December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
5 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. Ned

    Palin deserves worse than graphic punishment...and no I will not resign, quit, retire etc. my job. Palin is a piece of trash.

    Just to keep anyone who disagrees with me (they have that right) from saying I don't work...FWTW I have a vey good job in a Fortune 500 company. No, I cannot prove it but neither can you disprove it.

    December 4, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Michael

    Why should he resign? I thoiught it fit her very well, she is an idiot and the whole world knows it except for her and faux noise.

    December 4, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Chicago835

    Hey wide...

    December 4, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. 1fastrack

    I just don't get it...Palin passes off fabrication as fact and lies as gospel. Bashir reacts and loses his job. Guess that's the difference between integrity and total lack of same.

    December 4, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. 2L

    In other words – he was asked to leave...

    December 4, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Ian

    ===>Palin is nothing more than 'S' lutty hore to a bunch of TP buffoons...

    December 4, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. mike

    This guy made his biggest mistake years ago when he got famous while doing the Michael Jackson interview. He cunningly led, then pieced together select parts of those conversations, to end up with his so called expose on MJ.

    Now I don't necessarily love MJ, but I am a journalism major. To piece conversations out of context together to fabricate a premeditated story to propel himself to greater fame, is slimy at best, and irresponsible journalism at its finest. I was always surprised that the greater whole of the journalism world did not pick up or point that out on some level, except maybe they protect their own, and lets face it, trashing MJ was the thing to do back in the day. So everyone applauded and the back patting has never ended.

    This Martin Brashir guy has had it too good for too long, while paving the streets with the bodies of his victims through ill gotten statements. Making plenty of his own in the process.

    Good riddance I say. Now go work at Walmart where you might do some good.

    December 4, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. 1fastrack

    SHane: no one has to deficated in Palin's mouth. She has her own supply already there, and flows out whenever she opens it to speak.

    December 4, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. ouisee

    This is getting ridiculous. The station is losing a great host. Palin is dropping bombs and she should be the one who gets dropped. I am saddened by Mr. Bashir leaving. I will watch something else, but it will not be on FOX.

    December 4, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Guest

    To Nina: It's..."and I charge forth." CHARGE. As in to move forward.

    December 4, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Gloria

    I like Martin Bashir. I was a regular viewer of his program, and I am going to miss him. However, I cannot condone his insensitive remarks about Sarah Palin. So I do think he had no choice but to resign. However, Sarah Palin continues to make very insensitive remarks about a lot of people, and especially our president, and somehow she gets away with them. And she has never offered any apologies. She is one nasty lady!

    December 4, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. common sense blogger

    @ Nina...

    "...charge forth." Read a little closer next time. As for the rest of your comment, I agree wholeheartedly.

    @scarf, rafterman and nvmature...

    I challenge you to find any comments on par with what the children at MSNBC spew nightly...There is a very good reason their viewership is nil compared to FOX News, a total lack of simple civility behind their opposite viewpoints. Much the same venom can be found in these comment sections wherein liberals are always the first, and worst, to sling name-calling toward anyone that does not agree with them. From 'racist,' to 'bigot' to outright schoolyard vulgarity. Ironic the self-dubbed party of tolerance is nothing but.

    December 4, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Bob

    No one should ever apologize to a right winger. They are far too crude and insulting to deserve to play the victim, and Palin has been one of the worst liars and loud mouths around.

    He was absolutely correct in what he said.

    December 4, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. John C

    Standard liberal media elite hypocrisy. I'm sure he'll go on to tell many others how to live their life.

    December 4, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. popseal

    I really like it when a dirt bag steps on his own tongue and has to ay for it. Most of these leftist creeps vomit on themselves all the time and their bosses look the other way. I suppose that's the way the game is played when you're on Obama's propaganda crew.

    December 4, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Burbank

    Wow! Unbelieveable! Palin is the Queen of vile, nasty comments and out and out lies, yet nothing ever happens to her. I still hope the Karma train stops at her doorstep soon. She is so out for herself and soooo narcissistic, I would bet my last paycheck that if MSNBC offered her even just a little more money than FOX, she would swtich sides in a millisecond and start spewing the same vitriol towards the Republicans! She has no conscience.

    December 4, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Mark in Seattle

    If anyone knows vile, it's sarah palin. She lives it every day.

    December 4, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. chet

    He should have been Fired~! Good riddens!

    December 4, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. roger

    I have no sympathy for this jerk. He deserved what he got only he should have gotten it much sooner.

    December 4, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Not a Palin

    Palin is a world class IDIOT. There you go, i said it. Now what?

    December 4, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. ja

    the crime was making her vp nominee for the gop, car show queen

    December 4, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Randy

    He should not have resigned. Right-wingers say horrible things all the time and they never lose their jobs over it. We need more people to call out the repub nuts.

    December 4, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. RightisWrong

    Bashir comments only make sense, to those who truly understand what slavery really meant. In America one (Palin) can say something historically inaccurate (and grotesque) and get a free pass, while another (Bashir) says something historically and pertinent and get this type of reaction... Only in America.

    December 4, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. NanookoftheNorth

    Good. Wish more haters who are 'reporters' would quit. Maybe Bashir can go dig up Michael Jackson's bones and interview them :-/

    December 4, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. Anon

    Yet Rush Limbaugh can tell women they deserve Rape, Sarah Palin can tell Fox News morons to "put them in their crosshairs" right before a right-wing nutjob shoots a Democratic senator, etc... They can disparage people all day long on Fox News and the Right wing media and no one bats an eye. But the liberal do-gooders censor themselves putting them all at a disadvantage. I personally think Sarah Palin would do the country a favor if she died. Who gives a crap if this guy said that????

    December 4, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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