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Veteran journalist Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC today, following his controversial statements criticizing former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s comments on the national debt.
Last month, Bashir was not happy when Palin compared the U.S.’ debt to China to slavery. According to CNN, he decided to read parts of Thomas Thistlewood’s 18th century diaries in air, in which Thistlewood recounted the terrible treatment of slaves. Bashir said that “when Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate.”
Although Bashir issued an apology the next day, Palin cancelled a Today Show appearance. CNN notes that a few days later, she spoke on Fox News Sunday, stating that everyone takes shots. “In a case like this, you know, I don't have to accept his words - his vile, evil comments. So they don't have to affect me. I move on and I charge forth,” she said.
Bashir has since been missing from MSNBC, reportedly going on “vacation.” However, he has issued a statement to Mediate, confirming his resignation.
After he met with MSNBC’s president, “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 continued, “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. 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.”
This was the second time in recent weeks that MSNBC has lost a major personality. The NBCUniversal-owned network cancelled Alec Baldwin’s show and he criticized the network for initially keeping Bashir on.