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. TomGI

    Martin Bashir should not have resigned UNLESS they bought out his contract and gave him a HUGE parting bonus. He was right by my measure.

    December 4, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Muzyck

    So why did Al Sharpton ever get a gig at MSNBC? You can't find a bigger loser than that.

    December 4, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. No Name

    Well Martin can make a trip to Alaska – and find out the REAL reason Palin fund fraud...attempted murder...child rape...and it goes on and on and on...enough to give Martin material to write a book!
    Make that trip Martin – it will be HUGE in news and considering who is still being held prisoner in Anchorage Sarah? Norma Jean is it? oh that shut up money is just running dry now isn't it?

    December 4, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Ian

    and yet Sean Hannity still has a job...Martin! Don't retreat! Reload

    December 4, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. The "....trash" of America


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

    And cons-ervatives are perfect good Samaritans, pure humans, with heavenly spirits, that care about

    You should be the last person to even offer your opinion. Bashir deserves a Noble Prize for telling the truth. YES PALIN IS A WORLD CLASS IDIOT!

    December 4, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. shan

    Man, when in the mood (which isn't often lately) I don't mind MSNBC. But I never could stand Martin Bashir. That grating voice of his, and his childish personality...

    December 4, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. K.S.

    I have not liked Bashir since he ambushed Michael but in this instance I will side with his over the top comments. I doubt Palin would have been insensitive enough or "Dunce" enough to say 'It will be like the holocaust.' Our debt to China is not good but it is nothing like slavery. Surely Palin, who obviously knew better, could have come up with with a more financial term than ownership of another human being. Why is she still news again?

    December 4, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. GOPnightmare

    He shouldn't have resigned. Saying bad things about her shouldn't be reason to resign... I am sick of Palin being allowed to open her uneducated mouth on world poltics she is beyond a embarrassment when it comes to world affairs. She sounds good for the ignorant spoiled brats of the Tea Party but in reality she is still a bad joke that will not go away.... All these fans of that clown Palin should grow up. She is unfit to be in any government office. Not to mention she as they say in Texas "cut and ran" when she resigned the governorship of Alaska. When her own republican party was investigating her.

    December 4, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Jeffrey Paul

    Sniffit – You so easily exposed the difference; FOX hires people for their mouth and MSNBC fires for their mouth. The sad part is that everything Bashir said about Palin was accurate, just not politically correct.

    December 4, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Tammy

    How can liberals, or anyone, defend this man, when he was advocating extremely crude and vile violence against women? It doesn't matter what Bashir's political viewpoints are, or what Palin's are. What matters is that Bashir actually thought it was cute to suggest a form of torture against a woman he disagrees with. A man like that does not deserve a public pulpit and should have been removed weeks ago.

    December 4, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. twalk

    So when is Faux News going to start cleaning house for all the vile comments from the right on their Programs. Republican are such hypocrits and think they are above everyone else.

    December 4, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. TommytheT

    wonder when Mr Obama will call him out for his vile and nasty comment, like he did for unfounded Tea Party comments that he call uncivilized, despite the fact they did not happen.

    December 4, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Carol

    His comments were way out of line, of course the right won't say anything about their god – vile rush limbaugh. That man has said some of the most vile and disgusting things about people and continues daily.

    December 4, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. GunnerGA

    His statements on air, while quite graphic, was dead on. Palin is an irresponsible public figure who throws out statements without any thought placed into their meaning. She is brain dead intellectually speaking and offers nothing positive in the public discourse worthy of public attention. Bashir simply said what most people – Democrats AND Republicans (which I am one) think of this idiot for comparing the horrors of slavery to the public debt. Bashir should NOT have had to back down but so often, people caught speaking the truth are forced to back down. He had the balls to speak the truth but lost them when he had to defend his statements. Shame. it was the first and only thing Bashir ever said that I ever liked.

    December 4, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Kris in AL

    I listen to MSNBC to hear what the Left is saying about things......

    I've listened to Bashir. I honestly feel he is one of the mot vile people in the media.

    I've shaken my head so many times, in my truck, while listening to him.

    In a way, I'm sorry to see him go....he was of benefit to the GOP.

    December 4, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. tom

    What a load. MSNBC will have no problem finding a replacement. Liberal haters aren't exactly in short supply.

    December 4, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. anonymous

    Now how fast can we send this hater back to whatever rock he crawled out from under?

    December 4, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. Curt


    Yes, we can be glad a Conservative commentator has never, ever said anything offensive about a Liberal personality, am I right? Right??

    December 4, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Tommy G

    It is a good day for all when a far left hater loses his ability to spew his hate across the air waves and wire.

    December 4, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Yooper57

    Rush spews hate everyday yet you Repubs love and defend him. He is a drug addicted loser yet so many of you faux news watchers believe every lyin word he says. Repubs you lack credibility on this one until you denounce Rush and the like!

    December 4, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Dannetta Chitty

    Sarah Palin really is an idiot so what's the problem with someone stating that fact?

    December 4, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. c-lo


    "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.

    I think her comments are the very definition of "taking it." She acknowledged what he said, chose to ignore/brush it off and move on. If lib's could only learn to do the same.

    In terms of her original comment that sparked this disgusting diatribe, slavery goes back to the beginning of human existence and is defined as being obligated to work for another without pay. "Slaves" in Biblical times right up through medival Europe were not black. But the inability of the left to see past color makes everything racist to them.

    And while we're at it, what about Smokin' Joe's comments to a crowd of at least 1/2 African Americans...Maybe Brasher should have volunteered Joe's mouth for the duty.

    December 4, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Devon

    Although I think MSNBC is a disgusting communist leaning program.

    Don't forget people. We have to respect our 1st amendment rights. Situations like this can easily push us into losing those rights.

    December 4, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Harry Baxter

    It's a shame that this guy has to resign when a fat, crazed right-wing moron like Limbaugh manages to accumulate millions by spouting garbage to the equally uninformed crazies on a daily basis.

    December 4, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. pdxdave

    Personally, I hate his politics, and he is obviously a misogynist.

    December 4, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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