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. Thomas

    It took long enough for them to decide he wouldn't be anchoring anymore. At most other networks, the guy would have been fired right away. For once, they decided they couldn't get away with taking the low road yet again.

    December 5, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Marc Florida

    Another victim of polical correctness.

    December 5, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. palintwit

    Poor little Sar-Sar. She can dish it out but she can't take it.

    December 5, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. MMeans

    It's Sarah Palin, trailer park trash. It's no different than saying something about a Kardashian. Who cares, I didn't even know Palin still mattered.

    December 5, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Matthew

    The left always does a good job of hiding their "tolerance."

    December 5, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. MMeans

    What's the difference in saying something negative about Sarah Palin and saying something negative about a slug? Nothing. Who cares.

    December 5, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. LastOne Standing

    Martin Bashir was just putting the trash where is belonged. Conservatives DO NOT like the mud to be slung back at them.

    December 5, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Ol' Yeller


    "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."

    Yes, holding people accountable must be a strange and foreign concept to people on the right. As for the rest of yuou almost nonsensical post, well, I'll let the readers try to make heads or tails of that drivel, I don't have my RWNJ decoder ring on me today.

    December 5, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. onepercenter

    actually, Palin was never indicted, only suspected.

    December 5, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. Woman In California

    I like Martin Bashir and I hate to see him leave but I am also upset that he (can just leave) and that he either already has another position, or will get hired immediately when there are so many out there who just want a job. I can't pity or get upset over this.

    This is yet another example of a weak democrat. Where was his support?

    December 5, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Jim

    Good bye to bad garbage.

    December 5, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. just saying

    looks like sarah palin gets the last laugh!! i love it!!! godd riddance to this left wing hate speech monger. msnbc is already smelling better.

    December 5, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |

    he told the truth...

    December 5, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Ol' Yeller

    "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 "

    Comparing Apples to oranges though... FAUX is a RWNJ channel which is 100% conservative and actually makes it's viewers dumber and less informed when they watch it (proven fact).
    MSNBC, though it does cater to the left in's evening talk shows, it has 'actual news' during the day and a 3 hour show in the a.m. with a conservative host. It has balance... the ex- Leader of the RNC , the guy who ran the McCain campaign, Kathleen Parker etc... (all conservatives).
    And when they had Olbermann... they rocked.
    Oh yeah... there is that whole accountabilty thing to.
    They have that, and FAUX only reports on it when it happens in other places....

    December 5, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Been There Done That

    I'm old enough to remember when the people who reported the new's, did not also become the new's.
    Were they more professional?
    Did they hold deeper value's?
    Or did the kind of new's, being reported, adhere to strict guidelines of ethical and moral observance?
    How about this?
    When did the new's outlet's get sold to the highest bidders?

    December 5, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. mole man

    Palin could not even finish a term as governor her aspiration for Higher power has blinded her and no one more than her deserves the comment made. She is a piece of work

    December 5, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Paul Reynolds, Rob Ford is a Conservative, not Republicon. Though most will concede that they are are very, very similar, he is still a member of the party that leads Canada. That party used to be called "The Conservative Party of Canada" but after it merged with The Reform Party, Canada's own Tea Party, they dropped the word Progressive and re-joined the dark ages. For many Canadians, we insist on getting it right when it comes to that group of nuts.

    December 5, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. jr

    That is appropriate (or firing him). That degree of nastiness should not be tolerated by anyone on any station. We have to expect more from our journalists and leaders who can influence people.

    December 5, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Bob Penn

    Many more nasty foul mouth liberal journalists need to be fired.

    December 5, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Rob Public Again

    So this means Rush should quit for calling the Pope a Marxist. I think Bashir went easy on Palin – it just proves that GOP can dish it out, but can't take it. What a bunch of cry babies. Palin should just keep her yap shut – then her feelings won't get hurt. But she can't, so she should expect a dressing down when she says something stupid.
    Dear Sara Palin – you are irrelevant – please fade away into obscurity forever. Thank you. I know you can – just think of it as applying your second half term as governor to your personal life.

    December 5, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. good, bigotry and racism goes both ways

    It is about time Liberals ( I am one of them) get punish for being irresponsible in their comments about other people.
    Good for MSNBC for having zero tolerance about stupic people's hateful comments. Bashir and Alec Baldwin are two idiots who deserved to go away.

    December 5, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC


    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?
    No. It's because the one conservative channel only appeals to a very narrow segment of the population. Normal people do not like to be bombarded with negativity 24/7 day in and day out. Your "lib news channels" offer alternative programming. Your conservative channel offers nothing but biased op-eds that cleverly disguised as actual news reporting.

    December 5, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Tiffins

    Another lib turd circles the drain. Love it...

    December 5, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. just asking

    why does the far left think they can get away with saying the most hatefull things? this guy read a script during a show. how many others saw it and thought it was just fine? people like this need to be taught a lesson about civility.

    December 5, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Mark P

    Mr. Bashir pointlessly threw away his job by wasting harsh words on one of the least useful human beings in America. One really has to question his judgement.

    December 5, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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