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. Trey

    He shouldn't go or apologize. That tyrant Palin is ruthless, all the names and lies that she has called President Obama and the Pope. Shame on her. She is crap now fire me.

    December 5, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. norgeoh

    What an unfortunate shame to lose a great reporter for merely speaking what we all felt.

    December 5, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. CapeCod

    Can someone tell me what conservative commentator said something this bad about a liberal or progressive?

    December 5, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. Brad

    Oh my, that's going to cost MSNBC twelve whole viewers.

    December 5, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. I AM

    Who even pays any attention to Palin anyway....she is and has always been a 'has been'.

    December 5, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. ozob

    What did Bashir say exactly? It is not specified in the article. Palin is constantly attacking others personally in a smug superior manner, often suggesting that those opposed to her views deserve punishment, violence, or some other penalty. She certainly hasn't apologized.

    December 5, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. CapeCod

    Steve in MN

    Can you tell us what a Fox anchor said and who was it?

    December 5, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Joe

    He's fired for the quality of being true.

    December 5, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Brianb2251

    How about everyone stop blaming each other for everything,stop trying to force people to see your way or the highway, and stop the hatred spewing from both sides like a 3rd grader and instead do what our founding fathers put forth as a idea? Work together through our differences and come to a common ground that suits all involved? Instead of the left and right having to have it their way why aren't we having logical debates as people and I mean the citizens of the United States.

    December 5, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Duke

    Having to resign for this is not really a suprise. How he said it was the problem. The fact that it was essentially true has unfortunately , nothing to do with it.

    My problem is that Godzilla from Wasilla now gets a "moral" victory, and is still a repugnant being, Notice I did not say "human" That insults humans

    December 5, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. agentxyz

    They should have given him a slap on the wrist and sad, "don't do it again."

    December 5, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. smorkingapple

    So Bashir bashed the most worthless politician to ever grace the airwaves and he has to resign for it after she made her own despicable statement.

    Yet Mark Halperin can call the President a genital part on live TV and only gets a month off.

    Got it.....

    This is why conservatives are still alive as a movement. They give no quarter when this happens to them while we give 75 cents freely.

    December 5, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. bob baden

    Palin is an embarrassment. Palin and simple. Sorry, plain and simple.

    December 5, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Dan

    They've actually done a great job in painting themselves into a corner with this stuff. Given the left's (and MSNBCs) cruxifiction of people like Paula Dean when they've made ANY kind of offense comment (regardless of context), in order to keep the moral high ground they have to police their people in the same manner. To give them credit, they are at least showing consitency. However, you cant help but feel like its 'cutting off your hand to cure a hangnail' type mentality. Eventually, they are going to run out of people who never-ever say a bad word to host their shows.... that, or just wait long enough until people forget about their hosts'/guests' past crimes and ignorance (Rev Al, Ted Kennedy, etc).

    December 5, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. TheObserver

    As much as I dislike Palin, wait..... dislike isn't the right word. When it comes to things political or intellectual she's about as credible as a house cat. An elementary school teacher wouldn't get upset if a child said something offensive out of ignorance or naivety, and I think that's how we should think of Sarah Palin and her comments. Even when she's lucky enough to roll out a quote with correct grammar, it's still not that important that any of us listen.

    That being said, I agree with Palin's original sentiments to a degree. Hell has officially frozen over I agree with Palin! Anyway, she's right about modern day slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery, on paper. Then, once the legislation "got in the way" Americans started to export their slaves instead of importing them.

    1600's – 1865: US gets their slaves from west africa, abuses them, pays them nothing, owns them as property.

    Current: US companies (Nike, Reebok, Walmart, Apple, etc) force impoverished people in southeast Asia to work for next-to-nothing so they can stay away from the eyes of American media. Hence, manual labor jobs are shipped to Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, VIetnam, etc. Nobody is payed a livable wage, and those who won't work such a job have no money and die of starvation, disease, etc, rendering them completely dependent, kind of like a ...... wait for it..... slave!

    But, Americans can shop at the mall and buy clothes super cheap. The companies themselves are given tax breaks and are able to avoid paying American taxes, essentially laundering money through shell companies in Ireland, the caribbean, wherever the tax rates are lowest.

    In 1950, more than 60% of the Federal budget was from corporate taxes. Today, LESS than ONE-TENTH.

    Oh btw, I just saw another news story yesterday that revealed that there were indeed some Americans who have been bouncing back from our recession quite nicely. Before I write who, does anyone want to guess? Seriously just take a guess, a shot in the dark. The ONLY sub-group of income earners who've seen growth and rebound during the recession are........ the Top of the 1%!!!!!!!

    And before I go, once again I'd like to congratulate those in the 1% for keeping what's left of the middle-class angry at poor people. Most of us STILL think they are the problem. So, well done there!

    And remember, whether you Repub or Demo, were just arguing about which group will take our money, because it's all going to the same place.

    Yay America.

    December 5, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. JKH

    Come on, Bashir made an observation about another one of Palin's uneducated, spite filled remarks. Frankly, compared to Palin's long history of very trashy comments it's Palin who should resign... from public life.

    December 5, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Guest

    Bashir has always been a VERY mean man.

    December 5, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Smarter than ewe

    He should've gotten a promotion.

    December 5, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. CJ

    This entire conversation is a joke. Bashir, Limbaugh, Maddow, Beck, MSNBC, FOX News...they are ALL entertainers. Just wind them up, put them in itchy underwear to get them in a bad mood, hand them a set of talking points and off they go. None of them are any better than the ones on the other side, they just dispense different flavors from their PEZ dispensers. The unbiased news boat left the dock a long time ago. There are no true journalists anymore, they are side show freaks created by the networks. Back in the 60's and 70's with Vietnam, the moon landings, civil rights, Kennedy and much more, it all was covered very nicely in 30 minutes once a night. 24/7? You need a lot of freaks to keep that interesting. If you think your "side" is any better than the other, you are a fool.

    December 5, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Asalon

    He's clearly wrong. After all, so much feces come out of Palin's mouth that I doubt she would be bothered by it coming in.

    December 5, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Another Martin

    Look at his name people... Martin Bashir. It's his JOB to bash others. He was doing a damn good job too until that Palin got her knickers in a twist.

    December 5, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. david saint

    lol that hypocrite palin calls everyone vile, evil names constantly..then acts all righteous and indignatious anytime someone criticizes her..its rather comical

    December 5, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. mltjpl

    For all of you that defend Bashir, you are part of the problem, I have never heard of any Republican or Conservative news anchor suggest that someone should poop and pee in a Democrats mouth. Palin owns all of are obsessed with her, all these negative comments directed towards her stem from the fact that your jealous of her. She has brains, carisma, looks and class.....I don't really believe there are any woman on the Democrats side of the isle that possess those traits.

    December 5, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Goblin King

    Good riddance to this hate filled air bag. I doubt MSNBCs three viewers will notice any difference though.

    December 5, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. svscnn

    Sarah Palin is offended? Sarah Palin? The single most offensive woman I can think of, is offended?

    Talk about theatre of the absurd.

    December 5, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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