it.

    December 5, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. ImvotingforHillary

    Funny how none of the racist rightwingers resign after all the horrible things they have said about the President.

    December 5, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. Phil in KC

    " his vile, evil comments"? What about her vile, evil comments? This woman foments hatred behind her folksy facade.

    December 5, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. jimmy

    Lets not go insulting rocks because of sarah palin. Whats amazing is the level of stupidity a sarah palin brings to the table versus what martin bashir brings in vast intelligence and he's the one resigning. MSNBC IS GUTLESS ON THIS . A SHAME.

    December 5, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. rdg18

    They should shut down the whole MSNBC Network. They just spew the obama agenda.

    December 5, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. Harold II

    Strange, isn't it? Palin has no qualms to lash out at others, but is too thin skinned to take a hit herself! She has been mouthing off from the day she saw the first camera, and it is a great shame that MSNBC has given in to pressure from someone who should not be allowed to leave Alaska. Martin Bashir: thanks for speaking up. Hope you find a network with more guts soon.

    December 5, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. Candy

    This is for for Ron who said "embarrassment to the species!!!", well at least you have company.

    December 5, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. el_incr

    Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
    Matthew 12:34

    December 5, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. doc

    Freedom of Speech, the backbone of our Country. Sarah Palin has used it and abused it, as other Tea Party members have. Bashir has used it appropriately, and I respect him for it. I will follow him where ever he goes. MSNBC = FOX. God Bless you Bashir. You have many many fans here that support you, never forget that.

    December 5, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Mark Williams

    Sarah Palin is a headline maker and the media eats her up like candy including MSNBC! my guess is that NBC called this one when she canceled her appearance!

    December 5, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. Joan

    I will miss Martin. He was the best on MSNBC. I certainly will not be watching who replaced him. Will only follow Ed and Chis. I certainly will watch to where Martin goes.

    December 5, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Jackie

    That little witch palin gets to say anything say pleases and Martin expresses his opinion of her and he needs to go no she needs to stay in alaska and kick rocks.

    December 5, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. knklhead

    Sarah, you are now invincible! You got an MSNBC personality to quit! PLEASE run for President! You are amazing and brilliant. Everything that comes out of your mouth is the peak of intelligence! And yes, whatever the left wants to do CAN be compared EXACTLY to slavery! Liberals are stoopid compared to us conservative geniuses!

    December 5, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. ru serious

    Hypocritical lefty network...NOT okay to insult/denigrate Gay people but perfectly fine when it is a person with whom they disagree politically. They fire Baldwin for making awful hateful comments off-air but wait 3 weeks to "accept" the resignation of this clown who did his rant on-air. What a joke.

    December 5, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Dennis

    MSNBC has not backbone, FOX reports say way crazier things and they are not let go or made to resign.

    December 5, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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