December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
8 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. kay

    Why does cnn think Palin is news worthy? She is self centered whinny and not worth the time of day.

    December 4, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. Steven Holloway

    Shame on MSNBC. The Vile crap that comes out of Sarah Palins mouth belittling Democrats on a regular basis ? I certainly don't feel un-American voting Democrat and shame on anyone thinking I am un-American for voting their Party/

    December 4, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. goblackhawks

    What lies has Palin told ... so far alot is coming true. YOu DEMS are just vile trolls .. he hate women he have gotten places and haven't had to use their husband's name ... Hillary.. Also name these Fox reporters who have said anything close to what Bashir said and please find the evidence not just what you think you heard or heard out of context ... DEMS the party of racists and bigots ... Sen Byrd, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton , etc

    December 4, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. myrtlemaylee

    I'm sorry to hear that Bashiir is resigning, particularly in the face of the ludicrous comments made by Faux. If MSNBC doesn't have the sense to convince him to stay, then I wish him well – he'll be welcomed elsewhere, I'm sure.

    December 4, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. David G

    I guess when Bashir makes comments , they are considered "Evil and Vile". When Rush and Palin speak no one takes offense? Remember Sandra Fluke…..

    December 4, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. sammy750

    I support Martin 100%, there are not good words as to what to call and describe Sarah Palin. the most incompetent, conservative on this earth. She is a trouble makers without any brains. But Fox News loves that type of person. So dumb she couldn't even write her own books. A man who true part of the truth about Palin, but I fully understand the full truth could not be said on air. Palin is the worst of the worst, but good for the conservatives who are just like her.

    December 4, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. cj

    OMG! FOX people says all kinds of trash. If all were terminated because of lies and mean comments there would be no one left. Get over it for sure!

    December 4, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. WMesser58

    Now you have to resign when you tell the truth. Palin is a complete idiot and he was only saying what everybody knows. MSNBC probably requested is resignation but only shows what spineless idiots they are. Martin is a well respected reporter and highly intelligent where as Palin has shown what an airhead is and that it's not just blonds that are clueless. MSNBC grow a part at let free speech work without consequences.

    December 4, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. Apex301

    Sarah Palin is not worth it. She is a non-issue with no real importance. Why they are commenting on her in the first place is pretty lame. Only a few isolated GOP states; Alaska, Wyoming, etc, would vote in someone with no skills other than parroting the GOP drivel as Governor in the first place.
    If she doesn't want people insulting her, she should keep her trap shut, or get an education and stop acting like an aged-out, morally hurt beauty queen.

    December 4, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. *

    Palin is an imbecile. As are the people that support her political campaigns. We have a nation of highly intelligent and competent women that ought to run for the presidency.

    Taking one that has such poor foreign policy ideology is a national security threat.

    December 4, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. flossy

    Wow. Can't believe he resigned. I have heard much worse out of Hannity and that idiot it still on tv

    December 4, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. arch

    What's new at msnbc. Not much. Still a very unfavorable network. They seem to hire ones that aren't what would be considered good broadcasters/journalists/whatever! Don't know for sure, but there might be some high school radio stations out there that would do better in the ratings than this place! Why do they resign? They are basically fired before they even go into the so-called president's office! If they resign they don't get certain benefits from the state or feds. I guess they think they are saving face? Don't they know that most people could care less!

    December 4, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. Palin Power

    This is a clear sign that Sarah Palin will be our next president! Bashir has committed blasphemy against God and Her Chosen One!

    December 4, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Fish

    Now I liked Bashir and anything he said about that joke Palin should be treated as seriously as she treats herself!!! Just blow it off!!! Grow up Martin, we Americans have to juke ourselves like Benny Hill juked Britons!!!

    December 4, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. Jeffro B Kirkus

    The rise of the Tea party has been catastrophic for America in dozens of ways

    December 4, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. MeinAustin

    Resign for telling the truth? Everything that comes out of Palin's mouth and most right wingers is excrement.

    December 4, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Patrick Portland

    Bashir is only a symptom of a network that long ago lost its way. What exists there today and for quite awhile are opinion makers, not journalists. The extreme far left opinions and only those opinions are present, which makes them not worthy of listening to at all. No balance....no opposing viewpoints. Not to say that folks of that persuasion cannot make their viewpoints known....they should. But Bashir went way over the line and should have been fired the day that nonsense left his mouth. MSNBC either needs to clean house or close up shop.

    December 4, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Paul

    I see no reason for all this fuss. Bashier said that Palin was a world-class idiot. A bit of exaggeration but she has not shown that she is an intellectual luminary. I see absolutely nothing wrong there except a political exaggeration. Look at some of the comments here and tell me that they are not at that level or more.
    The part in which he said that she should be subjected to the same treatment as the slaves to know what slavery is really like is simply an over the top illustration. Since when have we become so genteel. I think that Bashir resigned because he felt that he needed stronger support from the network. Networks want controversy to spike audiences but get nervous when there is a problem. I'll miss his elegant and lucid comments.

    December 4, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. goblackhawks

    Obamabots ... must defend .. Sarah Palin bad .. She only had 80% approval in Alaska, gave tax money back to the citizens of Alaska .. what an awful person. Obama voted present 121 times and did nothing in IL .. but he makes pretty speeches and use big words that impress White Liberals who feel guilty about something that happened 150 years before they were born. Sarah Palin said we would be in financial slavery ... No the same thing as slavery and guess what folks the US isn't the only country to have slavery ... Actually it still exists today ... Sarah Palin was using words to describe the bad thing our gov, is doing to it's people by making us in massive debt to China ... But Sarah Palin bad .. Obamabots are scary ...

    December 4, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. you be frank & I'll be earnest

    This is so hugely stupid! Why must he resign? He actually said what many of us think – someone ought to sh-t in her mouth if only as an improvement of what comes out of it. She spouts untrue, vile, vicious things with impunity about so many people I often wonder who her "god" actually is.

    True what was said was rude and unkind and as usual taken out of context. His actual apology, none of this "if anyone was hurt, etc.," but a sincere apology, was almost unprecedented yet she is, without a gracious bone in her body, couldn't accept and move on. I'm sure she is in the middle of her (seemingly) uneducated children CROWNG: this is the way to handle an insult: the man LOST HIS JOB; is probably unable to get another anytime soon' and probably I RUINED HIS FAMILY'S CHRISTMAS.
    Please media stop giving her this unwarranted attention.

    December 4, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. Lorraine

    MSNBC had no choice. You are vile – on the inside. You showed your true vileness in your uncalled for, truly low down comments. Your inhumane assessments who you simply disagree with – confounds decent human beings. You, Mr. Bashir deserve to bag groceries for a living from here on out. But only if you can shutter your bigotry and sexism and hatred toward others. Good luck with that, Mr. Bashir. And Good Riddance.

    December 4, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. Horris

    It's about time Martin Bashir is taken down a notch. I'll never forgive him what he did to Michael Jackson.

    December 4, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  23. john rosen

    Bashir is one of many ultra liberal that spew hate

    December 4, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  24. Elucidated1

    At least liberal pundits have the decency to resign if they scew up. Too bad that is anathema to Fox, Breitbart, Heritage or Townhall where hate and acerbic behavior is always accepted.

    December 4, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. LARRY

    CNN will probably hire him. They are looking to stoop as low.

    December 4, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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