(Photo: Screen Grab via MSNBC)
Television host and journalist Martin Bashir has resigned from his MSNBC show after reflecting on his highly controversial comments made about former GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, adding that he "deeply regrets" what he said.
"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," Bashir said on Wednesday in an email posted on Mediaite.
"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."
In November, Bashir suggested that someone should defecate and urinate in Palin's mouth, following a comparison of the former governor of Alaska made between the national debt and slavery.
"Given her well-established reputation as a world class idiot, it's hardly surprising that she should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history," Bashir said, and pointed to notes from the diary of a West Indian slave master named Thomas Thistlewood who talked about defecating in a slave's mouth. The TV host also called Palin "America's resident dunce."
The former Alaska governor had previously said while promoting her book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, that "our free stuff today is being paid for today by taking money from our children and borrowing money from China."
"When that note comes due - and this isn't racist so try it anyway, this isn't racist - but it's going to be like slavery when that note is due, right? We are going to be beholden to a foreign master," she added.
Bashir was criticized for his offensive remarks, and he later apologized on-air, taking additional time off around the Thanksgiving holiday, seemingly to reflect on the situation.
MSNBC President Phil Griffin called Bashir a "good man and respected colleague" in a statement following the 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."