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Martin Bashir leaves MSNBC over inflammatory remarks

By Frazier Moore

AP Television Writer

LAST UPDATED: 12:29 p.m. HST, Dec 04, 2013

NEW YORK » MSNBC host Martin Bashir resigned from the network today, nearly three weeks after making graphic remarks on his show about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

"I deeply regret" the comments, Bashir said in a statement. "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."

His resignation, effective immediately, was accepted by MSNBC president Phil Griffin, who in a statement thanked him "for three great years" with the network.

The uproar began last month after Bashir suggested that someone should defecate in Palin's mouth because of a remark the former vice presidential candidate made comparing the United States' indebtedness to China with slavery.

Bashir criticized Palin and her "long-diseased mind" after playing video of her speech about China. He told the story of Thomas Thistlewood, a former overseer at a plantation who described in diaries how he dealt with wayward slaves by, in one case, having another slave defecate in the mouth of the miscreant. In another case, someone urinated in the face of a slave being punished.

"When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery," Bashir said, "she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance, she confirms (that) if anyone truly qualifies for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate."

Bashir apologized days later. But the controversy continued to rage, with Palin's political action committee writing to Griffin and NBC News President Deborah Turness seeking discipline for Bashir, and Palin cancelling a scheduled interview with NBC's Matt Lauer.

Bashir's departure leaves a void in MSNBC's weekday schedule, where he had filled the 4 p.m. EST hour. MSNBC contributor Joy-Ann Reid has subbed for him in recent days. A permanent replacement will be named in the coming weeks, the network said.

Bashir came to MSNBC in 2010 from ABC News' "Nightline." He had joined ABC in 2004 as a correspondent for "20/20."

Before that, the London-born journalist won attention for documentaries including "Living With Michael Jackson," which in 2003 aired on ABC to a huge audience, and his exclusive interview with Princess Diana in 1995.

Bashir's exit from MSNBC coincided with the network parting company with actor Alec Baldwin, who was suspended from his weekly talk show after just two weeks for using an anti-gay slur in a New York City street encounter.

