December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
9 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. Rob

    What a welcome piece of news! Perhaps he can get a job on Fox now.

    December 4, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Abbey

    These 2 are nothing compared to the hillbillies like Schultz and O'Donnell. What a bunch of race baiting losers they are. Vile and hateful with anyone with an opinion that doesn't conform to the looney progressive lifestyle.

    December 4, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Nina

    "...and I change forth"?? What does that mean? Palin is as inarticulate as ever.

    As for Bashir, he has made more than one on-air mistake and has probably worn out his welcome, which prompted his resignation. Amazing to me that people like Bashir, Olbermann and Doris Kearns Goodwin make such disastrous and public mistakes, yet always have a job. Crazy!

    December 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. nvmature

    Yet at Faux News, they say whatever they want about whomever they want with no repercussions at all. Palin and her ilk can dish it out, but they don't like it when the venom is returned. Typical Republican hypocrisy.

    December 4, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. rafterman11

    "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."

    Conservatives like Palin can dish it out, but they can't take it.

    December 4, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. scarf

    Palin says outrageous things. Bashir says outrageous things in response. That Bashir apologized and has resigned for his statements and Palin has not speaks volumes about the relative morality of their respective sides.

    December 4, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. NorCalMojo

    I bet it was less about the attack on Palin and more about the creepy reference to toilet games.

    Who's mind would go there?

    December 4, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. SHane

    I think it's a bad move. Although his comments were vile and filthy, I believe he has the right to say them. I don't think that MSNBC would lose any viewership by keeping him. The very few viewers they have would probably agree with his remarks.

    December 4, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Rick

    There was only 3 people who heard the comments until the rest of the media picked it up. msnbc is a joke. their ratings have sunk over 50% this year alone. Considering their ratings at the beginning of the year it could not of been more than 3 viewers that saw the show. Good to see this idiot leave however.

    December 4, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    He should resign. He is a detestable propagandist, and NOT any kind of honest, decent, journalist!

    December 4, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. SHane

    People are saying that rightwingers are saying worse things. I don't believe any right wing news anchor or commentator has said that anyone should be deficated in the mouth.

    December 4, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. bassman

    Attacking Sarah Palin has its consequences. Letterman apologizes, Katie Couric out. Her attackers keep piling up. Her new book is NY Times best seller. She is a beloved, Conservative woman.

    December 4, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Ed

    Wow – the truth hurts....the sad fact is that she IS a world-class idiot, and his remarks involving excrement, although over the top, were meant to reinforce the stupidity of her remarks regarding just how well slave owners got along with their slaves... we haven't heard much apologizing from her or the right for her comments, have we?

    December 4, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Bribarian

    Bashir is a racist

    December 4, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Desi

    Good riddance! He never deserved it. I could never forget what he did with Michael Jackson who blindly trusted him.

    December 4, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Well, he shouldn't have said what he did. Neither should palin say some of the things she does. But,
    I will miss his show.

    December 4, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. O'drama ya Mama

    Rick McDaniel

    He should resign. He is a detestable propagandist, and NOT any kind of honest, decent, journalist!
    December 4, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    There really hasnt been one since the Fairness Doctrine was repealed. Guess who was President when that occurred...

    December 4, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. jinx9to88

    Well hell if Fox news followed then we would be in a better place. I cant believe half the crap that comes out of Hannity and O'reilly mouths..

    December 4, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Erick Holmes

    These people, Sara Palin in particular, have no idea what slavery is like, period. They don't know what those blacks went through.

    December 4, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Grego

    The problem with people like Bashir and MSNBC is that they just plain old hate people that don't have the same political views as them. Good riddance.

    December 4, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Whiskey Bumps

    Let's be honest, if Bashir had decent ratings he would still be around.

    December 4, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. bassman

    I am pleased knowing I am not on the side of those that are defending Mr. Bashir here. Those would be Democrats and Liberals.

    December 4, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Sammy Z

    His comment was in poor taste but still not that bad when you compare it to some of the things you regulary hear coming from FoxNews.

    December 4, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Asch13

    This Dunce and Idiot had his prepared remarks reviewed and approved by his editior and most likely others at MSNBC. If everyone at MSNBC that has made these type of remarks resigned there would be no one remaining; which is exactly what should happen to that organization. They are a disgrace to humanity.

    December 4, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. ljdbanatao

    And people still push the War on Women narrative onto the GOP.

    December 4, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33