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. s~

    Oh well, another progressive off the air. Ho-Hum.
    No body watched his show anyway.

    December 5, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Rick

    Well, he *is* named: Martin Bash Her

    December 5, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. keeth

    Lots of us on the left support his resignation. It was a disgusting comment. I don't care to watch him on any TV show ever again. Now, if only Sarah Palin would remove herself from public discourse for the wholly disgusting, outrageous, racist, and flat-out lies she's said over the years.

    December 5, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. davidnp88

    That Palin is an absolute fool, there is little doubt. Nevertheless Bashir did go over the line; his resignation was a responsible move. Now if the GOPers and Tea Poopers held themselves and their media darlings to the same standard, civility may be regained.

    December 5, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Greenspam

    Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh is still on air, calling the Pope a Marxist.

    December 5, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Michael Henderson

    How thin skinned this country is. Seriously, who cares what who says. Most media is about creating drama in their stories anyway. Does anyone not think that FOX News wants MSNBC around? They are the protagonist to antagonist in any good novel. You NEED the other. Getting rid of Bashir was probably a ratings mistake, potentially for both sides.

    December 5, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. m123

    All of Bashir's viewing audience was stunned when he resigned
    Both of them said they never saw this coming

    December 5, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Michael Henderson

    What a thin skinned country we live in. All over words? Please. The left and right media are protagonist / antagonist of any good novel. They need each other to keep the drama story going.

    December 5, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. spoiler41

    Glad he is gone. Tired of hearing his hate

    December 5, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. CSD

    Can't that vapid broad just go back to watching Russia from her office? The real insult is having to be subjected by such incredible stupidity again and again. Tell this bimboed dimwit her 15 minutes ended 14 minutes ago.

    December 5, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. lord Yabu

    Bashir = disgusting loser. Maher, Schultz and Sharpton are next. They don't discuss issues...they assault the person.

    December 5, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. lord Yabu

    Rush Limbaugh owns his own show. He is not a network. He can say whatever he wants. Bashir worked for a news network. FIRED.

    December 5, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. ts

    Now we just need to get rid of Sean Hannity on Fox News

    December 5, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Jeebusss

    It is hard not to state simple facts about Palin without insulting her.

    December 5, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Dionysus86

    There are probably plenty of people who agree with him. We just wouldn't have said it on live television.

    December 5, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Sheila

    Are there ANY nice people on MSNBC? They all rant and rave like idiots!

    December 5, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Be Sane

    Hate serves no purpose on either side. Now if Rush, Hannity and the like would go away this country would be a better place.

    December 5, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Moses

    Bashir should not have resigned. Anyone actually watched a video of the broadcast would realize that his remarks were quite mild and not at all what the right claims he said.

    December 5, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Sherri5061

    Good. His foul mouth shouldn't be on the air at all.

    December 5, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. cfd

    Too bad MSNBC doesn't resign

    December 5, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. Winter is Coming

    For once I actually somewhat agree with Palin. The end result of this financial system we live by is "slavery to a foreign master" We are already indentured servants to the Federal Reserve, who by the way has not been independently audited EVER... Bashir's comments were ignorant, but the news has become more of an entertainment business than actual respectable news broadcast, so I think he should keep his job

    December 5, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. vicnormal

    How completely tame this comment was compared to high wing demagogues and pundits. What goes around will come around one day.........

    December 5, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. GSW

    @keeth: Please provide an example of one of her "wholly disgusting, outrageous, racist, and flat-out lies she's said over the years.". Please. I'll wait.

    December 5, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Patricia

    Palin is irrelevant – she has no chance or ever gaining political office again. Why does anyone even book her on a show. He a good commentator. Give a few months buddy and you'll find a place on some other cable station.

    December 5, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Earthling

    Nothing anyone says can make Palin either relevant or intelligent.

    December 5, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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