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. cashman534

    Sick of it, get over yourself. People say things about people all the time. GET OVER IT.

    December 4, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. LBSever

    All I can say's about time. He should have resigned the day he said those comments. It doesn't matter who he said them about, they were vile comments and this kind of stuff doesn't belong on air.

    December 4, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Kenman

    Good riddance!

    December 4, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. buh-bye

    Liberals are vile , evil, and disgusting pigs as evidenced by their hero Bashir.

    December 4, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Don in albuquerque

    @Rick Mcdaniels-Bwahahahaha! Now that's the ole pot calling the kettle.

    December 4, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Elliott Carlin

    Bashir turned out to be Ed Schultz w/a touch of the English accent. MSNBC types, to include Larry O'Donnel just seem to be hateful and angry all of the time.

    December 4, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Jim

    No, your viewers are NOT the smartest, most compassionate and discerning. No, no. Far from it. And you are a disgusting man, not just for the Palin remarks (I'm not a fan of Palin in ANY way, either) but for so much more. Goodbye, get lost.

    December 4, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. TBone

    bassman, Get a clue! Palin is a self serving,ex-cheerleader bimbo.Didn't comprehend middle school geography nor much about American History. Bailed out on completing her Governor term in order to grab the $$$. People like her are to a great extent what's wrong with America. She's beloved in the way Honey Boo-Boo is beloved. An ill educated train wreck.

    December 4, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Donna

    Good riddance to bad trash. MSNBC needs to clean house of all these biased, far left lunatics that masquerade as journalists. They know no bounds when it comes to attacking people. It is one thing to lean left in your coverage but they have tilted so obviously far left it is damaging the NBC brand.

    December 4, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Monomachos

    Good riddance! The guy is a total idiot. He should have been fired and by keeping him on this long MSNBC proves itself to be the worst of the networks when it comes to political bias. I am no fan of Sarah Palin, but I am a fan of propriety and civil discourse and his statement was way over the line.

    December 4, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. bassman

    Michael Carrillo
    So now you have to step down for telling it like it is… how sad for our country.
    Apparently Michael Carillo is unaware violent statements toward women is not tolerated anymore.

    December 4, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Becca Helen

    Good. Now, perhaps these TV journalist will treat her like the DISEASE she is. She quit her gov job, and was a disaster and danger to our country at its most vulnerable time in history..i.e. The BUSH post 9/11 era.. We have the Republican Party, in its infinite screwball decision-making to thank for that. What exactly is her purpose, except to create controversy, and garner attention for the defunct Republican party? DON'T ENGAGE with this blathering attention wh*re, and you'll be far better off. Tough lesson for Bashir, but STRONG MESSAGE for the rest of the TV "news" folks. Leave her to Fox, they speak her language. Treat her like the toxic load of shi* she is, and AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE. She's sucked enough $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ out of this phony persona she uses. She is no more an informed political figure than Daffy Duck.

    December 4, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. We Are Censoring The Media

    Well that trashy Palin must be our queen. Too bad liberals or the true media no longer have free speech. This country has become too politically correct unless you are a tea bagger trying to overthrow the country then you are allowed to say anything.

    December 4, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. LR

    I'm doing the happy dance!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. MontanaTrace

    Bashir's on air comments were way over the line for a professional, public figure, expressing his opinions. His lack of judgement is exposed. Actually, it is far more than a mistake. His hate was exposed. He needs therapy.

    December 4, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. tony b

    if he made the comments about a Democrat he would have resigned on the spot – it took how many days for him to quit?

    December 4, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Zander Nickels

    I'm a pretty regular viewer of MoJoe and Mathews but can't stand the late afternoon stuff. I for one am happy to see Bashir go. He was polarizing in the worst way.

    December 4, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. TheFauxTrain

    If the same standards for resignations were used by Fox News hosts, there wouldn't be anyone left at the joint.

    December 4, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. Becca Helen

    To bassman: There is no such thing as a "conservative," ONLY REPUBLICANS. None of them are conservative, especially Palin. Remember the shopping spree? Levi's mother being arrested for selling pills? I could go on, but we all know the TRAIN WRECK that is the REAL-LIFE-PALINS.

    December 4, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    I agree he went far enough that resignation was probably justified, but c'mon....the guy has one day spewing something no more or less wrongheaded than the filth constantly spewing from Limbaugh's mouth, or that has occasionally come out of O'Reilly's and yet they're still happily employed by their companies. IOKIYAR

    Spare us your hypocritical faux outrage, GOPers/Teatrolls.

    December 4, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. Mcporkens

    @ Nina

    You aren't the sharpest crayon in the box, are you?

    December 4, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Jetranger

    I'll never understand all this Resign non sense, IF and when I have something to say, I say it, if it Offends you, Good, that's your problem !!! Might be a reason your Offended, may your guilty of something or done something you shouldn't of, but I will never ever quit resign or stoop so low to kiss the A** of So called Political Correctness BS in this country, its ridlicious and gone to far with these Nanny Corporate idiots that reside in the Corporate offices !!!

    December 4, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. blah blah


    Wanna work on those reading comprehension skills?

    December 4, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Jon

    But, somehow, all these people seem to "re-invent" themselves, and then reappear on another show – making even more money than before. Strange.

    December 4, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Brian P

    Palin had to take a 75% paycut to get back on Fox, after they kicked her off. She's only on there because she works cheap, just like her clothes and the rubbish she spews.

    December 4, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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