MSNBC host Martin Bashir resigned from the network Wednesday, two weeks after making lewd comments about former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
The news was first reported by Mediaite.
Here is his full statement, provided by MSNBC:
“After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around 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.
I deeply regret what was said, will endeavour 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.”
And the statement from MSNBC President Phil Griffin on his resignation:
“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.”
Bashir hasn’t hosted his normal 4 p.m. show for the past two weeks. When asked about his absence, a network spokesperson only said that he was on vacation. The spokesperson didn’t respond to follow-up requests asking if he had been suspended.
Bashir suggested in a Nov. 15 broadcast that someone should defecate in Palin’s mouth. He made the lewd comment in a segment about Palin’s comparison of the federal debt to slavery. Bashir cited a former plantation owner who punished slaves by forcing one to “S-H-I-T” in another’s mouth, as he put it.
“If anyone truly qualified for a dose of [that] discipline,” he said, “she would be the outstanding candidate.”
Bashir subsequently apologized in his next broadcast.
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