Martin Bashir exits MSNBC in wake of Sarah Palin outburst
Martin Bashir has learned something Alec Baldwin already knows: Even a cable news host can say too much.
MSNBC announced Wednesday that Bashir, a commentator and host of the 4 p.m. hour, is leaving after an uproar over his remarks last month about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Disputing Palin’s position that compared the national debt to slavery, Bashir during an on-air segment called Palin “America’s resident dunce” and then suggested a slave-like scatalogical punishment for her. (Entire video is below; warning: strong language.)
He later apologized for the remarks, which brought widespread condemnation. This week — after some time off over the Thanksgiving holiday — he officially resigned after three years at the cable network.
“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,” Bashir wrote in a statement released Wednesday.
MSNBC President Phil Griffin wrote: “Martin is a good man and respected colleague — we wish him only the best.”
The London-born Bashir, who rose to fame with his ITV interview with Michael Jackson in 2003, was the cohost of ABC’s “Nightline” from 2005 to 2010.
Bashir is the second top host to exit MSNBC after a scandal in recent weeks. Baldwin recently left in a “mutual parting” after he was accused of accosting a photographer with a homophobic epithet.
What do you think of Bashir and his exit?
[For the record: 2:45 p.m. Dec. 4: An earlier version of this post referred to Bashir as a commentator and fill-in host. His role has been clarified to describe him as commentator and host of the 4 p.m. hour.]
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