Martin Bashir, the MSNBC television news host, has resigned after his controversial remarks about former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin aired on news opinion show Clear The Air. The British-born host commented on Palin's Iowa Faith & Freedom Demolition speech during which she likened the burden of the U.S. debt to China to slavery.
Martin Bashir Resigns After Untoward Sarah Palin Comments.
Bashir didn't mince his words not only branding the former governor of Alaska "America's resident dunce" and "a world class idiot," but also suggested that she should be forced to eat faeces or be urinated upon. The comments stemmed from a segment of Bashir's reportage that looked at the brutal punishments slaves were subjected to, as detailed by estate overseer Thomas Thistlewood, who kept a detailed diary of 18th century slavery.
"If anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood," Bashir concluded, "[Palin] would be the outstanding candidate," via TIME.
After realising that he had overstepped the mark when he received a deluge of criticism, Bashir issued "an unreserved apology" describing his remarks as "ill-judged." "I made some comments that were deeply offensive," he said, adding "my words were wholly unacceptable [...] neither accurate nor fair."
Sarah Palin Has Accepted The Host's Apology.
Though it is not known whether Bashir reached out to Palin personally, the Conservative talking head told FOX & Friends: "My role is to accept his apology and be humble enough to accept it and move on." The 49 year-old politician did not judge whether Bashir should have resigned or not but said that she had become "calloused" to such comments after years in the media eye, adding "At this point I'm used to it," though reiterated that the host's comments were "vile" and "evil."
50 year-old Bashir announced his resignation in a statement, saying "It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues [...] will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself."
Bashir's Reputation Takes An Immeasurable Hit.
"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," he wrote, via BBC News.
It is not known whether Bashir, who took two weeks leave after the comments were made, has another job in journalism, television or political commentating lined up. However, such a widely publicised incident of this nature involving one of American's most outspoken political figures will resist being buried.