After making the vile suggestion on-air that someone should defecate in the mouth of Sarah Palin, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir has officially resigned from MSNBC. Since making the tasteless comments three weeks ago, outraged conservatives have been calling for MSNBC to finally step in and give him disciplinary action in the form of a suspension or termination. Bashir had been on “vacation” for the last 10 days, but it was confirmed yesterday afternoon that he resigned from the network.
“Upon further reflection and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation,” he wrote in a memo. “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.” MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement that he understood “his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC.”
Last month, Palin made an analogy comparing the implications of American debt to slavery. Bashir responded by quoting directly from the diary of a man named Thistlewood, which included his experience of seeing slaves flogged with “eating kanes” and having a slave defecate in another slave’s mouth. He then shocked listeners by stating that “when Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her ignorance. She confirms if anyone is truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate.”
MSNBC didn’t punish Bashir and even promoted the segment on their Twitter handle. Conservatives took to Twitter and expressed outrage both at Bashir and MSNBC. “You should be totally ashamed to even publicize such an obscene segment on your own network,” wrote Susan Reaney. “And you wonder why your ratings dropped? Twitter user KLSouth tweeted to MSNBC: “Your network, and the pond-scum that works for it, such as Martin Bashir, are good reasons why no one watches MNSBC.”
It was also reported that ABC quietly suspended Bashir in 2008 after he made sexist comments while speaking an Asian American Journalists Association convention in Chicago; he later apologized for his choice of words.