US & Canada

Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over Palin remarks

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Media captionWatch an excerpt from the original broadcast and Mr Bashir's subsequent apology

British-born journalist Martin Bashir has resigned from liberal US news and chat network MSNBC after controversial remarks about former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

In November, he referred to Mrs Palin, a Republican, as a "world-class idiot", then suggested she eat faeces.

He has since called his remarks - about her comparison of the US national debt to chattel slavery - "ill-judged".

Mr Bashir joined MSNBC three years ago as a daytime chat show host.

'Deeply offensive'

"Martin is a good man and respected colleague - we wish him only the best," MSNBC president Phil Griffin wrote in a statement announcing the decision on Wednesday.

Mr Bashir later released his own statement saying he had offered his resignation after a meeting with Mr Griffin and upon "further reflection" of his remarks.

"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," he wrote.

"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."

Mr Bashir's fall from grace follows comments he made on air on 15 November.

"We end this week in the way it began, with America's resident dunce Sarah Palin scraping the barrel of her long-deceased mind and using her all-time favourite analogy in an attempt to sound intelligent about the national debt," he said on MSNBC.

"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."

Mr Bashir then suggested she eat faeces, which he described as a punishment for wayward slaves.

He later apologised to Mrs Palin and network viewers for his "deeply offensive" comments.

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