TV host Martin Bashir resigns over offensive remarks

Reuters

Dec 4 (Reuters) - Television host Martin Bashir resignedfrom the U.S. cable news network MSNBC on Wednesday after makingcontroversial remarks about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

"Upon further reflection, and after meeting with thepresident of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation," Bashirwrote in a memo obtained by Reuters.

"I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hardat making constructive contributions in the future and willalways have a deep appreciation for our viewers."

In a segment that aired in November, Bashir called Palin a"world class idiot" after she said in a speech the UnitedStates borrowing money from China is the equivalent of slavery.

Bashir added that Palin should be forced to eat excrement,after citing a diary item of a former plantation ownerdescribing punishments for slaves.

Bashir apologized on air for his remarks and took a leave ofabsence.

Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said in a statement "Iunderstand his decision and I thank him for three great yearswith MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague - wewish him only the best."

In 1995, Bashir became widely known for his BBC interview ofPrincess Diana, and has interviewed other world-famous figuresas well, including Michael Jackson.

Bashir is the second high profile host to leave the networkin a matter of weeks. MSNBC canceled actor Alec Baldwin's latenight talk show in late November after Baldwin was caught in avideo posted on the celebrity website TMZ using a homophobicslur during a confrontation with a New York photographer.

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