December 4th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
9 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. Fannie P

    Regrettably, Mr. Bashir made this comment. However, Mr. Bashir was/is good at his job. Sarah Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity, members of Congress have all made racist and derogatory comments against the President of the Free World...all without even a little chiding, let alone be asked to resign. MSNBC should regrettably not accept Mr. Bashir's resignation!

    December 5, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Chuck

    Hahahahaha, we need to start kicking out all of these Brits from our Media
    they are nothing but propagandists for socialsm

    December 5, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. sammy750

    Martin is so much better, so much more intelligent, then Sarah Palin can learn in her life time. A woman who speaks LIE, has no knowledge of the subjects she speaks on. Just a big mouth and brainless. But the Fox News and the Republicans wrap there arms around her. And we wonder why the Republican party is such a failure. Just look at Palin, she represents FAILURE. It is sad to see Martin leave but hopefully his voice will continue to tell the real truth.

    December 5, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Suzy Mack

    Ya gotta love these Bashir groupies and their murderous hatred for Palin. She's this, she's that, she's a racist pig kill her kill her..... And they always add she's nobody and going nowhere...yet they spend so much time following her around. Just like Bashir did....bully boy. bully liberals. hate hate hate.

    December 5, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Daniel Ashe

    The joke of this is all the people commenting that he shouldn't have resigned simply because they also don't like Palin. Plenty of them also comment about how Fox says racist things about the president but they can't site any examples. Was Palin's comment racist? Maybe. But if it was, then Biden's "They want to put you all back in chains" was far more racist and no one in the media talked about defecating in his mouth. Civility needs to be for all, not just the people you agree with or like.

    December 5, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Luke

    Liberals hate conservative women and minorities. Just read the comments. The vitriol unleashed upon Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Anne Coulter, Ben Carson, Herman Cain and many others shows that liberals are consumed by hate and bitterness. Liberals also hate this country. Do they talk about the enormous contributions that the United States has made to freedom and prosperity in the world? No, they would prefer to talk ad nauseum about slavery and American Indians. It is 2013, not 1813. Maybe liberals have not noticed.

    December 5, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. fred

    Remember when Rush said hey Obama picked up another endorsement from Halfrican actress Halle Barry? As a halfrican american I am honored to have Miss Barry's support. Talk about racist and offensive. Remember gangsta government? That was offensive. Biden's comment was not racist at all. He was making a point. There is nothing offensive or derogatory about any race in that comment. How about Osama Obama, or he's not a chrstian, he's muslim. These things are fine but bashir makes some off hand comment about palin eating blank and he's fired. No need to put any in her mouth as that's all that comes out.

    December 5, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  8. triumph1

    When you make your living talking about anything that some consider newsworthy, sooner or later you put your foot in your mouth so deeply that you choke on it. One down, too many to go.

    December 5, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  9. John

    Hate, hate, hate. That's what Martin Bashir preaches. He pretends he and his ilk are tolerant and forward thinking, but he's really consumed by hate for those who don't agree with him. Go away you little hate filled man.

    December 5, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  10. Triple Lindy

    Martin Bashir, outsmarted by Sarah Palin.

    December 5, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  11. Chris

    "Evil, vile"... That pretty much sums her up in Joe McGinniss' "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," published just prior to her stepping away from the presidential race. Yeah, she took her shots, and definitely has delivered her share; it was clear few in Alaska had any reason to like her or her husband. That doesn't excuse Bashir's comments, but even her response to him shows her selfish, disgusting nature. Funny thing: I don't get her comparing foreign debt with slavery at all. Slavery isn't something you impose on yourself.

    December 6, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  12. Palin Power

    Bashir has paid the ultimate price for crossing Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is going to be our next president and nobody would dare try to cross her.

    December 6, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  13. Vickie Holbrook

    Fannie P: Please name one racist or derogatory comment that Limbaugh, Palin or Sean Hannity have made about the president. Name one...

    December 6, 2013 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
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