Last month, Bashir apologized for what he called “offensive” comments about the former Alaska governor, whom he also called an “idiot” and “dunce.” He told viewers in a scripted commentary last month that someone should defecate in Palin’s mouth. He was invoking an old slave punishment in response to a speech by Palin, a Fox News contributor, comparing the national debt to slavery.
Bashir took off two weeks for what was billed as a vacation, and there was a marked contrast with MSNBC’s treatment of Alec Baldwin, who got the boot over an alleged anti-gay slur hurled at a photographer. In his statement, Bashir said:
“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 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.”