Martin Bashir Leaves MSNBC After "Ill-Judged" Sarah Palin Slam
Just like that, Martin Bashir is leaving MSNBC.
The British journalist, who has been with the network for the last three years, announced in an email to Mediate on Wednesday, Dec. 4 that he was parting ways with the cable network. "Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation," he wrote in his email. "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."
Those "ill-judged comments" would be his Nov. 15 remarks about Sarah Palin, in which he called the former Alaska governor a "world-class idiot," and suggested on air that someone "sh-t" in her mouth.
The British journalist offered an apology during his next broadcast for his harsh choice of words. Critics, including Palin herself, still cried out against MSNBC for its silence following Bashir's comments. In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Palin (also a Fox News analyst) accused the cable network of "executive hypocrisy" in how it was dealing with Bashir's "vile, evil comments."
"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," he continued in his note on Wednesday. "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."
MSNBC president Phil Griffin also released a statement late Wednesday afternoon to Mediaite following the host's announcement: "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.”
The news of Bashir's departure follows Alec Baldwin's firing from MSNBC in the last week. The network and Baldwin, 55, released a joint statement announcing that both parties had mutually decided to end the Emmy-winning actor's Up Late show in the wake of his recent gay slur controversy.
Meanwhile, Bashir's departure leaves an opening in the network's 4 p.m. time slot.