Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC In Cable-News Outlet’s Second Recent Controversy

Martin Bashir Quits MSNBC
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Daytime anchor resigns after intemperate remarks about Sarah Palin

Daytime host Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC in the wake of controversial comments he made about Sarah Palin, the former candidate for vice president and popular conservative pundit. The anchor’s departure marks the second recent imbroglio for the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news outlet, which recently parted ways with actor and Friday-night host Alec Baldwin over similar unpleasant remarks.

“Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately,” said Phil Griffin, the network’s president, in a statement. ” 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.”

Bashir, who hosted a 4 p.m. program on the network, has not been on the air in days, with MSNBC spokespersons telling people he was taking a vacation. In November, Bashir, a documentarian who has worked for the BBC and served as a co-host of ABC News’ “Nightline,” suggested Palin should be made to suffer slave-like conditions that involved the forced consumption of feces.

He apologized for the remarks subsequently, but that action has not diminished calls for him to be taken off the network.

In a statement, Bashir said he had taken “time out around the Thanksgiving holiday” after making an on-air apology. ” 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.

Joy-Ann Reid has been hosting at 4 p.m. during Bashir’s absence, and is slated to host today’s hour as well, said Lauren Skowronski, an MSNBC spokeswoman, via email. “We’ll have an announcement about a permanent replacement host in the coming weeks,” she said.

The resignation adds to a strained time at the outlet, which took newly-christened Friday-night host Alec Baldwin off the air November 15 in the wake of an anti-gay slur he was heard uttering during a street conflict with press photographers. While Baldwin and Bashir do not represent the bread and butter of the lineup, their remarks are likely to fuel increased scrutiny of MSNBC’s programming and partisan stance. The network has long presented itself as a place for progressive political views.

 

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  1. MSNBC has cut off their nose. Mark Bashir in my opinion one of the five best anchors on day/evening programming. He will be missed by your viewers. Mr Brashir has a unique way of articulating the issues in a manner that the average viewer could relate to. I hope that at some point the apologetic president of MSNBC will reconsider his decision to accept the resignation of this outstanding anchor.

  2. Mike Orceyre says:

    This is all just a tempest in a toilet. Like the rest of MSNBC.

  3. And martin, we have some lovely parting gifts for you…. a Styrofoam container of fresh hot…. for you to enjoy in the shelter of your shopping cart new home.

  4. Al Zee says:

    The entire lineup of delusional race baiting haters should be fired. If MSNBC would present intelligent opininated debate instead of hate speech and lies maybe someone other than the mentally ill and the jobless would tune in. Hate speech is nothing new to MSNBC remember Keth Olberman ? Ed Schultz has been suspended several times. If the far left had an intelligent argument it is not on this network.

  5. Robert Boxer says:

    My comments and opinion of Martin Bashir’s Palin comments and resignation are here on my political blog: http://wp.me/p3N9zD-3M

    • Sue Abbott says:

      I agree, resignation is a regretable price to pay. We all say things we don’t really mean and our mouths over run the brain.

  6. Kat says:

    Rush Limbaugh has said much worse. Why is he still on the air?

    • Actually, Kat, while I’m no fan of Rush, or any one of these polarizing freaks on either side, Martin is the only one who displays a little boys bathroom in his mouth. And… he is boring. Good move for the network. next to boot, the dour PM thing calling her self maddow.

    • Sue Abbott says:

      WHY INDEED!! He is long over-due to be fired!

  7. Arshad Sherif, M.A., M.Ed. says:

    Martin Bashir’s remarks about Sarah Palin, as offensive as they are, do not merit his removal and subsequent resignation from the network. Sarah Palin has been humiliated far worse by others. Her worst humiliation came at the hands of Katie Couric. Katie Couric made her out to be a complete ignoramus who doesn’t read a single newspaper or magazine. And this public humiliation came at a time when Sarah Palin was at the height of her prestige and power. She was still fresh and revered by everyone. Martin Bashir saw fit to talk about Sarah Palin in the manner in which he did only because he was fully cognizant of the magnitude of her fall and how far she has fallen. She is a woman for whom there is currently very little respect.

