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. MikeB

    No, free speech isn't always protected. But, MSNBC is suggesting that a reporter can't (truthfully) express his thoughts.
    I've viewed Palin a just a big mouth for a long time.

    December 5, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Pike

    Clown should've been fired on the spot regardless of political affiliation. The only reason he was pressured to resign is the angry letters received by sponsors. Ridiculous.

    December 5, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. scapegoat345

    Bashir is a very evil man. Defecating and urinating on a person is vile. It is not right for him to Ok that on anyone.

    December 5, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. wackadooo

    The only reason he said it was because he thought the race card would keep him out of hot water.

    December 5, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Marcella

    Another shifty, angry little man goes down... Farewell to bad garbage. But at the same time it's not likely that they'll fill his chair with a reasonable or rational person....:-D

    December 5, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Lisa

    Bashir stated Palin deserved the slave punishment of having someone defecate into her mouth for something she said. With him saying it and ANYONE on the Left agreeing with him puts ALL of them at a serious moral disadvantage. This type of treatment of anyone is unacceptable. The Left is saying it is acceptable if the Left states it is deserved. Are they any better than the slave owners? I think not.

    December 5, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. ernie

    Bashir is a slime bucket, hopefully he doesn't get a gig any where else

    December 5, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Andrew

    This is a good thing. It's really impressive when you take civility and rhetoric to a lower place than Mrs. Palin, and this guy absolutely did. Was he factually correct? Maybe. Was he right. Dear god no. And this is simply CNN and others being intellectually honest enough... even if a bit late... to admit that he brought this on himself and absolutely deserved to be pink-slipped.

    December 5, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Tiffins

    Not a fan of Limbaugh but the difference between the 2 is:

    Limbaugh = 30 million listeners
    Bashir = 30 listeners

    December 5, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. elvis costanza

    He went way too far and the worst part is that it gives her the desired martyr status she loves to crow about, how 'conservative women' are such a downtrodden group.

    December 5, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. ProgressiveinMN

    So when does Limbaugh get fired for implying the Pope is a Marxist?.... isn't that horribly offensive to a LARGE number of people? Even as an non-religious man I find more redeeming qualities in this new Pope than I do Sarah Palin.

    December 5, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    A corporation has no obligation to observes an individuals right to free speech. that is a right granted and observed by the constitution, not by a company. Sarah Palin is a tool, and this Bashir guy made remarks he should have saved for a more private environment.

    December 5, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. scott mcormick

    first it was k olberman, an intelligent enthusiastic commentator;gone. now m bashir. thank god for rachel maddow or msnbc would not have much of a pulse. it is obvious there exists a double stamdard with regards to fox vs msnbc: the latter takes the high ground, but since news is compromsed anyway thanks to rightwing stronghold: can't we progressives keep our more colorful pundits like they do? at least! a working class hero

    December 5, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. 2L

    I think this was proper, even though I'm not a Palin fan. He was wrong to interject his own opinion as a journalist, let alone say something so so vile on national TV, and should pay for his blunder. IMO, he should be blacklisted from any TV gigs for several years. Let him scartch out a meager living like the rest of us to think about what he did.

    December 5, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. AugustWest

    Bashir was right to resign over his stupid comments. Everyone knows fecal matter comes out of Palin's mouth, not into it!

    December 5, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Citizen

    Hey Lisa, You know what is better than those slave owners? ANYONE who never owned slaves. Now go teach everyone what is acceptable and learn the difference between saying something and actually doing it.

    December 5, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Dave Long

    Bashir is a total waste of human protoplasm.

    December 5, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Terell

    The fact that this gutless midget wouldn't dare say his trash face to face with his targets is telling. He should have been fired the night he uttered those infamous words. So much for "journalistic integrity" from that network.

    December 5, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Mel

    His job is to report the truth. He did his job.

    December 5, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Rhino1

    Well the truth hurts and we don't want anyone getting hurt here now do we!

    December 5, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    JesterX Martin Bashir and Bill Maher are good examples of what people would call "mean liberals". Which is something like a "nice conservative". They exist but there aren't very many of them.
    the comments on the CNN boards would suggest you are incorrect about there being few "mean liberals."

    December 5, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. c-lo

    JesterX Martin Bashir and Bill Maher are good examples of what people would call "mean liberals". Which is something like a "nice conservative". They exist but there aren't very many of them.
    the posts on the CNN boards would suggest your assessment of the number of "mean liberals" may be skewed.

    December 5, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. RC

    He should not have not made the comment; since he did he should have been fired on the spot.

    Hey what ever happened to the Benghazi story?

    December 5, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. tstorm92

    So Bashir got fired from telling the truth??

    December 5, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. c-lo

    Katarina Radovic Martin bashir is THE best of the best, intelligent introspective, right on the dot. Especially about Palin. 90 percent of civilized world would agree with him.
    Nice to know a lib believes sh-ng in someone's mouth is part of a civilized world. You and your ilk should "resign" from the human race. Or maybe head on over to China.

    December 5, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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