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. jb1963

    At least he quit for saying something wrong. I wish the entire republican party would do the same

    December 4, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Catherine

    If a conservative had said this on tv, scripted no less – not off the cuff – they would have been quartered and drawn,,,,,,then fired immediately by the state run press

    December 4, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. BobAD

    It would be nice if all those that made comments about others were removed from the air we'd have to back to watching M*A*S*H. Politically correct is only for those that don't deserve it.

    December 4, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Poor choice of words, that's for sure. She's still an annoying twit.

    Palin = Quitter, Liar, Mooch

    December 4, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. Bill W.

    Now if MSNBC would only follow Marty into oblivion my day would be complete.

    "Today, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the final day of our propaganda... er, programming."

    December 4, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. CJ

    Wow, with all the nasty, vile evil comments made on Fox News aka Faux news, you folks on the right have NOTHING to say! People have been killed based on the retoric said by you conservatives so give it rest!

    December 4, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Hugh J'Ardonn

    @Sniffit – you wrote, "no more or less wrongheaded than the filth constantly spewing from Limbaugh's mouth, or that has occasionally come out of O'Reilly..." Show me just one single case where either Limbaugh or O'Reilly suggested defecating into someone's mouth. Combined, Limbaugh, Beck and O'Reilly have NEVER come remotely close to the level of rudeness shown by Bashir's comment.

    December 4, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. Roscoe Chait

    Oh for gosh sakes. Why should he resign after telling the truth?

    December 4, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Clarity

    Fact is Palin invoked inappropriately the word slavery. Saying about the debt that we are going to be beholden to a foreign master. Brashir gave some facts about what slave owners really did do.....but sadly he went too far by saying she deserved that treatment. However she also needs to stop talking such a load of crap....cannot believe she gets away with it.

    December 4, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. CapeCod

    I've been watching politics for years.

    There's much, much more hatred and anger on the left.

    December 4, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. KeninTexas

    Goodbye to bad rubbish. He should have been canned long ago.

    December 4, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. DJ Reality

    Martin lost his job over comments he said about a pit viper how sad.

    December 4, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. theservant61

    Sorry to see him go. By the way... he was on to something.

    December 4, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. Tychi

    He quit? What did he say that was wrong? Read all of it and found it all truthful.

    December 4, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Balls McGhee

    Sad, because we ALL agree with him.

    December 4, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. bssmd78

    This is a great example of integrity. Do you think Fox News personalities will quit over the "vile, evil" things they say about our President, Democrats, or anyone else they disagree with? No! Because they are below reproach and will never take responsibility for their behavior, or post corrections when they are wrong, or completely make stuff up. I applaud MSNBC and Martin Bashir for doing the RIGHT thing here, actions which completely dumbfound Fox news and their small brained followers.

    December 4, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    @buh-bye: "Liberals are vile , evil, and disgusting pigs as evidenced by their hero Bashir."

    If you're looking for vile, evil, and disgusting pigs to worship, look no further than Limbaugh, Levin, Palin, Hannity, et al.

    December 4, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. MrShabazz

    If these guys worked for Fox News they would have gotten raises.

    December 4, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. Whatever man....

    like most hypocrites, this woman has very thin skin...she's insulted the President, the first lady, everything and everyone close to the Obama's and countless others and yet, she remains a fixture at Fox News...

    December 4, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. Name

    Good for him. I hope he doesn't expect a pat on the back. I think the whole msnbc should resign. After all ...they didn't fire apparently the support his vile words. Guess what msnbc...people are on to you. Your love for obama will not continue to pay your bills.

    December 4, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. Michele

    What he said was unvarnished TRUTH. That so-called woman is a disgrace to the US. She should be punished just for the unbelievable depth of her stupidity and hate-mongering. Somebody start a petition to bring Martin back. He shouldn't pay the price for the unfortunate existence of pigs in lipstick.

    December 4, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. Name abie solis

    He's right, what's the big deal. Palin is an idiot.

    December 4, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. rich

    It was a little over the top what he said about Palin. But in my opinion it if far, far less that what palin did in drawing "crosshairs" over the faces of political opponents, and one so happens to get shot by a nutcase. But that is excuseable because she is one of the right wing TB party members, and they will attack physically and verbally.

    In answer to in reply to Jetranger I don't understand it either, if I intend to offend you and say something that does, that is exactly what I intended to do.

    December 4, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. Haha

    Let's not lose our heads here. Some one p oo ping in Palin's mouth wouldn't be a bad thing as long as, Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bashir got in line after her. Lets be honest, someone apparently already has cause they are all full of it.

    December 4, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    That witch is a cancer on humanity. Why doesn't the oxyaddict resign for everything foul he has said?

    December 4, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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