December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
4 months 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. Gino

    Palin deserves everything she gets in the media. What do you expect when you pretend to have a normal IQ, but in reality you are as dumb as a post???

    Tea party members think being intelligent and educated is not in the best interests of this country. Just look the idiots on Fox and Friends...I am surprised they can find their own front door in the morning.

    December 5, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. DaveinIL

    MSNBC viewers are "are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences"?
    Not only is he foul mouthed, he's also delusional.

    December 5, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Nagu Hu Phart

    Ms. Palin is an irrelevant news maker. So blundering in her own public commentary, that it provides a level of entertainment on par with professional wrestling. We ALL know its an astonishingly huge fraud, but many watch for the fun of it.

    Bashir wasn't hired to be an opinion editor, but a reporter. Still – he was right.

    December 5, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. NickAnast

    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."

    ************************************************

    You mean like Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke? Or the Pope? How about Fox commentator Liz Trotta saying last year that women in the military should expect to be raped? She's still on the air. Nice try.

    December 5, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Peach

    This guy is a horrible human being-–BUH BYE NOW jack-wagon

    December 5, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Hillary

    Palin? Just throw water on her.

    December 5, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. George Washington

    Republiker:
    you said,"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."
    But some people *(not as many as broadcast television) watch FoxNews and have a dirty foreigner (Murdoch) bash the US system of government 24/7.

    December 5, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Puddin

    I always looked forward to Martin Bashir's hour on MSNBC, so I will surely miss him. I'll take him over Hannity any day. That is exactly where Palin belongs with her sarcasism and downright lies and exagerations...on Fox.. Actually, I didn't hear what Bashir said about Palin, but I don't doubt that she deserved it. Palin has one of the most evil brains (I use the word "brain" loosely) there is. Alex Baldwin knocked the wind out of my sails with his whining....."how come I was fired and Martin wasn't." What a real friend! Poor baby. I hope Martin Bashir ends up with a better job, and those who like him can watch him again in the future.

    December 5, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. horseman

    thanks to msmbc fox has a lot more viewers. bashir should have been fired that night. I am not a palin fan but the remarks were uncalled for. at least fox news reports the truth and calls out what is really happening in the white house, msmbc should call out the lies and all scandals of this administration. this president has lied more than the last one that actually did get impeached.

    December 5, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Torn

    And the graphic punishment should be removing her vocal cords and wiring her jaw shut. Nothing good has ever come from the mouth of Sarah Palin.

    December 5, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. GREG

    Funny how when conservatives make vile comments it's looked at as a badge of honor by their networks and there is never any push from those networks to remove them or discipline them.

    December 5, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Melissa

    Well at least someone had the guts to say something about that twi t. She's dum b as a brick.

    December 5, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. GREG

    All the hateful and dvisive things that Palin has said when catering to her base has never caused her a supension and or termination.

    December 5, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. harleydavidson

    If you find yourself saying (all) Republicans or Democrats, (all) Conservatives or Liberals are bad, you are just as hateful as this Bashir. You are "absolutely" a party liner and hate everything about the other party or group of people. You have ZERO credibility. If someone like Bashir behave inappropriately, Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, we should all rebuke the person. We should not defend people just because they are in our political group. We should also discuss issues, not party ideology. We are not going to improve our county if we continue this party bickering. Let's talk issues.

    December 5, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Name celia

    Shame Martin has to resign over Sara Palin coments. But do you know anybody more idiot and stupid than she is?

    December 5, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Harry

    Palin is a loser and not to regret to comment about her ,she is deserve all evil comments and nothing more left to say about her -she is a crap of GOP any way.

    December 5, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. MICK

    Whats MSNBC?

    December 5, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. DR Zumba

    Why is no one going after Palin for the remarks that she made.

    December 5, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. much thunder..little rain

    deport the jerk

    December 5, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Jayne

    I am so disappointed. I love listening to Martin on my way home from work eavery day. His insight and compassion coupled with wit are unparalleled (with the exception of Rachael Maddow). I do hope you bring him back after an appropriate waiting period. When the Right makes cruel and prejudicial statements, they don't back down. They brag about it and their following back them. The Left wants to always be politically correct and scourges their own when a strong and controversial comment is made. Compare Martin's one passionate but unflattering comment to the number of Palin's cruel and ignorant statements. I mean PLEASE, no comparison. I am glad for HUMAN host with feelings and an apology should be appropriate for any Christian. Don't you know that THOSE ON THE RIGHT ARE OPPORTUNIST FEEDERS, LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO SILENCE THE OPPOSITION WHO THREATENS THEIR CAUSE. WHY DOES THE LEFT ALWAYS LET THEM?

    December 5, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. vinster76

    couldn't have happened to a more deserving cretin – good riddance, goosegg

    December 5, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. NotYoDaddy

    Cry Baby Baldwin takes down another one.

    December 5, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. vinster76

    what makes me ticked is the fact that she said nothing wrong, nothing at all. She likened the financial bills this administration is attaching to our children's future as slavery – nothing more! And here is the kicker! She is dead on!!! Yet this incompetent slams her viciously........and, just like Keith Olbermann, I wont miss seeing your face.....

    December 5, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Lord Toronaga

    Bye bye loser. Get a new job selling shish-ka-bob. You will fit right in with the rest of the bottom 48%.

    December 5, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Karen Ann

    really...he resigned over that comment...well then, can we expect all the politicians who lie and make outrageous and ignorant comments to resign...beginning with Palin herself? I would say that the things they say actually impact the citizens of the USA...but they seem to get away with anything, yet a tv host resigns over a trivial comment like that? parr for the course, I guess

    December 5, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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