December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
5 months 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. c-lo

    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.

    ___________________________________
    You can't be serious?!!!! Go back under that rock for another 20 years.

    December 4, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. JHC

    Finally Mrs. Palin and her birthers win something!

    December 4, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Rod C. Venger

    If MSNBC's viewers are the "smartest, most compassionate and discerning", then how come THEY were not howling for Bashir's ouster or resignation? No? They were silent and that silence is support. Not so smart or compassionate afterall.

    December 4, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. John

    Martin Bashir over reacted to ignorance. And it is hard to listen to people that cannot connect the dots day in and day out especially the nitwits on Fox News yammering about the latest crisis they dreamed up. There's gold in keeping dim white people angry. But he was too graphic. Oh well. Goodbye Martin

    December 4, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. CryBabies

    Kick him to the curb...When will Ed Schultz join him? Sniffet...Limbaugh,sure But O'Reilly is a bit of a stretch...unless "Pinhead" is too much.

    December 4, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. dina

    Palin deserves any words she gets thrown at her because of the things she has said about our president and other people.She creates trouble and with no intelligence to back it up. When will she just go away and stop bantering every good person in this country with her right wing rhetoric that makes no sense.She can't put a full sentence together. Sorry to see Bashir go.He spoke truth.Just went to far this time out of anger towards this bimbo.

    December 4, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  7. Thatguy371

    (from buh-bye) "Liberals are vile , evil, and disgusting pigs as evidenced by their hero Bashir."

    Compared to who? Limbaugh? O'Reilly? HA! Give me a break. Bashir says what anyone with a brain is thinking about loser Palin, and he has to go? He gets blasted for it? Wow! You righties are a hoot. HA!

    December 4, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  8. northerstar

    I am not a Palin fan but what Bashir said is offensive. He is welcome to use his "free speech" all he wants. However, the network has the RIGHT to fire him when his "free speech" is not inline with the network's journalistic standards. His remarks cannot be condoned. If he had made the same comments about President Obama there would have been a firestorm by the liberals.

    December 4, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. npsgrad

    Phil Griffin keeps bloviating egomaniacss like Joe Scarborogh and Chris Mathews and fires
    (if you don't think Martin was fired, you're naive.) Martin Bashir. Is MSNBC now going to turn
    into another FOX or CNN. Where's the balanced opinions for progressives? Martin Bashir was
    the only one on MSNBC who spoke up against the right-wing hypocrites in the language those
    hypocrites consistently use against progressives and which the right-wingers understand
    (witness their responses). Martin Bashir, like Aaron Brown and others before, is another victim of
    right-wing hypocrisy. Like others have said previously, the right-wing hypocrites can dish it out,
    but they cannot take it. I guess Phil Griffin doesn't get it!

    December 4, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. Dave

    Republicans are the biggest babies I have ever seen. Talk about thin skin for people who LIVE on the negative attack. You hypocrites need to get your own tent in order.

    December 4, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. Rick Patel

    Like a slow-moving salmon, Bashir was slapped out of the stream & devoured by the fierce Mama Grizzly. Palin power prevails.

    December 4, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. cal usa

    I'm waiting for the right to demand that Faux News to accept the resignations of the scores of scoundrels they have employed for years to deligitimize the President and any other person to the left of Attila the Hun. Probably not going to happen, but we can always hope....

    December 4, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    ""do you really understand what freedom is? Its about obligations to the society, not about doing as you please"

    So please do go on with your definition of "freedom". I'm not sure even the lefties on here would agree with that statement. I can only tell you that might be the most ridiculous thing you have ever posted....and that's saying a lot. I think you are such a good person and so much better than me to know exactly what to do with other people's property and whom it should be given to. What a great man you are to compel people through the govt to "give", as if that's giving. Wow. And you wonder why people on the right say that the left is about socialism. You basically just defined it with your definition of "freedom".

    December 4, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. Phill R

    And so he should, we can be partizan and that's fine. But when he stoops to this level you are in the Limbaugh realm.

    December 4, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. CryBabies

    Anon...Really..you're going to go to the "crosshairs" non-episode? As for the rest of your message.....pitifully sad.

    December 4, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. Howard Paul

    I will miss him. He was a great journalist. MSNBC should back up their journalists like Fox does. Fox never apoligizes and is not pressured to do so. Typical NBC they botched the Ann Curry eposode and now Martin Bashir. Shame on them

    December 4, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. Sid Prejean

    Not sure exactly what Bashir said, but this smacks of....adult professional accountability. If this trend continues, all of political talk television might become watchable again!

    December 4, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Sondagsakare

    I have the same level of disgust with Republicanism as Bashir. When was the last time the GOP in the House did anything for regular Americans? They say "jobs jobs jobs" but spend all their time passing anti-women's rights legislation when they pass anything at all. Worse than useless.

    December 4, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. Me too

    Bashir resigns for comments about Palin. Now if we could just get Palin to disappear for being Palin. Never forget that it was McCain who unleashed Palin on the world. I still do not know why people consider him an expert on defense. He is ready to bomb anything that moves. THere is no judgement in that, just as there was a lack of judgement in picking Palin.

    December 4, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. MSUalum97

    Why should he resign? Sarah Palin is an idiot....

    December 4, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. works4me

    The truth, it seems, is a bitter pill to swallow... especially for the likes of Palin.

    December 4, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  22. Merle McClung

    Good for Bashir and MSNBC. The last thing we need is to add more hate to the mix. It is really tough though when people like Palin, who has as much brains as a sack of hair, are given a soapbox. It's an insult to intelligence. Tough, too, when such awful things are said about the President, too.

    December 4, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. jesserebel

    hahahahahahahaha – another one bites the dust. Bye!

    December 4, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. Eli

    Martin shouldn't have resigned over this. His resignation shouldn't have been accepted. A Baldwin forced this???? Certainly no comparison. Martin's resignation really shopuldn't have been accepted. Palin is ridiculous. Sad.

    December 4, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. Utugi54

    What Martin Bashir did was absolutely the truth!!! The truth will set us free!!!!

    December 4, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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