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eoe wrote:
Wow, fired for telling the truth.
on December 4,2013 | 11:37AM
Nalukai wrote:
God you left wingers take acceptance of foul-hate speech to another level. How would you feel if someone said that to your wife, daughter or mother. No-one, no-one deserves such verbal filth except people like you who condone it. Period.
on December 4,2013 | 12:40PM
eoe wrote:
Pot, kettle. Please review the gay marriage thread before you open your mouth again.
on December 4,2013 | 12:44PM
geo333 wrote:
I totally agree with you Nalukai! Don't let the devils deciples get you down nor their pro gay marriage attitudes. Keep the faith the good Lord is on our side in the end.
on December 4,2013 | 02:25PM
BigErn wrote:
eoe is sadly misinformed...but that's typical for someone feeding off the teat of government.
on December 4,2013 | 03:23PM
kailua000 wrote:
come on, he went over board. way way inappropriate.
on December 4,2013 | 07:51PM
allie wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 4,2013 | 11:50AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
No, you won the top position years ago.
on December 4,2013 | 01:34PM
Nevadan wrote:
It is not about Palin. It is his condescending arrogance, pretending he is a British aristocrat.
on December 4,2013 | 02:10PM
Nalukai wrote:
She’s a hell a lot more successful than you will ever be in your lifetime hon, regardless of how many, who,and what people think of her. You would be lucky to be elected mother-hubbard of your home cooking class. Your type of people always criticize and demean other people yet you have achieved nothing close to her achievements. And I honestly am ambivalent toward her, but getting elected governor of any state in this country is no easy task. What have you done for your home state or even your street corner ? Get real or go home .
on December 4,2013 | 04:06PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
MSNBC is better off with both of those tabloid level "hosts" out of there. Good riddance.
on December 4,2013 | 11:50AM
Nevadan wrote:
Good move by MSNBC. Bashir should have gone long ago.
on December 4,2013 | 11:50AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Agreed. He was awful.
on December 4,2013 | 01:16PM
Iuki wrote:
It's a real shame that MSNBC bowed to the pressure of Palin's extreme conservative backers and fired Bashir. Although he is British, he really seemed to know about the history of slavery in our country and deplore it than some other commentators on that network. It is disgusting that any part of the media, including Fox, still give Palin any credence. She is worthless.
on December 4,2013 | 11:55AM
Nevadan wrote:
Consider the source
on December 4,2013 | 02:19PM
kailua000 wrote:
i agree Palin is worthless..add irritating to the mix. But what Bashir said was disgusting and inappropriate. He did not just happen to say it in a commentary, he had to do some research to find out the facts and frankly it was disgusting. Had Sean Hannity said that about Hillary Clinton or Mrs. Obama, the left would have been outraged. So left, right or in the middle, what he said was absolutely inappropriate and he got what he deserved.
on December 4,2013 | 07:54PM
entrkn wrote:
I thought his comments about Palin were pretty generous...
on December 4,2013 | 11:59AM
BigErn wrote:
Ok, we'll let her defecate in your mouth then. Open wide lefty!
on December 4,2013 | 03:26PM
Denominator wrote:
Typical left wing behavior. Unable to discuss the issues without invoking nasty insults and personal attacks.
on December 4,2013 | 12:00PM
eoe wrote:
Bwahahaha. I would suggest you look at yesterday's gay marriage threads.
on December 4,2013 | 12:28PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Riiiiiiight.... and Rush and Hannity and Coulter are civil...
on December 4,2013 | 01:17PM
JnS wrote:
on December 4,2013 | 02:21PM
Nalukai wrote:
Yes, and I find it extremely sad thet both left and right can mirror that behavior. What good does it accomplish, except polishing those painfully dull egos of the purveyors.
on December 4,2013 | 05:30PM
retire wrote:
Much like Fox, the entire network is a "void".
on December 4,2013 | 12:38PM
false wrote:
Should of kept him. How are the "sheep" posters here gonna get their "facts"?
on December 4,2013 | 01:22PM
eoe wrote:
Might surprise you that its not MSNBC. Its funny how Fox listeners are at once constantly reminding us how dominant Fox is in the ratings (3 times more than MSNBC), but then also equally positive that the left wing is indoctrinated by MSNBC and that the right wing is somehow underrepresented in the media. Just another example of right wing cognitive dissonance disorder.
on December 4,2013 | 01:36PM
Nalukai wrote:
I don’t think so, I watch all channels and points of view and comment on you people whether left or right and never used the description of any channels names.That’s easy enough because I believe I have a balance approach to accessing the truth in each situation rather than the flag bearing opinion of a political agenda or left/right wing cat fight. Try someday and you might be surprised. No-one has ‘exclusive rights’ to the total truth, and if you look hard enough, you can find good and balanced truth in most everyone. It’s too bad many of you have already closed you minds and only let myopic thoughts, often already edited and published by others into your thought process. At that point why even bother to comment, your already too late !! Adios !
on December 4,2013 | 04:17PM
false wrote:
No worries, ya'll still have "the drooler mathews", "i'm sorry shultz" and "hurray for gay marriage maddow". Great line up
on December 4,2013 | 01:25PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Disgusting comments from a disgusting man.
on December 4,2013 | 01:34PM
false wrote:
Sorry, did i touch a nerve? Don't be mad, some people actually have "RED LINES" that you can't cross...
on December 4,2013 | 01:52PM
false wrote:
It is refreshing to see that someone actually has a "red line" you can't cross or move...
on December 4,2013 | 01:55PM
false wrote:
Their's always ESPN?!
on December 4,2013 | 01:59PM
inHilo wrote:
Glad he's gone. "Living with Michael Jackson " won him attention? Should have been a warning to anyone hiring a ... correspondent? What do we call all those talking heads on both sides of the aisle that do nothing but feed the anger instead of providing facts.
on December 4,2013 | 05:20PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Bashir was too hyperbolic in a tabloidy way, and whiny anyway. MSNBC was probably on the look out for an excuse to can him. Very unliberal of me, but I actually have a difficult time listening to American political talking heads with British accents. They seem out of place. Both Bashir and Pierce Morgan (when he gets political) somehow seem to me on a subconscious level like they have no business worrying about US politics.
on December 4,2013 | 07:19PM
CriticalReader wrote:
even though I tend to agree with the substance of what they're saying.
on December 4,2013 | 07:20PM
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