    My view is that Martin Bashir had it coming. His time had come to leave and they were looking for something to get him on. It is also very likely that whatever he said was first cleared by the network. It is unlikely that he would have taken such risks with his own career. So he was probably set up. If they wanted to keep him, he could have done far worse and gotten away with it. But they were through with him. Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly can spew out any fiction they wish people to believe and insult and degrade peoples and cultures and nothing will ever happen to them. And that is because the peoples and cultures they insult and degrade are fully sanctioned for insult and degradation. But we don’t have to go far. I guarantee that if one of them say about Obama what was said about Sarah Palin, nothing will happen to them. Obama is fair game for humiliation. And so is Sarah Palin. But it was time for Bashir to go.

    But who now fills his spot? That is the big question. I would like to see someone from outside the ranks of the media. A new face. Not a completely new face, for you need someone whom people are familiar with to some degree. But new in the sense that she has never held the position of anchor and is not a journalist by profession.

    Pam Bondi of Florida may be ready to make her move into the world of TV journalism. She has the competence and the confidence. She is far too big for the job she currently holds. She is Florida’s attorney general. She is too well-known, too well-spoken, and far too beautiful for her current position. It would be a big change: Bashir to Bondi is a big change. A change that will no doubt be welcomed by the viewers. Viewers eager to focus their eyes on a face that is so very different from that of Bashir’s. Pam Bondi has the looks. And, yes, she has the voice. The voice that will surely arouse her audience. Aroused to the point of filling Sarah Palin’s mouth with something totally different from what Martin Bashir had in mind.

  8. Michael Grey says:

    I don’t think anything he said was worse than what Ed Schultz or Lawrence O’Donnell says. They are all windbags with inflated egos. I guess they will replace him with 2 hours of Al Sharpton for good TV LOL !!

  9. Robert says:

    the only people complain was FOX viewers.Fox say negative things about our president and people of color and never apologize nor fire these want to be reporters, Shame on you MSNBC, When are you going to stand up for your employees, FOX is stronger and you are weak.

  10. Connie Gutt says:

    I want Mr. Bashir back. He was a breath of fresh air in your sea of repetition.

    • Sue Abbott says:

      Can only agree. Martin was/is a gentleman who deeply regretted is heated remarks. That Rush can remain on TV is just obscene. Martin is 10 times the man Rush is, and he will be missed.

  11. sue s says:

    First was Keith (I still miss him!) … and then the snowball effect really started up, 2 in just over a week(?); at this rate msnbc will end up being nothing but another second rate ‘faux’ station.

    I always had my doubts about the station who purported to be on the liberal line but still has Andrea Mitchell as it’s noon anchor who reports on financial issues even though her husband (Greenspan) is (largely) partially responsible for the economic troubles our country is going through.

  12. shirley given says:

    I am through with msnbc…they have become FOX 2 with Joe ranting from 6 til 9 am…followed by Chuck Todd who is parrot. No Mas!

  13. wait what? a actual reporter who has some Godly morals/ethics/values. actually took blame for what he said, and? what the station let him say. what about the rest of the people who aired it…..will they self impose their own form of punishment. I give him total respect /credit for actually taking blame,but? I don’t think he should have to give up his job.if all news anchors were this responsible they would nt have to turn off their microphones when they stop doing the news during breaks. : )

    • CJK says:

      The fact you identify Bashir as a reporter shows serious flaws in your thinking. There is a difference between reporting and commentating. Unfortunately, in the hyper-partisan world so many ill informed people live in, many of the weakest minded don’t know the difference. If only people could learn how to actually think, instead of adopting preconceived conclusions and bending facts to backfill those conclusions, we might be able to listen to each other, share ideas and find solutions. Instead, we have people like this poster, Bashir and Rush who think in absolutes and sides (my side is right, your side is wrong) who have destroyed the political process. Anyone who thinks what Bashir said is acceptable should realize they need help. What Bashir said was a personal attack on someone, likely because Bashir lacked the intelligence to actually think through what she was saying and evaluate the facts against facts he already knew. Rather, Bashir, like a child, dug in his heals and though his opinion was the only opinion, regardless of other facts or others’ opinions. Good riddance to his unintelligent drivel, and to anyone who thinks he is right, seriously, go get help.

    • Anne Forrest says:

      Admitting to being a left wing liberal who has watched MSNBC since it’s inception, I’m considering joining shirley above. My 78 year old stomach has no toleration for Rupert’s well paid liars nor the various Erin or Wolfie clones on CNN. Where can a political junkie go? Yeah it was rhetorical.

      • Sue Abbott says:

        As a loyal MSNBC watcher, I am disappointed that Martin has had to resign and Joe can rant like a twit everyday boggles the mind.

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