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. Not All Lost

    It's too bad that MSNBC accepted Martin's resignation. But for every bad thing that happens a good comes out of it! No doubt another big network will be quick to pick up the very talented Mr. Bashir! ABC are you listening!

    December 5, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Hillary

    Yeah, no whipping, we should just club that Alaskan animal.

    December 5, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Nick

    I agree one billion percent with what Martin said.

    December 5, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. ritmocojo

    Thanx for telling it like it is Martin. The truth must've really hurt for 'Snow Snookie Sarah' to pull one of her tantrums and not show up for her NBC interview.

    December 5, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. clevercandi

    How ironic...since Ms. Palin is the QUEEN of "vile, evil comments"...

    December 5, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. ST

    Oh! Who is out there still thinking? This woman was brought by John McCain to spoil America. What has this woman done so far to help the nation? Should anyone take her so seriously or because so long she is a woman she can vomit anything she likes and left alone without being attacked. Yes Martin Bashir used the language which was not normal for most of us, BUT this crazy woman asked for it. If she didn't say something very touchy, Martin Bashir wouldn't had taken action to react. America, you are losing everything, if you allow this woman to spit out whatever she has in her mind and don't allow anyone to take her for her offensive remarks, then you are doomed to everything. This woman has nothing at all to offer to the nation. Her time came and went. Why is she even still there clicking nerves of everyone and those who are ticked off are not allowed to say anything about her. Kick out this woman and America will have a peace of mind everyone requires.

    December 5, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Guest

    can you imagine if Bashir had said that about Hillary? He'd be in jail.

    December 5, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Voiceinthewind

    Palin has had to much cocaine and should go into rehab then into self exile on some other planet.

    December 5, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Ctrygrl, I guess the truth offends you. Why don't you go back and listen to what he said. If anyone was being offensive it was SP.

    December 5, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. ed dugan

    He should have stayed. There is nothing too bad that you can say about that ignorant woman. She is an embarassment to the American public and is a poster girl for everything that is wrong with America.

    December 5, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. NorCalMojo

    Scatboy got fired? How surprising.

    December 5, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Malory Archer


    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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The hate monger that Bashir was was forced to resign for schooling posted a photo of Gabrielle Gifford in the crosshairs of a weapon. She ended up shot and left brain damaged and several attendees at her event were killed. And before you even start with that tired old lie that the shooter was a "librul" save it. That lie has been buried under the bodies of the shooter's victims.

    When someone on the right says something as vile as this, they get fired within a couple days.++++++++++++++

    In YOUR words: SHOW US.

    December 5, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. McLovin

    Another liberal with no surprise

    December 5, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. Malory Archer


    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.


    Yeah, except slimeball and cons say much worse EVERY DAY – about private citizens no less – yet they're still raking in their gazillions!

    December 5, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. MariaErics

    Hilarious how all the right-winger's bash liberals for the "hateful and spiteful" comments, or as in Palin's own word about Bashir "...evil, vile". So typical of the hypocrisy they are so well known for. Their favorite channel is highest in the ratings because it has a sensationalist slant and purposely plays to the right-wing demagoguery by doing the same thing....

    December 5, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Jackie Whitt

    Its Okay for Palin to call the President everything, she has no brains, the only think she is doing is making money. The person behind all her cute sayings is the one who has the brains. Her books, are nothing but more moeny from Idiots who thinks she has smarts. Why, look at her running for the Vice President, she didn't even know Africa was a continent. She couldn't even answer questions from the Media, so they all became evil to her. I see Russia from my window, I will send up the air force if I need to. She didn't even realize she has no say in what the air force does.The Paul Revere statement showed another dumb statement. Her and Michele Bachman need to go back to school and learn more on history and real facts.

    December 5, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. mark

    If every anchor and fauxnewsperson at Fox resigned for the regular lies and garbage they spew out, there would be an empty anchor desk and a blue screen for Fox (not)News.

    December 5, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Runninboi

    Really people? I cannot believe what I am hearing. Sarah Palin and conservatives are at fault? Shame on you all. Martin pretty much said that she should be urinated and defecated on in the bondage of slavery. You all defend him despite his disgusting and vial comments. Letting your political bias cloud civility and respect for your rivals. Shame on you.

    December 5, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Geoff

    Jeez people! Nobody should tolerate that type of language. His blatant and public disrespect for women in inexcusable.
    FNC or any other radio host are completely irrelevant to this imbecile being canned. Good riddance!

    December 5, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. my10cents

    Too bad Bashir is getting the shaft because his comment wasn't really all that bad considering it was only a suggested outcome for Palin's really ignorant remark about slavery. Never-the-less, why feed Palin excrement when she already has it for brains?

    December 5, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. cf

    Please. They say this kind of thing and much worse about Obama and Democrats every night on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, and there is never any consequence for it.

    Wasn't it Palin herself who put rifle crosshairs on a picture of Gabby Giffords and said should be "targeted" and "don't retreat, reload"? ...And then when somebody did just that, Palin was completely unapologetic.

    December 5, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. allenwoll

    Truth hurts !

    December 5, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. aubrie

    Don't regret what you said... sometimes the truth hurts....Most people can't handle the truth, as it demolishes their illusions.

    December 5, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. Polopoint

    Well, that should shut him up. For now. For a while, anyway.

    December 5, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Analystgirl

    It was an editorial...he should be able to say whatever he wants. I found it hilarious. Sad to see him go .. especially over a joke like Palin.

    December 5, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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